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San Clemente, CA, United States

Thursday, July 31, 2014


10:00 AM and I'm already angry.

I just watched a YouTube video (don't judge me) produced by a father, starring his son, with only one message.  Over and over the kid said, "You can't be my teacher unless you know technology."  Literally.  I think the video is called "You can't be my teacher."

Shut up.

The implication is that human beings aren't as capable of imparting information or solving problems as is technology.  YOU MEAN THE TECHNOLOGY THAT HUMAN BEINGS CREATED????? 

All technology does is save us some time.  Nothing can be done by machines that can't be done by man.  Nothing.  In mathematics, there is NOTHING my calculator can do BETTER than me.  Faster yes.  Prettier?  Absolutely.  But not better.  And my calculator doesn't know that some answers are extraneous based upon the problem.  "You can't be my teacher?"  Shut up. 

I am watching a generation of kids who spend much of their time, making videos of themselves commenting about a video starring someone else.  I am watching a generation of kids who think others care what they think. 

It truth, I should only speak about what I do; teach mathematics.  In theory, we should be able to look at the big picture stuff and let the computers and calculators focus on the "minutia."  I get that.  I do.  But what is the logical extension?  Where is the line?  Should kids even learn logarithms?  Trig?  Multiplication?  Why bother. 

We bother because there is a certain beauty to the pencil and paper.  A direct connection between brain and paper.  A thoughtful, logical, ordering of events that lead to a solution. 

I contend that the minutia matters too.  The journey.  We aren't just teaching kids to solve problems.  We are also eaching them to be diligent and persistent.  

In architecture, Computer Assisted Design, (CAD) has "revolutionized" the industry.  But lets not forget that before computers we found a way to build the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, the Arch de Triumph, the Sphinx, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the flipping PYRAMIDS and everything else built before about 1950.  How about Mt. Rushmore?  Imagine that. 

And how the heck were computers invented before computers?  By guys with pencil and paper.  Already I'm hearing that we are removing cursive handwriting from elementary schools.  Wow.  How will these kids read historical documents?  Maybe they can take a picture of it, run it through an APP, and have their phones rap it to them.  Eh, thats a problem for Virginia Reischl. 

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