View Thread > Development and the Internet > Learning - Question 1 > "Peaking" their interest.
Looking at your own community, how do people perceive education – how does it relate to personal and professional development of the individual and the society? What sorts of individual and social investments does it merit? Is any technology currently used to serve educational aims? Is it generally viewed as a unique opportunity? What is the perceived role and importance of technology and education?
Looking at my own community, I see education perceived in the following ways:
-as a necessary tool to be competent in life (up to high school, perhaps even some college)
-as a necessary tool for possible economic survival; mandatory for upward economic mobility
-lip service to the necessity of education in a democratic society, but little on-going attention as to what particular skills/competencies a citizen needs to have & use
-that 'life long learning' is necessary for success; also that inviduals need to provide such learning for themselves (not count on employer,govt for those opportunities)
As to what invidual and social investments all the modes of education (school age, college and adult)are perceived to merit, I'd say that the value statements--that these things are very important--are clearly different from the funding realities, especially as far as school age education is concerned.
Technology & Education:
I see technology beginning to be used well for 'life long learners' (adults) and still rather pathetically used in the traditional school sytems, even with regard to the standard college curriculum. In elementary schools, students (like my daughter) go to 'computer' where they use a computer program as a group. The technology is not integrated into the classroom for use in say, writing pen pal letters to a neighboring school (they have paper pen pals), using it for inquiry or creating materials to share with others. And sadly, getting the computers via a special grant meant that the classroom used as a library went away! (Books were distributed to the various classes according to grade leve.) Too bad! I could go on here but would exceed the word count.
Again, as far as school age education is concerned, I feel that lip service is paid to the fact that 'tech is good,' computers are installed (hooray, all say, we have a program!)and not much useful is done with them.There is no real curriculm integration of technology in any organized manner. And I can think of many reasons why: training of teachers, administrators, challenge to exisiting power, threatening to traditional curriculum materials vendors, etc.
Your responses support the need to educate the public about the importance of technology in teaching and learning. Many individuals(including teachers) do not know how to appropriately use technology. Many are also fearful of using technology and believe it to be difficult to learn. Scaffolding needs to occur and citizens need to understand and shown how technology can be useful. Perhaps many of us who are technolgy saavy have been trying to figure these things out as well. Perhaps now we have some better ideas about the contributions of technology to learning and can illustrate these contributions. I certainly hope we are moving in that direction.
I believe we are moving in that direction and it is amazing how much human beings can adapt and how easily learn new things. I myself learnt how to use the computer and the internet by myself; it is true that I live in a rich envirnment full of inputs but all human beings have this potential! and it is not only about computers! it is about the right of all human beings of having access to technologies! then it is up to each to get into it or not!
My experiences reflect the same lack of understanding in grade and middle school regarding the really fun and informative ways computers could be used in the classroom. I think those in charge of the computer aided curriculum should spend some time hanging out with high school or college level students to find out what peaked their interest in computers at an earlier age.
It is almost as if the board of ed. can't bridge their own divide and are hand holding the students on the wrong side. The account of the children at the kiosk in India sounds more productive than some of the classes I hear about from my son.
They should all read “Interactive Excellence” by Edwin Schlossberg before they let them near kids and computers.
"Peaked" their interest seems a splendid coinage to me, combining as it does apects of "pique," "peek," and "peak."
How do I get some high school or college level students to be willing to hang out with me? Perhaps I could trade instruction for some help in crossing the street, and shopping.
Is Schlossberg's work a book, an article, or what?
I would be very interested in hearing, or reading, a description of what goes on in his classes from zerodoug's son.