Analog vs. Digital Learning – is it a choice or a partnership?

I’ve just realized that our journey through homeschooling is like a marriage of the analog & digital worlds. While I have a long standing love of all things paper, my son is living in a digital age and for him the paper world is not often his first choice.

and yet…

I’ve noticed that while he’ll happily turn to the ipad or itouch to play games, he’s also entranced by a deck of cards. Instead of seeking out the ipad to play Mastermind he reaches to the analog version. Playing Minecraft seems to revitalize Lego creativity. Sometimes the watching of a movie inspires reading of a book. He likes to be read to from a real book rather than from a digital one. A surprising thing in this age.

The digital keyboard hooked up to Garageband seems to only render the piano in the other room more respect. The curiosity which is piqued spills over into anything related. Why didn’t I see it? It makes sense that it is really not important how the sparks are created as long as they fly and ignite other quests and explorations. The trip we take is a mental resource book, filed on the shelf. The TV show I detest spawns a new understanding of how to deliver a one-liner.

In this digital web-driven world we are living in, I wonder how to keep the analog fresh, inspiring and alive? But perhaps I shouldn’t be that concerned. My love of analog things seems to have been adopted by osmosis, rather than abandoned as I feared.

Likewise I am important. My quest for testing something new, or revisiting something old does not go unnoticed. The art class I take, the book I pick up, the recipe I try, are all appreciated by a quiet observer. He’s even looking over my shoulder as I type this, wondering why I’m typing and re-typing. “What’s editing, he asks?”

He might not be interested in the subject matter right now, but all that happens, which goes by, in his world, is noticed. If I share a new passion, it might not currently be of interest, but it’s as if it’s filed for future reference. The potential energy, the empowerment is created too. The old adage that knowledge is power, doesn’t mean you have to be an active participant through the acquisition process. To plant a seed and pluck a pea or tomato, to smell the roasting coffee in the oven, or see the rising loaf on the counter. Taken for granted, but not ignored. The analog is noticed even if it’s just around. The power of knowing.

Every once in a while, I panic. I evaluate what we do, or don’t do, or could be doing, and I find holes. What is important in the reality of it all, is the learning, experience, wisdom and knowledge itself. The achievement through analog or digital or some of each is party of the journey in which we are always learning. The key to the partnership of Analog & Digital, is making sure they are both around and accessible.

One thought on “Analog vs. Digital Learning – is it a choice or a partnership?

  1. Love your new blog. Somehow, I am only now discovering it. And, really great to read your thoughts on this analog v. digital. Kids are amazing in how much the can absorb. I wonder if adults become too regimented in the way we learn over time. It’s amazing to observe T in this process I’m sure.

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