Letter: Less technology and more humanity need in schools

Tucker Frederick Kapp, Naples and Toulouse, France

Going too far

I write to you to discuss a matter that seems to me of grave importance in our world of today — the use and overuse of technology in our schools.

As a teacher, lifetime student and former resident of Naples, I am pained to see that our Collier County School Board is spending exorbitant amounts of money simply to explore the possibility of including iPads, cellphones and other iterations of screen-o-mania into our classrooms.

I only have 250 words to make my case and have been expressly warned against including anything resembling poetry.

Let me simply say: The work of imagination is not something that can be accomplished by an electrical display. The requisite effort and concentration, the subsequent magic, even of initiating the transmutation of black-and-white-symbols into phantasmagorical worlds full of narrative empathy and sensorial delight — this effort, this concentration, this imagination cannot be acquired by interacting placidly and predictably with a device.

Regardless of how innovative the apps, how applicable the themes to classroom needs, schools do not exist simply to show our children x and y and z. They also exist to teach humans humanity, to develop the indispensable skills of giving, sharing and receiving from other live human beings.

We are at a point where language — first oral, then written, then printed — is becoming “interesting” only when illuminated artificially through tablets, television, cinema, Internet;

And this invasion of supposed technological progress is to be combated, if only for the sake of our stories.

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