We live in a world that is obsessed with end results. We love the Super Bowl champion, the Spelling Bee winner, the President of the United States and standardized test results. Of course there is nothing wrong with being a winner, but the real winners are often those who learn from the process. And who learns more than the loser. This is true with technology. A few years ago, we might say that the person that could successfully program a VCR was sufficiently technologically proficient. Being able to set up a surround sound properly would surely put you at the top of the technology pyramid. So as we look at the next generation of digital natives, we tend to strive for technological proficiency by judging what the student can accomplish. The problem comes when technology changes (which it does daily). Does the individual have what it takes to transfer the skills used in mastering one technological advance to the newest advance? At HeartBridge Learning Center, we set out to answer that question. We began by teaching our students how to use certain technologies such as website building. We then made the move to challenge our students to master the process. Developing problem solving and critical thinking skills needed to understand the process of mastering technology is infinitely more important than learning the skill itself, because those skills will benefit them even after the technology is obsolete. We try to teach our students to build, create, and innovate so that they can tackle any technological challenge. So our definition of being technologically proficient would be having the skills to figure out most, if not all, technological challenges.
What is technology proficiency in our schools?
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