Saturday, June 1, 2013

Milo takes a computer class and eventually will learn Powerpoint. Yippee!

My daughter sent me a report on a conversation she had with Milo last week:

My Daughter: I sent Papa a list of all the stuff you're going to learn in your computer class up through 5th grade.

Milo: I bet he hated it.

Right Milo. 

I hated it.

Here for example, is the 4thgrade computer class (which as it happens is more of less the same as the 3rdand 5th grade computer class):

the 4th grade year will look like this:

                Review log-in procedures 
                Microsoft Word
                                  The basics - opening and quitting
                                  File management & navigation - Save As + Open: saving a file properly (proper name, location, etc) and finding the file and opening it up on a different occasion
                                  Basic typing review - proper way to capitalize, using “Shift” for certain punctuation, 1 space between words, etc
                                  Practice typing - copying a document
                                  Formatting 1 - margins, when to use the return key, etc
                                  Formatting 2 - Bold, Italic, Underline, etc
                                  Formatting 3 - changing font size & style
                                  Practice formatting - using typed document & changing font style, size, bold, etc

                The internet
                                  The basics of Firefox/Chrome - the buttons, address bar, tools, etc
                                  Searching using Google - what the results mean, pictures, etc
                                  Downloading pictures - proper naming and saving procedures
                Combining Microsoft Word and the internet
                                  Inserting pictures found on the internet into a Word document
                                  Formatting the picture in Word - size, position, etc
                                  Formatting the complete document - text and pictures

                Microsoft Powerpoint research project
                                  Basics of Powerpoint - how to create, format, etc
                                  Creating a practice Presentation with text, pictures, animations, etc
                                  Using the internet for research - proper searching techniques, identifying reputable sites, etc
                                  Taking the information gathered on the internet and creating a Powerpoint Presentation conveying what they have learned - text, pictures, animations, etc


This is computer education in the New York City Schools? We could teach kids to program you know. Or we could teach them to build apps. Or to create art. Or to build robots.  Or to create a web site. Or to create music. The list could go on and on.

But, you know what Milo learned yesterday? How to create a hashtag.


Twitter is now part of the curriculum. As far as I can tell kids have been able to learn to tweet all by themselves (for better or for worse.)

So, we can’t modernize the curriculum because of Common Core and when we can do something small, like add a computer class, it is to teach stuff like Powerpoint.  

School is getting worse all the time.