Friday, March 25, 2005

Are we on the wrong track?

Got this article from someone...

A recent research from one of the largest study of its kind, published by the Royal Economics Society claims that "computer use in schools does not seem to contribute substantially to students' learning of basic skills such as maths or reading." Thomas Fuchs and Ludger Wossmann of Munich University, reported that the more pupils used computers, the worse they performed. Rather, pupils make more progress in 3Rs without the aid of computers. And just in case you are wondering.. the 3Rs refers to Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic

Now.. given that libraries are in the business of the 3Rs... at least very much involved in the first big "R" for Reading.. should we then be concentrating on establishing the basics first before going into information literacy? i wonder then how competent are kids' reading skills before they embark onto computers?

i had had so many encounters with kids who are unable to sign up for the computer services at our public terminals. My question is .. are they unable to read and thus unable to comprehend the instructions.. or is our website that crappy... i believe it is both.. but then.. i highly suspect that kids nowadays don't have the patience to read. Instant's the "i'll just try until something happens" attitude... if push doesn't work.. i'll just pull... no need to read instructions first.

Sometimes i can't help but to compare the kids in the library with my own nephew (he's 7, just in case you are wondering)... i believe that alot come from nurturing... but it's also a whole lot of little things that one can do despite of all the distractions around. A lot depends whether parents or caregivers take the effort to expose or teach their kid. i believe that every effort helps.

Like any normal kid.. my nephew loves his television... he's like a zombie in front of the television.. but since he was young.. whenever he's watching dvds.. i'd switch on the subtitles for him to read.. i figured no harm.. just try to get him to look at some words.. and maybe he'd gain some word recognition down the road. Anyway.. one day... while i was watching a *ahem* pirated Incredibles with him (that was before the licensed dvd came out.. and FYI, i bought the wide-screen collector's edition once it came out)... he turned around and asked me, " What is the meaning of duplicate?" At that point in time.. the screen on the tv was flashing a huge DO NOT DUPLICATE!

i was flabbergasted..

first reaction was.. my god.. i shouldn't have bought a pirated dvd and corrupted him with it.. he'd think that i'm a terrible aunt for partaking in criminal activities..

second was.. how do i tell him that i didn't do anything wrong.. or that rather.. it was wrong to be duplicating the dvd.. try copyright laws and stuff

third was.. how do i explain to him wat duplicate means..

and fourth was... AH!!!.. i can now get him his own dictionary and teach him how to look up meaning of words by himself.

And i got out the dictionary and show him wat the word is.. and how he could look it up himself the next time he didn't know a word... of cos i had to add in the thing... it is a criminal offense to be making copies or copying the dvd. Make sure that you never do that... err.. i left out the part if we should or shouldn't be buying and watching pirated dvds... hee hee hee ..

The very next day, i went to the bookstore and got him his own dictionary...

Can't say that he uses the dictionary much... the last time round i checked... he said that it was difficult to use... and hasn't tried to look up much words... hrrmmpp... my consolation is that at least he knows what a dictionary is for... just get his mum/dad to guide him along now.

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