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.
I hated it.
Here for example, is the 4th grade computer class (which as it happens is more of less the same as the 3rd and 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.