Are Students Introduced to Technology Way Too Early?

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

Are Students Introduced to Technology Way Too Early?

blog pic.jpg‘Tis the season to make New Year’s resolutions and as part of its resolutions, several prominent technology companies – including big shots Google and Microsoft – have announced that they are backing proposals that will introduce several significant changes to the U.K. IT educational system.

Among the changes are for children to be taught about how computers work as opposed to simply learning how to use them. Specifically, software coding and programming lessons could be implemented in the classroom. As Alex Hope, author of the Livingstone Hope Review, put it, “coding is the new Latin.” He goes on to say that in order for Britain to compete as the global center of video gaming and special effects development, “we need to give kids a proper understanding of computers if [pupils are] to compete for all kinds of jobs.”

This resolution to bring programming to our youth appears to be working. Earlier this month it was reported that 12 year-old Thomas Suarez had become one of the youngest app developers, quickly making him a viral sensation.

When I hear things like this, it brings me back to my steadfast belief of “Let kids be kids.” I certainly commend a 12-year-old who can become the next major programmer, but what about emphasizing to our kids the importance of discovering the beautiful palettes of colors as they are in art class? What about encouraging our kids to devour “Tuck Everlasting” and ponder whether they would want to live forever?

Students are in such a hurry to grow up nowadays, and I find that troubling. Students are under more pressure than ever to become the next Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs and, accordingly, kids are feeling compelled to take up to five APs starting junior year of high school, attend college summer programs while still as high schoolers and take on unpaid internships as opposed to going to summer camp.

It would be misleading if I told you that I managed to avoid doing all of that and still got hired two weeks upon graduating college, spent two years at my first job (where I even got promoted) and then secured a job here at TMC. I did take five APs starting junior year of high school; I spent summer after junior year of high school at Brown University in a summer program; and every summer after that I interned for no money. I am fully aware that each of these pivotal steps got me to where I am today. But that also makes me sad.

I wish students lived in an age where they didn’t have to worry about beefing up their college admissions resumes at such a young age. I wish they didn’t fret about learning how to program or decode until they got to college and really wanted to get a grasp on that information. And I wish kids lived in a day where they could really enjoy the physical parts of life and not just the virtual stuff.

I may not be a 12 years old, but here’s my resolution: I am going to spend next year really taking in all that is not technological (sorry, tech lovers). I am not going to worry about what is going on with regards to Facebook, Google + or Twitter. And I am not going to try to figure out how to invent the next best thing. I am going to focus on the simple life; the one we far too often forget.



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1 Comment

Not at all, in my opinion the school programmes always try to respond and represent the real life and as we have really a lot of technology in our everyday life it is normal to be the same and at school - it must be this way!

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