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When and how to PS kids learn to type? - Page 2

post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 

Cross post, Beanmama -- 


Yea, I do get that. It's def. a skill that I think kids should have. I guess it just sort of took me off guard that this is a parent responsibility and not something built into the curriculum. Because I learned to type at the end of highschool, I guess I just thought it would be coming for DC once she started middle school. I certainly thought typing lessons would come along with (or before!) high levels of work done on the computer. 


Maybe I should be proactive and ask the school if they would be willing to host a typing lab/club after school hours. I'm sure they would and at least that way it would be something kids could to with their peers. 

post #22 of 26
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

I wonder if the fact that kids these days tend to pick up technology in ways that adults can't really understand makes adults assume that the are just going to absorb  the ability to type while texting away at their friends. /rant. 

I think some people do think that and I think there probably is some basis in it. My kid certainly has Minecraft figured out way more than I do, but sometimes things like typing have a way that seems easier at first (hunt and peck), but will hold them back later on. There's only so fast you can go hunting and pecking. 


My dd1 has picked up the basic language of Photoshop, but it's a HUGE, HUGE professional program and she's really only skimming the surface. Gimp is really not at all comparable to Photoshop in its professional capabilities, although it's great for the casual user, student, or amateur photographer/blogger. And, although I've used Photoshop for more than 20 years in the course of my work I know that there are always new ways of working with it that I don't fully utilize. I am very happy for my dd1 to have Photoshop on her computer and to play around with it (and I answer any questions that she has), but her abilities with it are sorta like driving a go-cart (maybe just a tricycle) vs it's Ferrarri-like or semi-truck capabilities. She's kinda got the idea of the steering and the brake, but the program can really do way, way more than she can.


The Windows/Apple thing is not that big of an issue as far as actually using the software goes. 

post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 

Yea, re: Photoshop, that's what I'm getting at. I learned basic Photoshop way back in the day and  the basics (enough for a student, certainly a middle school student) would be plenty. And, those basics haven't changed much at all. And, they are very transferable to a free program like GIMP. My comment about Photoshop was to get into this idea that I think we can slightly exaggerate how fast and how significantly technology changes. And, to not teach it for that reason, seems like a big mistake to me. Not only because I don't think it moves that fast but because it tends to build on itself. Yes, there are things that have totally came and went -- but for the most part it seems like new stuff is a gradual improvement (if you view it that way) on the last thing. So, not "wasted" knowledge. 

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 

And, above and beyond a curriculum overhaul that fits computer basics - I suppose another good solution would be for schools to address the issue for new families. IF schools are using technology more than other schools (and it appears that some certainly are) maybe a summer notice to new families that says what the expectations for prerequisite skills are would be a good way to deal with this. 


But, with the average parent being somewhere between 20-60, you get a huge range of ability to help kids if the expectations are on the home. 


Leaving this for the home just seems like a mistake to me - more so than leaving other things to the home. 

post #25 of 26

I don't think we're talking about an either/or thing here: either we have a standardized approach for teaching technology in the classroom or we just leave it to the whims of the kids and their families. I think what we need is non-standardized teaching of technology skills. Respond to where the kids are at, where the technology is at, and where current needs are.


I guess when I talk of technology changing quickly I'm thinking of the 9th grade infotech curriculum my ds dealt with three years ago. There was a whole unit on data integrity and it had stuff in it about running overnight backups to tape drives, the use of CD-Rs, the lifespan of magnetic data, setting up auto-save in individual programs or globally in programs like Norton Backup. Granted, the curriculum was four years out of date (and was probably already two years out of date when it was published), but still ... no mention of flash memory, external hard drives, cloud storage via Google Docs or DropBox or iCloud, the use of home networking for backup, etc.


The same curriculum taught them to use PowerPoint, something they'd all learned in previous years (since there is no curriculum for InfoTech for the primary years, and those teachers had been free to move with the times and with the kids and respond to whatever interests and needs they saw arising). The high school kids were all using Prezi and GoAnimate on their own for project presentations, which take completely different approaches than PowerPoint. The digital publishing module in one course was teaching Adobe Acrobat, HTML 3, CSS and FTP ... but not WordPress (which it classifies as "social media" and is therefore blocked via school district servers). 



post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 

Yea, certainly individuated education is the way to go across the board. I guess I'm talking about addressing a problem in the system "where we're at" in my city.  I live in a fairly poor city with a struggling education system. I do think technology is a way out for a lot of kids and can be a wonderful tool if the school system can learn to incorporate it systematically and effectively.  I feel a little like the ship has sailed for individuated education in my town...which is why I didn't suggest it as a solution. Sigh. 


I do think that one's views on these things are pretty different depending on how kids are struggling. Kids who struggle because they are advanced and are not getting their education needs met because of that may provoke a different response from someone like me who is seeing a kid struggle because they have not been trained in tools that the are expected to use. In this way I do think individuated programs are the key to solving both groups' problems. 


But then you get back to how to accomplish that. 

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