Add new comment

I once taught Information Technology at Marylhurst near Portland and was surprised when over 1/3 of my classes were Arabs--pre-9/11. I had to rebuild the class, because we didn't have a common base with the standard student there. My first test, a pop quiz, would be to have each student describe the technology of the artifact in front of them...where I had passed out arrow heads, 1880s farm implements and other historical pieces. The point, beside me getting a view of the "voice" of the student, was to point out technology is a very old thing, not something we have to race out and try to catch up with. That stress of finding and using "what's the newest" is terrible to learners.

My next topic was to study the Amish, who regulate how they, as a people, accept technology. The Arabs loved the Amish. One dropped out of school and traveled to an Amish community for a couple weeks. He came back, slapped me on the back, thanked me and said "I have found my father's people. Now I know how to act in my own culture in a modern time." My point was to find a group that accepted technology, but on their own terms. The Amish still do. Some use computers today in their auto repair firms and go home to a traditional Amish no electricity home.

My children embraced technology. One graduated from MIT as an electrical engineer. Another is an electrical engineer from CMU--both high paid young women now. They love coming home, as I've evolved to a guy who teaches folks how to be self sufficient on the land, as that is how I grew up and where I am after a life of using cutting edge "technology" in my retirement. They are comfortable in both worlds. And that is what we need to do with children...make them comfortable in many world perspectives.