A few years ago my oldest daughter was in the 8th grade. Right after school started Hurricane Ike came barreling through causing massive damage to the entire southeast Texas region. Schools were out for more than 2 weeks. I remember a small conversation that I had with my daughter and a couple of her friends as we sat in my home that was being run solely by a generator.
Cell phone usage was scarce since the hurricane knocked out a few towers, but the electricity was also out and was not restored for a few weeks. My daughter and her friends were sitting in the living room when my daughter told me that one of her friends did not have a cell phone signal either. I explained to her that she did not have a signal just like us because she lived a few blocks away and would be using the same tower as us. The tower was the issue. If it was not working we would not be able to make calls. The three girls just sat there with a puzzled look on their faces. So I asked where they thought the signal for their cell phones came from. They each looked at each other and answered almost in unison “The power lines.”
I chuckled a bit. How did these 14-year-old girls not know where a cellular signal came from? What were they being taught in school about the history of technology? Do schools not find this important content for learning?
Thinking back when I was in school, in 7th grade it was required that we took a computer history class. That was where we learned about the first massive computers and other important information that pertained to technology. I don’t believe any of my kids have ever had to take any class that had any technology content except a class in middle school that taught them the basics of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Oh, I can’t forget about that one required elective in high school that again goes over the basics of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. I am not sure why they have to take this class since I can only remember a couple of times where my kids have had to even type up a paper to turn in. Remember my children’s ages are 17, 16, 14, and 12.
Our public schools are failing to lay the foundation for technology education. By the time they take a few classes in college about technology, the concept is so far out there. We wonder how the US is about 10 years behind in technology than other advanced countries. If we are failing to educate our children for the future we should expect nothing but the same for the future of our country.
Yes I could teach the technology to my kids myself, in fact I thought I had been. But since I am not a certified teacher, work a full-time job during the day and send my children to school for 7 hours a day, I thought this education was being taught in school. I am paying taxes to have my children educated and I never really noticed how much they were lacking.
Do you fill in the education gaps with your children? Do your children know much more than how to use technology? Ask your tween a simple question; ask them where their cell phone signal comes from.