Saturday, April 26, 2008

Prior Knowledge

"People born before 1960 don’t have a computer chip in their genes.”

I can’t take credit for the quote. My older cousin told it to me about 20 years ago. I was marveling at how fast my sons grasp all the intricacies involved with day-to-day usage of the computer while I needed tutoring on each new program I used.

Writing a blog is new to me. Friends and relatives have asked me why I don’t have the “thing” on the bottom of each entry that will help them subscribe to my blog. The answer is easy. I don’t have the prior knowledge to understand half the words on the page that tells me how to set it up. An easy way to explain prior knowledge is you can’t teach multiplication and division until students have mastered addition and subtraction and you can’t teach those skills unless the pupils know how to count.

To me, “feed” means to nourish and “burn” means to destroy by fire. Common sense tells me that the directions are not using these two words the same way my 30-year-old Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines them. I wish someone would inform those that write the directions for blog sites that some of the people reading them are the same age as their grandparents. Perhaps my age is why the directions for the blog feed make me visualize a feeding tube. Did my computer come with a DNR?

Many people born before 1960 are still learning their basic numbers when it comes to computers. Hopefully, the directions for the “thing” that let’s readers subscribe will be rewritten with more clarity. Until they are, I have to find someone born after 1960 that will help me feed and burn my blog site so my readers can subscribe to it!

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