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Seven Core Competencies for Third Graders

By John | March 19, 2008

I have been working on a white paper called “Seven Core Competencies for Enterprise Innovation” and was recently sidelined by my nine-year-old. He’s fascinated by things like twitter and my blog site and all this weird stuff his dad does. He is constantly trying to get me to explain to him what all these things are. At a recent parent/teacher meeting, I was speaking to his teacher, and I told her about all my son’s questions. She asked me if I would be interested in presenting some of this stuff to her class. So, I have volunteered to give a presentation on computing to my son’s third grade class this Friday. What I am going to do is talk about seven topics of today’s computing that already affect or will affect their lives. This is all part of my ongoing quest to learn how to prepare my 5-year-old and 9-year-old for the technologies that they will be facing sooner than latter. You might think it is cruel making a third grader learn Python, but he turned down my first offer – learning the guitar. I started to jot down some of the topics that I plan to discuss his class this Friday. Here is a list of the topics:

If you are have kids and/or are interested in this topic, please feel free to ping me or leave a comment on this post.



Topics: alice, alice programming, google, nick car, olpc, other, xo | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Seven Core Competencies for Third Graders”

  1. Matt Ray Says:
    March 19th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I’ve got younger kids that aren’t ready for this stuff yet, but I might modify the topics a bit. Perhaps instead of Linux go for Open Source? Discuss sharing and how people learn from the work of others (aka, Science). Virtual worlds and cloud computing might be collapsible into video games and online video games. And perhaps something about privacy in the blogging bit? Just a few suggestions, it’s your presentation :)

  2. John Says:
    March 19th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Hey Matt,

    Great suggestions. I appreciate your feedback. I really should add the science angle into the discussion. This exercise is really more of an experiment for me. I want to learn how to teach technology to kids (especially this newer technologies). I have been using StoryTellingAlice (STA) with both my nine year old and five year old. My nine year old is of average intelligence, maybe slightly higher, and with STA he has conceptually picked up the concepts of objects, methods, loops and control statement. How cool is that? A for Linux I am using it basically as a place holder just to see how many 9 years have heard of it. I was going to stay away from “the what it does” aspect. I really want to use it to talk about some of the massive collaboration efforts that are going on (Wikinomics kind of stuff). It was a coin flip on open source. I figure since most adults don’t understand it I might want to stay away from it for kids.. I am also thinking about running a community one week camp this summer for free in my neighbor hood to learn more about how to teach kids. All of this is related to my (very part time) efforts called
    Thanks for your feedback