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Lesson Plans

Computers Taking Over

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David Zimmerman (fastedy)
Sat, 6 Dec 1997 13:03:00 -1000

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In response to Elizabeth Reese's letter about computers in the classroom:

I agree that the tasks most suitable for the computer be done on it, but
allowing the computer to take over is a mistake.

A story:
I just got off the phone with the parent of a 9th grader who has failed to
turn in a major assignment made three weeks ago (it will severly impact his
grade this quarter). The kids were to write their logo (designed for an
invented product) in three or four different fonts and arrangments. This
could be done on the computer or by hand as long as the lettering was neat
and uniform. Each of the high school students have their own lap top
provided by the school and this parent told me her son had been unable to
do the assignment because his lap top has been "acting up" and he had to
turn it in twice for repairs.

We discussed at length how the computer had taken over at our school. Kids
no longer seem able to do the simplest assignments without it and in this
case, used it as an excuse not to do his work. Many of the computers are
requiring repairs because the kids forget to turn them off! They often use
them for games and fooling around rather than the intended assignments.

In teaching advertising I have tried to point out to the students how many
graphic art techniques have changed over the past fifteen years due to the
computer. Commercial art work has become easier in many repsects but I
still believe students need to learn the basic skills of measuring,
rendering and lettering without a computer. There is, after all, the
occasional power outage!

Deb Rosenbaum

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