Friday, May 14, 2010

Computer is a universal language

Last night we had our first two sessions of the computer class we're starting in our home. PK has been working very hard to find all the necessary computers and miscellaneous parts needed to start a typing class. He even managed to get some Spanish keyboards!

The school doesn't have computers for the "Computacion" class, so it is all based on theory, which we think is very hard to learn. So, we agreed that the first thing the boys need to learn about a computer is basic typing skills and how to use a mouse. You can't learn to use Microsoft Word, if you don't know what the space bar does! The computers we acquired are so old that they're no good for anything other than running this very simple typing tutorial that PK found. It's available in both English and Spanish so it's perfect for our little experiment. We didn't have any space to set up the computers, so we're using one of the empty rooms in our house. It makes it feel less like a real class and more like a fun activity than if we had it at the school. Then, we couldn't find enough tables to set the computers on, so PK asked the shop to make us three long computer tables. They did a great job and the tables even have keyboard trays! Luckily, we have just enough dining room chairs for the class!

We've had lots of boys asking us how we learned to type so fast when they see us working on our computers, so we knew there would be plenty of interest. Now we have waiting list! Each class is only 30 minutes and there is no homework or studying required (they have plenty of academic pressure in their regular classes!). It's meant to be a fun, but useful class. Not all of the boys who signed up for the first two sessions showed up, but the ones who did seemed to enjoy it. We're looking forward to seeing them improve and maybe introducing other skills as time and resources permit.

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