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Using Doesn’t Mean Knowing


Give kids a laptop and a wireless broadband connection and just watch them search, chat, and network. But that’s not good enough, says the Computer Science Teachers Association, which wants more schools teaching students how computers actually work, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Chris Stephenson, the group’s executive director, tells the paper: “Because students use technology their whole lives we assume they know what they’re doing.” But, that’s not true. Their knowledge of computing is broad, not deep. Stephenson likens it to most of us knowing how to switch electricity on and off in our homes, but not really knowing how it arrives there. The association wants more schools teaching students how computers work. That will, it claims, not only help students keep pace in our rapidly changing, technology-driven world, but equip them with skills that more and more businesses expect. Stephenson says basic computer science lessons should begin in elementary school. But middle school students should be learning applications like Microsoft Office, web design, and some programming. And high school students should be getting into software development.

The Tribune’s story focused on Deborah Mosley, who teaches computer application at the Adams Middle School in Tampa. Her course topics range from internet safety to spreadsheets to game development. But she first requires her students to learn old-fashioned touch typing skills that harken back to typewriters. “You have to get them acclimated to typing the correct ways,” Mosley tells the Tribune.

Photo Credit: Jim Sneddon

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One Response to “Using Doesn’t Mean Knowing”

  1. Amen! For years I have battled with my peers! As they are claiming that our children are tech-savy, merely because they utilize games, and myspace, I am saying, no, as long as they do not even understand what a URL is, they are not savy!

    They need to know more before they can compete in the job market.

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