humor / Kindergarten / opinion

5 Best Tech Skills You Learned in Elementary School

growing up maze

Edward Stern is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on earning your bachelors degree online for the Guide to Online Schools. I think you’ll enjoy his take on how lessons learned when life was less tech and more about trying to survive elementary years still apply now that we’re all so grown up.

It used to be so simple back in the day. Playing with legos, making masterpieces with fingerpaint, and enjoying nap-time every afternoon—just a few perks of elementary school before education became synonymous with essays and tests, Powerpoint and Excel, Javascript and Visual Basic.

Your daily schooling became a whole lot more complicated as you got older, and while you may be wondering, “Why the heck did I learn that?” as you reflect on your younger years, it’s true that you learned everything you needed to know in kindergarten, even when it comes to technology. Here are the 5 best tech skills you learned in elementary school.

  1. If you have a yucky virus, be careful not to pass it to all of your friends. When you got sick, you were told to stay home and watch TV so you wouldn’t infect your friends and make them feel crummy too. Viruses need to be stopped, and so you kept to yourself to keep them from being spread. Things haven’t changed much, with friends, family, and co-workers definitely not trying to catch what you could pass on via e-mail, corrupted files, or network connections.
  2. Share with the class please. Teachers always made you show-and-tell, or give presentations, or make sure you brought enough gum for everybody. You couldn’t hog your favorite game or toy. You had to make sure everyone had a chance to enjoy it for themselves. Well now, thankfully, sharing is still encouraged, but you can keep treasures to yourself as well. Sending links to videos or MP3s or swapping important documents amongst a company network is how the world functions now, and being a good sharer can help you stay in touch with friends, make new ones, and be a good employee.
  3. Write neatly and without rushing. Those long hours of learning cursive sure seem pretty pointless now, right? But your teacher got one thing right: harping on the students for neatness and care while writing. The same goes for anything you do with technology. Typos in an e-mail can send the wrong message, while the tiniest mistake in a lengthy section of code will have you working for hours to find a needle in a haystack.
  4. Passing secret notes gets you in trouble. Writing a little note about a teacher or another classmate always seemed like a funny, good way to get attention at the time and then just blew up in your face with feelings hurt and time in the principal’s office. With the internet, there’s more way than ever to pass a note, and just as many for them to be seen by the wrong people. Whether on company e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter, be careful what you write—you never know who might see it.
  5. Go have recess at least once a day. Being cooped up inside while sitting at a desk in front of a chalkboard all day got you antsy and counting down the seconds before the best time of the day: recess. Sitting in front of a computer screen for increasingly more of your life should have you feeling the need for some fresh air as well. Make sure not to neglect the outdoors and time spent away from the desk, playing with friends and having fun.

I’ve had similar thoughts about technology’s application to life. Check these posts on my ‘other’ Ask a Tech Teacher blog:

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