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Balanced approach

Balanced approach

The use of modern media has not stopped at the door of Adventist schools such as Marienhöhe Adventist Academy. Computers are being used more and more by students for school work as well as leisure. While some years ago the TV lounges were crowded, the com

March 23, 2010

The use of modern media has not stopped at the door of Adventist schools such as Marienhöhe Adventist Academy. Computers are being used more and more by students for school work as well as leisure. While some years ago the TV lounges were crowded, the computer has now become the media of choice.

Brain researcher and psychiatrist Manfred Spitzer stated, “Children and youth spend more time in front of the TV set and computer screen than at school. If nothing is done to counterbalance these influences on the young generation, media brainwashing will be the result.”

Critics of media raise – and not without reason – the following objections: “Computers make you feel lonely, video games make you violent, watching TV makes you stupid, and the Internet manipulates you....” However, modern media can help us in many ways.

Media education has become a part of general education. Marienhöhe Adventist Academy has officially registered to join the “Schools on the Net” project initiated by the German Ministry of Research and Education. The Academy is also authorized to use “online teaching” with virtual classrooms equipped with modern e-learning devices. This is not to replace classroom teaching but to support it.

Communication occurs via the Internet and can be used for presentations, information, communication, documentation, and media practice. It promotes cooperative, student-centered and self-directed learning. It allows study groups to be more flexible as students can access virtual classrooms from home. Students can do their homework assignments online, and it gives them the opportunity to take practice tests and access free learning aids.

On the other hand, a careful eye should be kept on children and youth using the Internet. Often, too much time is spent on questionable computer games sending out questionable messages. In the case of Marienhöhe Adventist Academy, clear rules have been established and must be respected by students.

Students are not encouraged to sit in front of the computer for hours at a time. Marienhöhe Academy offers a more holistic and balanced approach to life. The school organizes many social activities such as special evenings, excursions, various sportive programs, lectures, seminars, participation in worship and church service programs, musical bands, creative workshops, Pathfinder groups, conflict solving courses, adventure education activities, editing a school magazine, health-related projects and involvement in community service.

Modern technology and communication are useful for development and teaching; however, the other spheres of life must not be neglected.

CD EUD using information by Walter Waniek and Karl Straβner (published in Marienhöher Allgemeine Zeitung)
Photos: Ursula Kaija and and Karl Straβner

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