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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Teaching tradition through technology

As you know, I am big on technology. I love it, I use it, I admire the people who came up with such brilliant ideas. Especially as an expat and mom of multicultural children, I marvel at the ways technology gives us ways to connect to our roots and learn about other cultures.

We use a lot of technology in our house. We have laptops, tablets, smartphones. This is a little list of what we do with it for and with the children.

-          Watch DVD’s and films in our minority languages
-         Use Youtube to search for songs and little films in Polish and German- than we learn and sing together
-          We Skype with the grandparents
-          We have a web album with photos of the children
-          We watch films about other cultures
-          My big girl has her own camera and she takes tons of pictures with it
-          Listen to music from all over the world
-          Google recipes and craft ideas, or browse Pinterest for the same reason
-          My husband uses a special app to track airplanes flying over our heads

We use it for pretty much everything. But this doesn’t mean that we use it just for technology’s sake. In fact, we use it to apply what we have learned in “real life”.

For example, if I look for recipes, it is quite sure that I will cook it. If we watch a film, we will discuss it later, and it will serve to teach new vocabulary and aspects of life. If we see that my children show interest in something, I look for Youtube films, or pictures with their area of interest. This is actually how we ended up sending my eldest daughter to ballet school- after showing her videos of Tchaikovsky’s ballets, we asked her whether she wanted to attend dancing classes. She was enthusiastic about it and she has been attending ever since.

We have also been using technology to expose the children to different cultures. I like trying out new recipes and that’s where technology comes in handy. That way I not only expose my children to different tastes and textures but also explain how people in all over the world eat their food. The same goes for new crafts and art projects.

Last but not least, we use technology to connect with our extended families. Just today my brother told me how happy he was to see the children’s photos I uploaded on my web photo album. Through Skype, my parents and parents-in-law can read and sing to their grandchildren, and see them more than just the few times a year.

We use technology as a “springboard” to talk about cultures, to connect with our families and to learn more about traditions. And I feel that it has brought us closer together.

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  1. I enjoyed reading this and liked the way your title links tradition and technology. It's great the way the internet and apps make accessible things that are about reconnected with the past and traditions as well as the present and the future.


    1. Hi Jonathan, thank you very much! The title was pretty much perfect for this post, and then, it's an aliteration! And you have perfectly explained the spirit of my post in one great sentence! Thank you!

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