Expand Technology and Computer Science Classes

”What is the best way to deliver the newest technology training for students – integrated into the curriculum or in dedicated computer science department courses?” I consulted with Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC a few years ago on this interesting and important question, which has been debated for years.


Technology, as we think of it in education today, is (a set of) tools programmers created using the principles of computer science. Technology tools are widely used in colleges, business, and everyday professional life. So, it makes sense to make sure our students know how to use them. Newer technology tools, like digital video and networked resources, are becoming increasingly important for a good education.


Knowledge and skills learned in one class are most useful for students when they are reinforced in other classes. So, all classes reinforce proper use of reading and writing. Mathematics skills are useful in science classes, word processing is used in many classes, presentation tools can be used in many classes, and spreadsheets can be used where appropriate.


When asking which teacher should teach technology, ask: Which teacher should teach writing? A writing teacher, or someone else? Which teacher should teach mathematics? A math teacher, or someone else?


The answer is, a specialist should teach the important parts of the curriculum in each subject area, with reinforcing use in other classes. Technology and computer science have become so important that they should be treated as subjects, and not be considered just an add-on to other subjects.


There is an important distinction between teaching technology and teaching computer science, although they are closely related. Technology classes teach the use of technology tools, while computer science classes teach how to create new tools. It is important to spread the teaching of computer science, so our society will be able to build the tools it needs to remain successfully competitive in an increasingly interconnected world. Yes, it is that important.

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