Media & Technology
Our Philosophy on Media & Technology
At Juniper Tree, while we are not opposed to media & technology, we do limit its usage in our educational program until our students developmentally ready, which is around the age of 14. We believe that a child’s developmental readiness for technology is not based on capability but on developmental appropriateness.
Many studies have shown the negative effects of media exposure on our children and that it actually changes the nerve network of their brain causing issues in their development and their ability to achieve important childhood milestones. Some common issues studies have found are: eye tracking issues (a necessary skill for reading and writing); delay in language development; decrease in certain neurotransmitter levels leading to significant behavioral issues; inability to self-regulate and focus on tasks; decrease in social emotional health as it negatively impacts a child’s peer interaction and play.
At Juniper Tree, we want to focus on developing the whole child by embracing the importance of working with real materials, and interacting with their classmates and teachers in person, rather than using technology and media to superficially replace these authentic experiences. As a result, our program provides opportunities for our students to participate in the arts, movement, practical activities, time to explore creative ideas and to pursue them. In this way our students can not only develop healthy bodies, and well-integrated brains, but also healthy social-emotional wellness so they can grow into strong, confident adults who can successfully take on real-world matters of life.
As our students grow older, we will to introduce and then fully engage in using technology as a tool for learning. Studies show many student graduates from low-tech schools, go on to successful careers in the media and tech industry.
While there are so many great resources out there about technology usage and its effects on children, I personally found this website to be one of the most helpful for parents who want to introduce technology safely to their children as they get older, or for parents who are looking to reduce their child's technology usage: https://www.waituntil8th.org/ - they also have a facebook page that’s worth following.