Sunday, November 16, 2014

Don't 'Tech' it for Granted.

I remember my seventh grade computer class consisted mostly of playing "The Oregon Trail."  I did learn a lot about dysentery and typhoid, but I didn't learn much about computers, per say. Fast forward almost two and a half decades when education has moved away from instructional computer courses. The assumption is that at least by high school a student's computer literacy surpasses most of his/her teachers. For teenagers who are especially adept, there are computer programming classes.

The investment has shifted from instruction to hardware. Every student should have an iPad! Every student should have a laptop! Great! You won't hear any arguments from me.

But what can happen when we focus on the hardware and not the kids is that we forget that not every student knows how to use the software or apps. While I'm not suggesting moving back to the days of mandatory computer classes, teachers must consider when assigning projects that some instruction is needed for many of the students in the classroom beyond asking kids to perform tasks that presumes skills that they don't have.

I know because I've done it myself. Once.

True, students can learn any program that you teach them 10 times faster than their teachers who were born in the 20th century, but  to be successful with the content, they still need our help with the technology.

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