Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Opening Words to a Class of Middle School Computer Students

If I were to teach a class of middle school students what I thought was important for them to know before they left my class, my learning intentions message would begin something like this:

Greeting: Good morning / afternoon everyone: (I expect to be greeted in return).

You are not here to learn how to type. You are not here to learn basic file management, and you are not here to produce documents and perform calculations in a spreadsheet. These are just tools in a toolbox. It is however the biggest toolbox in the world, and the most powerful.

No, you are here for other purposes. You are here to discuss what is ethical, and what is not. To argue the black and white of right and wrong, and to fearlessly debate the grey area in between. You are here to express yourself honestly as a human being, and to find your real potential. You are here to create, and to share your creations with a bigger audience. You are here to learn how to protect yourself, and keep yourself safe when on the Internet. You are here to think critically. You are here to learn how to take criticism properly, and not let it make you jaded and bitter. You are here to learn how to use the tools that you will need to become a lifelong learner, and those tools are not the ones in the computer in front of you. They are the ones in your head. Let's begin.

1 comment:

Vicki A. Davis said...

Don't forget that they STILL need to know how to type. I teach typing and think it is one of the greatest skills I can give them. My students average over 70 words per minute and really have an advantage when going into the "real world" and college.

But of course, there is so much more than that. I restructured my own "keyboarding" course that takes a semester to include blogging, digital filmmaking and a few other things.