Times have changed a lot since I was a child. Back when I was in elementary school, we were lucky to have one of the old apple computers in a classroom. There were no computer labs for classes to go to as a group. There were no Smart Boards, class iPads, or other technology related resources for teachers to use like we have now. My boys will never understand how lucky they are. They not only get to go with their class to learn how to use computer, but there are educational games that really teach and help them to master skills for multiple subject areas.
Of course, as lucky as they are, it made me wonder if our children are really getting the technology education at school that they need to compete in the world today. Young children need these experiences so they can excel and do more when they get into middle and high school level classes. This is a post that I wrote last year for another project that really got me thinking.
Technology education for kids is extremely important. The reality is that many schools (public and private) do not have formal technology curriculum for the elementary age level. Schools that used to have a full time Technology Education teacher, now may only have them part time or not at all. When budget cuts are made, this is an area that seems to suffer. This is not only true in the Capital District, but across the United States.
If we want our children to be able to compete with people from around the world, we need them to be able to use computers. This does not mean that they should simply be good with applications, games, educational software and websites. No, our children need to learn the basics of keyboarding, word processing, utilizing spreadsheets, and presentation programs like PowerPoint.
Classroom teachers now need to juggle even more during the academic year. They must incorporate technology into their curriculum and in most cases teach it themselves. During this time, kids need to be shown how to use the internet. They must be taught about internet safety, how to do effective research, what reliable sources are on the world wide web, and more.
Thanks to the ever increasing role of social media, even elementary aged children know about Twitter, Facebook, instant message, blogs, and more. Protecting our children is key. My plan is to expand on this topic in future blog posts and/or magazine articles. First, I would like to hear back from you about your experience with kids and computers.
- Are computers in your child’s classroom, or within a lab at school? How are they utilized?
- Does your school/district have a formal technology education curriculum? If you answer yes, is there a specific technology check list of skills that students need to accomplish by certain grade levels?
- Is there a teacher that is certified in Technology Education or does the classroom teacher doing this when they use a computer lab?
- Is technology/computer class listed on your child’s report card?
- If you have anything else to share about your current or past experience with Technology Education classes within the elementary school grades, please share.
Feel free to answer in the comments below, or reach me via my contact form above if you have more to share that you are not comfortable with leaving in this manner. Thanks in advance, I look forward to hearing your experiences.
Disclosure: This post was previously published on a project I worked on. The text is mostly the same, but I placed a new introduction based on current thoughts.