Computers go better with virtues

Guest blog by James Bell

Business & Technology Teacher

Mitchell High School, Mitchell County, NC

Teachers try to present information and knowledge in a meaningful way. Incorporating the six virtues adds “flesh and blood” to what is otherwise “bare-bones” learning that lacks the desired impact.

As a rookie teacher I taught business and computers to middle-schoolers. This was challenging because we had few computers and not enough space for the ones we had. Later in the year I was also assigned to teach a beginning computers class at both K-8 schools (now closed).

One of these schools was trying to develop better relationships with parents, so teachers brainstormed ideas and came up with having a “Computer Night.” We invited parents, grandparents and other community members to attend a program in which students would demonstrate their computer skills and teach basic technology lessons to adults in our rural community.

Our goals were to (1) develop deeper understanding of computer technology, (2) increase parent and community involvement, and (3) inform community members about their schools.  Preparation for Computer Night focused on preparing students to be courteous, humble and confident in their demonstrations.

When Computer Night arrived, the media center was packed. Students welcomed the adults and beamed as they demonstrated their skills.  Parents and community members were pleased with our efforts and eagerly went to the computers for hands-on learning.

We had only one problem — too many people showed up. We needed more pizza. The principal and several others headed to local pizza places and even went to the next town to get more pizza.

Computer Night was a memorable, meaningful night of learning. It was a great success because of faculty and student understanding, imagination, humility and generosity.

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