Information for Educators
This page is addressed to the educators and members of the school staff that may be interested in further information on seminars I can present to your students, subjects I can teach, and firstly, more details on my program to place computers in the homes of children.
Ask any teacher (and I have) what the single greatest factor in each student's acheivement level is and the answer will almost always be the home environment and the parents. Good discipline and a regular daily routine, including assigned homework, more than make up for most differences in intellect. Actively involved parents that read to their preschool children, promoting creativity and learning, produces children that tend to excel in school.
On the other side of the problem, we have numerous issues. Parents that aren't involved for whatever reason, unstable home environments, unsafe neighborhoods often ruled by older children, and no guidance or order in the child's daily life. I feel the need to mention that these factors can be true in the most affluent of neighborhoods just as easily as anyplace else.
I will add to the list a problem that I have not seen in the media, nor have I found it in any of my research. It is a problem that has many possible repercussions and is insidious in its implications.
What happens when the child's level of education exceeds his or her parents, siblings, and friends? Where can the child get help with a homework assignment? What is the peer pressure like from the friends?
I have felt the peer pressure of having been the "geek" that was only a friend when it was time to do schoolwork and that was pretty bad way back in the sixties. Then, though, my teachers were still allowed to discipline the students and I didn't go home to a bad situation or a dangerous neighborhood.
I also, recently, directly experienced the problem of the child being educated beyond the parents and that is a far more prevalent problem than anyone might believe. I was asked by a fifth grader to help with her math, because she didn't "get" it and her mom and dad couldn't help. Consider that we already have a generation of undereducated adults and it would seem to me this problem may be a factor in perpetuating it.
To all that I have said til now, I think that I have an answer; one that could have more positive effect on our future than almost any other. We cannot fix the neighborhoods or magically change the parents, but we can reach the children with a tool and support that can literally change their lives.
The idea is to recycle computers into the homes of the disadvantaged children, to start, and to expand that as far as possible.
Beginning at age 3, children can benefit from access to a computer, particularly if it has been set up for them. The computer will take big chunks of time away from the television because it is more fun. The child benefits by learning basic computer skills, the stimulation of thought and creativity, and the lessons that are within all of the better "edutainment" software. Boolean logic, memory skills, attention, and strategy are all necessary to "win" and are presented in such an entertaining fashion that children spend hours each day until they do.
It is also important to note that the early exposure helps to establish a reward relationship that continues into the academics of elementary and middle school. I have observed that children who have had early exposure to computers spend more time on solving tougher problems and do so because they are seeking the reward offered by the software for success.
Older children benefit from the academics that are again taught in an extremely captivating manner and the research tools available for locating information.
The involvement by the community in implementing this idea as a program will also have a major impact on everyone who participates.
I have the skills and knowledge to teach disabled and/or high school students all that is necessary to refurbish computers that American corporations are retiring by the tens of thousands each day.
I have the technical knowledge necessary to create "master Images" containing all of the applications and drivers necessary to allow for easy set up of the refurbished computers and makes it possible to administer them with almost no skill. Once created the master image is replicated to a "new" system or reloaded onto a malfunctioning computer in a few minutes using a single floppy disk and a very simple step-by-step process.
One additional factor on the subject of the master image is that I also have a proven track record of producing extremely stable computer systems. Computers that are set up properly are far more stable and experience several orders of magnitude fewer problems than those that are not.
I also have the management and administrative skills needed to handle the logistics of transporting the computers and the details necessary to ensure success.
So, what do I need make this program a reality?
Properly funded, this could be a national program and my goal would be to distribute 5 million computers within the next 7 years. I would need administrative and logistical support so that I could devote my efforts towards teaching the first group of teachers.
Unfunded, I need your support and refferals for direct computer services, so that I can refine and promote this idea with the balance of my time.
I am too tired to write anymore, tonight......
Help is just a phone call away! (704) 882-7551
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