Saturday, May 20, 2006

Computer Skills- "Ice Skating Over a Pond"

In reading this morning, I came across a blog entry over on Haulin' 'Net 2006
The Technology and Learning BlogView of Joseph Richard Poletti, updated: Fri, Jun 2 2006 7:15 PM, entitled "Ice Skating Over the Pond". The post discusses 21st Century Skills as they were topic of one of their recent technology meetings. Joe linked to a site that Larry V., a K-3 media coordinator, shared with the participants:
Mankato Technology and Information Benchmarks. These benchmarks are age appropriate and best of all relevant and clearly stated. Joe says they are "do-able".

I know one thing from working with our students this past year- lots of things are "do-able". They must first of all be relevant. That is a powerful and critical concept. If one wants to teach students from low-wealth homes how to use a digital camera, one need not ask the student to photograph the life cycle of a caterpillar. Instead, have them photograph their friends at school. My students found this activity very engaging.

Lisa R., Joe's middle school tech facilitator, shared that "ice skate over the pond of true education", and it appears we have the same kids. At least we have the same view of
Of course, technology has changed even if the basic skills we want to see in students have not. I find that students pick up the skills of technology rather quickly; itÂ’s the critical thinking required to know when and how to use the technology that is lacking.
I could not find Lisa's email address on her blog so, I hope she does not mind me quoting her insight on this issue. My students do not want to use critial thinking. Is it an issue of age appropriateness, relevance, or what? I do not have answers, but I have lots of questions.

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