education, technology, and everything else

we do not serve them well

Posted by Miranda on September 20, 2009

Two of the faculty asked me to sit in on classes while they introduced the blogging platform we’ve set up. I really enjoyed getting a taste of what the school is supposed to be about – learning, education. I think that often those of us in departments that do not teach tend to forget that this is the raison d’etre of our employment. I do at least. So it’s been good for me to hear the students in the class discussions, and see how good teachers teach.

It’s been pretty disturbing though, to see again that so many of our students are woefully ignorant of the tools that they use – the internet, software and the computer itself. In the last week I had one student tell me that he supposed that the reason he could not access a certain web address was because his battery was low. Another studiously typed a full internet URL – the whole thing beginning with http:// into her Google Search bar, coming up with search results every time.

Many of our students have no idea how to double-space a document or center text in Microsoft Word. I see kids that put a return after every line to double-space or center using the space bar. As for using the interactive web – creating web content instead of mindlessly consuming.. forget it.

In one of the classes a teacher asked the students – “how many of you feel comfortable with technology?”

Out of the class, three or four hesitantly raised hands. Yet over and over I have faculty and administration blithely tell me how kids today have no trouble with technology, that they just naturally pick it up, that there isn’t any need to teach them anything about it.

Bull. I disagree strongly. We are sending these kids off to college with no idea how to use these tools and I really think we are doing them a disservice.

2 Responses to “we do not serve them well”

  1. William Maio said

    That is very very very very true ! Especially like an engineering school like RPI. Not being technology savy could really set students back. Perhaps there needs to be a class on technology or community to help student explore the tools that is available.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: