“Be brave, use the new technology, because it’s going to change our lives so much.” These were Steve Wozniak’s words of advice to educators and students this past week. The co-founder of Apple spoke last week in Abilene, TX at Abilene Christian University’s Connected Summit about his views on education and technology. Technology and computers are more present than ever in our classrooms now with interactive whiteboards and laptops becoming more of the norm, but Steve Wozniak feels that we need to make technology in teaching more effective on younger students.
“By third grade, teachers can pick out the kids that have given up,” said Wozniak. “Students get discouraged, and then never try to excel in later grades. First-, second-, and third-graders need more attention than they are getting.” He said that the way schools are regimented into teaching leads to judgment early on, and if kids feel like they are a “failure” early on, they’ll adopt the attitude of not trying anymore. Wozniak has experience in teaching as he volunteered in San Jose teaching fifth-graders computer skills and programming. Not a bad teacher to learn from, as Woz helped build the Apple I all those years ago. “It wasn’t important what I taught, but how I taught it, “ Wozniak said. He credits his title as a volunteer that let him stray outside the boundaries of a curriculum and experiment with teaching styles
“It seems like this change should have happened already. Like the iPad, you should be able to toss your backpack and just have all your books on it. But we’re not quite there yet. The cost has to be less. Publishers don’t necessarily have to profit less, but the costs should be less.” About eventually replacing textbooks and paper and replacing it all with digitized versions, Wozniak isn’t sure about its future either but just says that 20 years from now, they will be very different.
[via Ars Technica]