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Re: [seul-edu] Looking for math curriculum

As an inner-city middle school teacher, I completely relate to Dave's point 
of view.  I managed to put nine computers in my classroom running linux with 
donations and a few hundred dollars out of my pocket.  In this first year, I 
haven't done anything fantastic and revolutionary with them, but it is 
something I can offer my kids beyond the routine, and on the whole my 
classroom is the better for it.  Using computers in a rather simplistic way 
will still connect with a few kids who you might not reach otherwise.  Not 
worth spending tens of thousands on, but worth doing if you know how.

On Monday 14 May 2001 23:19, you wrote:
> James,
>     I agree with each of your 7 points. However, I also believe that if we
> keep doing things the way we've been doing them, we'll keep getting the
> same results we've been getting. A computer is nothing more than a tool
> which should help us to approach the problem of motivating in a different
> way. Since the kids are raised on visual stimuli, using visual stimuli in
> the classroom is an avenue worth pursuing. Regarding pouring money into
> computer infrastructure, that's why I am pleased at the opportunity to show
> off what can be done for peanuts. My classroom network has become sort of a
> hobby and has probably cost me a few hundred dollars out of pocket.
> However, it hasn't cost the school a dime. I'm trying to set it up as a
> demonstraton project to show what can be done with Linux and surplus (free)
> hardware.
> Dave Prentice
> prentice@instruction.com
> http://www.originsresource.org
> http://www.prenticenet.com/home/dprentice
> -----Original Message-----
>     From: James Oden <joden@eworld.wox.org>
>     To: seul-edu@seul.org <seul-edu@seul.org>
>     Date: Monday, May 14, 2001 8:25 PM
>     Subject: Re: [seul-edu] Looking for math curriculum
>     <snip>
>     Where I am coming from is that there are several reasons various
>     students do not excel in Mathematics, and lack of computer instruction
>     is not one of them.  Here are a few of those reasons:
>     1)  The primary reason, IMHO, is that students see no use for
>         mathematics in _their_ world.
>     2)  No teacher has had the time to really reach the children
>         in each's own individual way of learning.
>     3)  Most students who do miserably in mathematics believe
>         that the concepts are beyond them (in short they lack
>         confidence in themselves to master this discipline).
>     4)  They generally have a _very_ low self esteem.  Though,
>         related to three they are not the same thing.
>     <snip>
>     I see so many states pooring lots of money
>     into computer infrastructure thinking that this will somehow prepare
>     these students for job markets of the future, when, personally, I would
>     rather see someone who has mastered Calculas, can express his/herself
>     cogently in paper and verbally, and can think logically, than
>     10 certified in something dudes.
>     Cheers...james

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Tom Hoffman
Those who practice teaching do not for the most part succumb to cynicism or 
indifference--the children are far too immediate and real for the teachers to 
become callous--but, most of the school systems being what they are, can 
teachers fail to come to suffer first despair and then deep resignation?
--Paul Goodman, Growing Up Absurd