Wednesday, October 16, 2019

When Technology Fails

Recently we had a young friend visiting us and was planning on going for a trip during Fall Break. She checked her air pressure and we helped her add air to all of her tires. While she started to use a portable air pump and couldn’t get it to work so we let her use ours. It filled up one tire but then it wouldn’t work for the second tire and we think it blew a fuse in the car charge place. The pump still worked in our car,  so we brought our car around and she used it on the rest of her tires.

This was a concern because she used her phone as her GPS,  and she needed it for her trip. We thought if she went to AutoZone or a place like that, they could help her replace the fuse in her car. We discussed portable batteries too,  but I suggested that she carry a paper map with her in case her phone didn’t work.

I was shocked when she said that it wouldn't do any good because she didn’t know how to use it anyway.

Have we done our students a disservice by not teaching them to read a paper map?

It seems to me that if you can look at the overall trip on a GPS, you should be able to read a map but maybe people don’t look at the overall route and just trust the GPS to give step by step directions.

What is technology fails? I hear too many stories from students who say if their cash register breaks down at work, they don’t know how to count back change without it. Some schools are not even teaching students to memorize basic math facts like multiplication tables anymore.

We need to teach students that technology may not always be available, or it may fail and we need to be prepared if this happens. I always carry paper maps as a backup on a trip. Sometimes I lose a satellite signal and my phone won’t let me use the GPS on my phone if I need it. My phone battery may die and then I won’t have the GPS at all.

Maybe it is time to bring back paper maps and teach the basics again.

Here are a couple of articles that would be a good place to start:

How do you teach students to read road maps? Please share.

Photo by Taras Zaluzhnyi on Unsplash

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