|Re: NY Times article - a school without "technology"|
Message #14 Posted by Lincoln R. on 23 Oct 2011, 9:31 p.m.,
in response to message #13 by bill platt
I don't know about that. We had computers in my elementary school (Apple IIe Platinum, 5.25" floppy drive, some even had color monitors), and that was how I got introduced to computers and technology. My parents wouldn't have bought one, my dad was a factory worker with no use for such things. I didn't even know what a computer was before school, in fact I can distinctly remember asking the teacher "Why are there TVs sitting on top of the typewriters, does nobody use them?" 10 years later, I finally managed to convince my parents to buy a computer, taught myself some basic programming, read books about digital logic, decided I wanted to be a computer engineer, and ended up going from a decrepit and perpetually bankrupt public high school to Carnegie Mellon.
"Picking up technology" is easy if you mean learning about Facebook and video games and basic Microsoft Word, but getting a good understanding of technology is anything but easy.
I wouldn't say that I agree with the "middle school research papers turning into wikipedia cut-and-paste" thing, but then again schools can look for this. You simply explain that this is called plagiarism, and that it is not OK.
However, I am inclined to agree that making students actually learn how to do math is a useful skill. Not having to deal with the unit circle and approximation when I want to know some trig value is useful, but actually understanding what the trig value means is much more important, because it teaches you how to think, as opposed to how to just follow some instructions.