Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Matt Richtel writes that many employees of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard send their children to the Waldorf School in Los Altos where the school’s chief teaching tools are anything but high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all. Computers are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home. “I fundamentally reject the notion you need technology aids in grammar school,” says Alan Eagle whose daughter, Andie, attends a Waldorf school, an independent school movement that boasts an 86 year history in North America. “The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that’s ridiculous.” Advocates for equipping schools with technology say computers can hold students’ attention and, in fact, that young people who have been weaned on electronic devices will not tune in without them. But Paul Thomas, who has written 12 books about public educational methods, disagrees, and says that a spare approach to technology in the classroom will always benefit learning. “Teaching is a human experience,” says Thomas. “Technology is a distraction when we need literacy, numeracy and critical thinking.”"