Teaching information technology part 3
A major issue for developing countries to provide computer training in elementary and high school is the lack of qualified teachers. Last year, when I gave a presentation about technology training in an Education conference in Asia, an educator leader told me: “This concept may work in the U.S. but not in our country because we do not have technology teachers or budget for this type of training.” I told him: “Because you do not have technology teachers, there is no reason to teach this subject to your students. And because technology is not a part of your education, you do not need to train teachers on the subject. The fact is you have an excuse for not doing it as long as there is no pressure for doing it. The consequence is you will miss an opportunity to catch up, and soon your country will not be able to compete in this globalized world. Not having qualified teachers or not training technology teachers is NOT an excuse for deferring a technology education program that is urgently needed for your country.”
Today, no country can stay idle in this highly competitive world. It is not the question whether to change or not, but how fast can you change. All students must be educated in technology because there is high demand for people with these skills, and every society needs technology to improve the economy. If the public schools do not do that, private schools should as all students need these skills to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.
Currently, there are many online training programs available for students at any age to learn about technology. The fastest way is to adopt these training courses and train more technology teachers, so they can teach this subject in the same way as they teach mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc., Teachers training should be the priority as any improvement in education must start with the teachers. Many technology companies understand the difficulties of developing countries, and they are willing to help. For example, Microsoft has put several training packages online for teachers to use: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/digital-skills/resources
For elementary and high school, I recommend Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/
The training materials and opportunities are available now, but the question is: How many are readied to take advantage of that?
- Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University