21
   

Back in the olden days when I was a kid

 
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 09:09 pm
@Eva,
Plus, they get to stay in their jammies without having to wash their hair or brush their teeth.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 09:10 pm
@boomerang,
My two older kids went to private school and it, literally, saved their sanity. The worst part of the tale is that the public schools in our town are among the top ten in MA.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 09:26 pm
I use my computer so much - I have hardly any paper exchange anymore, either
at home or the office. I research a lot online and have saved myself and everyone else time and money in doing so.

Similar to SonOfEva's school, our school has online homework assignments,
email homework, reports are mailed back and forth or if needed
printed out. Grades and report cards are online and my exchange with teachers
is strictly via email. I love it!!

For our 83 year old demented grandma who refuses to enter a senior facility,
we do online grocery shopping, online bill paying and all bank transactions
are done online too.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 08:59 pm
Sounds familiar, CJ. Parents of my students often communicate with me by e-mail, too.

I get boomer's frustration, though. Computers in public schools are a different story. They often get donated older models with outdated software, and there are usually no IT people to service them. So their usefulness is highly debatable. Especially when so many public schools cannot even afford textbooks for every student and are cutting non-core (but valuable) classes due to budget cuts. In an environment like that, computer classes are expendable.

I say all this, but really, boomer...computer knowledge is a basic life skill these days, and definitely a necessity if Mo will go on to college and prepare for a good job.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 09:53 pm
I guess that depends on what you consider "a good job".
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 10:15 pm
I'll add in here. My niece and I love each other dearly, but are very different.
She was always social, like from age 2, on her part. In so many ways, this has been good for her, her socialness. Meantime, we all know me as ms. book, and, later, ms. computer, plus romping storyteller. She and I always talk for hours, when we can talk.

But, alas (from my point of view), her father is a troglyodyte. No, I mean, a luddite, purposely luddite. My ex bought her a computer but it sits dusty. I'm not there to connect it for her.

When she visited me, several times, years ago, she rolled her eyes at me with a2k. But I got off, and we talked another several dozen hours.

I worry re her lack of online savvy, and another part of me doesn't worry at all.
She's by now not completely out of it, but .... mostly.

0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  3  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 10:16 pm
Actually, the question is what you...or MO...will think is a "good" job.

Just remember, a lot of our kids are going to be competing for jobs with kids around the world. The days are coming to an end when many jobs are dependent on geography, thanks to computers.

I consider it my job as a parent to give my child opportunities to prepare himself as well as possible for future job competition. To that end, I want him to be proficient in reading, writing, math, science, history, business AND technology. He may not use all of those skills in the field he ultimately chooses, but no matter what he wants to do, he'll be prepared.

0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 06:10 am
I wasn't really talking about Mo, who is too young for this to really be a concern, but about the fact that schools are spending their very limited funds on computers.

Our district laid of 10% of all high school staff this year, K-12 lost 60 special education jobs, jobs left open by teacher's retiring are not being filled. Still we spend money on computers.

I'd love to see that article Green Witch mentioned.

Personally, I think many good jobs of the future will go to people who know the lost art of making things by hand.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 06:56 am
@boomerang,
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/


this might be the article Green Witch mentioned
it got a lot of coverage

Quote:
Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/technology/07brain.html?ref=matt_richtel

there's been a fair bit of discussion about the problem on a couple of the educational fora I follow

Pinker doesn't think it's such a big deal.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/11/opinion/11Pinker.html?_r=1

I definitely have my doubts about the benefits of the heavy use of technology in schools. We've got some exec trainees here right now who don't seem to have a good sense of what they don't know. It's much more pronounced than it was 10 or 15 years ago - their overall knowledge base and experience is much narrower. They don't seem to ever have accidentally tripped over information while searching for something else. I suspect some of them don't read anything that isn't required. It's disturbing. It doesn't seem to be a generation of what we used to think of as renaissance people. They are not well-rounded.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 07:53 am
@ehBeth,
I wish I could give you more than one thumbs up, ehBeth. Thank you!

The article from the Atlantic says

Quote:
Foreman concluded, we risk turning into “‘pancake people’—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.”


This is exactly what I think is happening, we're raising a generation of pancake people.

Off to read the second article.....
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 08:03 am
I have begun forming an opinion that children should not be exposed to computers until high school.
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 08:48 am
@dadpad,
After reconnecting the speakers, external hard drive, etc. for the umpteenth time, I'm forming the opinion that computers should not be exposed to children.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 08:53 am
@ehBeth,
This, from the second article:

Quote:
Shortly after he came to Stanford, a professor thanked him for being the one student in class paying full attention and not using a computer or phone.


remindes me of something that happened to me and Mo:

We like to hike around the lake at a nearby college. As we were cutting across campus headed for home Mo asked to use my cell phone. I told him to wait until we got home. He didn't understand why he couldn't use it since it was in my pocket. I told him I didn't want him to grow up to be one of those jerks who always had some device pressed against their head.

One of the men walking in front of us turned around, laughed, and told me "Good luck with that!". I laughed back and he said "No. Really. Good luck with that."
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 09:26 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I wasn't really talking about Mo, who is too young for this to really be a concern, but about the fact that schools are spending their very limited funds on computers.

Oh that? I think it's cargo-cult education politics.

During World War II, on some pacific islands, the natives observed the arrival of a new civilization called "Americans". The Americans, who evidently worshipped different gods than the islanders, immediately started building monunments to those gods. They called the monuments "landing strips". And sure enough: As soon as the monuments were finished, god-like creatures with wings, which the Americans called "planes", landed on them. They brought food, technology, even houses, all of which the Americans referred to as "cargo". One American, a man by the name of "John Frum", was even kind enough to give some cargo to the islanders. This impressed the islanders so much they abandoned their traditional religion and started worshipping the American god, Cargo, and His prophet John Frum.

After the war, fewer and fewer planes landed on the Pacific islands. Eventually John Frum left as well. The islanders, deprived of American goods, figured that Cargo was angry, and that they needed to build new monuments to make amends with him. So they cut down trees in their jungles and built monuments that looked remarkably similar to airfilields. The Cargo cult is still alive in the Pacific, and its adherents continue to wait patiently for the Second Coming of John Frum.

I think the Cargo cult is a pretty good model for computer-worship in the education system. The bureaucracy running the system has observed that computers have brought riches in the past. They don't really understand how the connection between computers and riches works. So now they think all they have to do is buy computers, make students sit at them, and look forward to the life of affluence that the students are bound to lead.

If I was the principal of an American high school, and if principals could actually decide things in America, I would take a hard look at the number of books you can buy for the price of one computer, and just buy books for the library. Computers are overrated.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 09:52 am
@Eva,
Now that sonunds really interesting, Eva!
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 10:03 am
@Eva,
Eva wrote:
I get boomer's frustration, though. Computers in public schools are a different story. They often get donated older models with outdated software, and there are usually no IT people to service them. So their usefulness is highly debatable.

Actually, you can learn a lot about computer technology by opening up a broken old computer and fixing it. Once you've fixed it, students could get some ethernet hubs and switches and build their own computer network. And once that is done, they can hook up their network to the internet and run their own web server from the school. No tech support necessary. High school students are perfectly capable of runing their own computer network. It may not be a boon for English majors, but the nerdier kids would learn a lot this way.

Of course, it's never going to happen. Some student is bound to suffer a cut or the occasional electric shock while fixing a broken computer. Then the parents will be all upset and sue the school. Or somebody will shoot a naughty picture at a year's-end party, put it on the school's webserver, and then the school is on the hook for distributing child pornography. And if students run the school network, teachers will worry about them hacking into teacher data. Some civic organization will complain about child labor. And some authoritarian-minded grownups will see their toenails curl up because "you can't entrust crucial infrastructure to teenagers". Never mind that it was teenagers---okay, and college dropouts---who powered the computer boom in the 80s. You can't let things get out of control like that just because it's the way kids actually learn something.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 10:06 am
@boomerang,
Quote:


My question to you:

For those of you who don't work in a computer related field, how much of your work time is spent on the computer v. how much of your time is spent out in the field? (My answer would be 5/95% before Photoshop; 10/90% after Photoshop.)


90% on computer, 10% in the field. I work on financial stuff and it is almost entirely computer-based. From that angle, I would point out that nobody in this business spends less than 'all day' on a computer anymore. The skills are critical.

Quote:
On a different thread we were discussing the relevance of certain skills taught at school. How much emphasis should be given to "technological literacy", in your opinion. (My opinion is a lot less time and money should be spent on it.)


I don't know what they mean by 'technological literacy,' but if it means knowing how computers work (hardware and software) and how best to use them to get what you want, then it is of the paramount importance, because our society is only headed towards increased usage....

Cycloptichorn
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 10:19 am
@Thomas,
"cargo cult education politics"

Wow!

Great analogy!

Spot on.

I'm going to embrace your words with my heart and spread the gospel.

I also agree with what you say about the reasons why it will never happen that kids will get to disassembe/reassemble anything.
0 Replies
 
dirrtydozen22
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 10:19 am
When I was a kid, we had only dial-up internet. There was only Windows 95 and it came out when I was 6. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world.

Now we have Windows 2010, facebook, myspace, iphone 4, ipad, etc. Technology could potentially dumb up the whole generation.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 10:21 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
I don't know what they mean by 'technological literacy,' but if it means knowing how computers work (hardware and software) and how best to use them to get what you want, then it is of the paramount importance, because our society is only headed towards increased usage....


Well then I have to wonder why we haven't spent the last 100 years teaching all children to be electricians.
 

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