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Street Smarts

We all want good education for our young people, but the growing use of technology in the classroom stirs debate. Can our increasing dependence on that technology hurt as much as it helps?

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Donna Deleon from the northwest side is a software engineer

Do you think young kids' education should revolve around technology? I think it should be limited. I just found out I have a vitamin D deficiency, because of lack of sun. Kids need to get outside; they need exercise, sunlight, socialization, life skills, sharing — all those things that can't be learned from technology.

Do you have any kids? Yes, I have two. Now they're adults, but when they were kids, we limited their TV time. In fact, I wouldn't have a TV in the living room. So when we sat down for dinner, there was no TV and no phones. We talked.

You work as a software engineer. Yes, I used to work at MCI and that's when I got into technology. Some co-workers saw that I had a knack for it, and encouraged me. There are definitely some good things about it. ... But depending too much on technology can also contribute to stress.

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Rick Concepcion from the central area works in MMJ and retail

How important is technology in the education of our young people? I think it should be mandatory. There are more and more people in the world, and we need the best technology to progress. But, we also need art, sports and science.

Books and articles claim too much technology can be detrimental. Do you agree? No, I think there's always been a generation gap. The older generation fears new things.

Do you think technology dependence can be causing isolation in our kids? No, there have always been a lot of people in their own little world. It's not a bad thing.

What's the right age for kids to start using technology? Probably the first or second grade, as long as there's a healthy dose of everything else: art, music, sports.

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Mario Collins of the north end is a chef

In grades K-12, how important is technology in education? It's important. It's quicker, but there's a lot of information you miss. Maybe people are too dependent on it.

Do you think it's healthy for kids to play video games? It depends on their other interests. Video games are OK. They teach some skills, but does it relate to the rest of the world?

What about violent video games? For younger kids, it's not beneficial; they shouldn't be exposed to violence.

Do you agree that kids get addicted to video games? I don't know about addicted ... but at any age, staying home all day playing video games is not good. The world is too vast to be sitting at home, indoors all the time.


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