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Is Technology Crippling Student Creativity? One UK School Thinks So

The Acorn School in London is carrying out one of the most shocking acts in terms of K-early middle school technology. They’ve banned all technological devices until students reach age 12. Yes, imagine a child in the U.S. not knowing what a computer, smartphone, TV or even more shocking the Internet is until they reach the age of 12.

It might be shocking to a society who is working hard to implement technology into the classroom because they believe that it can have more benefits than harm. The U.S. Department of Education has even put together an Education Technology plan because they believe that technology in the classroom can enhance learning among students.

So, what could the Acorn Schools know that changes the way they look at technology?

“We are against all forms of electronics for small children … and only gradual integration towards it in adolescence. That includes the Internet. In choosing this school, you have undertaken to support that view, no matter what you may feel personally,” according to the Acorn Schools charter, reported by Quartz.

Even if you don’t believe in the views of the school, you are still held responsible for upholding their no tech policy at home. When you think about watching a TV show and having your child in a room either playing or reading a book it all seems a lot like raising a Matilda, not in the spontaneous magic way either.

According to the report, the Acorn Schools want to foster creativity rather than turn children into passive consumers. 

Banning screen time frees up time for the students to do many other activities, such as woodworking, nature walking and writing "in elegant looping longhand," among other things.

“One MIT professor’s research shows technology is impairing kids’ ability to hold a conversation and build empathy,” according to Quartz.

“A study by the London School of Economics suggests that banning mobile phones at school is worth the equivalent of an extra week of classes in terms of students’ development. And the OECD recently released a report showing that increased investment in computers and technology at schools has not boosted academic results.”

Some students have turned to reading about the technology in order to get their fix but agree that it’s not as enriching as actually using it.

With contrasting reports and research such as those noted in this article it’s sometimes hard to tell what affects technology is really having on education. That being said there are very few schools around the world that choose to annex technology or limit it to a certain age group. There have been countless articles written about the positive affects of technology and the innovation ways in which schools used them. Some would even argue that technology could also enhance creativity in students. It’s an unorthodox approach but not one that U.S. schools are likely to take.

The school currently has 42 enrolled students and it's a charter school that charges tuition. If your school has dedicated to ban or limit technology in its walls or beyond, write us at editor[at]educationworld.com to let us know more about your experience.

Read the full story.

Article by Navindra Persaud and Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributors

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