Thanks to Jaime Casap for posting this article on Facebook. I know this statement very well, remember hearing over and over from my colleagues "We don't need to teach kids computers, they know how to do everything". As a computer teacher, I found this not only insulting but incredibly inaccurate. The assumption is that our student's who are otherwise known as "digital natives" will automatically know how to function efficiently and productively in this technology infused world with any given device. Furthermore I just recently heard a speaker state "We don't teach kids to use pencils, technology is just a tool, like pencils."
I need to disagree with all of this faulty reasoning. Actually, we do teach students to use pens and pencils. This skill is developed in kindergarten. As a former Kindergarten teacher I can assert that we spend quite a bit of time developing the proper tripod pencil hold, and building muscles in the hands. We teachers need to help our students become efficient and productive writers, otherwise their hands will tire and their writing will suffer. After-all we must develop the 'manual grit' needed to keep up with the writing required by today's tests!
Technology is the same. There are so many assumptions put on our children that the smartphone in their pocket immediately qualifies them as digitally literate. This article from Ed Surge discusses a survey that was recently measured Adult Competencies (PIAAC) for 2012/2014. What the study illustrates is that the U.S. ranks among the lowest out of countries measured when asked about performing simple technological tasks such as sorting email.
The strange dichotomy for the U.S. is that we have a technology rich society, but many local districts do not have a "computer teacher" in their schools. We have required computer testing, yet some states don't even have a tenure area protecting computer teachers. Academic teachers are expected to follow and understand the SAMR model, yet in many districts there is no one to guide them. Districts may have a computer lab, but no teacher, no expert whose responsibility is to provide guidance for colleagues, prepare students and spearhead the new trends.
Some basic things I taught my students:
I am a technology leader, professional developer, teacher, parent and proud owner of an IEP. Let's talk about some fabulous learning experiences.