Friday, May 15, 2009

We Need to Teach Them What?....

An interesting article from about a study going on in Arizona.  Here's the sound bite from the article that has my attention:
"However, using computers to receive and study curricula does not automatically translate to technology literacy, the TLA pilot clearly indicates. “We’ve learned that, even with a 1:1 computer to student ratio, you can’t just assume that students are going to learn technology skills,” says Turl."
This is one of those things that makes sense when you stop to think about it.  We need direct instruction.  Just putting enough machines in the room isn't going to help students without some instruction.  Just having the computer doesn't mean you know what it can do for you.  This would be very similar to getting a new motorcycle and not learning how to take care of it.   (  It makes no sense on a practical level.
It would be nice to think that everyone would pick up what they should know by using a computer in the contexts of the the different school disciplines, but we probably would only learn enough to make it work for that context.
So as we move (way too slowly) towards integrating computers into school work, let's not forget to do the global training piece for everyone.  It is necessary.

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