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  1. #291
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    My son's school made this huge deal of the interactive boards on our visit, must admit I didn't get it. I was far more impressed with the way the teachers taught them words on cards and placed on a board. Still, if it gets the kids interested, can't be a bad thing.

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    I don't think anyone disagrees 4 that basic spelling reading and maths are paramount. In our school we still concentrate primarily on those skills. But having computers and a smart board doesn't automatically mean a child can't spell. It just means computer skills are added to their knowledge base.

    I was in primary in the 80's and I remember my parents being mortified about the use of calculators for the more complex stuff like pye. We didn't use calculators when I was a kid and I can multiply and subtract my father said lol yet here I am, maths not being my forte but still being able to handle basic numeracy without a calculator in my everyday life. I see technology as no different. Children are still taught to read with home readers, they have words sent home as homework every week and a spelling test once a week. My DD was tested to have a speeling level of 4 years above her.... yet she is very capable on the computer...

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    Not sure why you have said what you did about fundamental differences?

    Please show me where I have said that spelling isn't important. All I said is I'm not going to judge someone if they spell a word wrong. Recently, I was on the panel as the teacher representative for the principal's job at my school. One application had the word "sort" written instead of "sought" and I was a little shocked, but applicants had to be marked against the criteria, not on their spelling abilities.

    Being able to construct a sentence properly and spell words correctly are 2 completely different things.

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    I also think some pretty big assumptions/generalisations have been made.

    That all schools wasted money on gyms, and that all you need to know about computers is to use a mouse.

    Oh, and that teachers don't spend enough time on spelling, and if kids find spelling boring, you mustn't be a good teacher!

    And I wasn't the one who referred to "another nastier thread" implying that this one is also.
    Last edited by BigRedV; 23-04-2012 at 05:57.

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    You have misunderstood so much of what I said. If I have time later I'll get back on to explain.

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    Ok just to change tack a little, I wanted to personally thank all of you for the fascinating debate and broad range of views in this thread. The reason I originally started it was to get more information about families who use private schools, and the way the thread has gone has given me more than I could have hoped for. It has actually (along with other research) helped make up our minds about which school our dd will go to next year, or more accurately, which one she won't lol.
    We are now determined that she will get a low cost secondary education, at either our local public high or a low fee catholic school, both of which have adequate results but nothing spectacular. What they do have, hopefully though, is a broad range of students, great subject choices, and pastoral care structures which support the kids to be what they want to be and get where they want to go. And really in a school what more can we hope for?
    Thanks again everyone.
    ps. Please continue the debate, it is awesome. And for the most part has been positive and friendly, which is pretty cool for a thirty page thread.
    pps. Any spelling mistakes I am blaming on my iPad!!!

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    lambjam is offline Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
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    When it comes to computers, think of them like a language. They're either your first language or a language you learn later. We know that the many children who have grown up with computer skills ingrained in them as their "native language" relate to them differently than those who don't.

    I'm 34 and my computer skills are very high, but it's not the same as those children and young adults who have never known any different.

    To be less computer literate than another child is to be placed at an enormous disadvantage. I don't see why the issue of spelling needs to come into it; my children certainly learn both.

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    Digital natives

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    Quote Originally Posted by lambjam View Post
    When it comes to computers, think of them like a language. They're either your first language or a language you learn later. We know that the many children who have grown up with computer skills ingrained in them as their "native language" relate to them differently than those who don't.

    I'm 34 and my computer skills are very high, but it's not the same as those children and young adults who have never known any different.

    To be less computer literate than another child is to be placed at an enormous disadvantage. I don't see why the issue of spelling needs to come into it; my children certainly learn both.
    that's an interesting way of looking at it lambjam, I hadn't thought of computer skills like that.
    I brought up the issue of literacy as it is clear that many children (especially in disadvantaged areas) just don't know how to read or write, even when they go on to high school. My father tutors children from these areas and they seriously can't even read at a 6yo level. These kids are 10-12 years old. Yet they have smart boards and computers a plenty at the school and all of these kids are proficient on fb and email. Just IMO I believe that the focus needs to be on the basics IF the basics are lacking.

    Ok Bigred, firstly I didn't say that ALL schools wasted money on gyms. Maybe I didn't word it correctly but I meant that SOME schools didn't need the money to spend of infrastructure. You know, the schools that you were talking about that already have 3 gyms, 4 ovals etc etc. I meant that some of that money could have gone to schools that really needed it, ie a school that had terrible infrastructure getting double and some schools getting none.

    Secondly, you seem to think I am judging people who can't spell. I don't. i just think literacy (and by that I mean spelling, writing and reading) is a very important life skill. Sorry I assumed you didn't care about spelling from your post about your husband etc
    "My husband can't spell. I don't care. It doesn't make me a better person because I can spell words that he can't. "
    I never said that people who couldn't spell were stupid, or lesser people. Just that when reading a CV I take into account basic literacy skills.

    I wrote about a previous nastier thread implying that this one wasn't nasty. You are right I should have written "a previous nasty thread".

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4underfour View Post
    I brought up the issue of literacy as it is clear that many children (especially in disadvantaged areas) just don't know how to read or write, even when they go on to high school. My father tutors children from these areas and they seriously can't even read at a 6yo level. These kids are 10-12 years old. Yet they have smart boards and computers a plenty at the school and all of these kids are proficient on fb and email. Just IMO I believe that the focus needs to be on the basics IF the basics are lacking.
    Basic reading and writing are the foundations, yes. To learn them within the framework of information literacy is what's now vital.

    Before I left the world of grown-ups and became a SAHM, I was a university librarian specialising in information literacy training. Almost 100% of under-grads were "digital natives", however the post-graduates were another story. Here were very intelligent people, people who had already studied and passed at least one or two degrees and were often highly regarded in their field, yet some of them couldn't even handle a mouse. And before you question this, consider that in many cultures a CEO won't ever touch a computer, his (or her, but I only met men) secretary does everything technical for him. Some overseas students even asked who would be researching and typing their work for them, and were very resistant when they realised we were there to teach them how to do it themselves.

    We were taught to think of them in this way: imagine handwriting an essay with your non-preferred hand, or perhaps even your toes. Could you articulate your thoughts, formulate well structured sentences, or convey your argument if the very mechanics of writing the essay were so challenging and time-consuming? Placing a computer in front of someone who is not entirely comfortable with it is to place an enormous hurdle in between them and the output they're capable of.

    Librarian rant over
    Last edited by lambjam; 23-04-2012 at 08:59.

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