Teaching the Language

I think we need to avoid using jargon (defined as what I know that you don't)...I have begun to teach some real novices this summer. (I've begun to realize that some clever person drew an invisible but powerful line around big city schools and said, we'll cut these people out of technology in a big way. What other profession that exists has as many untutored computer users?). I start every class sitting around a table with a few surveys and talk (can't beat live chat!). I give them a page with a silly graphic and a question on what they want to learn (pre-test). After they write and get going, we discuss their wants. Often they do need and want to know the jargon. I have one hand-out that provides 5 to 7 vocabulary words and I ask them to jot down any association...then, we go through the list and refine the meaning. After that, I try to frame things with those words and return to them as a developed context. Language is always important and without access and familiarity to this specialized vocabulary, you are "out of it."

Submitted by:Lynn Culp, Digital High School Coordinator
Fairfax High School
Los Angeles Unified; LA, CA