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SCHOOL-IT  April 2005

SCHOOL-IT April 2005

Subject:

Re: The role of K-12 education (was: desktop computers)

From:

Charles Cavanaugh <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 14 Apr 2005 09:50:13 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (78 lines)

Bjorn,
I was a 5th/6th grade teacher for approximately 10 years during the
1980s. I worked in a school that had Apple IIs in each classroom. These
devices, for the most part, had no hard drives and used no mouse
devices. Along about 1990, I left teaching to explore other career
alternatives.  I eventually got a job doing graphics work on high-end
PCs for a map company. The day I started, the boss spent the morning
showing me the programs I needed to use, and how to do the work. That
was it. From then on, I was pretty much on my own. I learned on the job,
and was successful doing that work for the length of time I worked at
that company.
I attribute that success to a broad, liberal education that taught me
how to think.

- Charlie Cavanaugh

Bjorn Norstrom wrote:

>Rather than personal attacks on sentence structure, let's debate the facts,
>unless of course there are no facts to support so personal attacks are all
>that's left... First, let's look at ourselves. How many of us in K-12 has
>held a technology job in the private sector the last five or ten years to
>really know what's going on? How many have even spent any decent amount of
>time time with private organizations to learn more about technology as it
>exists outside of K-12? How many of us would even qualify for a technology
>job in the private sector? Very few because their standards are too high.
>Second, if we already try to teach technology, let's do it right, for
>example MS Office. Why can't we just raise standards and provide students
>opportunities for MOS certification so they graduate with some evidence of
>technology proficiency? Why only teach MS Office half way? Simply because K-
>12 generally lacks qualified personnell to do it. How many people involved
>in K-12 technology (computer applications teachers, educational technology
>specialists, tech. support, network people, etc.) have any tangible
>evidence validating that they themselves are actually qualified to do their
>job? To be qualified to teach MS Office in the real world generally
>requires MOS certifications and even a Microsoft Master Instructor
>certifications. How many such are there in Vermont K-12? Only one according
>to Microsoft. So, according to Microsoft, only one K-12 educator in the
>entire state of VT is qualified to teach their Office products according to
>their standards. If we are trying to teach computer literacy, why don't we
>adopt IC3? Because most K-12 people have no clue what it is because of our
>isolation from the real world! Next, being qualified as a Network Engineer
>in the real world (the network and tech. support side in K-12), an MCSE,
>A+, Cisco, and some other certifications are required. In K-12, A+ is
>required at best, and oftentimes not even that. Yesterday, I read an
>article in the "Wall Street Journal," and one sentence reads: "Experts cite
>a variety of other reasons for the U.S.'s engineer shortage, including poor
>math and science curricula in public schools." We can certainly add
>technology to this. We can try to defend our K-12 failures all we want, but
>is is not going to help our students succeed. Once I have been in K-12 long
>enough, perhaps I too will accept faliure as the norm and try to defend it
>to the teeth. Until then, my goal is to help students prepare for life
>after high school by raising standards and providing opportunites they need
>to succeed. We do need burger flippers (we have to ensure that we provide
>the junk food and supersizings of it to continue the growing problem of
>obesity), but let's not do that to expese of our children. Let's look at VT
>K-12 as a whole. How many Vermont K-12 schools get any national recognition
>for progressive technology programs? Virtually none. Other than the
>outstanding opportunities provided by South Burlington (Networking Academy
>and Imaging Lab) Vermont is not even a parenthesis on the national K-12
>technology stage. The only reason SB is able to provide these awesome
>opportunites is that they are fortunate to have a couple of highly
>qualified, visionary, and innovative faculty running these programs,
>something many K-12 schools unfortunately do not have. Just answer this,
>how is K-12 holding ourselves accountable in technology? What tangible
>evidence do we have proving that students graduate from HS with technology
>proficiencies? The answer is no accountability and evidence whatsoever.
>
>
>

--
Charlie Cavanaugh
Technology Coordinator
Johnson Elementary School
Johnson, VT 05656
802-635-2211 ext 113

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