Agora

Saddest thing ...

 
Matthias Ahrens
Saddest thing ...
by Matthias Ahrens - Wednesday, 9 June 2010, 2:43 PM
 

"In fact, one of the saddest but most common conditions in elementary school computer labs (when they exist in the developing world), is the children are being trained to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I consider that criminal, because children should be making things, communicating, exploring, sharing,not running office automation tools." (Nicholas Negroponte, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab)

Well, I do not have experienced elementary school children using computers. My eldest son goes to the pre-school. When he uses the computer, he follows threads he can understand, he does what he views as attractive.

Although he knows - for example - where to find games and knows how to play, he most often turns to websites, where he can compose his owm TV program. He thoroughly chooses little bits here and there, and he very often repeats the little movies - by his own choice.

So far for now.

Matthias

Picture of Mária Hartyányi
What to teach in the classroom instead of MS Office?
by Mária Hartyányi - Wednesday, 9 June 2010, 10:17 PM
 
I do not think it "criminal", this attribute may be too strong, is not it?

Your soon is doing what motivates him, and it would be better to build the computer lessons on the students' motivation.The web 2.0 offers so many tools for developing online creativity: creation of mindmaps, storytelling applications, editing and sharing videos, etc. Why the teachers are not using these tools in the classroom work?

Of course to teach Word, Excel and other office application is much more easier than the newest networking tools, and the teachers are better trained in using these softwares. (However I do not think impossible to teach Office so that it should be interesting for the kids and should develop their creativity at the same time).

But let be concrete: you find a section in the Tenegen lessons about online mindmapping tools. What about to use them for teaching?
Matthias Ahrens
Re: What to teach in the classroom instead of MS Office?
by Matthias Ahrens - Thursday, 10 June 2010, 3:39 PM
 

What do you interpret as "criminal"? I intended to write very appreciative of my son's activities.

So long, Matthias

Picture of Mária Hartyányi
Re: What to teach in the classroom instead of MS Office?
by Mária Hartyányi - Thursday, 10 June 2010, 4:27 PM
 
It was a sentence from the text you citated ("I consider that criminal..."). I do not think criminal teaching Office applications in schools. These softwares should be one of the subjects - but they should teach things in which the netgeneration - your son - is interested. Of course I agree with you, your son's online activity is great - but how far are the things in which he is motivated from the topics they are taught in the classroom. Does he like the computer lessons in the school?
Matthias Ahrens
Re: What to teach in the classroom instead of MS Office?
by Matthias Ahrens - Friday, 11 June 2010, 8:29 AM
 

Good morning. To label teaching Office tools as "criminal" is obviously meant to provoke.

I thought you, Maria, were reffering to something I had written ...

Since I am working for schools, not teaching at a school, I think of using Mindmap as a planning tool in a complex process. I was introduced to it some years ago by a colleague who was really enthusiastic about working with mind maps. I have come to appreciate it every now and again ...

So long, Matthias