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Bend school takes non-tech teaching tack

By Katie Higgins
Published On: Dec 19 2013 09:16:12 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 19 2013 09:28:27 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Katie Higgins found out why the Waldorf School in Bend steers young kids away from technology.

BEND, Ore. -

There are mixed feelings on how old kids should be before they get cell phones, iPads and other technology. While some schools in Bend are investing in iPads for students, the Waldorf School in Bend is doing the opposite.

"There's a little bit of perception, like, what's going on at the Waldorf School," parent and board member Erin Hansen said Thursday.

Kids are learning the basics like math, science and English. It isn't all that different, except one thing.

"Just, it's technology-free," said eighth-grader Christian Wood.

The reasoning being, technology strays away from human contact. It also has the capabilities of introducing students to examples the Waldorf School doesn't see fit.

"And so we talk to parents about moderation, especially at early ages," school Director Darren Hansen.

That's because educator Moe Anderson says children learn best from those around them.

"Children learn best from 0 to 7 from imitation," Anderson said.

Hansen said, "We're trying to get them to emulate people of character -- our teachers, our parents, people we respect."

Teachers at the Waldorf School must be worthy of emulation.

They say small classes, little technology, and a focus on more communication between teacher and student creates a different atmosphere.

"The ability for a child to experience the real world and real people," Hansen said.

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