Differentiation, student-centered learning, Bloom’s taxonomy, Digital literacy – these are all terms listed by Wikipedia as Educational buzzwords. After this weeks second debate, I’m left wondering – is balance another word to add to the list? What exactly is this ‘balance’ I strive for, that I encourage my students to seek out?
Merriam-Webster defines BALANCE as: a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance
Quite frankly, this definition screams buzzword to me. What does ‘proper’ amount of importance even mean? How can one determine they are ‘balanced’ or whether or not someone else is in fact ‘balanced’? It all seems somewhat judgmental and arbitrary now that I have examined the definition.
After reading about the effects of technology on children, and watching the following video, I was left wondering a few things.
While I’m not going to pretend like I know a lot about how the brain functions, and whether or not the ‘brain science’ in the video is accurately depicted, I have to wonder if scans of the brain were completed when paper and pencils were introduced into Education, or if perhaps, brain scans were done when radio was introduced into society. The Smithsonian recounts
Not everyone embraced the radio or understood how it functioned. The resulting mystery left some Americans wary. Were electromagnetic waves responsible for droughts? Skeptics blamed radios for the vibrations of bed springs, the creaking of floorboards, even a vomiting child. In Wisconsin, people thought radios could stop cows from producing milk, says Hilmes. Could the electromagnetic waves kill birds? Yes, Hilmes concurs: “If they flew into electrical wires.”
Sounds somewhat reminiscent of arguments and questions I’ve heard about today’s technology.
Many of my classmates such as Danielle, Shannon, and Angela have examined potential reasons for the ‘decline in health’ within our society. While they all make great, accurate assertions about the rise of dual working adult homes, or single parent homes, lack of unstructured play time, or amount of time outside for that matter, I’m still skeptical.
Technology certainly has impacted the way we live our lives, there’s no denying that. Our lives have evolved and changed throughout the years, and certainly over the last couple of decades – but people have had grandiose fears with the invention and introduction of many technological advances throughout history, and yet none of them have brought our lives to a screeching halt.
That being said, I limit my children’s screen time, I insist we spend time outside everyday (I mean if it’s not disgustingly cold out), and certainly if we aren’t able to be outside, we find ways to be active and interactive daily – no questions asked. While I used to insist on making these things priorities in a quest to ‘achieve balance’, now I’m questioning if it is ‘balance’ I should be striving for? Perhaps it is ‘common sense‘ which is a more apt linguistic phrase to adhere to -and I’ll save the reasons Kumishiro would disagree with me for another post…