Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ You Turned Out OK?

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Nov 05, 2011

Scott McLeod wrote,

Here's a statement that I'm getting really tired of hearing:

"We didn't have computers when I was in school and I turned out okay. There's no reason why kids today need 'em."

My response is always along these lines:

“You turned out OK? Wait a second…

“The world is badly overpopulated. Poverty and slums are rampant. People are dying in the streets. Wars rage around the planet. Natural resources have been depleted, there are few fish in the ocean, the forests are being destroyed. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. OK…?

“Don’t you think that maybe things could be better? That people could have the means to make for themselves a safe and sustainable world where people don’t starve and wars don’t rage? Don’t you think that maybe what you are calling ‘good enough’ simply doesn’t work for the 21st century?

“The fact is, we need to do so much better. Our students today need to know a lot more than just the basics. They need to be literate, they need mathematical and financial acumen, they need to understand logic and computation, they need to comprehend science and engineering. They need these things, not just to do their jobs, but to be responsible citizens, to vote responsibility, to participate in their communities.

“You didn’t have computers in schools when you were a kid and look how the world turned out. We don’t get to make those mistakes a second time. We need to get it right, now. That’s why we need computers in schools.”

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

Copyright 2024
Last Updated: Jul 16, 2024 07:33 a.m.

Canadian Flag Creative Commons License.