Tech Bigwigs Put Their Kids In Schools With No Computers

CNN recently reported on a Silicon Valley phenomenon in which parents in the tech industry send their kids to schools designed to avoid technology. At the school featured in the report, the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, there is not a computer to be found.

These parents, such as the eBay executive featured in the report, believe there's time for technology outside of school, and that the classroom should be a place for more social, natural learning activities. Children bounce balls. They use chalkboards. They tug at ropes fitted in pulleys. At the accredited Waldorf schools worldwide, an aversion to technology is not a core tenet. It's more of a byproduct of the overall approach to education.

[CNN]


Comments

    personally think that's just idiotic.Silicon valley parents should send their kids to Amish boarding school then.

    Actually, I'd want my kids to not touch a computer except for specifically learning ABOUT them, and not just using them willy-nilly for doing anything else on.

    they need a bit of both but when 9 year olds need to have macbook airs (like my niece) you are putting your kid at serious risk. like candy from a baby basically

    but kids need to learn how to write and spell, neither of which you get with a computer. it was no different when calculators started at schools. no i'm not that old, just assuming. then there is the risks to their developing eyes from looking at a screen every waking minute.

    couldnt imagine being a teacher these days, you would spend your whole time googling students' papers looking for plagerism.

    As a techie. I sometimes wish that I had been less exposed to technology as a child. I had a computer at 5. I think education like this is very important. But when it comes time to learn about the digital age, then the computers should be rolled in immediately. I like the concept. I have very neat writing for a person with a learning difficulty , and I develop a lot of documentation on my PC, but I sometimes use a Typewriter to keep my spelling capabilities up.

      Or you know... you could just turn off the spell checker?

    I went to a Waldorf Steiner school and it was great. It was a cool, arty, low stress, non-authoritarian environment.
    However, there's a lot of terrible woo in the Waldorf Steiner stuff, lots of anti-vax, lots of "healing energy", a history of racism in the writings of Steiner (which thankfully I didn't encounter as a student).
    See here:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/08/21/quacks-everywhere/
    So yeah, I somehow managed to come through it with some healthy skepticism and rationality, but it's possible that I'm the exception in that regard.

      I sent my children to a Steiner school (for their primary education).

      I agree that there is some wacky stuff involved in the full-on philosophy - but I think that my kids got a whole lot of extra child-centred learning that they'd have missed out on in most other schools.

      My kids certainly didn't miss out on tech exposure as a result of not having computers to use regularly at school. In fact, they're more probably a lot more technologically literate than 90% of their peers.

      What they DID get from their Steiner education was the ability to exercise their curiosity in lots of surprising ways AND they learned that doing things in a more engaged fashion can be really satisfying. Wish that I'd have got to go to a school like that myself...

    I went to a laptop school had been one since 2002 and everyone just played games and watched porn during class right up until about year 10 and even after that as so as you got bored it was back to games/porn etc. they are a real distraction for kids and not required except in dedicated classes about them or that actually require them. As soon as teachers came around we would just use programs like watchcat to hide our stuff the teacher would alt tab etc to check that we werent up to no good and as soon as they went out of screen site ctrl + z and back into it.
    Think this is a great idea.

    Just to clarify: They AREN'T Waldorf Schools in Australia. Rudolph Steiner started the first one at the Waldorf Cigar factory - or so I believe - and the name stuck. I went to a Steiner School after being in the public school system, and went back to a public school after the Steiner school. When I started at Steiner I was shocked that my fellow classmates couldn't read or write fluently. Mind you, in a few years, we were all learning Latin, (ancient) Greek, French and German. When I left, my math ability was bad, and, yes, I was shocked that they never introduced computers. All the State Schools had Apple II computers! When I returned to public schooling I wasn't allowed to do Computer Studies, so I taught myself. I have been a computer programmer for most of my career (I'm 46). The lasting things Steiner school gave me was a love of language, and a love of music. Oh - and maybe a rebellious streak?

    This is something that everyone should pay close attention to. There is so much focus on getting children ready for adult life with computers that we are forgetting about just letting kids, be kids!!!! seriously does a 9 year old really need to know how to do a mail merge function in word? or how to do trigonometry, and financial functions on excel?

    Primary school eduction does not need computers, yes there are computers at home, they do not need to be used in the class room. I can understand schools wanting kids to use laptops as they are seen as a possible green initiative as well as saving the kids/teenagers backs from carrying 10kg+ of school related materials everyday and I can understand wanting to use eReaders or tablets to store and read their educational related reading materials (again cuts down on weight in back packs).

    Personally this is the kind of school I want to send my daughter too. Because it brings back the kind of education that all kids need (reading, writing, mathematics, sports). Computers are a want in primary school not a need.

      Matty! (reading, writing, mathematics, sport) ?
      these are all low, low priority in the Wardlorf education system. But there is a factual error in the article, computers are specifically banned because they embody the physical manifestation of the Antichrist. (look it up guys)
      Steiner was an occultist and the school system is still only a front for his cult. Yes it looks seductive, that's its point.
      Having said that I enjoyed my time as a student there, except for the lack of academic challenge.
      (spelling corrected by google, not my education)

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