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‘We want thousands of kids in the city and the county and the state to have access to this (technology) on an ongoing basis,’ says Digital Harbor Foundation Executive Director Andrew Coy. (File photo)
‘We want thousands of kids in the city and the county and the state to have access to this (technology) on an ongoing basis,’ says Digital Harbor Foundation Executive Director Andrew Coy. (File photo)

10,000 Hours

You may have heard of the “10,000-hour rule.”

Based on a study of the world’s best violinists, this rule says that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. The validity of this so-called rule, explained in a book called “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, has been debated over the years.

But Digital Harbor Foundation Executive Director Andrew Coy referenced the measure at an event Monday, emphasizing the importance of after-school technology instruction.

The students he works with are learning a variety of technology skills from coding to 3-D printing. They practice these skills by creating their own projects ­— a lamp that changes color based on tweets, a digital jukebox in the body of a piano, a 3-D printed model of Fort McHenry.

With about 90 minutes of class instruction and one hour of homework per day on a particular subject, it would take a student more than 22 school years to master that subject, Coy said. But, he went on, if they use more of their after-school and summer time to learn it as well, they could cut that down to about six years.

“Can we expect the school system to do it alone? My answer is no,” said Coy. “We need a whole community effort.”

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