The Paps are being awfully shy, ever since I decided to post daily pictures of them on the blog they have been in hiding. Today they continue to be a complete tease, lifting the heavy layers of mist and cloud covering them, ever so slightly to reveal their lower climbs, before covering up again completely.
We have friends home from New Zealand. They have family over with them who have never visited the islands before. They have yet to see the Paps in their full glory, the happy farmer of course, a wry grin on his face, explained how they recently decided to concrete the whole of Jura and the Paps are in fact no more. Maybe that is why they have decided to revel themselves ever so slightly today!
Our son arrived home from school really excited, our daughter completely fed up. The reason, well our high school is the first school in Europe where every child is being issued with a tablet PC, a mini laptop computer. Jotters, pens and worksheets are going to be a thing of the past.
Son came home with his shiny new tablet yesterday; daughter has got to wait another week until hers is issued, so she was really not a happy bunny. I have really mixed feelings about the whole process, but then that is also my approach to change. I can’t help feeling that my children are going to be the guinea pigs in this whole computer age. It seems to somewhat contradict our natural surroundings, I can’t help wondering why the computer giants, Dell and Microsoft have chosen a small school on a remote Scottish island to begin this computer revolution.
I have concerns about what skills will be lost when computers don’t simply enhance class work, but actually take over. Will it be easy to revise and learn notes by reading from a computer screen instead of going through hand written notes and work sheets? Will a part of each individual’s identity be lost to some extent when everything is computer processed and not hand written? It is interesting that we live in an age when we are trying to desperately preserve, languages such as Gaelic and Welsh, to value and appreciate accents and dialogues, which at one point were actively banished in the belief that if we all spoke the same language, with the same accent and dialect, it would help us to get on better in the world. I can’t help but draw some comparisons to our use of language in the written sense also; will it be good for children to rely on computer keyboards so dependently when it comes to expressing themselves in the written form? Will the whole process prove a technological nightmare? What happens if children’s work is not backed up properly, they can only link to the internet when at school and the tablets have no DVD drives, so what happens when a huge amount of research or an all important essay is lost with the touch of a button?
The children are really excited, they are already far more computer literate than me. We live in an ever changing world. I should be glad that my children are getting this fantastic opportunity, that they are receiving such fantastic equipment for nothing, I just can’t help wishing it had been tried and tested elsewhere first, that’s all, and I do hope they do not lose the all important skills of expressing themselves with pen and paper…back to the cave drawings then.
Until next time…