Technology Programming

Programming in oops

While speaking at a conference in Minneapolis earlier this week, I had the opportunity to sit on a speaker panel. Normally, from the panelist's point of view, these are fascinating things, but after having done literally hundreds of them, I admit I'm a little bit jaded. They tend to be the same questions over and over again, to which offering up the same answers over and over again just… well, it tends to grate after a while.

However, this past panel was a bit different, largely because an attendee came up with a question that, while it shouldn't have been new in any way, was. Or maybe it was that this was a question that hadn't been asked in a while. Or perhaps it was simply that he asked it with a different inflection than I had heard before. Regardless, it threw me into a few moments of deep contemplation before I could respond.

That question, as you may have already inferred from the title of this column, was thus: "I'm a new programmer, having moved over after 20 years as a systems guy. What do you wish somebody had taught you back when you were new?"

AP exams...college admissions tests....the dreaded state standardized tests...no matter where you are in America, if you teach high school, you're probably teaching to a test. Almost everything you do in the high school classroom seems to revolve around test success, and much of that means cramming students with equations, dates, concepts, vocabulary, and more.

Is there room for computers in this quest for test success? Are the benefits of technology-infused lessons worth the risks of time away from a traditionally taught curriculum? Education World asked members of its Tech Team, many of whom are high school teachers themselves, what's really happening in high school technology -- and what could be happening with a little knowledge and planning.

CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT

Watch It in Action

Want further proof that you can "tech" in high school?

Check out High Tech High, a network of public charter schools that uses rigorous, tech-infused projects to revolutionize student learning.

John Tiffany, a high school science teacher at Wauseon (Ohio) High School confesses, "So much is demanded of us, with the curriculum being test driven, that there is too much real information to cover." In some ways, Tiffany argues, teaching technology in elective classes is easier, since the curriculum can allow for greater flexibility.

At college preparatory schools, the pressure might be even greater, according to Judy Rutledge, coordinator of educational technology at Tennessee's Memphis University School. She says, "Whether they like to admit it or not, college prep schools often are greatly affected by AP exam scores, SAT test scores, and the

- See more at: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech211.shtml#sthash.II8tfKZq.dpuf


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