I was pretty excited to get the chance to go to a one-to-one laptop school. In a certain sense, you’ve reached the big time. You’ve finally made it. At some point in the process of getting familiar with the school, I was surprised to learn that we have no actual computer classes. For all intents and purposes there is no computer department.
It’s sort of funny to me how adults are always saying things like “The kids know much better than I do how to work their computer”, but I consistently find that students do not know how to use their computers with much expertise. Certainly in specific areas they know more than I do, but students frequently ask me questions to which the simplest answer is “google it”. At this point I really don’t know what it’s like at other schools, but our students are basically getting no direct instruction at the high school level on how to use their computers or the internet. I suppose the onus is on all of the teachers to carry that load, but this can be a particularly difficult battle when we have new students coming into the school who don’t have a background of using the computers in class.
So many of the concerns that we are dealing with in the Coetail classes are not the responsibility of any given teacher. I’m sure our teachers are doing a reasonable job of helping the students to manage their computers and their online footprints, but one could imagine that it would be very easy to slip through the cracks and not receive good information for how to protect yourself and how to obey legal issues of online content.
As a policy, I wonder how the decision was made to not have computer courses, as well as how well this policy is working for our students.