It's About Literacy
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
School is starting back up, and that means a return of one of the
favorite questions educators hear:
“When will I ever actually use
a great shut-down rhetorical question. It’s “I don’t want to” and “Do I
really?” and “You’re doing this to make things difficult for me for no
reason.” Teachers sometimes answer, but their replies are rarely
satisfying. It’s like there’s no great answer to this question.
There is no great answer to
We can guess at ways students might use what they’re learning, but
it’s practically impossible to guess right since students don’t
know what they want to do.
That’s fine. Plenty of adults don’t either, or (put another way)
they’re willing to do something new. When the thing you’re learning and
the thing you want to do seem disconnected, it’s hard to imagine that
you’re learning something useful.
It’s what you know & how you
isn’t just about facts. It’s also about ways of thinking. I can learn a
simple Excel formula that in itself isn’t very powerful. But when I
also learn about the kinds of problems formulas can solve, I might find
it useful in ways I hadn’t anticipated.
That’s literacy. Get literate in a subject matter,
and all sorts of doors can open for you. Here’s a great article
thinking and how literacy in computer science extends a lot
further than programming languages.
What will you learn next?
great way to connect with patrons is to learn about something that they
care about. By building common ground, you open conversations that can
head in unexpected directions. Even if the conversation starts with
Minecraft. Or loom bands. Or selfies.
- Nathan Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator
Program Workshop: What will you learn?
An important component of SWON's SRP workshops is the Idea
at the end. We go around the room and give each participant time to
lead the discussion. Sometimes they share a specific program--sometimes
they even bring props! Sometimes they ask a question. And sometimes they
speak in broader terms about a partnership they've built or a strategy
they've tried or a resource they've found.
We don't know how
you'll use what your learn at the SRP Workshop, but there will be lots
to choose from. Join us September 22nd! Register