Sunday, October 27, 2013

Teaching Today's Technology

While I personally am not a huge fan of eCards, I will admit that they often make me laugh.  Today, thanks to George Takei, I was able to read one that gave me a small laugh but made me think about teaching.

In the 21st Century, students come into the computer lab with a large range of computer skills.  Personal computers and tablets are a price point that most families have some sort of digital device in their home.  Some students have desktops with a mouse, some laptops with a touchpad, and others touchscreens.  Each year I find I am teaching mouse skills more and more; in fact, I now have a subpage dedicated to mouse games for younger students to practice on at all times.  In a few years, students will be more comfortable with touchscreens, they will need both mouse and keyboard instruction unless schools follow the trend.

I have been teaching computers for 6 years.  For the first 2-3 years I could not get out of the habit of telling students "click on the disk to save".  Students response was always, "What is a disk?" Yes, the disk has been long gone yet we the icon for saving is a disk and software companies stick with what people know. 

When we make videos in class, students immediately ask if they can put them online or more specifically on YouTube.  This generation is growing up online.  We a computer teacher I try and change my curriculum to match the changing environment but it is hard to predict what is next.

How can we prepare these students for the future when it is constantly changing?

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