Last week, I asked a class of 7 year olds how we could find out what the weather was like in Sydney. The heat was coming in through the windows, the sun was obviously shining outside. “Mobile phone?” said the first child to pipe up.
The seductiveness of e-tech means, even at a young age, people ignore or discount their own senses, their own ability to find out first hand, to think for themselves or consult a human being. Some of you may remember the Leunig cartoon which showed a family watching the sun set on television while, through the window, the sun was setting, unwatched.
What’s the difference between tools and technologies? There’s an interesting take on that question here: http://reflexions.typepad.com/files/the-difference-between-tools-and-technologies-090309.pdf
In STEM, the Stage 3 children have been trying to work out which simple tool works best to help them cut pop sticks. This activity is not just about teaching children how to safely work with tools, or even about how to make a model with simple materials; it’s about how tools have shaped the built environment and, in turn, how we think about the world and our capacity to change it. - mjp