Technology and Homeschooling: What Do You Think?

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Atari400

My first computer--the Atari 400, released in 1979.

Ever since I got my first computer more than thirty years ago I've had an ongoing fascination with technology and its applications. I've since studied and written on the topic of philosophy of technology--a branch of philosophy concerned with all sorts of questions relating to technology.

Although I grew up in an era before the advent of the World Wide Web, cell phones in every pocket, and personal computers in nearly every home, I've done a pretty good job of keeping up with technology. In relation to education the topic of technology is of definite interest to me. Considering that Sonlight offers literature-rich curriculum, the rise of ebooks and ebook readers is also of interest. I first began reading ebooks in the '90s with the advent of the PalmPilot. Granted, my printed library of books far exceeds what I have read in ebook form.

Marshall McLuhan in the 1960s began to explore some important questions regarding technology, especially in his seminal book Understanding Media. He wrote about extensions and amputations. Technology often offers extensions. Talking with someone in person, for instance, is extended by the telephone. But McLuhan also wrote about amputations. Consequently, a phone call allows an extension of communication, but something is also lost, such as a visual reference as well as body language and other factors present when we are in face-to-face interaction.

Nevertheless, technology presents tremendous opportunities, especially in relation to education. With so much information instantly accessible, though, we must be careful to balance knowledge with what the Greeks considered a key virtue: practical wisdom.

At any rate, I'm curious as to how (or even if) you integrate technology into your homeschooling.

  • What kinds of technology do you use?
  • How often are they utilized?
  • Do you continue to prefer printed books or are you integrating ebooks to any extent?
  • What concerns, if any, do you have about the rise of technology and its implications in relation to education?
  • Is technology a benefit to your homeschooling? If so, how?
  • Are there detriments to using technology in your homeschooling?

Let us know what you think!

Robert Velarde
Author/Educator/Philosopher

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