Readers’ Survey 2007: Best Book for Parents on Technology and Children
Edutopia readers weigh in on their favorites.
Does One Exist?
Maybe it was use of the word technology that spooked readers -- or perhaps it was parents. Whatever, more responders drew a blank on this category than any other. The majority of answers ran the clueless spectrum: "Does one exist?" "Don't know." "Drawing a blank." "Haven't read one." "No idea." "Unknown."
We at Edutopia strongly believe that technology enables teachers, parents, and students to achieve new heights more efficiently, but with the NCLB clock relentlessly ticking, even saving time may not be enough to give educators a chance to read about tech and pass the word to parents. However, suggestions included Internet & Computer Ethics for Kids (and Parents & Teachers Who Haven't Got a Clue), by Winn Schwartau, the Parents' Guide to Computers in Education, by Dave Moursund, and, inevitably, several of Wiley Publishing's ubiquitous Dummies titles. Also, like it or not, The Kids Are Alright: How the Gamer Generation Is Changing the Workplace, by John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade. Clearly, play's the thing.
A growing number of parents are tech savvy. For those who aren't, the problem with books is that by the time they're written and published, technology has moved on. What we have all known for years is that kids always seem to know the latest -- somehow, they absorb it through their skin -- so if a desperate parent asks what's good to read, you might suggest a little "the birds and the bytes" session with their children, with the roles of wise guide and curious questioner reversed. A couple readers also mentioned a book called A Flickering Mind: The False Promise of Technology in the Classroom and How Learning Can Be Saved, by Todd Oppenheimer. It's not an outright indictment of computers in school, but it sounds a worthwhile cautionary note, making the case that teachers must never be shouldered aside by mere machines.
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