Magazine article Technology and Children

President's Message: Teaching the Whole Alphabet

Magazine article Technology and Children

President's Message: Teaching the Whole Alphabet

Article excerpt

It seems that one of the greatest challenges faced by our field is the public perception and understanding of what technology is. Many people think that we teach computers. To be sure, computers are a great example of technology, but thinking that technology is only computers fails to recognize the whole picture.

An anology of teaching the alphabet will illustrate this point. Let's say that all of technology is analogous to the alphabet, and the letter "C" stands for computer. If we only taught the letter "C" (the computer), our students would have some valuable knowledge, but only a small part of the complete picture of this subject we identify as technology. How limited the communication abilities of students would be with only the letter "C"! How limited our students would be if they understood only the computer. Students would be unable to program a VCR, understand the roads and highways of a transportation system, or recognize the importance of a laser and bar codes in scanning groceries or the mail. They would not have a understanding of the impacts of a nuclear power plant, mileage ratings, or emission levels on a car.

Technology is far more than a computer. It includes all of the things mentioned above, plus much more. We live in a world inundated with technology. It is increasingly important for our children to learn about all of these things to be intelligent users and consumers. It is our challenge to teach students how to cope with this world of the future prudently and successfully.

Teaching about technology does not have to be, nor should it be a stand-alone subject in the elementary curriculum. …

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