By Sheena Vaidyanathan
The third grade class is busy working in the computer lab when the teacher reminds everyone to save their files.
“Save or Save As?” someone asks.
No one has ever explained the difference to these students and no one will have the time to explain it. With a frown on their faces, students tentatively enter file names, agonizing on simple things like, “Is there an upper case in the name, how about the space, and did I check the folder?”
Young computer users vary in their file-saving styles. A few panic with the saving process; something can go wrong and a teacher should personally check the file names before they click Save. These students worry that their project may disappear in a world of files, folders and servers.
At a time when education technology is getting a lot of attention, there is no class time allocated to technology education.
Another kind of student completely trusts in the magic of computers. They click Exit, hit Okay on the Save dialog box and leave happily. Some of these students then wonder why they cannot find their files; they accuse the computer of eating up the work they saved.They wonder why their file has to be found by a desperate computer teacher and is titled ‘Untitled’ and is sitting in an unknown folder. In most cases, students do not know what happens in the strange underworld of computer files. They just hope their work will be found again when needed.
Dealing with files is usually learned in the process of working with the application that matters – Word, iMovie, Photoshop for example. Most adults have worked long enough with files that they can save, backup, rename, import, export, upload, download, search and organize files without fear. They know that occasionally one must check file types, dates or file sizes. The third grader has to master this while also learning how to write a book report. No one will give them a lesson on Continue reading