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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Beginning to Wonder


I have read several edubloggers through the years. Many insist that we should be teaching more web 2.0-type of skills, and gaming, and other tech-related things in school.

Familiar arguments go something like this..."Kids power-down when they come to school, and power-up when they go home," or "These kids are teaching themselves how to use these tools," or "Our kids are breaking through million-dollar filters in under an hour," or "Many of our students know more than the teachers when it comes to technology."

So I'm forced to ask the devil's advocate question I have contemplated for about two years: If these statements are true, why would we want to teach it in school? We would just make it a boring topic of study wouldn't we? We did it to literature and history, what makes us think we wouldn't ruin cool technology that kids already "know" how to use anyway?

I understand the need to teach ethical use of technology, but then again, we should be teaching ethical uses of all things, shouldn't we?

Is it that we believe the digital divide will make it impossible for some students to miss out on 21st century technology? Do we really believe the government will have a clue how to make work something as important as 21st century literacy, technology?

I don't know...I'm just thinking of how bad it could be if we made 21st century technology a school requirement, as in a part of NCLB or whatever comes after the next election or two. We still can't figure out who to teach kids to read, let alone become proficient at 21st century technology.

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