For those of you who attended the sessions by Allison Ochs way back in September, you will of course remember that she spent quite a bit of time talking about the effect of smart phones on the lives of our students. One thing she mentioned was a campaign called Wait Until 8th that seeks to empower parents to wait until at least Grade 8 before giving their children a smart phone.
Neil shared this very interesting, sobering, enlightening article with me a few days ago, courtesy of the Wait Until 8th blog, and I thought some of you might enjoy it as well.
Also, just before Diwali, I also spotted this article in the New York Times regarding how the tech titans of Silicone Valley manage their own children's use of devices...very interesting reading. (Spoiler alert: Most of the people who are intimately involved in designing and building smart phones DO NOT allow their children access to this technology!)
I do see a few students with smart phones in our building each day, primarily in the Secondary School (in case you're wondering, I see the phones in students' hands when they enter the building, at which point they disappear into school bags, since we do not permit their use during the school day). I often wonder how our parents have made decisions about their child's use of technology...in this specific case, whether to allow or deny their child access to incredible power of a smart phone. I do out of curiosity, not in judgment. I have a soon-to-be-4-year-old at home, and already he understands how touch screens work. I think quite a bit about how all of this technology will shape his life experiences, in both good and bad ways. How will I manage this for him until he can make his own decisions?
Most of our students, it appears, do not have a smart phone, and I often wonder why that is the case. On quite a few levels, I think this is the harder decision to take: There seems to be lots of pressure for parents to allow their kids to have these devices, so I am curious how some have bucked the trend and said no.
Have a look at the articles I have mentioned and feel free to comment:
About the author...
Steve Augeri is the Head of School at the Oberoi International School - JVLR Campus.