Thursday, May 30, 2013

Don't Assume that the Kids Get IT.

I recently had the experience of working with a young (mid-20's) salesman. While I was waiting for my paperwork to be completed, I was getting some work done - using my digital stylus on my tablet PC. Then, I pulled out my bluetooth keyboard to do some writing. He was amazed, "What is that you're using?" I told him. "Wow! I didn't know they existed. I live in an "I" world. I have an iPad and and iPhone. I am clueless when it comes to technology. All I use it for is texting, Facebook, and to play games. I really want to know how I can track my customers, so I know what we talked about and when I need to follow up with them. I want to be able to send everyone I've been working with an email about a special event we're having. I know I should buy a computer, but I don't know what to buy."

Are we really preparing our students to be College and Career Ready? Why doesn't this young guy know how to use a spreadsheet? Why doesn't he know that a spreadsheet would be valuable to him? Why doesn't he know that a contact management system exists and would solve many of this problems? How is it possible that he does not know how to do a mail merge into email - or on to paper, for that matter?

  • What is the focus of our use of technology in the classroom? Is it bells and whistles? Is it a bullet list that simply regurgitates back information? 
  • What is the focus of our lessons? Is it facts and figures? Or is it how to apply the facts and figures to the real world?
  • Where are the authentic projects? Where is the problem solving? Where is using what we have learned to make decisions?
  • Where are the kids that are college and career ready?

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