Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Children -- Self-Taught Computer Whizzes

Okay, are you a person who can relate to this cartoon? I certainly can! Many of you know that I was a teacher before I moved to Carrington. At the last school where I taught 6th grade, I had a 30-computer lab right outside my door which we used for various activities every day. At that time, and even more-so today, by the time a child was 11-12 years old, he/she could be a computer whiz -- actually more advanced in computer technology than many teachers. 
Besides being advisor for our yearbook with a group of students who met after school every day, I also created and advised a group of students called "webmasters" who maintained a website for our school. They would interview the principal, teachers, students and parents in order to write news articles for our website. During class time, sometimes a teacher would ask if one of my students could come and help with computer or software problems. If the student was caught up on classwork and wouldn't miss anything important, he/she could go to help the teacher. The students loved to do this, the teachers appreciated it, and I considered it a great learning situation all around.
If I were teaching today, especially at the high school level, I'm sure I would constantly be calling on students to help me with computer situations. Did you know that many of our young people have much more advanced computer skills than their teachers with advanced degrees? They know how to get around the internet faster and find information quicker than most adults. Many of them have already taken apart many computers and put them back together again -- usually with improvements! Many of them have learned computer languages/codes so they can create their own software. And, what's so impressive, to me as a teacher, is they are mostly self-taught or peer-taught. 
It's truly amazing what young minds can accomplish if focused and really interested in something. We should never underestimate their capabilities!

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