Teaching Students Computers... (Semi-OT)

From: Christian Fandt <cfandt_at_servtech.com>
Date: Wed May 13 14:31:37 1998

At 19:06 13-05-98 +0300, you wrote:
>>Elementary school, how to learn. (language, reading, arithmetic)
>Yes, but computers are an important part of that. They need to know how to
>use them at an early age; even if it's not in school.

They are used as a tool to show the student the short and/or easy way to an
answer. Not enough real thinking and problem solving being taught as a result.

>>Intermeadiate school, how to find answers to questions and communicate
>I say this goes to Elementary. In Jr. High, where I am now, most people are
>either lazy, "special-need" or both. On top of that, they've got SEVERE
>hormonal problems... it's important to know that you can't count on anyone
>to learn anything in perticular, except for stuff pertaining to... anyway, I
>think that here's a good time to give students a choice to know what they're
>going to do. I, for instance, want to specilize in Computers. Spending

That's right! I completely agree this is a good place to start helping a
student to try to figure just what he/she will do as a career. I *really*
wish I had been encouraged to keep on with advanced learning when in
3rd-4th-5th grades as that was when I recall being especially enthused
about technology (this was 1962-65 during the beginnings of the US Space
program which I gleaned *all* info possible from the news media). I was,
IIRC, discouraged from really getting into this in grade school because
(probably) I was not learning the exact same things as the 29 other kids in
the classroom were expected to and the teachers and administration were not
prepared to handle a somewhat more advanced kid like I possibly was then.
My future learning actually suffered a bit because of this. Tim, I see in
you a some of the frustration that was in me when I was your age.

>time learning "Pre-Algebra" (Just spent 2 class periods making a protractor
>accurate to 90' from a piece of paper.) isn't helpful, at least not that
>much, espcecially when I could cover the entire book in a week or two. (But
>my math teacher wants it "BIGGER, BETTER, NICER, NEATER." And I was done in
>5 mins. out of 100!!!!)
>>High school, take the first two to the next levels and add skills needed
>>to find paying work.
>I say that some students should be given the oppertunity to do this in Jr.
>High. Not everyone, but some people. After all, by this time, you know if
>you're not going to be a chemist, programmer, or anything.

The German educational system, in which the student is being encouraged
toward a career beginning when he/she is around 10 years old, is something
like this. Most of my engineering colleages at my company's German parent
company began to turn toward engineering/technical programs at grades 5
through 8 or 9 under this system. Some of the wives, girlfriends/boyfriends
that I know outside of the company also began their careers around the same
time whether they were technical or non-technical.

Later, in high school, the student works at one or two companies related to
their career choice for ten or so weeks every couple of years. We've had a
couple of students doing their 'practical' work at our US company.
Sometimes the high school itself is geared toward a career. One of my pals
over there went to what he calls a language high school. Still fluent in
several languages even now and several other not so fluent languages he is
one of the most creative and articulate software writers I know. He's even
better in control systems hardware design.

Later still, in college, the student does more practical, real-world work.
I've sponsored getting a couple of German college students over to this
company for their college 'practical' in cooperation with our parent
company. Hardware design and software engineering were the areas we had
them work in.

The system is a bit more complicated than my oversimplification here, many
variables to include, but I'm saying that it overall appears to be a better
system for them and prepares the student to be ready for the job and rather
mature in his/her emotions and thinking.

Anyway, this is what I think I could have really benefited from here in the
States beginning in grade shool if our educational system was geared toward
that concept of "co-operative education".

>>Computers are a part of life and M$ stuff is unfortunatly reality we live
>>with every day. The unfortunate part is I meet kids at the grocer that
>>play doom, surf the net and can't count change.

Sadly, I have seen a few German kids who were about the same probably
because the system is not perfect. However, they are much fewer than any of
us see in the States.

>Ease of use. It happens. ;-) But seriously, the math program here doesn't
>EVER cover basic math, just expects you to learn it. Now, I was fortunate,
>and learned how to do that before moving here.
> -Tim D. Hotze
Received on Wed May 13 1998 - 14:31:37 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:31:12 BST