Saturday, April 30, 2016

Virtual reality is child abuse

Filed under "rant."

On the windowsills in B361, plants continue to grow using little more than the collective breath of the lambs in my room and a bit of water, knit together using the energy from the afternoon sunlight streaming through.

Grown from a wheat berry by a child.

Not sure putting a seed in a clump of peat moss and vermiculite counts as maker space, but the back corner of the room is dedicated to just that. Seeds, trays, a few light banks, and a container or two of dead honeybees (for pollination) dominate one corner of the room.

Through the lives (and deaths) of their plants, children learn a bit about life, but not a whole lot about the colleges and corporations that, according to l'idée du jour, must be printed on this generation's collective mind, at least those stragglers in public schools who we feed with our myths.

And now we have this:

via Hindustan TImes
School districts are starting to use tools made by humans, for a human world, limited by human imagination, pushed by human profits. Our children can no longer see the stars, and are taught to fear strangers, fear others, fear living.

Authority figures are giving children a tool to "broaden" their experiences, yet keep them tethered to assigned desks in assigned rooms with assigned teachers herding them.

This is not education; this is institutional child abuse. It would be cheaper to let the little ones lick tabs of acid--at least the expanded "world" they experience would be their own, not the limited visions of code monkeys paid to make virtual worlds when they themselves have not yet learned how to live.

We have collectively lost our minds.....


Susan Eckert said...

Virtual reality has always given me the creeps.

But, and this is not an argument for using it in the classroom, how many teachers are actually taking students outside on a regular basis? How is it any different from looking at pictures in a book, which is what many teachers do?

doyle said...

Dear Susan,

Both good points, but I suspect a child looking at a picture in a book is aware that she is doing just that, looking at a picture.

VR is about losing that discernment.

Susan Eckert said...

good point