17 October 2009

Computer Science Education in the Montessori Classroom

I gave a "Computer Science Education in the Montessori Classroom" workshop at the American Montessori Society (AMS) Fall conference yesterday.

The workshop description that we submitted (oh so many months ago) was:
How can we better prepare our children for life in a high-technology society? How early should we teach them computer and pre-programming skills? How can we integrate computer science education into Montessori classrooms? This presentation of Montessori-friendly and age-appropriate activities will include stand-alone activities and extensions to existing classroom curricula as well as a take-home list of some useful online resources for teachers.
Looking back at this, it sounds sufficiently vague that I probably could have talked about anything as long as I mentioned computers every so often.

The following would perhaps have been a better overview:
Why aren't we teaching pre-programming skills (binary, boolean logic, transistors) to our children during elementary school? Why don't we teach students how computers actually work instead of simply how to use them? In this workshop, we will show (1) how computers work and (2) how you can teach these concepts to your elementary/middle school classroom.
A part of me wants to say something more confrontational like "how we're failing our students by not providing a solid understanding of computer technology", but I'll resist the urge and hold off on that rant (until another time perhaps ^_^).

I'll be posting the slides here once I get a chance to upload them.

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