Michael

Building Tech Literacy

The world is increasingly awash with technology, and building tech literacy is a skill that must be developed to thrive. What used to cost small fortunes, can now be bought for less than most university textbooks. What was once the near exclusive realm of governments, universities, and corporations has become accessible to anyone eager to learn. Technology has never been more approachable, and yet “technology” is an opaque term, and tech literacy is still low.

 

When I was growing up desktop computers were the norm; tablets and smart phones did not really exist in the consumer sphere. Today kids are primarily exposed to laptops, tablets, and smart phones. While these all-in-one devices are convenient, they obscure something that the old desktops made obvious: the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and tower are all separate parts. I want students to build confidence and fundamental tech literacy by setting up computers “the old fashioned way.” The experience of using separate parts to assemble what one would commonly call a computer is valuable, and serves as a foundation for demystifying computers and technology.

 

This is our first blog, our first time writing curriculum, and even our first time teaching. It’s also worth mentioning that Miles has a degree in trombone performance, and I have a degree in neuroscience. Needless to say, we totally know what we’re doing.

 

With respect to actually teaching, we are essentially going on instinct, but we have a little guidance. In writing the curriculum for The Tech Monsters, we sought the advice of many of our friends and acquaintances. (Thank you educator friends!)  Most of the technical, hardware and software challenges we were able to solve with the help of uncle Internet and our prior experiences.

 

With respect to the first class: we had assumptions; they were wrong. We had plans; they were changed. We thought we understood how to relate a complicated subject that neither of us had any formal training in to children; we all have a lot to learn.

The Feel Spiel