Connected to those on-line courses I am taking is a conversational network as part of the course. One of the assignments was to talk briefly about ourselves and our reason for signing up for the course. There were several teachers that wrote something similar to this.
“Our grade school and middle school has little to no computing. We have had difficulty getting keyboarding taught below high school level. This is a great concern to me since our students will need to take tests on the computer or a tablet starting next year. The younger students need to have the ability to type on a keyboard so that they can show what they really know.
Our Kindergarten through third graders usually use the computer to reinforce math and reading using programs and games. Our third through eighth graders are supposed to have some keyboarding instruction each year. However, I teach all freshmen a required course of one semester of Keyboarding and one semester of Computer Concepts. Most of these students come into my class with little or no instruction in keyboarding. Unfortunately, that means I need to break bad keyboarding habits. This is very difficult to do. The Computer Concepts class includes basics of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and PhotoStory. I am very glad to have the opportunity to teach all freshmen this required course. I know many schools do not have this as a required course. It’s vitally important to give our students an opportunity to learn Microsoft programs that they will use throughout high school.
I would like to offer computer programming as enrichment to my high school students. It is difficult to find the time to do this, though, with all the other requirements for each class. “
The scary part is I bet many public schools in the US are like this. Do schools like this actually believe they are preparing their students for the future? Why is it teachers like this have to fight uphill for change by building enrichment courses on their own time? The administration should recognize their curriculum is 40 years out of date and be demanding teachers instigate computer education into the curriculum, K-12.
In this same direction one of the senior tech at one of the smaller local schools quit last week and found a new job immediately with a larger school. He quit because the school board he worked for was convinced pencil and paper was as efficient as a computer. Board members also would not bother to learn to use Drop Box for board business. The board told the principal that he was “too enthusiastic about technology and no longer fit in with the goals of the school”.
Could these instances be exceptions? From what I read and see around me I do not think it is. It is stories like this that make me fear that the US is going to fall behind nations that have accepted technology and CS education.