Friday, June 5, 2009
Why My Lab Doesn't Work
If you teach a student a skill in a computer lab setting, they will learn that skill for a while, but they will not retain that skill or the attitude that they should use that skill / program to show what they have learned in school.
If you can find a way to teach regular school topics to students using a number of different computer skills and programs, they will remember those skills for a longer period of time - I would guess for the length of time they are in that school perhaps.
When you can find a cause that is bigger than the student, one that has deep personal meaning for them, then give them a computer program to create the solution to that problem, the students will learn the intricacies of that program the way an artist learns to use his tools. It becomes less tool use and more "craft".
To create powerful 21st century learners the solution lies not in getting computers in every kids hands. That is inevitable. It is about making deeper connections between your students and the curriculum, now.