When I was teaching, I used computers and all forms of technology in my classroom whenever I could. If the computer lab had an opening, I would often take my Language Arts students there to work on a writing piece. Even my health classes went there to do projects while learning to use Microsoft Publisher. When I left to stay home with the kids, I was actually scheduled to get a Smart Board in my room (who knows if it would have happened).
Growing up, we hardly had computer education. Back in the dinosaur ages, there were horrid little computers that had Carmen Sandiego on them if we were lucky. I also recall my 5th grade teacher having a Disney print program on it. Loved the personalized Disney stationary he made us. It actually motivated me to write. We wrote things by hand because there was not wide spread use of word processing – forget about spreadsheets! I learned things on my own as it showed up on the scene. I was fascinated with all things related to computers. I remember sitting in front of our old Commodore 64 and typing in code to make it do something interesting.
When I switched majors from Pharmacy School to education, I took computing classes to beef up on my knowledge. When I was working on my Masters Degree in Reading, I took my electives in Educational Computer. I could have taken Special Education courses, but I preferred finding out new and inventive ways of incorporating technology into the classroom.
Fast forward to being a mother. . .
Right now, a lot is on my mind. Threats that the district will be closing my son’s school, thanks to budget cuts from higher up, have us thinking about looking at other options. (I will leave that topic for another day.) This was intensified with me feeling like I am failing my son. Is he being challenged and working to his potential, or is he being held back? While trying to remain calm this afternoon, my focus went to technology education.
At NHL’s school, they start having computer twice a week in first grade. I was thrilled and could not wait to see what they would be doing. As the weeks and months have passed, I kept asking what they were learning. Much to my surprise, I would hear the same thing – they were allowed to go on the internet and use PBS Kids and other websites. At the start of the year, this was fine with me, but I started to question TechyDad about it and said I was going to e-mail the principal to see if there was a technology education curriculum.
While at school today, my question was answered. I was told that the person that does computer is not a teacher. It was only recently that they had a person go to the lab and be with kids in this room. Apparently, they decided to do this since many of the teachers in the school were not utilizing the items.
My mouth hit the floor and I almost had to ask for help picking it up. I was stunned, mortified and ticked off. This day and age technology education is a must. To keep kids up to speed, they all need to have basic computing skills. Many of the children in our district may not have computers at home, so it is even more crucial for the schools to do this. For children to be ready for high school, and competitive in college computer skills are not just needed they are essential.
So my questions for you today: Does your school have a formal technology education? Is there a certified teacher following a curriculum with goals for each grade level?
I guess I was naive assuming that this was a given. Right now, I am taking it all in and trying to figure out how to approach this with the school. Of course, with threats to close 2 elementary schools, remove art/music educations for certain age groups this is not a good time to bring it up. *sigh*