The debate over technology being good or bad for kids is over for me. It was something that we as a family had to carefully consider given that we have two rather tech obsessed boys still in primary school!
Dick Hogg the artist and co-creator of Hohocum sums it up well in an interview
where he hopes that in a world where we put salt and sugar into all food his work is more like a plate of nice green vegetables. Having played Hohocum with my children I think he has the right idea. Playing the game with a teachers eye I could see exploitative play, problem solving and brilliant opportunities for collaborative play through gaming. Basically my boys had to work out what they had to do in the game and together they problem solved and even drew up maps to help them find the elusive Guano factory, (Bird poop to those who don't know!).
Minecraft Tuesday has become an institution at home and the boys plan in advance how to make the most of the supervised half hour each they get. Its incredibly social when played with friends or siblings and great social capital for shy children.
Monument Valley was a stunning family adventure that we explored together. Wondering around a serene work of art inspired by M C Escher is clearly a brilliant educational opportunity.
Technology comes in many flavours and is obviously best in moderation. Its something people feel strongly about as shown in kidcrafters talks on the subject. There is a world of difference between several hours on an adrenalin fuelled first person shoot-em-up and a 10 min healthy ed tech snack once or twice a day!
To me as an educator and a mother of a child with special educational needs the debate is over. Technology is going to be in our lives and in the classroom so lets just make sure our children learn to recognise the difference between the organic veg and the Mc D's.