Yeah right…like I have time to run TWO blogs. This one may not see much traffic, or it may get the most. I am tasked with beginning a computer science program at the High School where I currently teach Biology and Robotics. I will be teaching Java programming as well as basic Computer tech and an introduction to technology. I am alone in my endeavor and this will act as a journal of my efforts to get this thing off the ground. Right now I am sending out the call to other High School Computer Science teachers (and there are way too few of them) who might be willing to offer their opinions on my issues as I post them. As it stands now I will be teaching Basic Programming, Introduction to Computer Tech. (Step 1 of the A+ certification), introduction to technology (a basic overview course for all things tech), as well as my old standby Basic Robotics and Automation (using the Lego NXT Mindstorm System running RobotC). I will also have one period working as a support tech in the school (our guy is already running himself to death and we just instituted a 1 to 1 with Chromebooks).
This blog will also serve as a sounding board for opinions, both mine and yours, on the use, abuse, or general suitability of all things techno as they apply to secondary education. I do not hold with the accepted opinion in education today that children are “uber-technical”. My experience has been that most of them can turn on a computer or tablet. They can farm on Facebook, flap a bird through some pipes, dig a hole, or post a “selfie” but very few of them actually generate digital content of any value. Computer science is without doubt, the fastest growing employment opportunity for today and the foreseeable future. We need to STOP sending perfectly good tech. and programming jobs overseas just because we don’t have the people to fill them. We need to get students OFF social media and ON to creating content and generating code. Without solid programming skills to create the outlets and portals, social media is nothing but another annoying advertising medium. Without maintenance and hardware people to keep it all running, social media stops all together.
Oh well…that seems like a good place to stop for the night. I have a lab tomorrow and we are recreating the Great DARPA desert race down the main hall of our school with lego’bots.