I was having a discussion via Facebook recently regarding technology integration in our schools. Many people still wish to hold on to this idea that our schools should not focus on technology and just focus on the basics. They are mistaken. These attitudes are why the digital divide still persists. I am so tired of hearing this silly argument.
This mindset must be changed. And to be honest I spend a great deal of time trying to change this mindset. I do not want the next generation of our young people to be the designated serfs of the information age. What exactly are the BASICS? Most folks would define the basics as reading, writing and arithmetic.
So, the idea is that we should not teach our young people about technology but focus on the basic subjects. Here is the problem with that. Do you think those subjects are taught without using technology? What exactly do these folks think a chalkboard, a pen, a book, a pencil or an overhead projector is. These things are technology.
What do you consider the basics? What do you consider technology? There is no such line between learning the basics and using technology. This is why I used the word INTEGRATION. It should all be one and the same the way it was when we learned in school. We did not learn 'the basics' sans technology.
Technology was all around us and we learned the basics. Technology is now part of the basics. Those who are unable to navigate technology will be locked out the same way that years ago those who could not read or write were locked out. Remember we did not learn our basics without technology. A book is technology.
No one said learn how to read, and you can use the technology (book) after you learn to read. No. You learned to read from a book. And now you may learn to read an ebook or a electronic book using an ereader. Please tell me what is the difference?
Take a look at the comments from a PhD student in Carnegie Mellon's Computer science department regarding the teaching of computer science in our schools. These comments are from a recent study:
The point is not that every student needs to become a computer scientist, but that all students have the basic knowledge they need to understand an increasingly technological world, said Leigh Ann Sudol, a PhD student in Carnegie Mellon's Computer Science Department and another study co-author.
Technology is a new basic.