All kids learn by exploration, and we are tying their shoelaces together when we emphasize indoor, screen-based learning, no matter how socially progressive it is. Our over-structured, over-managed classrooms and sports teams coupled with the absence of freedom to roam and play, and ever more seductive screens makes our kids distractible and overwhelmed. In so many ways, the digital age is profoundly narrowing our horizons and creativity, decreasing our physiological capabilities and pointing us toward devolution. Furthermore, adding more and more tech to our lives is environmentally destructive, toxic to the earth and human health, and unlikely to increase happiness measures. However, an hour of playing outside burns no fossil fuel, increases vitamin D levels (which are tragically low in developed nations), promotes healthy relationships and connection to living things, and primes the body for optimal sleep and metabolism. I don’t think an hour of code gives a child anywhere near that many benefits.

    Jessica Carew Kraft

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    An anthropologically trained writer, artist, and naturalist writing about education, health and rewilding. Mother to two girls in Berkeley, CA.