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Comment Academic rigor is a good thing (Score 2) 841

My first several semesters as an undergrad were brutal. The assignments were very abstract, the courses hard, and some of the computer science classes were clearly designed to fail half the students at mid-semester, or so it seemed to me.

And I'm glad.

Being an adult and having a career is often full of hard work, most thankless, and sometimes tedious. I'm glad that my professors in college didn't coddle me, or try to spare my feelings. Adjusting to work life was hard enough, but it would have been doubly difficult if I had been under the mistaken impression that the purpose of work was to entertain me.

So, I'm all for adjusting coursework to make it more engaging and for capturing the imagination of young students and keeping them interested. But, when I put on my old man hat, I also want to make sure that students understand that there will also be a lot of hard work that will be terribly important and will be terribly boring.

Comment Re:And what's the problem here? (Score 1) 826

> We live in the present. The sons/daughters are not responsible for the sins of the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfathers/mothers.

This would be true, if the crimes committed against American Indians were actually in the past. In my lifetime, the federal government (through the Indian Health Service) forcibly sterilized American Indian women:
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_indian_quarterly/v024/24.3lawrence.html

And by the way, I do believe the individuals are culpable for sins committed by the societies to which they belong, so we, collectively, as Americans, do bare the stain of those crimes.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 411

> Sure, computers are not the answer to every
> educational problem. Traditional methods that work
> should not be thrown away. But to ignore all of the
> possible lessons that would not be possible without
> computers is very short-sighted, and unfairly
> limits the experiences the students might be able
> to have.

I want to agree with you. I want to believe that there are educational opportunities that are not available without instructional technology. I want to believe that the fact that I have never seen any instructional technology that works better than a book and a teacher doesn't mean they don't exist.

What concerns me, however, is that the cost of getting these (possible existent) opportunities into the classroom is to allow intellectually lazy habits to develop, e.g. indoctrinating children into the world of middle management PowerPoint presentations or into becoming so dependent on spell check that they can neither write nor spell on their own.

To the original poster, I think that your decision should rest on what the teachers in your school are going to do with this IT infrastructure. Given the comparative expense of computers and textbooks, I would set a high bar for putting any computer in the classroom.

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard

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