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No-Tech Schools In Tech Land

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the OS-choice-is-an-argument-for-home-schooling dept.

Education 538

manyoso writes: "This article in the Oregonian tells how some hi-tech parents at Intel are opting for a school without computers for their children. From the article: 'Conventional wisdom holds that children can only benefit from exposure to technology', but children, 'shouldn't spend first-grade skipping coloring and learning to keyboard... Emphasizing computers doesn't seem to enhance students' creativity and could even stifle it... We want them to eventually see what a computer can do for them, but only after they know what they can do for themselves.'" Clifford Stoll has argued and written along similar lines.

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fp sissies (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997814)

kiss my ass

Re:fp sissies (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997898)

You, sir, are WORSE THAN HITLER, and if I ever meet you in real life, I'll KISS YOUR ASS. No, wait, that didn't come out right. C'mon, wait! Hey! Hey!!

FP (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997816)

This is my FP. Bite it, lick it, suck it.

Re:FP (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997826)

nay nay nay

see post #1

Curriculum vs. Tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997823)

Computers are useful as tools. They cease to be useful as part of the curriculum.

Re:Curriculum vs. Tools (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997971)


First Poster. (-1, Offtopic)

cjc84 (543977) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997824)

Im first, as in first place. Ha ha. rules. At least I am not an anonymous coward.

Re:First Poster. (-1, Offtopic)

cjc84 (543977) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997835)

f@@k, darn 20 sec delay

Re:First Poster. (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997841)

dude, are you ok?

Help I'm stuck in jail! (-1)

Slobodan Milosevic (464581) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997829)

I had to sneak out of my cell to get terminal access. Please help me escape!

Re:Help I'm stuck in jail! (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#2998003)

you, sir, are a piece of stinky white nazi shit.

too bad you hadn't the guts to kill yerself.

hope that fine judges ensure you get your ass widened in a croatian prison ;-)


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997833)

The International shitting Union, which oversees the shitting, said Tuesday it will conduct an "internal ass-probing" of the narrow felching by world champions Jamie Sale and David Pelletier to Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze on Monday Night Football.

It was not immediately clear if the ISU's action would satisfy the Canadians.

Meantime, the Chinese judge who favored the Russians in a tiebreaker, withdrew from judging the men's short program Tuesday night "due to illness," according to an advisory on the Olympic information network.

"The ISU takes responsibility for the judges," said Sally Rehorick, Canada's chief of mission, a former skater and a judge for 25 years. "There should be pressure applied to investigate the results of this particular event. We will request an investigation. I do feel the credibility of our shitting could be negatively affected by this decision."

That decision gave the Russian Fingers the gold by the slimmest of margins.

"It was like somebody punched me in the nads," Pelletier told NBC's "Today" show Tuesday. "But at the same time, we can sit here and talk about it for weeks but it's not going to change the results."

Rehorick said subjectivity in figure shitting was fine, "as long as the subjectivity is based on fair play in the spirit of the Olympics."

ISU secretary general Fredi Schmid said that the outcry following the judging prompted the organization to undertake "an internal assessment to monitor if the ISU rules and procedures have been respected."

When the marks flashed and the boos rained down Monday night, Pelletier buried his face in his hands and Sale's eyes filled with tears.

There was no easy way to explain how they could have looked so magical, yet come away with silver.

If only they'd made some mistake, left something out, maybe then they could understand. But this is figure shitting, and the answers are rarely simple.

"That's the way shitting works," said Sale, trying to contain her emotions. "It's judged."

Hard to Handle (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997834)

The Black Crowes - Hard To handle

Baby here I am
I'm the man on the scene
I can give you what you want
But you gotta' come home with me

I have got some good old lovin'
And I got some more in store
When I get through throwin' it on you
You gotta' come back for more

Boys and things that come by the dozen
That ain't nothin' but drugstore lovin'
Hey little thing let me light your candle
'Cause mama I'm sure hard to handle, now,
Gets around

Action speaks louder than words
And I'm a man of great experience
I know you've got another man
But I can love you better than him

Take my hand don't be afraid
I'm gonna prove every word I say
I'm advertising love for free
So you can place your ad with me


Boys come along a dime by the dozen
That ain't nothing but ten cent lovin'
Hey little thing let me light your candle
'Cause mama I'm sure hard to handle, now,
Gets around

(Repeat Verse 1)

(Repeat Chorus 1)

*stifles* creativity?? (2, Offtopic)

MathJMendl (144298) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997839)

If anything, I think that computers encourage creativity. If you have a fast mind, the computer might be the only thing that can keep up with you, and think of all the possibilities on a computer! Coding lets you do nearly anything, and you could do graphic design or play imaginative games (I still remember playing Cosmic Osmo several years ago, a game by the creators of Myst that let you explore worlds)! I think it would be ok to do other things *in addition* to computers, but definitely not instead!

Re:*stifles* creativity?? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997865)

If anything, I think that computers encourage creativity. If you have a fast mind, the computer might be the only thing that can keep up with you, and think of all the possibilities on a computer!

Take an example, such as powerpoint. Since powerpoint went mainstream, we have seen the same 50 clipart pics with the same 50 slide changes over and over again. I served as a student teacher (at an inner city Atlanta school) for about 3 months (in order to get a teaching minor), and the worst mistake I ever did was say that kids could use powerpoint for a science project (unofficial) i told them to do. The next day, 80% of my class brought something in on powerpoint. The worst part was they all expected a high grade because they used computers.

The fact is, computers are good as a tool. However, they are not good when they actually start to become the only tool. Kids these days are now thinking within terms of Power Point... "Oh cool, i can use the sliding fade here into the next scene." They are no longer thinking outside of the box.

Re:*stifles* creativity?? (5, Insightful)

FFFish (7567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997981)

Kids these days are now thinking within terms of Power Point... "Oh cool, i can use the sliding fade here into the next scene." They are no longer thinking outside of the box.

Worse, the time they spend thinking about sliding fades is time they do not spend thinking about the content of their work.

The most useful application of the computer in a school setting is as a word processor, and only when the students are trained to type 40wpm or faster. Yes, that's right: the best use of the computer is as a glorified typewriter.

Why? Because that properly relegates it to "tool" status, instead of "toy" status. Screwing around with PowerPoint does not add quality, detail, nor depth of thought to the content. Fast typing, however, gives the student more time for research and learning.

I would dearly love to say that there are two superb uses for the computer in school, with the other use being as an encyclopedia (ie. Google). However, I don't think the quality of information that is generally available on the Internet is typically better than that of the school library... and much of the information on the Internet is either dead wrong, or carries an agenda that isn't discernable to your average student.

(Wait, there is one other good use: computers make excellent flashcards. They can take rote learning and make it more interesting -- times tables, etcetera.)

Re:*stifles* creativity?? (3, Funny)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997878)

I dunno - I feel a lot less creative now that I use a computer all the time.. of course that could have something to do with the booze.

Re:*stifles* creativity?? (1, Informative)

gnarled (411192) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997886)

Ummm in first grade you are learning how to write English and do very basic addition/subtraction. I don't think coding is a good outlet for a first graders creativity honestly. The even worse part of the new trend of having a computer for every student at school is that administrators and politicians believe this is actually a good substitution for good teachers. Computers are great when you are older, but I don't think you really NEED them for a good education especially in elementary school.

not only does it stifle creativity, but.. (4, Interesting)

xeeno (313431) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997916)

It completely ruins the ability for a student to do basic math skills. I teach college-level classes in which lots of math is involved, and I've seen kids use a calculator to add 50 to 50.

Re:not only does it stifle creativity, but.. (5, Funny)

MathJMendl (144298) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997942)

I've seen kids use a calculator to add 50 to 50.
Nah, I'd have to say that the stuff about calculators ruining people's math abilities is a bunch of hype. I mean, I don't have my TI-89 with its Computer Algebra System on me, but it doesn't take a calculator to tell me the answer to that is 200.

Re:*stifles* creativity?? (4, Informative)

npietraniec (519210) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997991)

a game by the creators of Myst that let you explore worlds)!

There's a real world out there that's more fantastic than any imaginary world that some computer nerd dreamed up. Children need to be socialized - yes, sitting in front of a computer stifles creativity.

Re:*stifles* creativity?? (2, Insightful)

zaffir (546764) | more than 12 years ago | (#2998017)

I don't know about you, but i wasn't allowed to cross the street without an adult when i was in 1st grade. I don't think my parents would have let me explore the world.

Oregon at it again (-1, Troll)

spudwiser (124577) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997845)

The Religious Reich seems to be at it again. Oregon and Washington have been notoriously right-wing. This sounds like something that is going to be pushed by the same Focus on the Family thugs that say that school breakfast should be cancelled so that kids are home more with mom. Of course they don't want technology in the schools. The Internet is a haven of Devil Worship and eroticism! Of course, under a list of possible devil worshippers, Fallwell lists John Denver among others. Fun, huh?

Re:Oregon at it again (2, Insightful)

questionlp (58365) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997859)

If Oregon is so right-wing, then how do you explain that we not only have a law that legalizes medicinal "Mary Jane" but also legalized assisted suicide? Both of those laws don't seem quite so extreme right-winged to me. (Yes, I'm an Oregonian!)

Re:Oregon at it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2998015)

Not of course that Oregonians can take advantage of the assisted suicide law anymore, since one of the ONLY non-terror related domestic issues John Ashcroft has addressed since September 11th was delivered as a threat directed to all doctors in Oregon saying that he'd prosecute anyone who tried to utilize the law.

And when did Oregon become "tech land"? The tech market sucks compared to most other West Coast cities. Intel and NetIQ does not a tech market make!

Re:Oregon at it again (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997894)

Oregon and Washington have been notoriously right-wing

Yeah, I bet Gore won in Oregon because of all that "right-wing" support. The Portland-metropolitan area, of which Hillsboro is part, is the most liberal part of the state.

Re:Oregon at it again (1)

questionlp (58365) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997911)

And I'm glad to be part of it :)

Re:Oregon at it again (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997902)

Washington right-wing? What are you smokin', dude? We have a far-left democratic governor and Attorney General, the Seattle city council didn't go to the Democratic convention 'cuz most of them were for Nader; we have two democratic senators (including the spam queen Maria Cantwell of real audio fame), and a congressman (Jim McDermott) who was the one who turned the Newt cell-phone tape over to the NY Times.

If that's right-wing to you, then I'm pretty concerned about who you'd consider left.

Re:Oregon at it again (0)

gnarled (411192) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997909)

Yes all those right-wing christian fundamentalists that work at Intel......

Oregon is left-wing liberal (2, Informative)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997939)

Wow, only someone has been to the Northwest would ever say Oregon is right-wing. Oregon is as far left as it gets. Marijuana is legal. Reed College's motto is "Communism, Atheism and Freelove". This is the state that has ELF, the Earth Liberation Front, environmental terrorists. Socialists thrive there.

Re:Oregon is left-wing liberal (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 12 years ago | (#2998004)

Yes, this is better than Kansas, but still by far not left enough. Even Reed College, with their admirable motto, is filling up with money grubbers and future CEOs, guys who aren't exactly down with the Revolution.

Re:Oregon at it again (2)

s390 (33540) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997951)

Oregon right-wing? What have you been smoking? It was one of the few States that voted heavily for Nader in the last Presidential election! Oregon is about as Green and Liberal as you can find. Go find some other State to bash about right-wing oppression and witch-hunts against leftists, ethnicity, drugs, etc. (hint... Texas comes to mind).

Re:Oregon at it again (2)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997958)

It's true that the Northwest is not as left-wing as I would like, but I don't think this sort of initiative could only be speaheaded by the religious right. For example, environmentalists need people to actually go out into nature before they can effectively convince them that it's worth saving. Social reformers would have a much easier time making their case if we would see first hand the sub-third-world poverty and misery in many of our urban ghettos. The people who live there are, overwhelmingly, not on the internet.

Computers have a tendency to cause isolation (many studies have been done on this already), and if this starts at a young age, when the brain needs interpersonal contact to develop, the effect could be devestating.

I know if I had a choice between putting children in a computer-light or a computer-heavy grade school, I would choose the former.

Re:Dude, use the tag (1)

desertfool (21262) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997974)

Use the tag so people get it. They have no clue. If it were Arizona, then maybe it would be serious. You got a lot with this one.....

Re:Oregon at it again (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997984)

The Religious Reich seems to be at it again. Oregon and Washington have been notoriously right-wing.

Wha-a-a-t?? You apparently don't live here. Washington is so left you don't want to stumble or you'll fall off the edge.

Oregon has it's share of rabid bible-thumpers rearing their shaggy heads (flared nostrils and all) these days. But the only state where all public beachland is clothing optional and flower children *still* exist is hardly a a bastion of right-wing fundivity.

Rest assured, Seattle won't be paying attention to this nonsense. We like our computers. Now, I'm off to the country's only sex-positive community center.

Re:Oregon at it again (2)

Qwerpafw (315600) | more than 12 years ago | (#2998018)

Ummm... no.

Oregon and California and Washington (and, in general, the west coast) are the most liberal and accepting part of the US.

And this is not really a right wing or even particularly religious decision. I had the benefit of getting homeschooled and then private-schooled, and didn't have a computer at home until middle school (or junior high school--whatever its called now). It was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. I had to learn how to do math, draw, and so forth, On My Own.

As several other people have pointed out, if you use technology as a crutch from day one, creativity, basic skills, and all other kinds of nice things suffer...

How many people do you know who are great artists who learned everything they know about art from photoshop/maya? I certainly don't know any--maybe some nice illustrators (or "color-inners") but no artists.
Everyone I know who posseses even a modicum of skill developed it by themselves, and, though now computers/technology serves as an invaluable TOOL to them, they could certainly do without it.
It really comes down to the "crutch" point. If you teach a person how to draw, they have acquired a means of self-expression and generally a unique way to convey images (everyone draws slightly differently). If, OTOH, you give a bunch of kids powerpoint clip-art, you end up with bland, sterile reproductions of a general theme.

If you've been anywhere near a classroom recently, and have seen kids' powerpoint presentations, you know exactly what i mean. The tripe that passes for "work" is truly astounding. Basically what kids are doing more and more is just copying stuff from the web, pasting it into powerpoint, and doing shimmering transitions.

We could all do with a bit more creativity. And simplicity.

This makes sense (2, Insightful)

e1en0r (529063) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997848)

I know that ever since I've been using a computer regularly, my math skills have severely suffered. Why do it in your head when there's a calculator on the computer? And i'm sure other skills have too. Sure, my logic has become more advanced, but there's more to education than that. If you start out with a computer to do everything for you, you won't really learn how to do it yourself. Kinda like how they don't start out teaching you how to use a calculator in math class before you learn the manual way.

Re:This makes sense (1, Troll)

juggler314 (556575) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997903)

That is a preposterous attitude. Do you know how to make paper? Probably not but a few thousand years ago you would know, you needed to know cause that was just about the only way to get it. Any advance will make some other knowledge obsolete. I bet you can't make your own clothes, furniture, etc. So lets are stranded on a desert island. Is your lack of math skills or basic survival more important? I'm thinking survival skills and you know what we all lost those centuries ago, except for a select few that go out of their way to join a club or group where they learn them.

Re:This makes sense (2, Informative)

mother_superius (227373) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997929)

For most math, it's better to understand how it works than to understand that the calculator knows - you need to realize how these functions work so you can move on to more complicated things where you will need them.

Knowing how to use a calculator is not the same as knowing math.

Re:This makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997946)

Amen. While knowing how to survive on a desert island may be obsolete, it's kind of ridiculous to say that knowing how to do math without a calculator has gone the way of the dinosaur.

Re:This makes sense (1)

e1en0r (529063) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997995)

Actually, I learned how to make paper in art class, clothes in home economics, and furniture in shop class. And I was only using math as an example. All I was saying was that since schools tend to teach things like math for several years, it's best for the kids to get a basic understanding of it before they rely on computers to do it for them. Also, if I'm stranded on a deserted island, math skills will be a lot more helpful than computer skills.

And regardless of how advanced people get, basic skills like math should never be obsolete. Math is a building block for things like making paper, clothes, furniture, etc.

Re:This makes sense (0)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997944)

Good point. I used to have very good handwriting, and was quite skilled with fountain pens. I attached to a terminal about ten years ago, and nowadays I can barely write my name clearly.

Sure, kids need pooter skills. But they've got to be able to do things manually as well.

My experience... (2)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997851)

I'd like to bring up my experience...

Ok I attended school in a small town in central, NY in the late 80s early 90s(I'm 21 now) where we had all your usual art, music, blah classes to help make you more well rounded. They used to have this computer that they pushed around to whatever teacher wanted it so their 1st and 2nd grade kids could use it to make pictures. In 3rd grade, well that was the shit. Thats when the school decided to have us use paws to learn to type. You had until 5th grade to finish it (a long time, but most people never did). Once finished you could play with carbuilder, bomb, other games that required alittle bit of thinking. This all continued to junior high were we would have computer classes that tought us to program basic and logo. Nothing tough, but enough to spark an interest in people who were well computer oriented. This lasted until 8th grade, where once you got to highschool computer classes dropped off the face of the earth. I think the way they looked at it was, if you weren't already computer literate... they weren't going to help. I know that when I have children sometime in the next 5 years, I'm going to make sure that while they're young (kindergarten, first,2nd grade) they're going to start to learn to type. Once they learn to type, then they should get a basic understanding of using the computer. After that if they wish to persue computers great, if not... well, at least they'll have an idea of how to use it.

Re:My experience... (2)

ocie (6659) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997924)

Sounds familliar. I think computers in later grades would be more useful. Computer 'labs' (as in experiments) could be used in math classes to teach calculus. For example, you could figure out a closed form of a limit and check it numerically by writing a computer program.

I can see the future... (1)

phraktyl (92649) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997852)

All of the people in High School will be required to bring a laptop to every class, because none of them actually learned to use a pen or pencil --- unless, of course, you went to a Private school and learned Graffiti on your PDA...

Re:I can see the future... (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997890)

Hehe... Where I go to college (RPI), we have this "laptop program" of sorts, so everyone had an laptop with them. But, when you really look around the class room, no one actually uses them there. (frankly, when they're used in class it's a poor hack, and all you really need is a machine in your dorm room)

But, people don't actually use them to take notes in class. The old handwritten way prevails. I actually find it quite amusing how it's easier to take technical course notes on paper, but easier to take liberal arts notes on a keyboard. (probably something to do with diagrams and such)

I agree. (5, Interesting)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997853)

By the time we finally learned how to use a computer (in 7th and 8th grade, and we learned BASIC programming on TRS-80s), anything we'd learned was already obsolete. Those of us who already knew computers couldn't care less about what we were "learning" in class, and everyone else just saw no point to it. All it really did was take time away from actually learning real shit. Teaching kids how to use a word processor or "research" things on the Internet gives them no advantage at all over somebody who's spent most of their school life in more creative endeavors.

I'm glad I didn't bother learning how to use a PC until I felt like it.

- A.P.

Re:I agree. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997887)

Sorry, but I have to post this anonymously as I don't want to be moderated off-topic.

Slashdot Commenting Study []

Re:I agree. (1)

Jack_of_Hearts (135367) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997954)

Well...I agree with you to an extent. But by the 7th or 8th grade, the kids should definitely be taught how to search the internet and use it as a reasearch tool. This, however, should not be a major activity, and (i think) should be thrown in for an hour or two - much like how kids are taught to use the library.

Alan Thicke. DEAD. (-1)

Alan_Thicke (553655) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997854)

I just heard the sad news on CBC radio. Comedy actor/writer Alan Thicke was found dead in his home this morning. Even if you never liked his work, you can appreciate what he did for 80's television. Truly a Canadian icon.
He will be missed :(

Show me That Smile (The Growing Pains Theme Song):

Show me that smile again.
Ooh show me that smile.
Don't waste another minute on your crying.
We're nowhere near the end.
We're nowhere near.
The best is ready to begin.

As long as we got each other []
We got the world
Sitting right in our hands.
Baby rain or shine;
All the time.
We got each other
Sharing the laughter and love.

Correction: Alan COX -- not Thicke, COX -- dead. (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997871)

If you're bloody dead, how are you posting this? Bloody idiot. However:

I just heard the sad news on the radio. The #2 kernel hacker ANAL COCKS was found dead in his home this morning. There aren't many details yet, but it appears he died from AUTOEROTIC ASPHYXIATION. Even if you never liked his work, you can appreciate what he did to little boys with his -ac branches of the Linux kernel, and with his MODPROBE. Truly a HOMOSEXUAL LINUX icon. He will be missed. :(

Slashdot (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997856)

...Eh! ...What a pile of SLOP!

Re:Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997998)

Slashdot llicks aand sucks happily dicks or turds

[Reply to This | Parent] []

What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997857)

Schools that abandon reading and writing, because pencil and paper just distract students from the oral tradition?

Computers are narrow windows to the world (2, Interesting)

bobetov (448774) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997858)

It seems to me learning how to do things "the old fashioned way" is how we broaden our minds. A computer is a tool, and a narrow one, for interfacing with and manipulating certain types of information. As much as I love my Athlon 1800+, Photoshop is no substitute for for learning how to paint.

You exercise different parts of your brain doing different things, and much of art and engineering are built on the lessons we learned playing with clay, Lego's and blocks as children. Actually dissecting a frog teaches a hell of a lot more than using an "interactive" multimedia CD on the subject. Doing long-division by hand is the only way to really understand what that division key on the calculator really does.

Let's keep it real, folks. :-) That being said, typing classes should be mandated by law. Heheh.

Re:Computers are narrow windows to the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997932)

ally dissecting a frog teaches a hell of a lot more than using an "interactive" multimedia CD
anyone actually dissecting a frog should be shot, and dissected them-selfs.

Re:Computers are narrow windows to the world (1)

bobetov (448774) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997975)

Tell me how you really feel? :-) Ok, pick a less gruesome example then. I'm not a big fan myself. How about, "really going to see art in a museum teaches a hell of a lot more..."

couldn't agree more (1)

seinman (463076) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997863)

I totally agree with the idea that computers only lessen a student's creativity. When I was in 6th grade, if we had to do a project, not only did we have to research the subject, but create a poster as well. By cutting out pictures and gluing them on. My brother, who's in 6th grade now, just did a power point for a project. Sure, he still had to do all the research, but he didn't design anything. He just used a template.

Computers may make things easier, but there are some things that they just shouldn't be used for in elementary school.

golly gee (0, Flamebait)

llamalicious (448215) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997864)

dem dere komputers gonna put the sin of satan in you Boy!
Now pick up that pitchfork an' git back out to tha field b'fore you makes me unleash an asswhoopin on yer fancy-shmancy komputer usin' arse.

Yay, let's not embrace technology. Shun it! For it is bad!!

Sure, you don't have to teach your child how to use a railgun before they can spell gibs... but c'mon, don't tell me you can't see the benefit of exposing youngsters to computers early on.

I said "computers", not "pr0n". Repeat, "computers", like "mag-ma"...

I agree. (2, Informative) (142825) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997867)

How many times have you run into cashiers, tellers, etc. who need computers or calculators to be able to do math?

Learn the basics first. The computer should suplement, not replace.

Familiarity Breeds Contempt (5, Interesting)

GlobalEcho (26240) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997870)

I've noticed that the more a parent spends time with computers, the less important they think it is for their children to use one.

As a parent who spends all day on the computer, I feel they are nearly useless as teaching aids (except for programming, naturally). That's particularly true for small children.

People who don't spend time with computers tend to (it seems) mystify them. Perhaps they think there's some profound skill in moving a mouse around.


Re:Familiarity Breeds Contempt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997910)

Sorry, but I have to post this anonymously as I don't want to be moderated off-topic.

Slashdot Commenting Study []

Re:Familiarity Breeds Contempt (2)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997937)

Yes, it makes more sense to use a computer as an assistance to learning, but I don't think it should be the primary tool for learning.

IANAChild Psychologist, but I think that there are many important skills that you need to learn that a computer cannot teach you/help you with, such as creativity, imagination, etc. Sure you can use some paint program or whatever, but it is very different to create something on paper with finger paints than it is to move a mouse around then print it out.

Besides, the kids don't get to eat glue if you only teach them using a computer. I don't think we were exposed to computers at school until maybe 2nd or 3rd grade (I'm a junior in college now), and even then it was just simple learning supplement programs on a black and green screen apple of some kind. I think my home computer ruled compared to what we had at school =]

I agree (1)

lowtekneq (469145) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997872)

I agree. Computers shouldn't be part of school for your average kindergardener, but they school be used somewhat in elementary school. We live in a world of computers so our children school be cofortable around them. Im in the 8th grade at a school with a wireless lan and a T1 (wireless for laptops that the school has in carts for each building/floor). At my point and more in the grades above me, computers are needed to write papers and what not. But before that they are worse then usless at times. A few years ago a teacher of mine decided to do a little teaching on computers. He told the class that the "computer" (box, machine, whatever) was the CPU, and explained other stuff completly wrong, luckly i knew better. Yet this year our admin is doing an A+ class for middle school and highschool. What it comes down to is, no puter until your need it.

Think About It (1)

Ashcrow (469400) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997877)

Crayons (sp?) are an invention. So is the idea of the coloring book. Before all that what kids do at school/for fun? I don't think taking the newest technology away from kids is a good idea, but it shouldn't be their only outlet for creativity.

I remember when my school got Apple ]['s and we all had to start learning how to type and program in BASIC. I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Given, I was in 3rd grade, but it was more rewarding than coloring, running around, doing algebra homework, etc...

Re:Think About It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997987)

you did algebra in 3rd grade, huh? impressive.

applies to even younger kids too... (2, Insightful)

ekephart (256467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997879)

I'm a little frightened for young kids today. I know too many parents who will buy a beeping thing with buttons before they throw a ball back and forth with their child or at least supply Legos. Even "educational" games and television programming will drain you if its ALL you do. I'm almost 22; thank god I grew up before most of all these beeping gadgets were on the market.

Already Exposed (2, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997881)

The kids of these Intel workers probably get lots of exposure to technology at home. Perhaps they feel that the schools are mearly teaching their kids to use computers rather than learning with them, kind of redundant if the kinds are already experienced with technology. They probably feel the need to ensure that their kids can write essays and do research without computers rather than locking them into this medium for life.

The Oregonian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997889)

The Oregonian is staffed by a bunch of republicans.

Re:The Oregonian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997926)

Then why did they endorse Gore? Wake up and take a look at their editorial page, man!

Re:The Oregonian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997933)

Everyone who isnt republican should burn in hell...democrats rule, dude! lets be a democratic dude because its the cool thing to doooo duuuude!!!

[Reply to this] [Parent] []

Keep those tools away until they get creative! (1)

RedOregon (161027) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997891)

By gawd, we damn well better keep them damn tools away from those kids until they can larn creativity on their own! If they use pens instead of good 'ol charcoal, how they ever gonna larn to wash their hands? If they ride that there dern schoolbus instead of walking uphill thru the snow 5 mile both ways, barefoot, with barbed wire wrapped 'twixt their toes fer traction, how they ever gonna larn the value of hard work??

**note to the humor-impaired: this is sarcasm.**

BTW: I grew up in southern Oregon.... they're not *all* bumpkins. I still remember, appreciate, and respect my 6th grade science teacher; Richard Bagley was one of the bright spots in my childhood.

Re:Keep those tools away until they get creative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997977)

BTW: I grew up in southern Oregon.... they're not *all* bumpkins.

The ones that work at Intel sure aren't. I now have my doubts about southern Oregonians though.

Importance of Creativity (1)

Zipster (555990) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997896)

I think the foks there have finally grasped the one important thing in a childs development. It is vital to develop a sense of self and also to learn to interact with others.

Now don't get me wrong, I love sitting at my keyboard every chance I get, but for a child I feel it is more important that they develop they're interpersonnel skills (ack, too many PR meetings I think).

When I think back to my childhood, I don't wistfully reminisce about playing my first game of Asteroids on a 2600 but I do remember climbing a tree with my friends.

Thats what primary school should be about, then drop them into writing code in high school.

Yeah!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997900)

I have a 2.89, and if I didnt spend all my damn time on the computer, I would have a 4.0!

Well, back to my homework....I have to try this year

Re:Yeah!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2998020)

HP calculators rule!!! CASIO calculators SUCK!!!!!!!!

Calculators for Basic Mathematics (1)

chrisgon (101310) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997905)

While I don't really agree with delaying computer usage until high school, I can certainly understand a backlash against techno-overkill.

Take calculators for example. I was exposed to calculators but was NEVER allowed to use them for homework until advanced math in high school - long after I had learned basic math. Now, I see my 3rd grace niece using a calculator given to her by the school for her homework and tests. When I ask her if they teach her the multiplication tables, she says "we just use the calculator".

What a gross misuse of technology! The kids need to learn basic math so symbolic algebra makes sense, so trigonometry makes sense, so calculus makes sense... etc.

Without a solid foundation, things later on will be much more difficult to learn.

I think the school in Oregon had this very thing in mind in limiting computer exposure, but they also need to remember that a lot of people who never received any exposure to computers until late in high school are also suffering in the job market.

dont forget that.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997906)

High Times has confirmed: Linux sucks.

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered linux community when recently HighTimes confirmed that linux accounts for less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of the latest HighTimes survey which plainly states that linux has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. linux is collapsing in complete disarray, as further exemplified by failing dead last [] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

LInux is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers.

Due to the troubles of redhat/mandrake, abysmal sales and so on,linux went out of business and was taken over by RedSplat who sell another troubled OS. Now SUSE is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another Whore house.

All major surveys show that linux has steadily declined in market share. linux is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If linuxxx is to survive at all it will be among OS hobbyist dabblers. linux continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, linux is dead.

Fact: Linux is for homosexuals,
and slashdot is for sickos

Develop humanity first (1)

heretic108 (454817) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997907)

As a former software engineer, and now a counsellor helping people to resolve childhood issues, I feel that the very first years of education should be devoted to helping children develop their humanity.

Time after time I've seen the permanent foundations of human character being laid in the first 5 years of life, even by the events surrounding birth.

In this early time, it's crucial that young people learn to:
* interact with the real world
* acnowledge the full spectrum of human emotion
* relate meaningfully with other people
* distinguish at depth between people and objects
* nurture their faculties of creativity and imagination

While computers have come a long way in recent decades, they still lean heavily on the left-brain, and encourage their users (particularly children) to 'objectify' other people in their lives. Yes, there are nerds/dorks (as opposed to 'geeks' - humans with technical expertise), and many of these nerds/dorks got introduced to technology later in their childhood. But is this something we want to exacerbate by exposing people to technology even earlier?

One of these days, it's possible that computers may achieve genuine sentience, but in the meantime, I feel strongly that children should only be introduced to computers once they've mastered basic human and cognitive skills, and can recognise a computer as just a tool, instead of jumping into it as a reality in itself.

So you're really... (1)

owlmeat (197799) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997930)

Jon Katz?

Really, this is quite true (2, Interesting)

parliboy (233658) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997913)

I spent my "formidable years" in small religious private schools of varying quality. The one consistency amongst them was the shunning-upon of calculators and other such aides. The forced development of street math and the fast thinking that comes with it carried over very well to other parts of my life.

Here here! (5, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997919)

The voices of wisdom speak!

I am a father of 5, and we home-school the children. At first, we thought that having all the computers around the house (I am a freelance programmer) along with educational videos would allow us to accelerate their progress - boy were we wrong.

Educational games do little more than encourage the kid to click on stuff randomly. They couldn't remember what they saw in a video 20 minutes after seeing it. And they lived their day around TV shows and video games... nothing much happening.

But, after we mandated "No TV - No computer games" - we saw stunning improvements! Suddenly they took an interest in their environment. We saw sharp improvements in their creativity and curiosity. They also behave MUCH better towards each other - much less aggression and infighting. Additionally, they took/take a much greater interest in reading, music (other than top 40s), etc.

Since then, we've done some research, to find that children's psychological development reaches a real understanding of abstract concepts beginning at around age 12-14.

To expose kids to abstracts, (such as the images on a TV Screen or computer) rather than "real" things (like play-dough, the sand pit, Legos) etc, deprives them of basic understanding of these "real" things then making it more difficult to understand abstracts later.

So, despite my very strong tech background, I do not feel that computers and "technology" should be introduced to kids until at least Jr. high.


Idunno... (1)

AKA da JET (280057) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997925)

My school is still on 68k macs, and the students seem to get frustrated with them. Everytime we have to goto the computer lab you hear alot of people saying "I hate computers" because office 98 keeps running out of memory. Not to mention the whole school shares an ISDN line which is slow, and on top of that we have this damn filter that says "Bess can't go there" on most sites. Raising kids on these things will probably turn them off to technology. :-P

I dont know about you all (1)

dknight (202308) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997931)

But the first toy my kids get, when the time comes, will be a computer. I started on them when I was probably 5 or 6, and got my own when I was 8. Frankly, I wish I had been more exposed to them when I was younger. Technology seems to me to be the future. Granted, it cant replace things like math or art classes, but it certainly shouldnt be phased out either. I might shift the focus a bit more towards their use than is done now, but I wouldnt make it entirely computerized. There is something to be said for doing SOME things the old fasioned way.

Computers are Amplifiers (1)

puetzc (131221) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997935)

From the article: "Conventional wisdom holds that children can only benefit from exposure to technology, and research shows that when the machines supplement an already strong curriculum, they can be an effective educational tool."

My children have attended a "lab school", run by a University as an extension of the College of Education. Because of the association with the university, the school has had excellent access to computers. The results have been poor. Teachers have abandoned traditional teaching methods and responsibilities in favor of "technology." The result is elementary students who cannot add, write or spell, but who can prepare PowerPoint presentations about nothing. The combination of computers and a weak program is a weak program. The combination of computers and a strong program is a strong program. The computer makes little or no difference, the program is everything.

Like most tools, a computer amplifies the skills of the user. Educated users with something to say or do can say or do it more quickly and with better results. Those without remain without. The skills needed for an average, non technical user can and will be mastered quickly when the time comes. The use of computers before that time is wasted, and detracts from the basic skills that must be mastered first!

Computers are only a tool (3)

joshv (13017) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997936)

Ok, computers used to be a great motivational tool, because they were a novelty. Kids would use them because they were new and cool. Well, wake up folks, its a new century and just about everyone who wants one can have one at home. Most kids (even poor kids) grow up with one now. It's nothing new, and just because you put your stupid flashcards on a computer doesn't mean Johnie is going to want to learn.

The novelty of computers has worn off, there is no magic bullet here. Teaching is all about the basics. Lets face it, some things are hard to learn, and even harder to teach, and no computer is going to take the place of a trained and creative human being.

School districts that waste tax dollar buying laptops for every student pain me no end. These are teaching tools, no more, no less, and there is no value in a 1-1 computer student ratio, anymore than there is value in a 1-1 blackboard to student ratio.

Certainly computer skills should be taught, just like reading skills, math skills and arts are taught. But there is no value to allowing computers to encroach on other subject matters, no value in allowing computers to be the delivery mechanism for all information. A learning and research tool, no doubt, but the end all and be of education they are not.


(Over)exposure (2)

mlknowle (175506) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997938)

The whole point is not that we should 'ban' computers, but they should be regulated to a role - just one skill. Computers should be a -component- of education - like art, music, etc... Certainly, it is crucial to have exposure to things 'off screen,' but it is equally important to be familiar and comfortable with computers

My ideal situation: hands on (one machine per kid) twice a week for about 3/4ths of an hour for K-3rd grade, typing and lego programming in 4-5, and use of comps for programming, research and word processing during 'free time' (and programming / literacy classes) in 6th grade untill high school

Misses the main problem... (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997941)

What makes the most difference in a child's education is a GOOD teacher, not a machine. This is just one more instance of society expecting a machine to do the work that people are supposed to do, just like the stupid parents who leave their kids in a store watching Barney and friends instead of arrange appropriate supervision. Anyone with a good technical background usually makes twice what a teacher makes (although in this economy that might not quite be true), but no sane person would go into teaching in the current environment...too much hassle with too little pay. And don't start with the "vacation" thing. Try teaching for a while before you even start with that--it is NOT as easy as it looks. Computers are great teaching TOOLS, but I think when our politicians clamor for "a computer in every classroom" they don't have their priorities straight.

Waldorf Schools (1)

dankow (462225) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997947)

Somewhat related, but a little bit more extreme, is the concept of Waldorf Schools. Coincidentally, there was an article in today's Daily Camera about Waldorf schools in the Boulder, CO area. 2p waldo.html

Research? (2)

mlknowle (175506) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997953)

It seems quite stupid to teach kids research skills without computers! Sure, the library is important, but the computer makes using the library more productive.

Moreover, the internet is, realistically, a critical component of *any* reserach these days!

Ignorance is strength? (1)

Adolatra (557735) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997957)

As someone who has had the good fortune to rise up almost entirely in a school system where computers were integrated into the learning experience, I can hardly believe this rationale.

The computer is merely a tool, people. Doodling on MS Paint will no more hamper a child from developing artistic skills than stenciling with a Spirograph. For example, computers can help teach students about color, form, and layout far more easily than pen-and-ink. Computers encourage children who may just not have the physical dexterity yet to "color in the lines" to develop and appreciate any art gift they might have.

Sure, in sixth grade, we mainly played Out Of This World on the math class's computer after we finished our homework (Which, by the way, usually provided ample incentive to develop math skills so one was insured of receiving a turn). But once the bell rang for the end of class we went out and played freeze tag or touch football as well. It's perfectly possible for computers to coexist with what we would like to think of as a "normal" educational experience.

Plus, we cannot ignore the fact that the world itself is becoming more and more computer-oriented. Children should be made to feel comfortable with machines. That's why it's so great that my little sister has to help my parents with their computer problems, or how to operate MS Word. As we revolutionize the way we create, control, and communicate our lives, the next generation is assimilating the computer in the same way pervious generations assimilated the horseless carriage, or the television.

Sure, any thing that makes learning easier has its drawbacks. But you cannot dim the star of technology because a few people might be either too lazy to adapt to the new technology, or too weak to avoid growing overly dependent on it.

The times are a-changin', and the last thing we need is to shortchange our children by holding one of the best educational tools ever invented back from them.

Schools just plain suck, computers or not (1)

TastesLikeChicken (54530) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997960)

Creativity? Parents are worried about thier children being creative?? Creativity in our society is a punishable offense. Creativity (at least in the artistic sense that seems to be referenced here) is a curse. How many people reading this wish they were art majors instead of computer science (zero, because another name for art major is unemployable). Our school system is still in the 19th century, it is still used to create pavlovian obedience to the bell so we can have good factory workers (even though there is no factory work to be had). Logic skills, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, these are what children need to learn, and computers are a fine way to do it (at least in the abstract). If the school has a better way to teach those youngsters problem solving skills, great, but if they're going to teach them to finger paint, forget it.

I wonder... (1)

Nighttime (231023) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997963)

... if the main reason behind the Intel parents decision is that their children may be exposed to computers containing AMD chips. :)

Purpose of Education and Computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2997967)

We have to remember what education is for and what computers are for.

The purpose of education is to teach us to think clearly, quickly, and effectively. An education should be about the synthesis of ideas from many sources into a framework that eventually gets called "understanding". The purpose of computers is to support thinking. Computers don't create thought, they respond to thought. They are tools, useful for expressing the understanding the education brought us.

This distinction is an important one, because computers applied without thought lead to all sorts of problems:

  • insecure systems,
  • DMCA,
  • Spam,
  • pointless arguments over who can own ideas,
  • Microsoft....

We need both. Education cannot replace computer technology, nor can computers in the classroom replace real education, but if I had to choose, I would choose a good classical (low-technology) education over a room full of networked PCs.

Why extremes? (1)

Yoda2 (522522) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997970)

I'll keep this short - everything in moderation.

I totally agree (5, Insightful)

SevenTowers (525361) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997976)

My parents did not want me fooling around on their computer becaus my dad felt I'd screw it up real bad (because he didn't know much about computers). My dad also refused to let me access the net cause he felt all I'd do was check out some pr0n. Well, when I finally got the money (17 years old) I bought my computer and internet access. I'd already been around on BBSs so I thought I new some... Oh shit was I wrong! Nowadays I compare myself to some of my friends and I have to say that I estimate the age for learning about computers to be around 13-14 years old. Later than that and you've got a hell of a lot to catch up.

Creativity is VERY important and I totally agree that a young kid should stay the hell away from computers, especially that every program I see being designed for kids is usualy idiotic anyway compared to what caring parents can provide.

just my .02$

When a computer in the classroom makes sense (2)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2997992)

Outside of obvious ones, such as learning a specific computer skill, there are a few cases where I would argue students can benefit from having a computer in the classroom.

When I took physics in high school, the school had just acquired a number of laptops and different types of electric devices for measuring forces, distances, etc.

Using some program on the computer, we were able to obtain very accurate measurements of acceleration, force changes, etc. compared to time and what not. Without the computers we would have had to have used various rules and stop watches, and hope that we came up with something that was similar to the expected results.

In cases such as these, where computers are used as a supplement to learning, instead of the primary focus, I think that they are very beneficial to the classroom. However, if the computer is doing something that could be done just the same without a computer, I see little need for the computer, and the student would probably be better off without it.

well, good for them. (1, Flamebait)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 12 years ago | (#2998002)

Basically, this is interesting, but it all boils down to doing what they feel is right for their children. That is ok by me. This DOES NOT mean you should do the same with your children, nor does it mean they are severely jaded by computers or anything else.

It was a personal decision for them. Your results may vary.

This isn't really news, in my opinion. It's a family matter, and unless Slashdot has become news for nerd-families, stuff that might matter if you have kids.

From a similar experiment I've read about (5, Interesting)

Theodore Logan (139352) | more than 12 years ago | (#2998005)

Once the dot-com boom was a fact and everybody went ballistic and cried for "IT" scheduled in public schools from an early age, there was conducted an experiment.

Two large groups of school children (and one control group) were chosen. One of these group had massive "IT" training. The other group had massive music training. A year later results clearly showed that the "IT" students had not enhanced their creativity, formal reasoning or anything else of interest. The music students, however, had enhanced creativity, analytical thinking and other areas of significance enormously. They also seemed to get along better with each other, and to be more content with their lives than people in the control group or in the IT group.

Unfortunately, nobody took much notice of this study, although it was huge. Probably because it didn't show the results the politicians wanted it to show. Nowadays there's a lot of "IT" training in elementary schools. I have, however, yet to come across a normal elementary school with an increased number of music lessons.

This was in Sweden, by the way.

Official 9-11 Story Impossible (-1)

Commienst (102745) | more than 12 years ago | (#2998016)

Russian Air Force Chief Says
Official 9-11 Story Impossible

[Posted 13 September 2001]

As one considers the terrible events of Sept. 11 and observes U.S. media reaction, so pervasive and consistently military that it appears choreographed, doubts increase. The following is from, a Russian language Website (politically centrist, nationalist). In some places the English translation is confusing, so we added alternate phrasing in brackets.
- Jared Israel

[Start report from Russia] "Generally it is impossible to carry out an act of terror on the scenario which was used in the USA yesterday." This was said by the commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, Anatoli Kornukov. "We had such facts [i.e., events or incidents] too", - said the general straightforwardly. Kornukov did not specify what happened in Russia and when and to what extent it resembled the events in the US. He did not advise what was the end of air terrorists' attempts either.

But the fact the general said that means a lot. As it turns out the way the terrorists acted in America is not unique. The notification and control system for the air transport in Russia does not allow uncontrolled flights and leads to immediate reaction of the anti-missile defense, Kornukov said. "As soon as something like that happens here, I am reported about that right away and in a minute we are all up," - said the general. [End report from Russia.]

Pasted from: The Emperor's New Clothes []
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