Make the difficult choice

Technology is cool
but I prefer it when my five-year-old son
 flips through a hard copy of a book.

I have nothing against the fact that technology, like other tools used in the classroom (and life in general), plays an important role in the process of learning. However, I sometimes get the feeling that technology is seen as a substitute for teachers or even worse, as a substitute for parents. Being an educator and a mother of three sons myself, I believe and hope that it will never be possible to replace well-trained teachers and caring parents with computers.

I love watching my five-year-old son flipping through his books and leporellos each night. And honestly, however old-fashioned I may sound, I wouldn’t like to see him in bed with a laptop or a Kindle. Also, I know that one can make amazing things such as gifts, posters or collages via technology, but I still prefer when I get a paper birthday card, photo or a drawing from my little one.

On the other hand, I realize that the importance of technology will keep increasing; that’s why we cannot teach our children in the same manner in which we were taught in the past. I’m amazed whenever I see my baby nephew walk around the living room pointing the remote control at the TV set hoping that he’ll make things happen. I’m astonished when I observe him with a mobile phone at his ear pretending he’s telephoning (mind you, he doesn’t even speak yet). I can’t believe my eyes when he grabs my hand and tries to tap the PC keyboard with it – something his dad does every day. The baby probably knows already that every action has a reaction, so he hopes that by pressing the keys we’ll change things.

So although I’m an old-fashioned lady with all her routines of behaviour and sets of beliefs, I’ve made the difficult choice – I’ve accepted the idea that technology, if used intelligently, sensibly and carefully, can contribute to human well-being and happiness. By having access to valuable information and by sharing all the vast knowledge of human race we can make each other more educated and thus happier. Without technology it would be virtually impossible nowadays. So once my little son sends me a birthday e-card, I’ll know that he’s entered a new period of life – a new dimension – and I dare say it will happen very soon. And I know this is something I can’t stop, no matter what I believe in and what my preferences are.

About Hana Tichá

I'm an EFL teacher based in the Czech Republic. I've been teaching English to learners of all ages for more than 20 years. I love metaphors and inspiring discussions concerning teaching, learning and linguistics.
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4 Responses to Make the difficult choice

  1. Theodora Pap says:

    Everything is good (high-tech and old-fashioned)! You have to keep the balance between them I guess!!! Loved your post Hana!


  2. Hana Tichá says:

    Thank you, Theodora. I agree that balance is the key to success – in all areas of life. And I do struggle to find balance in my life. For example, it's sometimes difficult to be a good teacher and a good parent at the same time because both is energy- and time-consumin,g and sometimes you have to make the difficult choice. Fortunately, by getting feedback and support from my family, colleagues, and PLN things become much easier 🙂


  3. Hana you are right but still it's important there's balance. Personally when I raise my kids they'll play with cardboard boxes and sand for awhile before I get them iPads . I love tech but I'm also see how easily kids get addicted to it and don't go outside to play. I want my kids to play for a long time and enjoy this before they get wowed by the tech and live sedentary lives.


  4. Hana Tichá says:

    Absolutely, Shelly. That's what I, hopefully, implied in my post 🙂 Technology is great but not too early – for the reasons you give in your comment.


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