The Importance of Technology Education in Schools
The education world has been greatly influenced by rapidly changing technology and the increasing availability of information. Schools have advanced by leaps and bounds when it comes to incorporating technology into the learning environment, however, many more advances need to be made. In all areas of the country, educators are trying to help students keep up with technology, but there are more changes that are essential for preparing the next generation for the future.
By increasing computer usage by students, installing classroom Internet access and providing instructional classes dedicated to software and hardware education, schools have tried to provide an up-to-date education for students. This is all very important, but is it enough? I feel that perhaps this just isn’t going to cut it for the twenty-first century. Michael Eisenberg and Doug Johnson pose the question in the ERIC Digest, “Can the student who operates a computer well enough to play a game, send e-mail, or surf the Web be considered computer literate?”  I believe the answer is yes and no, it depends on whom you are comparing them to. If you are comparing these kids with many adults, then yes they are; however, if you are comparing them to the next younger generation of children that are learning to do these things before they even learn to read, then the answer is a large resounding NO.
Schools need to incorporate technology education into all areas of curriculum. Students need to be able to understand not only the how-to of computers, but they need to understand when to use it, where to use it, and why it should be used. Many students only have a basic working knowledge of computers. With the advancements taking place in today’s world, there will barely be a job in which people do not come into contact with computers. Being proficient in using technology will be a prerequisite for almost any employment for younger students. It is the school’s job to prepare many of these kids for employment, and that is especially true for the lower socioeconomic areas where students with computers at home are rare. Eisenberg and Johnson describe this basic skills education as the “laundry list” approach to computer education. By ‘list” they mean isolated skills, such as word processing, or searching the Internet. “Students need to be able to use computers and other technology flexibly, creatively and purposefully. All learners should be able to recognize what they need to accomplish, determine whether a computer will help them to do so, and then be...