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vic user
December 3rd, 2004, 06:45 AM
I went to a parent / teacher interview last night, and during the conversation with my daughter's teacher, we ended up talking about what the school is up to in regards to teaching students some computer skills.

The school goes from kindergarten to grade 6 (so from about age four to age twelve roughly)

The only thing they do, is get the students to use search engines on the net, pertaining to any stuff they are doing in class.

Anyway, the teacher asked me if i would want to put on a demo for his class or do some after school computer club, or something to that effect.

i am interested.

i was thinking of breaking it down into 3 sections, with each section or group being a little more in depth than the previous section.

section 1
would just be a general introduction, identifying the parts of a typical computer, giving a brief history, and demonstrating how an old computer can be hooked up to the Ottawa freenet to get access to free e-mail and newsgroups.

i thought this would perhaps allow people to see that you do not need much to get e-mail etc..

section 2
thought i would give a small intro to the web, and show them how to make a simple web page and how to get it up using freenet.

section 3
thought i would see if any students looked really keen to learn more, and then introduce them to programming, using my vic 20's and the friendly computer guide that comes along with the vic 20. i have used the guid with my daughter, who is 10, and she was able to understand well, what was going on

has anyone else done something like this, or do you know where i could get some pointers?

i would like to look into this further

chris

carlsson
December 3rd, 2004, 08:41 AM
You're about to teach ~8 year olds how to make their own homepage?! Weird, but probably interesting results. Of course most would need some ready made layouts so they can just insert texts and pictures they have drawn.

I obviously don't have any experience in teaching this, but on the subject, it was reported the other day that newly graduated teachers here in Sweden have a very poor understanding in how IT can be used in their teaching of children. Generally they know where the search engine is, and that is it. The state institution for IT demands that universities educating coming teachers include more computer oriented elements. In some communal schools, the city will send the new teacher to a course in IT to get a better grip and surprisingly enough, it is the older teachers (dunno how old) who generally are better with using computers as educating tools. Younger teachers try to learn from the seniors.

Does the school ever use word processors, or is that considered cheating with its spelling checker and everything? I would think that children of today would need to practise keyboard typing and usage of a typical word processor or editor as well as learning how to go around the Internet.

Back in my days, and I'm only 29, we didn't have typewriters until 7th grade (14 years old) and computers about the same grade. Of course I had a tiny advantage after having used home computers for six years (of which three owning one). On the other hand, the need for on-screen typing was not as big as I think it is today.

Drawing, making music etc may also be in the scope if there are suitable software, but those classes should be held in cooperation with respective subject teacher.

vic user
December 3rd, 2004, 08:52 AM
You're about to teach ~8 year olds how to make their own homepage?! Weird, but probably interesting results. Of course most would need some ready made layouts so they can just insert texts and pictures they have drawn.

yep, real simple and like you mentioned it would be a lot of cutting and pasting... kind of like a "hello world" version of a webpage.


would think that children of today would need to practise keyboard typing and usage of a typical word processor or editor as well

my daughter mentioned this last night, so i am glad you brought this up!
basic word processing would be good to do.


Drawing, making music etc may also be in the scope if there are suitable software, but those classes should be held in cooperation with respective subject teacher.

absolutely. i would always want a teacher hanging out with me anyway, as they should be the experts in how to teach (i hope :)
it would also be good to incorporate acitivities that they are already doing, into the computer demo's.

i also have the micro adventure books, and i think that could be fun for any of the students that wanted to learn to program.

i wonder if any of the kids will actually be interested in this?

carlsson
December 3rd, 2004, 09:15 AM
Don't put too high hopes on programming. Those who have acquired a taste of that (probably the older ones, age 10+) may have found their path and for the others, the concept of making your own program seems more far away today than before. Maybe web pages make a replacement for programming, and of course Flash, scripts or something is a way to get into writing a program.

Computers also go well with maths, so the school should have at least a little educational math software. If there is some easy way to describe geometry and trigonometry (heh), a sinus and a x^2 curve may be nice to show off, but it may be well ahead of the learning process. When I was 10, I knew sin(x) was some cool function that outputted a small number and I could type in a listing to get a curve, but I didn't understand much more than that. Hm, I hope I understand more today.. :oops: