The cartoon below by Hugh MacLeod is one of the most shared of his images on the Internet. I have to say I see something different in it every time I view it. Recently I saw it as showing the difference between teaching a programming language (information) and teaching how to program (knowledge). Teaching a programming language is easy. Really it is. The hard part is helping student make the connections and putting something together that makes sense.
As I though more about it though I realized that helping students turn information into usable knowledge is what all good teachers do regardless of the subject they are sharing with their students.
Information, they say, is power but real power is using that information in a knowledgeable way. Lists of names and dates are really just trivia. Interesting but not useful alone. What is useful is knowledge about what the events and actions around those dates and people did to change the world around them.
I’d like to close with one other of Hugh’s graphics that I like. I may have to get a print for my computer lab. After all, changing the world is what I am counting on my students to do.
Click the image to read the backstory behind the Microsoft Blue Monster.