The world is increasingly full of information and advice, facts and figures. Everywhere you turn the tv, radio, newspaper, and more continually spout an endless cacophony of information pertaining to…. everything! It is overwhelming to listen to, and maddening to figure out what we are supposed to do.
Which is why it is good to remember God’s advice: "Be still and know that I am" (Psalm 46:10). Or that in quiet His voice is found: "...but the Lord was not in the earthquake… but the Lord was not in the fire…” (1 Kings 19:11-13). We only need to look inward to know what to do. Which direction to follow. Where to go.
While this may sound abstract and metaphysical, I am actually thinking about technology and education. Day after day I read studies and research pointing to the folly of believing technology will lead our children to deeper and better learning. From light metanalyses (I love their in-text citations of various studies), to heavier research, the data are unanimous: technology use in educational settings is not an improvement on what we know to work: writing by hand on paper, reading physical books, talking to actual people.
Example: The study cited above compared students taking notes by hand, and those taking notes using an electronic device. “When people type their notes they… try to take verbatim notes and write down as much as they can… students who were taking longhand notes… were forced to be more selective… that extra processing of the material that they were doing benefited them” (P. Muller). When we take our own notes by hand-- we think. We actively make choices and synthesize information in order to be brief, to be understood, to be clear. Students using devices are simply trying to capture the moment. There is no processing. No interaction. No actual engagement.
At Mount Royal we are not tuning in to the endless sources of advice via the media. We are not busy chasing down the latest and greatest methods of educating children. We pray. We listen. We trust what we know. And in this quiet and classical way we are finding the truth.
This extends from the classroom (taking notes by hand), to the playground (sledding!), to the home.
May you hear that still, small voice.
Yours truly in Christ,