When I first started my current job as Technology Director at Sacramento Adventist Academy, I inherited the teaching schedule that had previously been used. This included a full year course called “Computer Applications” that met the technology requirements for graduation. In looking over what had been previously been taught, I found that this was simply an expanded Microsoft Office course that included some other applications such as Fireworks. This really got me thinking about what our students really need to be prepared for the world they well enter after graduation.

When I was a freshman in high school over Typing Class30 years ago I took typing in a classroom that didn’t look much different from this one except half the class had manual typewriters. The IBM Selectric, shown in the picture, was a real advance because you could change the “font” by exchanging the ball in the typewriter. The focus of the class was part accuracy and speed, and part formatting of formal and informal documents. By the time I started teaching, we had moved on to Apple IIe’s and soon Microsoft, Apple, and WordPerfect started battling it out for customers by making computers and phones more powerful, faster and easier to use by the average person. This has caused massive changes in our lives and how we communicate.

Without a doubt, our world is changing. Many of the jobs our student will have as adults will look very different than what they see now and many have not even been invented yet. How we approach teaching has also changed significantly. Only a few years ago many were arguing for teaching keyboarding to all high school students like we taught typing in ages past. Today, most recognize that this is a skill that needs to taught beginning in 3rd and 4th grade and should have mastered by junior high. But we still teach Microsoft Office and feel satisfied in meeting the technology requirements for high school graduation. There has to be more.