I think Bryant’s point is well made: if we ARE including direct instruction in applications at the secondary level, we owe it to our students to generalize. Shouldn’t the skills we foster be transferable to whatever applications they use in the future, or do we just assume that they will only be using MS products? I hope not! Students who are only taught how to do things one way with one program may not be as successful when confronted with new applications or emerging technologies.

The other issue is authentic context: until this year I had been teaching 7th/8th grade “Computer Applications” classes as Luis describes in Woodstock: advanced WP, spreadsheets, multimedia and web skills, etc. We have now moved to an integrated model, where students learn and apply those same tech skills within core and Unified Arts curriculum. Although their experience may not be as consistent or continuous (indeed, for this first year it may even be a slight “step back”) and it IS more work, ultimately we believe they will benefit from learning the skills when and where they have a “real” application for them.

I DO understand Larry’s question: are High Schools in VT requiring tech courses for graduation? Perhaps the question could be what level of integration is being achieved in grade 9-12 where courses and student programs are more specialized? Do students in those grades only get tech experience in computer classes?

Just another 2 cents,

Eric Hall
Technology Coordinator
Waterbury/Duxbury Schools
Washington West Supervisory Union
Waterbury, VT
(802) 244-6100

on 1/26/09 8:26 PM, Laurence Booker wrote:

Thank you, Bryan, but your response doesn't answer my question.

Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2009 17:25:36 -0500
From: [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: IT Courses
To: [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]

On Jan 25, 2009, at 5:10 PM, Laurence Booker wrote:

I am interested in finding out just how many of you have
Information Technology -- using WORD, EXCEL, POWER
POINT, net searches, integrated technology, etc. -- as a
graduation requirement at your schools.

Hopefully, any requirements are for WORD PROCESSING, SPREADSHEETS, and PRESENTATION skills - let's teach skills not programs and not lock the students into a single company's products.

Bryant Patten

FOSSVT - April 10, 2009

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