Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: the Seacoast of Bohemia
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As the original poster of the article I feel like I ought to respond. If children need to learn computers in order to be able to be employed, then the appropriate time for vocational education, any vocational education, is high school. In the old days high schools offered shop, typing, home economics (not my favorite course) and so on. They still offer drivers education. They didn't start children learning to type in 1st grade. Introduction to driving isn't offered in 3rd grade. I have a hard time seeing computers in their role as employment tools as requiring pre-high school access.
As tools for education the point is certainly more debatable. The points I've tried to make in some of my earlier posts is that the evidence for computers as an "essential" educational tool is weak. There are lots of people who function effectively in the world, with or without using computers on a daily basis, who did not use computers in school. People who can read, write, do math, drive a car, work on teams, solve problems etc. Most of the people currently using computers learned in high school, college or beyond. My daughter had a friend in college who, when she started programming class, had never before touched a computer keyboard. She got an A with no particular difficulty. This was in the 1980's. I think I mentioned above that college librarians are not very happy with the search skills that high school students bring to college. Would this problem be solved by earlier exposure? How?
So, my question is, does anyone have any research that demonstrates that computers in elementary school are an essential educational tool, whose neglect would leave children unable to ever catch up with kids who did benefit fron having computers in said elementary school? I will be delighted to see an example.
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