Education and Technology on Serendip Forum



This forum is for conversation about Education and Technology: Serendip's Experiences 1994-2004 and related matters. Like all forums on Serendip, it is a place for exchange of experiences and stories that might be helpful to others. Comments on and information about other materials on related themes are also welcome.


Comments are posted in the order in which they are received, with earlier postings appearing first below on this page. To see the latest postings, click on "Go to last comment" below.

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Welcome ....
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2004-10-24 10:48:08
Link to this Comment: 11191

Jody Cohen and I have had an interesting/enjoyable time reflecting on ten years of Serendip experiences with education and the web. Its been a particularly useful thinking through because of Jody's background and extensive experience in education together with the fact that she (unlike me) has NOT previously been actively involved in using the web as an educational tool. The upshot is that our joint "summary" is very much a "work in progress", not just a description of the past by someone who has been committed to the activity but a thinking through of what it might mean for the future.

Still, it is no more than a snapshot in the present, and a snapshot reflecting only two perspectives. If the web is to play some kind of major role in reshaping education, as both I and (now) Jody imagine it might, there is a need to have more stories, more experiences, more sharing of perspectives to bring that effectively to pass. Our hope is that this summary, and this forum, can contribute to such a story sharing process.

Please contribute your own thoughts to this conversation, regardless of your degree of sophistication with web use and/or with educational practice /theory. Both the web and education should reflect what we as individuals want them to be and the best way to get as close as possible to that is for everyone to contribute to the public conversations that make them what they are.


desire and technology
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: 2004-10-25 15:33:06
Link to this Comment: 11214

Jody and Paul have put together an impressive array of materials, and queries arising from them, about the uses of technology in contemporary education. I've made up a page of my own thoughts on this intersection, thoughts that represent the experiences of someone who--until a couple of years ago--had no web experience whatsoever, and has since embraced, with a lot of gusto, the web as rich resource for her own teaching and learning, as well as that of her students. It's of considerable interest to me to reflect on just why I've found this form so compatible; it seems largely to do with how computers function as tools for creating an arena for social experience--and one that offers an ethic of play.


two forms of education
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: 2004-11-03 23:37:29
Link to this Comment: 11351

Here's an offering from me and Annabella Wood; a way of figuring our universal desire for happiness and security in tension w/ the desire to have room to explore and make new things. We call it Two Forms of Education: A Table and invite your responses.


What does technology and education mean for all?
Name: Esther War
Date: 2004-11-05 19:07:22
Link to this Comment: 11378

It is sometimes unbelievable to me how much information the internet truly holds. With only a computer screen in front of me, the possibilities are, as they say, just about endless. In this highly technological day and age, I commend Serendip and all the other websites that are committed to integrating exploration, learning, communication, education and technology. Within minutes of visiting the Serendip Education and Technology page, I was truly in awe of the work done to help this integration contribute positively to our educational experience.

I would like to express a slight concern, however, regarding the practicality of ensuring that “all individuals have access to the Web not only as users but also as contributors” (Excerpt from Serendip's Evolving Web Principles - January, 2001). It is my understanding that one of Serendip’s goals is for educators to take advantage of the Web’s ability to bring people together to communicate, even cross-culturally. But I wonder about the first: “all individuals have access to the Web …as users.” Although I realize technology is rapidly becoming a part of many people’s everyday life, the fact remains that some people simply do not have access to a computer. Sure, educators can provide opportunities in school and it is fairly easy for me, as a Haverford College student, to have the world at my fingertips (sorry for another cliché…). I wonder about not only the under-privileged students, but also about the under-funded school districts that don’t use technology the same way it is possible for other school districts to use technology.

So, technology and education sounds great. But I question: can technology unite learners, even across socio-economic divisions?


The inaccuracy of the Internet
Name: Shelley Na
Date: 2004-11-05 22:27:14
Link to this Comment: 11384

The age of the internet has brought most students a new and improved way of finding information, synthesizing information, and communicating across cultural boundaries in a way that has never before been possible. Students are able to find information literally seconds after querying for it, and are able to find a wide array of sources and opinions fromt eh comfort of their own homes or libraries. The internet is accessible to anyone who has time, a connection, and a computer; this means that every day people have the power of both knowledge acquisition AND knowledge creation in a way that they have never experienced before. This universal acces becomes problematic when one starts to look at the accuracy of a lot of online information.

Anyone can post something on the internet--it's a public forum, a "common good," to use a term from economics. This means that the thoughts, opinions, and erroneous interpretations of various kinds of information can be posted at will, with no filtering or verification process. The question then becomes, how much of what I'm seeing on the internet accurate, and how can I tell? As a student, the question of accuracy can sometimes be solved by sticking to university websites, but this often limits a student to more mundane and run-of-the-mill viewpoints. Often, the more radical, intersting information is found at other kinds of websites, ones which do not have the same kind of integrity as collegiate webistes and where the authors have not been screened for thoughtfulness and accuracy. If the internet is supposed to make things easier for a student, then there must be some way to correct for this unreliability in the sources on the internet. Opinions and diversity are good, but so is accuracy; until there is some way for a person to separate the fact from the fiction on the internet, it will never truly be a substitute for other kinds of information acquisition.


A means or an end?
Name: Dan Leneha
Date: 2004-11-06 00:30:17
Link to this Comment: 11388

How are we to view the internet? Should we perceive it as a means to a greater frequency and fluidity of intellectual exchange or as an end in itself, that is, the exchange itself? There is little doubt that the internet has already changed the way we approach education somewhat dramatically. The question is whether we employ it within our existing educational system, transforming that system in the process (using the internet as a means) or construct an entirely new approach to education centering on the internet as the unique site for cultural interaction and intellectual discussion (making the internet an end).

Perhaps the distinction between these two views is insignificant, for either way the internet provides a forum for this kind of broad-based exchange of ideas that had never before existed. I guess I just have this depressing vision of students sitting in front of a computer screen for hours, "interacting" with other users on a forum about some issue or another - they would be taking a more active, constructive role in their education, certainly, but what kind of interaction takes place between internet users and how much can one interact with another whom they "see" through a computer screen? In this sense I would advocate that the internet be viewed more as a means to an enhanced environment of interaction and exchange that still rests on actual interpersonal contact than as the interaction itself, as I imagine many internet proponents do as well.


Mathematics
Name: Joseph Cha
Date: 2004-11-06 22:40:52
Link to this Comment: 11400

I am currently observing a math class at a local high school and am quite fascinated by the rather heavy use of technology in that classroom. The teacher does an excellent job at merging technology in the venue of mathematics, and the children seem to be responding well. Technology, in different shapes and forms befitting even a high school math class of all arenas, does an excellent job at educating students by means of experience - students can, in a sense, take ownership of the learning they are a part of. The Internet appears to be but another popular tool in this paradigm of technology and education.

My only concern from observing this class arises from the fact that even technology proves to be a deterrent to education for these students. In fact, it is almost commonplace to see at least a handful of students mindlessly avoid the lectures and the practice exercises of the teacher to focus instead on their Texas Instruments graphing calculators to play games. I suppose that every milestone in education inevitably arises its share of problems and distractions from the students that this education engages (and I'm rather positive that this general statement can extend well beyond the milestones in education, but naturally that is the area of interest here). I wonder what the implications are for something as big as the Internet. Perhaps it is only a matter of time before high school math classes can find ways to seamlessly bridge the curriculum and the Internet, and when that day does come, how will teaching and learning look? Is it likely that the benefits of student response heavily outnumber the possibilities of distraction and misuse of educative tools? Are the fruits resulting from labor worth those very efforts, in the end?

Maybe this is more of a pedagogy issue, and how the teachers can overcome students ill-treating technology and education in the classroom. Any thoughts?


Technology and Inequality in Education
Name: Shana Slut
Date: 2004-11-07 11:03:48
Link to this Comment: 11403

With so many jobs currently dependent on technology and the web, every student should have the opportunity and guidance to become computer literate. The internet offers wonderful opportunities for interactive learning, endless amounts of information, and many different methods of exploration. On the web, users are stimulated visually and often aurally, with many options for various learning types. Internet information and computer programs can supplement other forms of learning in the classroom, giving students a much richer learning experience.



The “Internet Age” presents problems, however, for many students, and people in general, who cannot afford or gain access to computers. Children in wealthier families are much more likely to have internet access from a young age, giving them yet another edge over less privileged children, thus further increasing the Achievement Gap. With computer literacy now an expectation in many universities and job fields, children who are already seen as several steps behind are now pushed further backwards with one more “disadvantage.”



In an ideal world, schools could provide for the technology that parents in many homes cannot. Unfortunately, there are such discrepancies in funding between school districts that our universal education does not provide the same opportunities to all students. Many ideas have been implemented in our education system to amend this problem, but so far, the inequalities remain. We continue to watch as more and more students slip through the cracks while others succeed, simply because of differences in background.


Is the Web good for education?
Name: Jason
Date: 2004-11-07 11:28:41
Link to this Comment: 11404

Is the Web good for education?

Although broad and fairly universal, this question is becoming more and more important as technology increases and more computers invade the classroom. The importance of computers is understood. Software programs like PowerPoint, Word and Excel are extremely valuable to any student at any grade-level. CDs can be inserted into computers to show encyclopedias and dictionaries. All of these tools are vital to education, and can be accessed through various functions on the computer.

But what about the Web? What separates the Web from all the software and CDs one can insert into a computer? One difference between the Web and other functions of the computer is its simplicity. The Web has everything in one place. For example: One can go on the internet and type a composition in a discussion forum, not know how to spell a word and go to Dictionary.com, not understand how that word is pronounced and can click it to hear how, need to find a source and go to encyclopedia.com or a search engine, then can send it and have millions of people read that composition. All of this can be done in a matter of minutes without moving from your seat, or inserting anything into the computer.

The various functions of the Web make it quick and easy for any student to not only learn, but learn quickly and fairly easily. Because of this, computers are vital to education. Couple this with the fact that students will need computer literacy to survive in the workplace and it seems like a no-brainer that computers belong in the classroom, and that they are good for education.


Technology and Deafness
Name: Halley McW
Date: 2004-11-07 12:15:57
Link to this Comment: 11405

In response to Esthers point about accessability of technology for students, I could not agree more. We are at a day in age where technology is so advanced that it has made most everyday life much more integral and in fact simplar. Yet there still remains the issue of equality. In general I am very impressed by the work and progress that has been seen by the developments of this kind of education.

However, if technology is meant to enrich a child's learning by providing him/her with an abundance of resources, how does this affect children who have a major disability and possibly cannot access such additives? For example, in the deaf community right now there is an operation that involves an highly advanced hearing implant into a child's ear. This implant, if successful, allows a completely deaf child to hear if implanted early enough, when it is turned on. In most cases, these implanted deaf children are able to attend all hearing schools but in general have the be aided by the teacher using a microphone when she speaks. The argument is that education in deaf schools does not compare to that of hearing schools and that the children who do not get cohclear implants are simply not going to be as well educated.

Other than being a cultural dispute about being a member of the deaf world at large, what if the family with the deaf child simply did not have enough money to pay for surgery. What about the teacher's dependence on the microphone? Does every educational setting have the foundation that would allow for a such a practice? What if the insurance company did not include it in the families plan? It has been debated that it is a minor crime to not allow a deaf child full access of hearing to become apart of a dominantly hearing world to become as successful as possible. For some families, just getting access to a hearing aid can take months because of a lack of regard for the immediate necessity for those in need, regardless of who can pay. For those months without it, they are missing out on education and the technology advancements that would benefit them just as it does any other hearing child. If this is the case, and if a cohclear implant or any other hearing aid is desireable, should they not be accessable by anyone to be able to reak the benefits that technology has created so far for society at large?


Technology and Deafness
Name: Halley McW
Date: 2004-11-07 12:19:28
Link to this Comment: 11406

In response to Esther's point about accessability of technology for students, I could not agree more. We are at a day in age where technology is so advanced that it has made most everyday life much more integral and in fact simplar. Yet there still remains the issue of equality. In general I am very impressed by the work and progress that has been seen by the developments of this kind of education.

However, if technology is meant to enrich a child's learning by providing him/her with an abundance of resources, how does this affect children who have a major disability and possibly cannot access such additives? For example, in the deaf community right now there is an operation that involves a highly advanced hearing implant into a child's ear. This implant, if successful, allows a completely deaf child to hear if implanted early enough, but only when it is turned on. In most cases, these implanted deaf children are able to attend all hearing schools but in general have to be aided by the teacher using a microphone when (s)he speaks. The argument is that education in deaf schools does not compare to that of hearing schools and that the children who do not get cohclear implants are simply not going to be as well educated.

Other than being a cultural dispute about being a member of the deaf world at large, what if the family with the deaf child simply did not have enough money to pay for surgery. What about the teacher's dependence on the microphone? Does every educational setting have the foundation that would allow for a such a practice? What if the insurance company did not include it in the families plan? It has been debated that it is a minor crime to not allow a deaf child full access of hearing to become apart of a dominantly hearing world to become as successful as possible. For some families, just getting access to a hearing aid can take months because of a lack of regard for the immediate necessity for those in need, regardless of who can pay. For those months without it, they are missing out on education and the technology advancements that would benefit them just as it does any other hearing child. If this is the case, and if a cohclear implant or any other hearing aid is desireable, should they not be accessable by anyone to be able to reak the benefits that technology has created so far for society at large?


READ MY SECOND ONE
Name: Halley McW
Date: 2004-11-07 12:21:01
Link to this Comment: 11407

Sorry guys, I didn't mean to post twice, just read the second one.


reflective pp 4
Name: Xuan-Shi,
Date: 2004-11-07 12:54:31
Link to this Comment: 11409

“The disorder of the Web is one of its greatest virtues.” Disorder can be very disturbing to a student who is learning to use the web as an educational tool, especially when no one in his or her family is internet-savvy. The “problem” of accuracy (see Shelley’s posting) is perhaps related to the disorder of the Web. I see Serendip as one of the places online that try to create productive disorder. People who post online respond and interact in a “safe” space where people respect one another’s opinions etc. Moderators are not needed because college members are bound by the honor code or are identified by their email account/name. It works well for Serendip, a kind of artificial haven in the chaotic mess of this worldwide web. But can this be replicated successfully in other institutions, with younger students? I also question whether half of the users who post on Serendip do so voluntary or to fulfill an assignment. Whereas real-life conversations are spontaneous, online forums take a while to stimulate interest and it takes many parties to keep the ball rolling. From another perspective, users may be more likely to scrutinize their thoughts before posting (versus speaking). In this sense, technology may be used to help educators achieve specific goals related to writing and learning etc.


The internet makes experiences available to all human beings, experiences “of a kind which individuals can themselves learn from, rather than being told about.” I have some difficulty understanding this concept. Being part of any activity is by itself an experience that allows for some kind of learning or reflection to take place. Being in a lecture may be a passive experience, if students have little opportunity to interrupt a teacher’s monologue. In this sense, students are ‘told about” the experiences of others. Being in a discussion-centered classroom may be an active experience; students who participate in the dialogue may learn from such experiences as well. Meaningful participation or engagement seems to be the key if a user seeks to benefit from a web experience, but how often do the majority of users do this? (Apart from chatting with friends on msn, in game rooms etc) Is it possible for online forums (for example) to compete with a student’s other priorities when he or she gets online? How can we get students to engage in online dialogues that offer the opportunity of “experience” without making it mandatory? Perhaps, we need to first change students’ perspective of the functions of internet.




Name:
Date: 2004-11-07 13:06:10
Link to this Comment: 11410

I guess I am finding it difficult to see what kind of usage of the computer schools are going after. It assumed that by doing research on a computer, "computer literacy" is achieved. To a certain extent I disagree, primarily because I am looking for clearer definitions of what it means to be "computer literate." Is it knowing the mechanics of a computer? Knowing about certain software? From what I've read it seems as if students will be doing research but they will not be learning about computers.

Then again, perhaps this is not the intention of integrating computers into the classroom. This website points out that computers can be another mode teaching/learning. Not everyone learns the same so students cannot all be taught the same way. As well, there is a lot of information on the internet. My concern is the extent to which computers will be used in the classroom and how the computers will be used. My high school has had a laptop program for the past 2 years--basically everything is done on computers: note taking, reading assignments, teaching (through special software) etc, etc. However, there is a lot of IMing, file sharing, plagairism and other inappropriate usage of the computer--forcing my school to spend more money trying to simply control these things, including additional software/programs monitoring types of software being used and websites being accessed on the school's internet. Not to mention, the extra $1,500 students have to spend on the laptop, and additional money for software needed for classes--money some students just may simply not have.

As well, this website assumes that everyone will respond positively to computers. In doing so, they do not take into account a students assumptions and approaches to the internet. I get enough sitting in front of the computer writing papers and doing research, and, this may sound simplistic, but it makes me sick. Literally. Headaches, eyes hurt, wrists hurt, back hurts--all those wonderful things. And what if, as Halley mentioned, I have a disability--physical and/or learning? How will computers help me?

Of course, the usage of computers in the class may vary depending on the school, teacher, and students. However, I just am a little concerned about the general level and type of usage.



Name: Allison Jo
Date: 2004-11-07 13:06:49
Link to this Comment: 11411

sorry thats my post above...


Technology as an educative tool
Name: Zachary Ze
Date: 2004-11-07 13:35:43
Link to this Comment: 11413

The web holds infinite potential in helping to facilitate the learning experiences we have as human beings. In my opinion, I think the web is a wonderful tool that has been added to the list of resources in education, however I have to agree with the theory that our learning is always in progress and is never complete. For this reason, I feel that the web can never be used as an exclusive tool in education; it must be used as a supplement to our education as a whole. I come to this brief conclusion after experimenting with one of Serendip's online interactive applets on experimenting with segregation and integration. While it was interesting to see that there is a tendency to separate into similar groups, I feel as if I may not develop complete conclusions because their is an absence of some context in my use of this model. I feel that I would develop more complete conclusions if I was provided with detailed explanations of why only certain factors were included in the model. The model failed to include factors such as the environment in why movement may occur in the first place (in other words not putting similarities or differences as the exclusive reason to move positions). I feel that with deeper context, I would have been able to develop more conclusions from the model.


Universal access; not a universal solution
Name: Michael Sh
Date: 2004-11-07 13:55:39
Link to this Comment: 11414

I agree with the serendip's evolving web principles. Those with Web access do have an amazing amount of information at their disposal and this is a very egalitarian concept. Higher speed internet access which is not necessarily universally affordable seems incongruous with this notion of fairness of access. This strikes me as only a minor problem (although, potentially a bigger problem in the future) however as many, although perhaps not all, eductational tools on the Web are accessible no matter what type of connection a user has.

While acknowledging the vast potential the Web has an experiential and interactive resource as well as a source of information, I think that creating equal access to the Web and to computers will not be able to bridge the gap between high achieving and struggling students. I think that this technology cannot and should not take the focus off of the importance of the interpersonal form of education that is so critical particularly at an early age.

Children who gain critical thinking skills at a young age whether at home or at school will be better able to take advantage of the Web as a resource than those children who are without that background. Therefore there can be a great deal of inequality in my mind even when this technology is presented as being universally fair.


Too much technology is bad
Name: Will McGui
Date: 2004-11-07 16:48:57
Link to this Comment: 11417

I agree with many of the points that have already been made regarding the use of the internet. I think it is an amazing educational opportunity and should be utilized in the classroom. However, I also think that spending too much time on the computer can be counter-productive. From my own experiences I have found that the time spent on the internet could usually be better spent on other, more traditional classroom experiences. While it is important for students to understand how to navigate the internet I am not sure if encouraging students to “surf” the web is the way to go about it. Many children will already have a great deal of experience at this from home. It can be a huge time waster. Most young people today, I would say, have become overly dependent on the internet. It would be nice if most of this time was spent for educational purposes but that would be wishful thinking. There are so many distractions. Nevertheless, it is important to give children who do not have access at home a chance to learn about and experience the internet. In order to survive in the world today students need to be computer literate. It is important to be able to access information in an effective manner and I do think that in moderation many of the ideas discussed on this site could be very useful.

When used effectively in the classroom it is true the internet can give students an experience that books cannot provide. It can lend itself more to some kinds of intelligences than the traditional classroom atmosphere. Students are able to learn through exploration and can learn from themselves and other classmates. I do not think that this kind of learning can only be achieved on the computer, although it is a resource. The online forums I believe to be a good tool for many students. It allows all students to participate even if they are not very talkative. Students are able to learn a great deal for each other. They are not simply being talked at by the teacher.

Overall, I do think that there is a danger in focusing too much on technology and the internet. Allison’s experience in high school demonstrates this. Although it is all designed to enhance the learning process it can easily take away from it. Computers should not be used just for the sake of using technology. I remember at times in high school math classes it seemed like much of the focus was on using the graphing calculator and not so much on the actual material. This frustrated me and seemed to be a huge waste of time. It is important that is does not become the trend for all classes.



Name: Casey Phil
Date: 2004-11-07 18:27:55
Link to this Comment: 11418

I would like to start out by saying that I have always had mixed feelings about computers and education. I think that part of my problem is that from about 3rd grade on I was considered to not be a good speller but all my teachers in elementary and middle school told both me and my parents not to worry because I was inheriting an age of computers and spell check. So what I am trying to say is that while computers and things like the internet generally have the potential to be wonderful educational tools when used properly they can also be used to mask deficiencies in an individual's education. Yes, my teachers were right about my being able to rely on spell check for a great deal of my spelling needs but that only gets someone so far for example when you have to write an essay on an in class exam there is most definitely no spell check.
I guess my biggest fear with using computer programs that can do wonderful things for us like spell and read and even type (like the voice recognition software I have been using for the past 8 years)is that they will lull students and teachers alike into a sense of laziness. I mean okay so it can be viewed as a teacher's job to teach his or her students to read and write (preferably well)but where is the incentive for them to do so or for that matter for the student to learn to do these things when they know they really don't have to because there is a machine and a software program that can do it for them. Then there is the issue of what happens to the individual who has depended on this type of technology for the better part of their academic career when they are suddenly confronted with a situation in which they would normally use a computer and software or the internet and these valuable pieces of technology are nowhere in sight or there is no power source to make the computer work? Does that individual have enough faith in their non-technologically based skills to proceed or do they simply shut down and refuse to do the task until they the once again have the safety net of technology firmly in place.


3 response questions
Name: Allison Jo
Date: 2004-11-07 19:28:26
Link to this Comment: 11420

How do we define "computer literate?"

How do we ensure fair distribution and usage of computers in America's school?

What does the incorporation of (or the desire to incorporate) computers reveal about the role of school and of technology?


3 response questions
Name: Joseph Cha
Date: 2004-11-07 19:53:32
Link to this Comment: 11421

1) What do you think about the current state of the different resources available to children? Unquestionably, we have a long way to go before all resources, including technology, are equally available to all children. It seems that the Internet is a resource that is becoming more and more available to the masses. Several ISPs provide services without charge, and even broadband prices are decreasing. Is it of poor judgment to think that the Internet is an arena where nearly all students can engage in equally?

2) I'm stuck on pedagogical issues here. Any tangible ideas of how to merge technology and education, and how these changes affect fairness and equality of resources for students?

3) What is appropriate use of technology? Perhaps it isn't safe for the integration of technology and education to be the end-all of things. Some of these posts recognized a danger in putting too much emphasis on the Internet in classes. Thoughts?


edu. and the web
Name: sherira
Date: 2004-11-07 20:04:53
Link to this Comment: 11422

As it was mentioned earlier in the webpage, I think the disorganization of the web is one of its best assets. I also love how unreliable it is. It forces students, educators and researchers to think. It’s easy to take what’s written in a text book as the truth just because of the way it is presented. But when something is written on the Web it encourages questions and doubt. There are so many different ways of looking at what is written on the web that further research is required to make heads or tails of the information.
These questions and doubt can lead to learning for the sake of learning. Huge leaps can be made if learners do not simply take the material presented to them for granted. New questions will arise, along with new ways of answering questions.


3 Questions
Name: Halley McW
Date: 2004-11-07 20:57:51
Link to this Comment: 11423

1. There has been some mention in the past about making the desire to use computers applicable to both boys and girls, is there anything that is going to be done to help further this so that computers are not dominantly used by one sex?

2. How is the use of the internet helping to promote progressive education through student interaction with one another?

3. Having gone to a school where computers were a requirement, I find many things being brought up in these discussions facinating. Jason is absolutely correct in his challenge against the implementation because of distraction. Having computers is immensely distracting. Kids check their e-mail, go on AIM and play games all throughout class. If the entire class has a computer, it can become exceedingly difficult to catch the students, whether few, or all who are busy doing other things. Confident that this is the case, I question what is going to be done to prevent this from happening?


Initial Thoughts
Name: Hannah
Date: 2004-11-07 22:29:38
Link to this Comment: 11426

Exploring Serendip this weekend, I felt frustrated with the structure of the site, as I have before when I've needed or wanted to use it. I understand Dwight & Garrison's desire (expressed in conventional linear printed form) to break free of the oppressive telology embedded in many educational materials, but I am highly skeptical about internet information exchange as a way to accomplish this. I don't want to be chained to a computer, and I don't really want to be forced by a "post-industrial" society to enter such an abstract space. No matter how much I use virtual "worlds," they have never felt as real to me as the concrete physical world used to create them.

One place my browsing led me this visit was to Schelling's model of segregation, something I've seen before in computer science classes. Given the basic conclusion that it takes a very small amount of wanting to be around people >>like oneself<< to create rather drastic segregation, how much craving for simplicity, conventionality, or >>packaged-ness<< is it going to take to keep me or anybody else too far from some new hyperworld to join in Dwight & Garrison's hyperrevolution? To put it another way, I feel that using a computer dramatically limits my intelligence (kinesthetic, mostly, as well as interpersonal) and I do not want to be forced by the structure of the society that I live in to use computers, or read, for that matter.

I am, however, open to the possibility, that Serendip as a mini-institution at Bryn Mawr, and many virtual libraries in general, offer openness to criticism as a way to entice visitors: "You don't have to join us, but if you want to, you're always welcome," just as the little green and red triangles in Schelling's model move only if they're unhappy.


What's our Goal?
Name: Esther War
Date: 2004-11-07 22:37:58
Link to this Comment: 11427

I think I am a bit surprised with all of these thoughts (mine included) about technology, for various reasons, possibly being detrimental to the overall education experience. Zach, I like what you posted: "the web can never be used as an exclusive tool in education; it must be used as a supplement to our education as a whole." But here's my question: should we be striving for technology as a supplement only? Casey's point about it possibly promoting laziness is well taken. I know that my mental math skills have declined simply because I have a calculator to tell me the answer without me having to think twice about it. Yet I still have to take tests when I don't have a calculator. So what's our goal? If integrating technology into the classroom is supposed to be beneficial because it helps us adapt to our more and more technological world, then great. I think it's doing that. Is it important to keep those skills like mental math or spelling? Although Zach's point seems right, I wonder if using technology as a supplement is actually more detrimental, if, for example, we still value those mental math and spelling skills. Perhaps we are entering an age in which those skills are just no longer necessary. That doesn't seem quite right, so then what's the middle ground?


First Response
Name: Hannah
Date: 2004-11-07 22:43:59
Link to this Comment: 11428

Jason's postingreminded me of another question I've had in the back of my mind:

What about education makes tools such as Power Point and CD-ROM encyclopedias essential or even useful? Anything intrinsic to >>education<< as we've been discussing it so far this semester? I want examples of how this technology relates to the purpose of education to be made more concrete for me, because in my experience I have not been able to find or make these examples.

For me, computer technology does not feel like an equalizer. What kind of virtual worlds do we want to create? How much silicon and phosphorous will it take, and how much energy, total? If everyone appears a little black letters on a screen, what sorts of diversity are we hiding from view?


3 Questions
Name: Michael
Date: 2004-11-07 22:58:57
Link to this Comment: 11429

1. Will the Web become increasingly more elitist as it is integrated into schools as an educational tool? For example will richer online experiences and better lesson plans be reliant on faster speed more expensive access?

2. Even just looking at the Web in its most idealized form as a resource does it really solve the problem of learning inequalities among students?

3. When computer technology was used in my high school it quite often struck me as showing off the school's wired-ness for lack of a better word. What are some examples of experiences using the Web that you all found positive in your various educations?


Segregation
Name: Hannah
Date: 2004-11-07 23:00:16
Link to this Comment: 11430

Zach, I'm willing to bet that person/people presenting the model are hoping you'll create your own context around it, that they see it as something to spark more ideas and questions rather than a whole idea in itself. However, I see your concerns about the way the model is contexualized by its authors as applicable to the whole philosophy that led to the model's creation. NetLogo might be nothing more than a "boy's toy" or "man's machine" (as described by Willinssky (in print)). It's a bit like people might be hanging out and saying, "Hey, wait a minute ... I have an idea."
>>>>"Ooh, what?"<<<<
"Maybe, just maybe ... no, you wouldn't believe me if I told you."
>>>>"Tell me!"<<<<
"Maybe we CAN'T CONTROL what our students learn."
>>>>"Now that's just too shocking."<<<<
"No, seriously, maybe humans aren't all-knowing all-controlling beings but rather a lot more like ants. Let's expound on this concept and use it to create academic journals and reinforce traditional power structures within Western society."
>>>"That's a really, really great idea. Let's pretend that the vast decentralization of causality we see, and the seeming uncontrollable-ness of the world are NOT things that anybody really noticed properly before, and also ignore the fact that the wealthy elite are the only group with the power to declare that we MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO CONTROL the world."<<<<
"I'm glad we're on the same page."



Name: Casey Phil
Date: 2004-11-07 23:10:36
Link to this Comment: 11431

My questions:

Is disorganization really such a good thing when you deparately need to find something on the internet in order to complete a task?

On the other hand I can understand the disorganization is good side too because sometimes it leads to the discovery of better things you didn't know were there.

I know that the internet has led to an increase in plagairism but there are also data bases now that help teachers detect parts of papers they think might not be original thoughts and that is good because it shows that the internet is keeping up with the needs of its users.


3 Questions
Name: Jason
Date: 2004-11-07 23:29:03
Link to this Comment: 11432

Does the internet help develop social and communication skills, or hinder them? I feel while people are able to talk to more people and from farther away, there is less face-to-face contact.

Can a student still survive today’s workplace without computer and internet literacy?

Does the internet in the classroom reinforce social divisions, when a child cannot afford a computer in his/her home?


Questions
Name: Zach
Date: 2004-11-07 23:42:22
Link to this Comment: 11434

1. When I posted my intial comments, I wasn't even thinking about other forms of technology besides the web. In our lifetime, there is always going to be evolving modes of technology. What is technological proficiency and how will educators achieve this?

2. Since the evolution of the internet, I have always been required to use internet resources. What if educators required projects that explicitly required students to NOT use the internet?

3. At what point in a person's education does technology need to play a role?


3 questions
Name: sherira
Date: 2004-11-08 00:47:10
Link to this Comment: 11435

Should safety be a bigger issue when we think about teaching children through the web? I’m not talking about younger kids, but for high-schoolers mostly. The things they could be exposed to online can be way out of their league, but they can very easily get themselves into trouble with it.

As technology gets better and better how do we decide what would be re-inventing the wheel in relation to what we are doing mentally instead of using technology? Who gets to decide what methods are outdated and what aren’t?

As technology grows the world is getting smaller. We have the chance now to collect some of the smartest most motivated minds in the world and link them together through internet cafes and pc’s all over the world. How can we get more people involved in sites like this that bring people from various backgrounds together?


How does it work?
Name: Shana Slut
Date: 2004-11-08 03:53:12
Link to this Comment: 11436

How do you control the material students encounter on the internet, making sure they are protected?



If studies show that people who spend more time in front of their computers and on the internet are more likely to develop depression, what can we do to keep the web an interpersonal experience rather than one that isolates?



How do you prevent dependence on the internet and computers, making students just as capable of writing on paper and searching in encyclopedias as they are of typing and browsing the internet?


Education and Technology
Name: Justine Ga
Date: 2004-11-08 13:32:07
Link to this Comment: 11442

The increasing importance of computers and technology in our society cannot be denied, but I often do not see this importance reflected in schools and pedagogy. Computer literacy is a basic criteria for many jobs, and the definition of literacy is expanding to include more programs and knowledge. Perhaps this is a reason why technology is not more preavalent in schools, siply because it is impossible for teachers and the school to keep up with its ever expanding demands. Also, using technology in schools requires the teachers to learn more, something many are reluctant to do. It is clear that technology has a place in education due to its place in society. The difficulties in implementing a comprehensive technology program are a result of several factors, among them, the ever-expanding and improving body of technology and computer literacy, pedagogical descisions, funding, and further education of teachers.

However, technology's place in education must not be allowed to phase out the important aspects of teacher-to-student and student-to-student relations. There is, in the implementation of extensive technological programs, the danger that these all important relationships will be lost or diminished. The creation of a pedagogy that allows students to gain computer literacy must be balanced with the tradition pedagogy that relies on personal relationships between students and teachers. Just because students can access the information through the use of a computer does not mean that this is the best and only way to access it. There is much to be said for both sides of this arguement, but due to the nature of technology, a true accord can never be reached. It is my opinion that, though the pressures of society are pushing students toward increased dependence on computers, it is essential that interpersonal relationships be preserved.

Art is an interesting field to discuss, in that it contains both traditionl and digital mediums. It is a field that has been greatly affected by the introduction of technology. However, there are artforms that go unchanged, such as painting, ceramics,printmaking and sculpture. these mediums are practiced much the same today as they were a century ago. It will be interesting to see if, in the future, these mediums undergo a transformation or are phased out due to the increase of technology.

Questions
1) Are certain subjects more prone or open to transformation by technology?

2) Does the internet and universal access to information change any basic pedagogy? Do teachers need to change the way they teach certain material, or change the material itself?

3) Should teachers be required to have a certain level of computer literacy? If so, how should this level be maintained?


PS- Sorry this is so late! I went home this weekend and didn't come back till this morning.


3 Questions
Name: Dan Leneha
Date: 2004-11-08 13:54:48
Link to this Comment: 11443

Dwight and Garrison (2003) argue that traditional pedagogical approaches cannot maximize the educational potential that a web-based pedagogy offers. How does the entrance and increasing presence of the internet into education affect our understanding of pedagogy itself?

What is the future of textbooks?

Can educational structures - physical (buildings, classrooms), interpersonal (student-teacher and student-student relationships), and metaphorical (curriculum, educational theory) - as they are now survive as computers and the internet become more a part of the larger educational realm?


EdTech
Name: Natalie
Date: 2004-11-09 18:07:18
Link to this Comment: 11474

I am struck by the reality that technology is simultaneously accessible and inaccessible in so many different ways. It is theoretically accessible in that there is information out there that anyone can access, but there are so many other variables that impede on this accessibility. Coming from the discussion the class had today about multiculturalism, I wonder if there is a difference in the ways that different cultures and ethnic groups approach the use of technology? Aside from cultural differences, the access to the technology itself would act as a mitigating factor. If someone has less experience with technology, they may be less willing to explore a site and search for hard-to-find information. The ability to read, interpret text, and think ahead to what link might get you where you want to go (hypertext) rely on a high level of thinking. A site like Serendip depends on interpretation, which is a high-level cognition that is necessary to use the technology in a purposeful manner. It allows fast access to multiple sources of information, which serves to deepen the points of reference upon which you can situate, your argument. This is a useful thing, but I am also fascinated about the ways that the computerized text is similar and different from text in the printed form. I like the ability to hyperlink to other useful texts, but the physical book/paper itself is irreplaceable and the search for sources of information yourself is necessary to develop many skills necessary in academic work and in jobs in general. Sometimes I think the easy access to readings online makes students unnecessarily lazy!


find me on the WWW
Name: Samantha
Date: 2004-11-10 22:51:16
Link to this Comment: 11501

Natalie, I agree that “technology is simultaneously accessible and inaccessible in so many different ways.” Quite honestly I would say I love the internet. Why? Because I remember a time not too long ago (say late 80’s/early 90’s) when computers first came about, they were so foreign, so impossible to navigate because of the formulas you needed to know, to remember. Then in the 90’s, the internet exploded so to speak. I remember the first time I did a query using a search engine, and how all of this information popped up on the screen. What was once inaccessible b/c of libraries with ancient texts still on its shelves became available to anyone. Anyone that is that could afford to one, own a computer, and two, afford the internet. It was exciting, liberating even. I felt like what was once unknowable I could somehow find the answer

I see that schools have to incorporate technology in the classroom because it is in every aspect of our lives. To be computer-illiterate (well, to be fair, to be “illiterate”) makes it extremely difficult to navigate the world. These days, you can shop, do your banking, make investments, and take college courses, all on the Web.


Education and Technology
Name: Kristina D
Date: 2004-11-11 21:00:25
Link to this Comment: 11525

With the transformation that the internet has gone through since its begining it is no wonder that it has become an educational resource. People are actually able to obtain online college degrees now and take courses online from various universities. With the merge between education and technology people from around the world are able to form a "world wide culture" http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_edu/edtech04/.
Education has been become in some cases dependent on the interent. In some of my clases this semester we can only find our sylabuses on the interent, while in other clases assignments can only be done on the internet. While this is supposed to make life easier it can actually be sometimes more of a hassle. While posting comments on blackboard for classes and pulling up my sylabus I long for actual human conversation about topics. I really dislike the fact that education on the internet has become in my view highly individualized and I feel it lacks a certain humanity appeal. With people taking online courses, where is the education in that? The people who are obtaining online degrees get no experience in a classroom and lack a multicultural education, which in critical issues we have found to be so important. One way to become educated is to here the opinions of others. Everything that is on the internet today is excerpts or snipits of something. I feel that education on the internet is not a complete one and a class should not be soley based on the internet. In conclusion, I feel that although the internet is a highly resourceful place to obtain information, its purposes as a highly educational experience can be debated.


response to first reading
Name: Alice Lesnick
Date: 2004-11-12 19:08:35
Link to this Comment: 11538

It is exciting to read all that is already here. I appreciate seeing the HC and BMC Critical Issues sections together here with voices mingling. This in itself is an interesting instance of the capacity of the web to contribute to community building among people with common interests, pursuits, or commitments. I myself am hopeful about this use of the web.

At this point, I am struck by certain words that recur in several messages: vast, amazing, easy, distraction. I think these are interesting words often linked with web experience. Like somehow the web makes us all into emperors or some sort of supermen and superwomen able to leap tall knowledges . . .

At the same time, reading is not easy; we can still just read one word, one screen at a time, in time; and my own life online is often not distracting or distraction at all, but deeply engrossing, part of my work and social life, part of my parenting (when I write to my daughter's teacher), part of my political participation (when I read and respond to legislative alerts, for example).

It makes me think about how mysterious knowledge is -- how available and inaccessible, in Natalie's terms.

I am glad to be in this project with all of you.


the conversation: present and future
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2004-11-15 13:40:19
Link to this Comment: 11574

Many thanks to all we have taken the time to look over our Serendip reflections and leave your thoughts both about those and about the broader issues of what there is to learn from the interaction between education and the web. As Alice says, the "voices mingling" are very much what this forum is all about. Its an experiment in progress, a testing of the proposition that we can all become wiser through hearing and contributing to a diversity of experiences and perspectives. So far, so good, at least for me.

Very much looking forward to further thoughts/conversation. Please don't feel reluctant to post comments critical of Serendip, of particular uses of the web (including this one), or of the general notion of web use in relation to education. The web is with us. Whether for better or for worse is largely a function of what we individually and collectively decide to do (or not do) with it. In that light, all perspectives are not only welcome but important in shaping our collective future.


Reflection #4: What's really true?
Name: Amanda Boe
Date: 2004-11-15 20:32:09
Link to this Comment: 11584

I feel that the web is a great place for information, communication, etc., and that it should be more widely used in education; however, I guess my problem in the question of what is really truth and what is fiction? I hear horror stories all the time about students getting information off the web and then having all these misconceptions or getting an answer wrong on a test...'but I got it off the Internet!' Obviously, not everything on the Internet is true and I believe it is frustrating for students to have to continually check their sources so as they're getting the quote right or not copying anybody.

Now I realize that educators know this, but this also brings up the question of how much freedom of searching and communicating does a student really have with if an educator has to constantly "watch their back" so they student does cite something that hasn't been verified or to have to tell the students, 'OK, don't go to this, this, and this site because nothing there is true.' I say that the teacher would have to "watch a student's back" or tell them where to go and not to go, because I feel that that is the only way a student can really be safe when doing research, etc. on the internet. Perhaps this idea is a little far fetched, but I feel that the issue of what can one really believe on the internet and how is effects using the internet as a means of education is important.


Fact or Fiction?
Name: Talya Gate
Date: 2004-11-16 11:48:26
Link to this Comment: 11606

As many people before have mentioned, the internet is not exactly a clear authority on all issues. There are so many different opinions that trying to decipher the "right" one can be virtually impossible. I agree with Amanda, so much of the information found on the internet is false or misguided.

If you search a topic like anorexia (for example) you will not only find websited explaining the dangers of it, but you will also find many more websites offering "support" to those who want to keep starving themselves. And by support, I mean tips for how to do it more effectively. Now, I know that I am not an authority on this subject either, but...that's not healthy!!! Impressionable children won't necessarily be able to discern the fact from the fiction on the internet.
The unlimited sources on the internet can offer many advantages when trying to research anything, but in the process, one can find many things that aren't useful, and worse than that, harmful.

Despite the negative aspects of the internet for education purposes, when used correctly it can offer many resources, abilities, and connections that would otherwise be inaccessible. There needs to be guidance for children (and adults) who are learning to search and use the internet.



Name: Camille Po
Date: 2004-11-16 21:25:56
Link to this Comment: 11619

The internet and other forms of technology provide easy access to information and tools to enhance education. However, it is also very easy for students to be over dependent on these tools. I agree with what Zack said above, that technology must “be used as a supplement to education as a whole.” Education should be more than plugging equations into a calculator or retrieving information from the internet. The internet is a great means to expand knowledge and communicate with others, but I fear that people will take everything for face value and not question the material.
I also observe a high school math class, and the class often uses their graphing calculators to perform various functions and experiment with graphs. Each class, the teacher uses the calculator to provide an accurate visual for the students. When used in this way, the calculator can be beneficial. However, there are times when the teacher seems surprised that the students did the problem by hand instead of using the calculator. I don’t think this should be happening; the teacher should encourage the students to not rely on the calculator. I think the students should have a good understanding of the theories and techniques behind the mathematical functions. This is also important because the calculator is not always right. Not all programs are perfect, and students must have the skills to recognize the problems and be able to compute themselves.
This can also be applied to the internet. We can not get rid of the misleading information on the internet, but we can teach students to recognize which information is not correct. Students should be able to analyze the vast amount of information in websites and know when information is inaccurate or bias, etc. Technology provides excellent opportunities to expand knowledge and share ideas, but there must be an emphasis on critical thinking in schools so technology can be used effectively.


initial thoughts
Name: Liz
Date: 2004-11-16 21:38:37
Link to this Comment: 11620

I think the idea of an ever-changing educational space is very exciting. The idea that what you are reading at the moment you go to a webpage can be the most up to date information available (though this is of course not always the case if a website is not constantly updated) is such a great thought. Books do not have this ability to provide the most recent information and ideas. Not only are the ideas the most recent but they also allow for change. Books cannot be changed or improved while the internet can constantly change and modify ideas. I think internet-based learning represents a more accurate model for education. Nothing we learn is ever an end or an absolute, it is always being reshaped and always grows. The way that the internet can allow for these types of advances seems incredible.

I do agree that there are many problems with the internet as it is today. Anyway can make a page on the internet and this is a very scary idea. The internet is a fairly new phenomenon in education and there is much to be learned by both teachers and students. However, if we give students the skills needed to search the internet properly and to identify valuable resources, this could in itself be a great lesson. If students can differentiate the valuable from invaluable information, they will have an even greater understanding and appretiation of the material. I believe that there are ways that people can be taught to use the internet wisely and with this knowledge, the internet can serve as a great place to learn.


3 Questions
Name: Kristina D
Date: 2004-11-17 10:59:03
Link to this Comment: 11625

Can one obtain a mulitcultural and well rounded education from having no classroom conatct?

Who regulates the information that we often find in research and naturally percieve to be true?

Can there be such a thing as too much of an emphasis put on technology in the classroom?


The Value of Human Interaction
Name: Laura Shar
Date: 2004-11-17 12:02:07
Link to this Comment: 11626

While I agree with many of the comments that have been made, citing the advantages of technology-aided education, I continue to be naged by the question of what it means to teach our students by putting them in front of a machine. I understand that there is a lot to be gained by such an action (wealth of knowledge, personal authority over what is being learned) but I have to wonder what is being lost? Are we essentially saying to our students, "This machine will do a better job at teaching you than I can." Or to a greater extreme, "Teaching you myself is not worth my time." Little thought is being given to the loss of human interaction. To be computer savy is an undeniable advantage in today's job market and training students for that reality must be a part of modern education. I wonder, however, what trends in society are being perpetuated by increased use of technology in classrooms. Are we perhaps neglecting to encourage the compassionate and humanitarian side of our students? Are we teaching them that everything there is to know can be found on the internet? If we don't teach our students to interact with other humans in a possitive, creative, and instructional way, is it possible that they will learn to think that there is nothing to be learned from the people around them?

I understand that these are rather extreme questions to be asking and that in most cases, technology has not completely taken the place of discussion and interaction but I can't help but temper my positive feelings about technology with conerns I have over the trends I am seeing. If the level of technology becomes the measure of a good school, I can't help but be frightened by the qualities that value will foster in future students.

For example, I would much preffer to have had this discussion with my class face-to-face and i believe that I would have gained much more from it in terms of understanding their view


Questions
Name: xuan-shi
Date: 2004-11-17 14:57:26
Link to this Comment: 11629


Fellow coursemates have voiced their concerns about the accuracy of information on the web and the lack of "human" contact. I think that it is important for us, as students, to be "masters" of and not "slaves" to the internet. The internet is simply another form of media and the best thing about it is that everyone is able to participate in the dialogue if they want to. It may even faciltate cross-cultural conversations because users are blind to the skin color/accent of fellow users. In this way, it is possible to have a more meaningful exchange of intellectual ideas or opinions. One may feel less inhibited about expressing one's thoughts, and it works well for students who are shy about speaking up during class discussions.

Some questions:
1. How can we build an educational network within the web that allows students to communicate with other professionals (who are not teachers)? Purpose: career development, mentoring etc.

2. How can we expand the "functions" of the internet for educational purposes? (online quizzes? online exams?)

3. Should there be a set of skills that students must acquire in order to benefit from the use of technology in the classroom? What are these skills?





more on the internet
Name: smartine@b
Date: 2004-11-17 21:10:03
Link to this Comment: 11636

Certainly there is a lot to think about when using the World Wide web as an educational tool. While it's true that many sources are questionable on the internet, many more are viable places for information gathering and further analysis of any number of ideas, topics, concerns, and so on. I see the WWW being used in ways in my classroom (my placement) that utilize cd rom materials that are linked to educational websites where students can learn material that might not be accessible in their school.

There is a sense in the postings that using computers will somehow take away or replace human contact with students. I do not see this happening anytime soon, for it implies that all schools or that everyone has access to many or a computer. Technology is continually advancing and I do not think we can avoid the implications this has for the classroom, but I think it will be up to educators to decide how much technology to rely on in the classroom.

On a more practical note, typing for long periods and sitting in front of a computer is a real pain in the neck and hands! literally. Repetitive stress injuries are rising...


Better for who?
Name: molly
Date: 2004-11-17 22:17:56
Link to this Comment: 11638

A question that Richard raised in one of the tech articles was this: "What level of technological competence should we except faculty and students to have?"
This question struck me and immediately caused me to respond with some of my own. What students/faculty? And where? The term "technological competence" seems so vast and inclusive of so many things. It is also relative to the role technology plays for the individual in society. There is no prototype for a "typical" public or private school classroom, because they are all so diverse in pedagogy, practice and population. Technology is not like high school Math, where if you know the prescribed set of "basic mathematics" - (Algebra, Geometry, Trig), then you are sent out into the world, presumably armed with all the knowledge you will ever need to know about that subject. "Tech" has become such a huge part of our lives and culture, affecting each of us in different ways. Therefore, is it realistic to assume that there should be a general level of competency that students possess by the end of 11th grade? Or 12th?
Another problem I have with incorporating technology more actively into the classroom setting, is the fact that some of the schools I have both worked in and attended have been totally lacking of any of the resources (such as computers, science labs or visual projectors)that would make this innovative form of education plausible. This is merely evidence of the fact that technology does not play an equal role in the education of EVERY student in ANY classroom. Technology DOES NOT come for free, and even though it has come to be seen as a "necessary" part of our education, it is still a priveledge that many are denied.
Don't get me wrong. I think that educating students about technology and incorporating it appropriately into the curriculum is an important and worthy longterm goal. It is easy to say that ed/tech is a great thing. My point is - great for who? Who is being prepared for the jobs that will demand such "competency", and what classrooms will benefit the most? By further incorporating technology into the classroom setting, are we actually widening the socio-economic gap between those who have access to such resources, and those who do not?


Responses and questions
Name: Darla
Date: 2004-11-17 23:18:35
Link to this Comment: 11639

I've found this dialogue engaging and this venue exciting. To be in an education class, studying the subject of education and technology, and to complete an assigment on that subject by utilizing Seredip is neat.

I think it is true that we are "masters" of our own time and use of the Internet, to a degree. When we are at home, somehow finding ourselves with free time (someday after college), we can make a choice regarding our use of the Internet. When we are assigned to use it for the purposes of education -- researching, attaining syllabi, posting papers, making mandatory postings on a discussion board or in a forum -- we are no longer masters of our activity. We are, at least in the research aspect, to some degree victims of incorrect information. We are also forced into dialogues (on discussion boards, for example) that lack "humanity." My first question is whether that really matters. Is the goal of technology, and specifically the Internet, in education to present students with a world in which everything they read can be trusted? Are we aiming to give students the illusion that our modern age fosters long, meaningful dinners with those with whom we wish to communicate? We would decieve them. The sooner students learn how to discern fact from fiction, the better. And the sooner they learn how to interact via the Internet with others, the better. This is not to say that human contact or libraries are not important; it is simply to acknowledge that education should stay in current dialoge with technology.

I've seen a lot of interesting posts about how the Internet does or does not help with multiculturalism. Some say that because we are all words on a page, we are suddenly the same. Others say this sameness is an illusion; a facade that ignores important differences. For my second question, I would like to ask to both groups: rather than make us the same, can the Internet help us to embrace our differences? By allowing us a place to research anything in the world, we can educate ourselves about different cultures. By being able to fully consider each thing we say, we can speak more intelligently and considerately. By not having accents or faces attached to text, we can read it for its own merit regardless of our prejudices. It allows us to see one another deeply first, superficially second. The cake precedes the icing.

Thirdly, regarding the problem of incorrect or inappropriate content: I still believe that there is worth in a student stumbling across unfounded "facts." It teaches a student how to think, and how to question. There is another issue, and that is the issue of inappropriate material. The Internet is swarming with video clips of brutal violence, pages and pages of free pornography, and endless access to ... anything. For a third grader, this could be a serious problem. My third question is about rating systems. We already have warnings on adult content sites that one must be 18 to enter. Is it feasible to have a system of rating, similar to film and tv, which tells what age-level is appropriate to view a certain page? Is it feasible to have a similar rating system that tells us how "reliable" a site is?

I've really enjoyed reading everybody's comments. I hope the dialoge continues beyond our assignment.


Questions
Name: Camille
Date: 2004-11-17 23:43:32
Link to this Comment: 11642

How can we ensure students think critically while using the internet and other forms of technology?

What role does instant messenger play in education? Does it deteriorate a student's language skills? Could it be used in the classroom to connect students with others in and outside of their community?


accuracy
Name: Abbey Mann
Date: 2004-11-19 00:22:14
Link to this Comment: 11667

Relating to a much earlier post, the accuracy issue in relation to the internet is such an important one. I feel that it's so hard with all the information that exists on the internet to know if what you are reading is accurate at all. Often times complete spurious things are posted as fact, this is disturbing. However, shared information is the whole point of the internet and so much of what learning consists of obtaining new knowledge and being able to discern for yourself whether or not you agree with it.

Furthermore, even with the trillions upon trillions of gigabites of data being searched through everyday by programs like google, the internet seems to be growing exponentially each day. At some point the truth must be able to outweight the lies that exist, making more easy to decide.


Ownership of Learning
Name: sarah tayl
Date: 2004-11-21 15:48:04
Link to this Comment: 11707

I want to jump back to Dan's first post on this thread about whether we're using the internet as means or an end. We can talk as much as we want about what the internet gives us "access" to, but what is the nature of that access? If the internet is a way of becoming more multicultural in our approaches to the classroom, how genuine an experience can that multiculturalism be?

I fully acknowledge the wealth of information that the internet provides; in my opinion its convenience and ease are its greatest assets. The value of using the internet as a learning tool concerns me not so much because of the content and question of accuracy of available information (although this is certainly an issue), but because of the quality of the learning experience. It concerns me that technology is seen as such an asset to the classroom and that nobody seems to be questioning that. Whatever pedagogical choices we're making, we're sacrificing some other experiential possibilities. If kids are in front of computers all day accessing all this information, can they process it all? Are the methods of learning just as important as the information being learned? It seems like our parents were on to something when they questioned whether our generation would be able to do simple math if we started using calculators all the time. I wonder if we're losing some of our ability to learn from human interaction and cooperation because of spending too much time in front of computers. We're gaining a LOT from the integration of technology in education, but what are we losing?


another thought
Name: sarah tayl
Date: 2004-11-21 15:51:16
Link to this Comment: 11708

Camille- sorry I didn't see your comment before I posted. I think you raise a really interesting question about the ability to think critically.

In response to your question about instant messenger, I'll tack on another question: how can we balance the value of 'expanding our horizons' and connections with the rest of the community with the fact that it seems so impersonal?


technolgoy adjusts itself`
Name: Googler
Date: 2004-11-25 12:28:20
Link to this Comment: 11770

As we continue to question and ponder the uses of technology in the classroom...

There has been much discussion about what is correct information on the internet, especially when we do more and more research on the internet. One of the most popular search sites is trying to address this--Google.

Check out www.scholar.google.com


questions and comments
Name: Alice Lesnick
Date: 2004-11-29 14:57:53
Link to this Comment: 11784

Hello everyone,

I've enjoyed the scope and pacing of this project. At the same time, in our section we have not yet had a chance to talk about it face to face; we'll be doing that next week as part of closing the course. So one question I have at the outset concerns the interplay of online and f2f communication. My wish is to have had more time in the syllabus to move between them. This suggests that when we talk about/plan for teaching with computer-mediated communication, we need always to remember that we should also talk about the f2f accompaniment.

To the comments about the blurry distinctions between fact and fiction to be found online, along with the presence of statements more or less certified by processes of peer review, I want to add the thought that perhaps ongoing experience of online writing will help us as readers to be sensitive to standpoint as a feature of any utterance. In other words, the teller is always part of the told.

Another question I have concerns manners for online exchanges. There is something liberating in the release from embodied forms of politeness that online talk occasions. At the same time, I miss acknowledgement of my ideas when I put them out there and no one responds. In person, there might be a nod or some eye contact to signal some kind of uptake; online, the silence does not speak so I can hear it!

Finally, I love the idea that Xuan-Shi raised about using the Internet to facilitate students' communication with professionals. In my new course next term I have planned just such a thing, through asking students to post on Serendip drafts of sections of a handbook the class will be writing so that professionals and peers we invite to be reviewers/feedback-givers can contribute to the writing's development through an online comment period.

Thanks, everyone.

Best,
Alice


the conversation/experiment
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2004-12-16 16:37:46
Link to this Comment: 11981

"I hope the dialogue continues beyond our assignment". Me too. VERY much. This has been a very rich and valuable conversation for me, and I hope/think for others too, not only in this class but more generally. Many many thanks to all involved. And, yes, hopes that people will stay involved as the conversation continues. Here and elsewhere.


My own sense is that many of the concerns expressed here about technology and the web in education are quite legitimate and important. Interestingly, though, while technology/the web help bring the concerns to mind most of them are not SPECIFIC to the web/technology, ie they have always existed and will exist in any technology context unless addressed specifically as general educational problems. There is nothing new, for example, about the need to help students learn to separate "fact" from "fiction", nothing new about educational disadvantages associated with a relative lack of money, nothing new about needing to show students the benefits of appreciating differences among human beings rather than using them to discriminate. To the extent this is true, the thoughts here support the idea that, if nothing else, the web "provides an environment in which ideas about education can evolve and be tested for subsequent use ... in educational environments of all kinds."


I do think though that the discussion here supports something more than that, the idea that the web is, in addition, not only an unprecedented information resource but also a new and powerful way for humans to become engaged participants in broader sharing of ideas and hence in the shaping of cultural stories. It shouldn't, and won't of course, replace face to face contact (or any the other ways we have to share stories) but it can and does add distinctively and powerfully to the capability of individuals to shape their own lives and, in so doing, to play a greater role in collective stories. This conversation itrself seems to me testimonial to that potential.


In the most immediate terms, the conversation has led to some changes in the Serendip Education and Technology section, so if you haven't visited there recently go back and see (and of course leave any thoughts about the changes if you're inclined). And in the longer run ... we'll see what we have wrought (or at least contributed to). "silence does not speak so I can hear it", but that doesn't mean seeds haven't been planted. Keep in mind that things said here are (because of the web) in a form that others can yet hear.

Looking forward to working with Alice next term and to whatever things yet unknown develop from what has been done here so far. My thanks again to all.



new/not new
Name:
Date: 2004-12-16 22:01:20
Link to this Comment: 11986

Hello everyone,

I appreciate what you write, Paul, about how many of the concerns voiced in our forum are not new and in fact have long been noted. It occurs to me in this connection that the advent of the web may be renewing pedagogical inquiry in potentially useful ways.

I like the changes you guys have made to the Serendip page. The invitation to others to participate in and co-author the inquiry is much more dramatic, central, and overt. The pictures are engaging, as well.

More to come . . .

Best,
Alice


make mony by 6$
Name:
Date: 2005-02-15 13:46:59
Link to this Comment: 12912

This is an amazing opportunity
This is NOT a scam! This system actually works! Read the following (original) message: Message: Dear Friends: Greetings: I am a retired attorney. A few years ago a man came to me with a letter. He asked me to verify the fact that this was legal to do. I told him I would review it and get back to him. When I first read the letter my client brought me, I thought it was some "off-the-wall" idea to make money. A week and a half later we met in my office to discuss the issue. I told him the letter he originally brought me was not 100% legal. My client then asked me to alter it to make it perfectly legal. I asked him to make one small change in the letter. I was still curious about the letter, so he explained to me how it works. I thought it seemed like a long shot, so I decided against participating. But before my client left, I asked him to keep me updated on his results. About two months later, he called me to tell me he had received over $800,000 in cash. I didn't believe him, so he asked me to try this idea and find out for myself. I thought about it for a couple of days and decided I really didn't have anything to lose, so I asked him for a copy of the letters. I followed the instructions exactly, mailed 200 copies, and sure enough, the money started coming in! It arrived slowly at first, but it kept coming. I kept a precise record of the earnings, and in the end, it totaled $978,493! I could hardly believe it. I met with my friend for lunch to find out exactly how it worked. He told me there are quite a few similar letters around, but this one is different because there are six names at the end of the letter, not five like some others. This fact alone results in your name being in far more returns. The other fact was the help I gave him, making sure the whole thing was legal, since no one wants to take the risk of doing something illegal. By now you are surely curious to know what small changes to make. If you sent a letter like this one out, in order to be completely legal, you must actually sell something in order to receive a dollar in return. So when you send a dollar to each of the names on the list, you must include these words, "PLEASE PUT ME ON YOUR MAILING LIST" and include your name and address. This is the key to the program. The item you will receive for the dollar you sent to the six people below is the letter. At the time I first tried this idea, I was earning a good living as a lawyer. But everyone in the legal profession will tell you there is a lot of stress that comes with the job. I told myself if things worked out, I would retired from my practice and play golf. I decided to try the letter again, but this time I sent 500 copies. Three months later, I had totaled $2,341,178! Here are a few reasons a person might give for not trying this program: o Some people think they can never make a lot of money with anything this simple. o Some are afraid they will be ridiculed for trying o Some dream of large sums of money, but do nothing to actually achieve it. o Some are just plain lazy. o Some are afraid of losing their investment. They think this program is designed to beat them out of a few dollars. The system works if you will just try it. But you must follow the simple instructions exactly, and in less than three months, you will receive $800,000 GUARANTEED! Keep what you are doing to yourself for awhile. Many will tell you it won't work and will try to talk you out of your dreams. Let them know of your success after it works. LETTERS FROM PARTICIPANTS IN THIS PROGRAM: My name is David Rhodes. In 1992 my car was repossessed and bill collectors were housing my. I was laid off and my unemployment ran out. In October of 1992, I received a letter telling me how to earn $800,000 anytime I wanted. Of course, I was skeptical. But because I was so desperate and virtually had nothing to lose, I gave it a try. In January 1993, my family and I went on a 10-day cruise. The next month I bought a brand new Mercedes with cash! I am currently building a home in Virginia and I will never have to work again. This money program really works perfectly every time. I have never failed to receive less than $500,000. This is a legitimate, money-making opportunity. It does not require you to sell anything or to come in contact with people. And, best of all, you only leave the house to mail the letters. If you have always believed that someday you would get the lucky break, then simply follow the instructions and make dreams come true. Larry McMahon, Norfolk, VA Six months ago, I received this letter and ignored it. Five more came within a period of time and I ignored them also. I was tempted, but I was convinced that they were just a Hoax. After three weeks of deliberating, I decided to give it a try (not expecting much). Two weeks went by and nothing happened. The fourth week was unbelievable! I can't say I received $800,000 but I received $400,000. For the first time in years, I am debt free. I am doing this again, only this time starting with 500 posts. I strongly recommend that you follow the instructions exactly as outlined in this letter. INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Immediately send $1.00 to each of the six people on the list at the end of this letter. Wrap the dollar bill in a note saying "Please add me to your mailing list" and include your name and address. 2. Copy this letter. You do not have to type it 200 times. Simply place your cursor at the top of the page, hold it and drag it all the way down to the end of the letter. Then click on "edit" and select "copy". Now open up a notepad or MS word file on your computer and put the cursor at the top of the page in the notepad, click on 'edit' and then select 'paste' it will copy the letter for you onto your computer. 3. Remove the name next to the no.1 on the list and move the rest of the names UP one position (no.2 becomes no.1, no.3 becomes no.2, and so on…..) Then place your name in the no.6 position. Then save it, make sure it is saved as a .txt file or .doc file. 4. When you have completed the instructions, take this letter and then go to (Google, Yahoo,...) and type in (Making Money Massege board, or post message,...)and start posting your copy to 200 message boards, or more this is only the minimum, you can post as much as you like...The more copies you send the better the results. Keep a copy of this letter so you can use it a second time. Post it out again in six months, but Post it with the addresses you receive with each dollar. It will work better the second time. NOTE: This service is 100% legal - (Refer to title 18 section 1302 of the U.S. Postal & lottery laws) How does it work? o When you send out 200 Posts, it is estimated that at least 15 people will respond and send you a $1.00 ($15.00). o Those 15 will Post 200 Posts each and 225 people send you $1.00 ($225.00). o Those 225 people Post 200 Posts each and 3,375 people send you $1.00 ($3,375.00). o Those 3,375 post 200 posts each and 759,375 people send you $1.00 ($759,375.00) o At this point your name drops off the list, but so far you have received $813,615.00. The thing to remember is… do you realize that thousands of people all over the world are joining the internet and reading these articles everyday, JUST LIKE YOU are now!! So can you afford $6… and see if it really works?? I think so… People have said, 'what if the plan is played out and no one sends you: the money? So what are the chances of that happening when there are tons of new honest users and new honest people who are joining the internet and newsgroups everyday and are willing to give it a try? Estimates are at 20,000 to 50,000 new users, every day, with thousands of those joining the actual Internet. P.S. When your money begins to come in, give the first 10% to charity with spirit and share a good fortune! Names and Address:
#1) Justin Hutchings. P.O. BOX 242 Hawkinsville, GA 31036, U.S.A.#
#2) R. Anderson 6139 Loud Dr. Oscoda, MI 48750, U.S.A
#3) C.R. Balamuragan 33B/5-Nepal street, Kallakurichi, 606202, villupuram district, :Tamilnadu India
#4) James Rice, 9 Tony Street, Williamston, Sc, 29697, USA:
#5) Omer Khalid Abdulla . Hadhramoot, Shibam,P.O.Box:55053 Yemen
#6) Yaron Beker, Aarmonim Street 15/6 Kriyat Bialik , 27230, Israel
This really really works, I've tried it once and I'm doing it again, first to be honest I only posted 145 posts and I didn't receive a lot only 6,689.00$ in 3 months, at least this means that it really works, so this time I'm posting 604 posts and I've got so far in 2 month 15,640.00$ this is really like a dream come true. So go on and try it trust me you've got nothing to lose.... Important tip - Cover money by paper (colored/black if possible) fully by which it can not been seen in light, because postal employees do some cheat some times....ok $6.00 with a little postal charge will be very little cost comparing by how much you will be actually getting in return. It doesn't hurt to give a try. By the way, just a reminder… the $1.00 is in US Dollar. à You might think that making money by opening the PayPal account is better… but honestly, PayPal Accounts are hackable and sometimes there are also cases that happen where you can't even withdraw/claim your money from your account or your account got blocked by PayPal for uncertain reasons. So, sometimes it is still better that you use the traditional (mail) ways because technologies can cheat us.


Last changed: February 14, 2005


make mony by 6$
Name: beker
Date: 2005-02-15 13:47:44
Link to this Comment: 12913

This is an amazing opportunity
This is NOT a scam! This system actually works! Read the following (original) message: Message: Dear Friends: Greetings: I am a retired attorney. A few years ago a man came to me with a letter. He asked me to verify the fact that this was legal to do. I told him I would review it and get back to him. When I first read the letter my client brought me, I thought it was some "off-the-wall" idea to make money. A week and a half later we met in my office to discuss the issue. I told him the letter he originally brought me was not 100% legal. My client then asked me to alter it to make it perfectly legal. I asked him to make one small change in the letter. I was still curious about the letter, so he explained to me how it works. I thought it seemed like a long shot, so I decided against participating. But before my client left, I asked him to keep me updated on his results. About two months later, he called me to tell me he had received over $800,000 in cash. I didn't believe him, so he asked me to try this idea and find out for myself. I thought about it for a couple of days and decided I really didn't have anything to lose, so I asked him for a copy of the letters. I followed the instructions exactly, mailed 200 copies, and sure enough, the money started coming in! It arrived slowly at first, but it kept coming. I kept a precise record of the earnings, and in the end, it totaled $978,493! I could hardly believe it. I met with my friend for lunch to find out exactly how it worked. He told me there are quite a few similar letters around, but this one is different because there are six names at the end of the letter, not five like some others. This fact alone results in your name being in far more returns. The other fact was the help I gave him, making sure the whole thing was legal, since no one wants to take the risk of doing something illegal. By now you are surely curious to know what small changes to make. If you sent a letter like this one out, in order to be completely legal, you must actually sell something in order to receive a dollar in return. So when you send a dollar to each of the names on the list, you must include these words, "PLEASE PUT ME ON YOUR MAILING LIST" and include your name and address. This is the key to the program. The item you will receive for the dollar you sent to the six people below is the letter. At the time I first tried this idea, I was earning a good living as a lawyer. But everyone in the legal profession will tell you there is a lot of stress that comes with the job. I told myself if things worked out, I would retired from my practice and play golf. I decided to try the letter again, but this time I sent 500 copies. Three months later, I had totaled $2,341,178! Here are a few reasons a person might give for not trying this program: o Some people think they can never make a lot of money with anything this simple. o Some are afraid they will be ridiculed for trying o Some dream of large sums of money, but do nothing to actually achieve it. o Some are just plain lazy. o Some are afraid of losing their investment. They think this program is designed to beat them out of a few dollars. The system works if you will just try it. But you must follow the simple instructions exactly, and in less than three months, you will receive $800,000 GUARANTEED! Keep what you are doing to yourself for awhile. Many will tell you it won't work and will try to talk you out of your dreams. Let them know of your success after it works. LETTERS FROM PARTICIPANTS IN THIS PROGRAM: My name is David Rhodes. In 1992 my car was repossessed and bill collectors were housing my. I was laid off and my unemployment ran out. In October of 1992, I received a letter telling me how to earn $800,000 anytime I wanted. Of course, I was skeptical. But because I was so desperate and virtually had nothing to lose, I gave it a try. In January 1993, my family and I went on a 10-day cruise. The next month I bought a brand new Mercedes with cash! I am currently building a home in Virginia and I will never have to work again. This money program really works perfectly every time. I have never failed to receive less than $500,000. This is a legitimate, money-making opportunity. It does not require you to sell anything or to come in contact with people. And, best of all, you only leave the house to mail the letters. If you have always believed that someday you would get the lucky break, then simply follow the instructions and make dreams come true. Larry McMahon, Norfolk, VA Six months ago, I received this letter and ignored it. Five more came within a period of time and I ignored them also. I was tempted, but I was convinced that they were just a Hoax. After three weeks of deliberating, I decided to give it a try (not expecting much). Two weeks went by and nothing happened. The fourth week was unbelievable! I can't say I received $800,000 but I received $400,000. For the first time in years, I am debt free. I am doing this again, only this time starting with 500 posts. I strongly recommend that you follow the instructions exactly as outlined in this letter. INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Immediately send $1.00 to each of the six people on the list at the end of this letter. Wrap the dollar bill in a note saying "Please add me to your mailing list" and include your name and address. 2. Copy this letter. You do not have to type it 200 times. Simply place your cursor at the top of the page, hold it and drag it all the way down to the end of the letter. Then click on "edit" and select "copy". Now open up a notepad or MS word file on your computer and put the cursor at the top of the page in the notepad, click on 'edit' and then select 'paste' it will copy the letter for you onto your computer. 3. Remove the name next to the no.1 on the list and move the rest of the names UP one position (no.2 becomes no.1, no.3 becomes no.2, and so on…..) Then place your name in the no.6 position. Then save it, make sure it is saved as a .txt file or .doc file. 4. When you have completed the instructions, take this letter and then go to (Google, Yahoo,...) and type in (Making Money Massege board, or post message,...)and start posting your copy to 200 message boards, or more this is only the minimum, you can post as much as you like...The more copies you send the better the results. Keep a copy of this letter so you can use it a second time. Post it out again in six months, but Post it with the addresses you receive with each dollar. It will work better the second time. NOTE: This service is 100% legal - (Refer to title 18 section 1302 of the U.S. Postal & lottery laws) How does it work? o When you send out 200 Posts, it is estimated that at least 15 people will respond and send you a $1.00 ($15.00). o Those 15 will Post 200 Posts each and 225 people send you $1.00 ($225.00). o Those 225 people Post 200 Posts each and 3,375 people send you $1.00 ($3,375.00). o Those 3,375 post 200 posts each and 759,375 people send you $1.00 ($759,375.00) o At this point your name drops off the list, but so far you have received $813,615.00. The thing to remember is… do you realize that thousands of people all over the world are joining the internet and reading these articles everyday, JUST LIKE YOU are now!! So can you afford $6… and see if it really works?? I think so… People have said, 'what if the plan is played out and no one sends you: the money? So what are the chances of that happening when there are tons of new honest users and new honest people who are joining the internet and newsgroups everyday and are willing to give it a try? Estimates are at 20,000 to 50,000 new users, every day, with thousands of those joining the actual Internet. P.S. When your money begins to come in, give the first 10% to charity with spirit and share a good fortune! Names and Address:
#1) Justin Hutchings. P.O. BOX 242 Hawkinsville, GA 31036, U.S.A.#
#2) R. Anderson 6139 Loud Dr. Oscoda, MI 48750, U.S.A
#3) C.R. Balamuragan 33B/5-Nepal street, Kallakurichi, 606202, villupuram district, :Tamilnadu India
#4) James Rice, 9 Tony Street, Williamston, Sc, 29697, USA:
#5) Omer Khalid Abdulla . Hadhramoot, Shibam,P.O.Box:55053 Yemen
#6) Yaron Beker, Aarmonim Street 15/6 Kriyat Bialik , 27230, Israel
This really really works, I've tried it once and I'm doing it again, first to be honest I only posted 145 posts and I didn't receive a lot only 6,689.00$ in 3 months, at least this means that it really works, so this time I'm posting 604 posts and I've got so far in 2 month 15,640.00$ this is really like a dream come true. So go on and try it trust me you've got nothing to lose.... Important tip - Cover money by paper (colored/black if possible) fully by which it can not been seen in light, because postal employees do some cheat some times....ok $6.00 with a little postal charge will be very little cost comparing by how much you will be actually getting in return. It doesn't hurt to give a try. By the way, just a reminder… the $1.00 is in US Dollar. à You might think that making money by opening the PayPal account is better… but honestly, PayPal Accounts are hackable and sometimes there are also cases that happen where you can't even withdraw/claim your money from your account or your account got blocked by PayPal for uncertain reasons. So, sometimes it is still better that you use the traditional (mail) ways because technologies can cheat us.


Last changed: February 14, 2005


Technology in Education
Name: Emily Mulv
Date: 2005-03-15 19:39:06
Link to this Comment: 13537

I grew up in the 'age before the Internet.' When I turned 12, the Internet and technology were a major staple in every day life. Although not used in the classroom often, technology and computers were a main component to the classrooms I learned in. My elementary school even felt that typing was such an asset, we were made to have typing and computer lessons every other week. Thinking back, the typing and computer skills I gained from those lessons were imperative to my future, because of the explode of technology being utilized in every aspect of life.

I feel that technology in education can be good and bad. The skills I was given to lead me to other areas of expertise and interest in my life, have immensely helped me with my research and writing, due to the endless possibilities of the web.

There's much more than computers and the WWW as far as technology in the classrooom is concered. Overhead projectors, machines, calculators, type writers, lighting, etc. continue to be technologically improved to benefit students. I believe that there are many beneficial ways to utilize what we have been given. With technology, students have the potential to broaden their horizons with research, as well as speed up the process of work, and make life a bit easier for students.

However, there is such a thing as overusing technology. The over exposure of technology and computers in the classroom may serve as a distraction for students, as well as a simple way of plaigiarising or giving the false impression that education and answers are easy to come by if there is a machine in assistance.

Although there are a few kinks that must be worked out concerning technology in the classroom, I strongly believe that there are wonderful uses and appropriate situations in which technology can be utilized to enhance experience. It is up to the curriculum, students and teacher when and where technology is used.


Reflection 4- Critical Issues and Education
Name: Leah Fiasc
Date: 2005-03-20 11:04:35
Link to this Comment: 13655

Leah Fiasca

When interviewing the students in my placement, I was astounded to learn both the extensive role that technology plays in their life, the social interactions they have by using the internet, and their extremely simplistic definition of it. The first question I asked was the definition of technology. All of them immediately responded, “computers.” Granted, computers are considered a major part in the science and technology world, but when I asked them if they wanted to name any other forms of technology they shrugged and one girl tentatively suggested, “Cell phones?”
In my second question, I asked them how often they used their computers at home and what they used them for. All of the students said they used it for a good hour every night to do homework, and then at least another hour to “talk on-line.” Their answers explained their extreme dependence on their computers and I immediately then asked them, “What would you do if you were not allowed to use your computer?” and then their eyes widened. They said they were not sure what they would do, because they need it to do so many things, such as to talk to their friends, do their homework, play games, find out information about sports, and clothes on the internet, etc.
And that is when it hit me. These students do not remember a time when computers were not everywhere. In fact, they do not remember a time when the internet was not at their disposal. The students at my placement have become very dependent on the internet, and have learned to


Reflection 4- Critical Issues in Education
Name: Leah Fiasc
Date: 2005-03-20 11:06:41
Link to this Comment: 13656

When interviewing the students in my placement, I was astounded to learn both the extensive role that technology plays in their life, the social interactions they have by using the internet, and their extremely simplistic definition of it. The first question I asked was the definition of technology. All of them immediately responded, “computers.” Granted, computers are considered a major part in the science and technology world, but when I asked them if they wanted to name any other forms of technology they shrugged and one girl tentatively suggested, “Cell phones?”
In my second question, I asked them how often they used their computers at home and what they used them for. All of the students said they used it for a good hour every night to do homework, and then at least another hour to “talk on-line.” Their answers explained their extreme dependence on their computers and I immediately then asked them, “What would you do if you were not allowed to use your computer?” and then their eyes widened. They said they were not sure what they would do, because they need it to do so many things, such as to talk to their friends, do their homework, play games, find out information about sports, and clothes on the internet, etc.
And that is when it hit me. These students do not remember a time when computers were not everywhere. In fact, they do not remember a time when the internet was not at their disposal. The students at my placement have become very dependent on the internet, and have learned to communicate, find information, study, and do work through such technology.


Technology in Schools
Name: Sophia Kos
Date: 2005-03-20 15:47:06
Link to this Comment: 13668

Before reading the article by Meyer and Rose, I really have not given too much thought to the role of technology in schools today. I did not have my first computer class until the eighth grade, and even then computers were still a secondary resource to books, encyclopedias, and other resources around my house. I wasn't ever really comfortable using computers until my last couple years in highschool. I used to prefer to hand write papers, and find sources at the library. And I hardly ever used the computer for anything other than typing a paper from a draft I had already written.

Now I use computers and other devices everyday as aids to homework and research. And when interviewing a current highschool sophomore, I found that young students today are even more comfortable with using technology as aids than I am today. As I asked questions, the student gave answers that showed that he felt computers were nothing new, but he did understand what life would be like without them. He admitted that he would have to spend more time at the library and spend extra hours making copies instead of using wordcheck to edit a paper within minutes. To him, technology represents machines used for leisure and to help with work.

Although he definitely relies on computers for projects and papers, the student did not like the idea of computers as substitutes for teaching in the classroom. In technology class, he often uses a program called "Active Book", that helps teach the students about computers and other resources available to them. Using computers to learn about computers was not a problem, but once the program crossed into other subjects the student became uncomfortable. He said that the sometimes used the probram during history class, and that "was not cool". Once the computer actually replaces the teacher, it is no longer an acceptable part of education. For the future, it will be important to find the balance between technology and classroom interactions, so that students can learn in a comfortable atmosphere.


Multiple Uses of Technology
Name:
Date: 2005-03-20 15:54:08
Link to this Comment: 13670

I had the pleasure of interviewing a high school senior who described her idea of technology and the role it plays in her life. She defined technology as a wide array of "useful devices" that can be used by anyone including large companies to average people in their homes. Some of the devices she spoke of that were of most importance to her were the internet, telephones (especially cell phones), alarm clocks, computers, calculators, and the television. These devices all serve different functions and play a different role in her life. Some are utilized purely for academic reasons; others overlap with academic, personal, and social uses. No matter the reason or device, it is clear that technology plays a major role in her life.
Her reasons for using technology can be categorized into two groups, those used for academic purposes and those used for personal/social purposes. The devices found in these groups overlap, thus her use of technology becomes greater because it encompasses more uses. For example, the computer is convenient for both academic and social purposes because she can write a paper, listen to music, or play a game. With the exception of the calculator and her alarm clock, which had specific purposes, the other devices she uses most often fluctuate between aiding her academic or social purposes.
What was most interesting in the interview was the fact that she could not clearly state that a specific device served for a specific function. All of the devices she mentioned were extremely versatile in the sense that one could perform multiple functions on the devices that would fulfill a vast array of purposes. Every device she described had some entertainment component and an academic component amongst others. This relates to her definition of technology as devices that are complex enough to be utilized by large firms and companies yet simple enough to be part of the everyday home.


Multiple Uses of Technology
Name: Jesenia Ge
Date: 2005-03-20 15:54:35
Link to this Comment: 13671

I had the pleasure of interviewing a high school senior who described her idea of technology and the role it plays in her life. She defined technology as a wide array of "useful devices" that can be used by anyone including large companies to average people in their homes. Some of the devices she spoke of that were of most importance to her were the internet, telephones (especially cell phones), alarm clocks, computers, calculators, and the television. These devices all serve different functions and play a different role in her life. Some are utilized purely for academic reasons; others overlap with academic, personal, and social uses. No matter the reason or device, it is clear that technology plays a major role in her life.
Her reasons for using technology can be categorized into two groups, those used for academic purposes and those used for personal/social purposes. The devices found in these groups overlap, thus her use of technology becomes greater because it encompasses more uses. For example, the computer is convenient for both academic and social purposes because she can write a paper, listen to music, or play a game. With the exception of the calculator and her alarm clock, which had specific purposes, the other devices she uses most often fluctuate between aiding her academic or social purposes.
What was most interesting in the interview was the fact that she could not clearly state that a specific device served for a specific function. All of the devices she mentioned were extremely versatile in the sense that one could perform multiple functions on the devices that would fulfill a vast array of purposes. Every device she described had some entertainment component and an academic component amongst others. This relates to her definition of technology as devices that are complex enough to be utilized by large firms and companies yet simple enough to be part of the everyday home.


Technolgy and Education
Name: McCurdy Mi
Date: 2005-03-20 20:54:32
Link to this Comment: 13694

Technology in education takes many forms. After interviewing sophomores in my placement and a sixth grader from my home I see the difference in using technology for educational purposes. For the sixth grader, technology is the type of tools he is given in his lifetime to use for everyday life. He described technology as changing over time and that every group of people in different time periods uses different technology to go through their days. The sophomores did not give thoughtful answers, but said that technology was what helped them through the day.
Although the different students had different definitions of technology, they use technology for the same things. Both the younger and older students said that they use the internet for researching information for school, playing games on the internet and other video games on gaming systems, talking to friends, and to watch television and movies. The sixth grader's uses of technology are different however because he believes the teachers are too strict on the use of technology. The older students are allowed to use technology, like computers and calculators whenever they need them because teachers believe that they are responsible. But the sixth grader explained some of the restrictions on his use of computers and calculators, which he thinks are too restrictive.
It is interesting in our time that teachers want students to have computers and use their computers every night at home for homework and have fancy calculators but do not let them use either of them at school because they do not trust them to use them correctly. Technology can be a distraction because there is very little control when students are set in front of computer and told to research a topic, but it seems that students are not given enough credit. At least in this sixth grader's case I know that he and many of his friends use the internet all night long with little or no supervision and I believe that the restrictions in school are too much and if the teachers want them to learn how to use the technology correctly they should give them more lee-way to see what is right and wrong and always have someone around to ask questions instead of the students exploring alone without any supervision. Technology has always been in my life in some way or another because I have had a computer since first grade but I believe that the leaps in using technology in educational experiences are really helping students of all ages.


Crit. Issues #4: Technology!!! Home vs. School?
Name: Daniel Stu
Date: 2005-03-20 22:20:53
Link to this Comment: 13700

I interviewed a sophomore from my high school, so I knew roughly what to expect in terms of the amount of technology used. She said that at school she uses technology quite often. She primarily uses it for research in history and English classes. One interesting use was in researching basic information about India in preparation to read a book set in India. The internet seems well suited to simple background assignments like that.

Another interesting use of technology was when her math teacher spent about week teaching her class the basics of programming on a graphing calculator. I thought that was really interesting, because most people going through high school don’t really need to know how to program a calculator. It’s simply not a particularly useful skill in everyday life. But what is does teach is how to think analytically, a skill very useful to someone in a math class. So it was a good example of how technology actually offers a new perspective into an old subject.

Technology also plays an important part of her personal life, as she is used to using email, IM’s, and online journals with regularity. Given this, it makes sense that she thinks that using technology makes things easier. But I wonder if a student who hadn’t had as much exposure to technology outside of school wouldn’t find it a little annoying to have to spend time in the computer lab doing research during class. I think it might be interesting to interview another student who did not have access to the internet at home and see how they felt about having internet assignments.


Critical Issues Reflection 4 - how technology conn
Name: Sam Adler
Date: 2005-03-20 22:29:36
Link to this Comment: 13703

The world wide web has really become an asset to learning for students everywhere. Students who come from all different cultures and countries can communicate with each other not only through talking (instant messanger or message boards) but through the sharing of information.

Many schools today are lacking diversity but the web has all types of ideas on it that can teach students about diversity. Children can read about tribes in Africa by just quickly doing a search on google or do a research project that before could have taken them alot more time with alot less results by just using the web. Also sheltered children can learn more about the world around them by looking on the web (i.e. children in Iran can learn about life in France).

Students are given so many educational opportunites when the are given an internet connection. The can discover other cultures, other religions, they can learn. Teachers are an asset to students becauses of the knowledge they can give, but the internet can fill in the holes helping the student learn more in the long run.


Technology in a Student's Life
Name: Sarah H. M
Date: 2005-03-20 22:55:05
Link to this Comment: 13705

How does a 14 year old boy respond when you ask him to describe his relationship to technology? He first explains his constant connection to Aol Instant Messanger where he can keep track of and communicate with his peers. He'll then talk about his Ipod- his portable music supply. His Play Station 2 will be mentioned, along with the family's television and Tivo. After some discussion, it will occur to him that technology also helps him immensely when it comes to school. He can bring his laptop to class in order to take notes on the word processor- this is important because of his poor handwriting and organizational skills. He can use the internet to research topics for papers, which, he points out, is a lot more convinient than going to the library.
Technology, by definition, makes people's live easier, including the lives of the young students. Kids, starting at a young age, can learn how to be connected to and communicate with people anywhere in the world. They can get over learning barriers that in years past would have hindered their educational development immensely. But an issue that I can't help thinking about is that all the technology the 14 year old was refering to costs a lot of money. Poor students are at a significant disadvantage because of this very technology that is helping their rich peers. Kids who live in families who can't afford to buy a computer or an internet connection for their home do not have that precious connection to the resources of the web. This disadvantage is slightly improved if the child's school has a computer lab with internet access, but the sad fact is that schools in poor areas often don't have the funding needed to supply the latest technology. As the wealthy students are thriving on their ability to organize their lives and overcome learning difficulties using computers and the like, the gap is widening. This lack of complete diversity in technology users needs to be addressed if we want the whole society (from the bottom up) to benefit from the wealth of experiences that are being made possible with the internet, computers etc.


Technology and Students
Name: Dana Mulle
Date: 2005-03-20 23:00:23
Link to this Comment: 13707

I interviewed a friend of mine’s little brother who is 15 years old and is of Dominican descent. The family lived in the Dominican Republic for 5 years. I didn’t realize that I would be so surprised by the boys comments about technology but I guess I didn’t realize how it affected me either.

I first asked the boy to define technology. He defined technology as the foundation still circulating since the beginning of early times to satisfy and alter dissimilar ways of life to good ways of life. I continued to ask the boy about his relationship with technology and he said that technology just appeared and at sometime it needed him. It did not dawn on me that technology would not develop had people like us not used it.

Technology is part of every child’s social and academic life. We use the internet and alarm clocks for academic purposes but as the boy said “we also use technology such as cell phones and im” for social purposes. I didn’t realize that because we have access to technology outside of school and so easily available that technology makes our lives a lot easier.


Student use of Technology
Name: Beth Rich
Date: 2005-03-21 01:39:01
Link to this Comment: 13728

After interviewing my younger sister, a seventh grader at a public school in St. Louis, I realized even more the importance of technology in schools. She stressed how often she uses technology, primarily computers, in school and the extent to which this helps her everyday life. She commented on the plethora of information the internet provides her with and noted how much easier life is with technology. She also thinks that without technology her learning would be much more limited.

When I asked her if she could imagine life and school without modern day technology (esp. computers), she could not picture it. Although I went to school for many years without the internet as prominent as it is today, my sister did not. She has grown up on computers, and the idea of not having them seems ridiculous.

This makes me think about the necessity of computers and internet access for all students, both at school and at home. Because they have such a powerful way of connecting students to information and providing ways of presenting work, it seems that all students should have this possibility. When states and school boards are considering budgets, especially for poorer schools, technology should definitely be considered. The government should help to ensure that all students have these advantages. It seems to have become so important that now, not having access, is an inequality that should not be overlooked.


Technology
Name: Sally Tayl
Date: 2005-03-21 08:12:50
Link to this Comment: 13733

I found it very difficult to get answers out of the fifth grade girl I interviewed. My continual prodding and prompting yielded very little in the way of astoundingly fascinating responses. Her connection with technology is strong, she uses it a lot, she uses computers all the time she says, but the thing is, I believe that suddenly having to think about it threw her off. Suddenly having to think about the relationship she has with the things she has always used and always known was puzzling.

Technology, an obvious aspect of everyone's life today, might be something that people our age or older think about. My father, a 74 year old, uses technology all the time, but it is not natural to him. His computer skills are shaky and faltering and he gets very upset if something goes wrong. Older people have experienced the world without the technology that is so prevalent today. But children, who have never known their homes without computers, never known school without computers, have a hard time wrapping their minds around something so familiar. Asking a fifth grader what they think their life would be like without computers is like asking her what her life would be like without her parents - unimaginable.



It's Natural
Name: Lorin Jack
Date: 2005-03-21 08:59:55
Link to this Comment: 13735

My brother is in the 11th grade, and he simply does not think about technology the way I do. Even though he is only two years behind me (in terms of age), our experiences with technology through school have been very different. I had to use very old computers throughout Elementary school, but by the time he replaced me with his grade, the computers were new and "cutting edge." Since his education has always seemed to have had the newest machinery, he is completely oblivious to the way it was before the computers and doesn't even really think about them. Computers are just a part of what he does in school, and its just naturally a trademark of the classroom for him (and many of his classmates).

Also, like what was said in an earlier post, the only "relevant" technology to him is his cell phone, AOL Instant Messenger, and his PlayStation. Technology for his learning just seems to be part of the curriculum to the point where he doesn't really recognize it at all.


Technology in 2005
Name: Gracie Yeo
Date: 2005-03-21 10:35:37
Link to this Comment: 13744

I had interviewed my younger sister, who is a senior in high school, about her thoughts on technology. In such a technology infested society like ours, I was surprised that my sister pointed out the negative effects of advancements in technology before my mentioning them to her. Most of us think of the numerous conveniences of technology and easily forget to even recognize its cons. I had expected my sister to only rave about technology in the twenty-first century, with its ipods, digital cameras, etc. But to my astonishment, the list of pros and cons in her discussion of technology were fairly equal in length.
The most interesting statement during her interview was her description of the word “technology” as “boring” and “not a fun word.” She explained that working with inanimate objects was uninteresting to her. She believed that much of technology kept people indoors and produced lazy and socially awkward children as a result of extensive online chatting and computer/video games.
She defined technology as something mechanical and man-made, for the purpose of convenience, improvement of life-styles, and making everyday tasks easier. She admitted, “everywhere I go, there is a computer" and that there is a computer in every classroom at her school. She added that she uses the internet to do most of her research for school projects. As I asked her more questions and suggested other examples of technology that were non-academic, she realized that she uses technology “almost every second of the day.” I found this statement to be extremely powerful in demonstrating the essentiality of technology today. My sister described her use of technology in the kitchen while making food, driving in her car, listening to music on her ipod mini, taking pictures with her cell phone, printing out digital photographs, etc. The list was endless. Her request for the newest trend in technology as a birthday present in the past 3 years only consolidates the substantial role that technology plays in my sister's life.


Reflection #4
Name: Erica Juli
Date: 2005-03-21 10:56:27
Link to this Comment: 13745

After interviewing my younger brother who in fifth grade at a Catholic school, I realized how technology has been able to positively influence education. When I was in fifth grade and I had to do a report I was limited to our tiny school library, but now with the internet avaiable it is possible to retrive much more information on certain topics. For the fifth grade level, there are computer programs that help to reinforce the topic learned in the classroom. There are math games, spelling games, history and science trivia; all made fun so the kids can enjoy learning. My brother is even learning how to use Microsoft Excel and other programs that are becoming more important in the modern day world. At my placement there are two computers in the class and every person is assigned a day to use the computers. Everytime I am there someone ends up getting upset because they thought it was their turn to use the computer or all the kids gather around the two people who are using the computers. After watching the children use the computers it seems as if the computer learning games are the most successful way to keep their attention and for them to learn at the same time. While some may say technology is taking away from kids learning how to use the library and books, I believe that technology is having a great influence on the betterment of education.


Serendip Web Principles to Realize
Name: Jes Chung
Date: 2005-03-21 11:54:35
Link to this Comment: 13750

In the life of high school student Sara, techonology helps connect her to other people as way of communication and a common part of living in this society, as well as an aspect of her hands-on learning process (instead of being told how to do everything). An example is a digital camera that she received. By using it over time, and by trial and error, she explored the way to use it. What she may or may not be aware of is that the digital device is a mini-computer, with programs and functions and a language to carry out its function. By her experience with pressing buttons and exploring the options on her camera, she has learned how to use the programs and store information. This technological advance is also a part of the culture in which pictures are shared on websites among friends, or in place of scanning information onto the computer.
Ipods, for example, are a popular and costly device for listening to music (or storing information), a pastime that is a part of the consumer culture of today's youths. (She assumed I knew what an Ipod was, and referred to its product name.) Learning to use this tool without referring to a book, has led to an interest and experience in learning about gadgets.
Sara also recognizes the internet culture that gives rise to inside jokes, slang-type language, and other expressions that play a role in marking this generation among privileged people with access to the computer and internet. She says, "for example, we would still have our inside jokes about strange words whether we had technology or not."
However, the student I interviewed also claims that, "many of the things we have in common are things that cannot be replaced by technology and would still be there if technology was there or wasn't there." As the rise of funding in schools go toward learning to use computers, designing webites, learning the lingo or programming techniques, students like Sara have experienced some interaction with information available on the internet. However, the conflict that is brought to my attention is the failure for many youths to realize how limited the access to such gadgets, as well as the computer and internet access are for different people. According to the Serendip Web Principles, it is our hope to bridge the gap for people without such access, not because they are ignorant of the culture that flaunts Ipods and digicams, but for information access and exposure for a majority of people to exchange their ideas and experiences.


Response to Reflections
Name: Leah Fiasc
Date: 2005-03-21 15:11:17
Link to this Comment: 13773

After reading many of the reflections, it is very apparent that not only do students rely on technology and computers for both social and educational aspects of their life. But, to be honest, I have to say that I do rely on technology as well in both areas of my life. I do not know how people managed to communicate without e-mail or cell-phones. I could not imagine doing a research paper without the libraries online catalogue, or the internet.

I remember my dad first lugging home my computer when I was in first grade, and I DO remember times before that, but do any of us ACTUALLY remember what it was like before computers? I certainly don't, and if I was perhaps 2 years older, I would remember it well. Technology has the social and educational world very quickly, and very drastically.


Technology is everywhere
Name: Sarah Morr
Date: 2005-03-21 15:35:31
Link to this Comment: 13778

After reading these articles it is apparent that technology is a major part of most students lives. Trying to remember my life without computers, cell phones etc is very difficult. Thinking about this raises some questions: Would education be worse if the world did not have computers? Are people now smarter as a result of these technological advances?


Reflection #4: Technology
Name: Joanna Fu
Date: 2005-03-21 15:35:54
Link to this Comment: 13779

When I interviewed a college friend about her relationship to technology, most of our conversation regarding technology revolved around instant messenging. She said, "Instant messenging dominated my adolescence as soon as I got a computer in my bedroom. It really weakened my success at school and, I believe most students would be doing better in school and in social situations if more restrictions were placed upon them and their uses of the infamous IM." Even though instant messenging is something that is usually thought of as something that is recreational, I also think that it has changed students' concepts of what matters at school. Papers (both high school and college) are now written while students chat with one another online, which has created a culture of individuals who rely on multi-tasking to accomplish everything.



Another thing that came up while we were talking about instant messenging is that of moderation in one's reliance upon technology. She said, "I became such a frequent surfer...that I didn't see anything wrong with it. Sometimes I'd pick staying online over going out, because I could be myself more online than in real life. I could like girls and it wasn't a problem...eventually I seemed to care more about the people I couldn't see than I did about the people physically present in my life." This is of course, an example that is more towards the extreme end of the spectrum, but I could relate to this comment. My computer recently broke for about a week and I seriously didn't know what to do - usually when I get home from classes, I head for my computer, check online, chat a bit with friends, check what the dinner menu is, etc., etc....not having technology at my fingertips was more than a mere inconvenience, I practically had to rearrange everything I did to accomodate a life with a computer! Technology has become such a part of my daily life that I really can't imagine life without it. I know that perhaps I should moderate my dependence upon these things (television, cd players, computers, digital cameras, etc., etc.)...but they improve my life so much for the better...until of course, they break.


Reflection Response
Name: Beth Rich
Date: 2005-03-21 15:45:58
Link to this Comment: 13782

After reading the responses to interviews, I again realized the importance of technology and especially computers. I saw the common theme of youger students not knowing how to imagine life without computers. Although I have trouble imaging this too, I did have some years of schooling without the internet and such high quality computers. This shows me how quickly technology moves in and begins to dominate life. If computers moved this quickly, what technology will come next? My 13 year old sister cannot imagine school without the internet. When my seven year old sister is older, what will she not be able to live without?

Sometimes I wonder if we are too dependent on technology. For centuries people survived without the modern day technology that we now think we need. Did not having all the technology bring people closer together in some ways? Were they forced to work together to find answers to problems and communicate? Although technology clearly assists in communication and education, does it also make people more independent, self-serving, and dependent? If the students we interviewed were restricted from technology for a short time they might be able to turn to new ideas and ways to go on with their lives.


response
Name: Gracie Yeo
Date: 2005-03-21 16:21:04
Link to this Comment: 13791

After reading the various interviews in the forum, it was apparent that technology is integrated into almost every aspect of our lives. The dominant functions of technology that were mentioned in the accounts seemed to be either academic, social, or both. There are numerous ways that technology has made people connections more convenient and accessible, as demonstrated by instant messenger, cell phones, and emails. However, I believe that such technology also discourages us to actually physically meet with others. Another concern of mine was the rapid advancement of technology. There is only a four year gap between my sister and I, and yet there were drastic differences in our experiences with technology in a classroom. I cannot help wondering how education would be different for future generations with such progressions.


Reflecting on Responses
Name: Jesenia Ge
Date: 2005-03-21 16:34:02
Link to this Comment: 13796

Having read some of the responses and comments people have made, it is interesting that most of us interviewed people who regular access to technology and therefore are biased. Others have mentioned what it would be like to interview people with out regular access to the technology we take for granted. How does it effect the student? What areas of the students life are effected? Having grown up without much technology (we got our first computer the month before I left for college) it was always much harder to keep up in school because I didn't have the luxury of going home and typing a paper. At the same time I was not as dependent and wrapped up in technology as I am now. I took the time out to visit people, right letters, read books, etc. Instead of spending tons of time on the internet, iming, etc. as I do now. It has been quite a change with pros and cons.


Reflection response
Name: Dana
Date: 2005-03-21 19:52:29
Link to this Comment: 13815

After reading everyone else's pieces, I have come to realize that technology is a very key part of our life. I come from a military family so i have always had the most up-to-date technology and i have never lived in a house with less than 3 computers. The funny thing is most of us interviewed a student who has easy access to technology. What is it like for someone who doesn't have easy access to technology? How does this affect their acadmeic and social lives? Also with technology moving as fast as it is these days, What will be considered new technology in the next 5 years? Will computers be old news?


Response
Name: Sally Tayl
Date: 2005-03-21 21:46:28
Link to this Comment: 13834

I find it scary how much time technology (mainly computers and tv's) takes up in our lives. Like Jesenia, I spent most of my life with a very basic computer which might as well have been a type-writer and with absolutely no TV. And as Jesenia mentioned also, I spent much more of my time reading, writing, playing (when I was young), and doing other more imaginative things than watching TV, playing video games, and IMing (the social questions concerning IMing for me are endless). The questions I have are concerned with whether or not the technology that is now everywhere for children is beneficial. Obviously there are positives, but I wonder how much less imaginative and self-entertaining (if you will) children are today and how that affects them overall in their learning, and as people.


Response To All Dem Education Writin'
Name: Daniel Stu
Date: 2005-03-22 00:28:31
Link to this Comment: 13849

I, as some of you seemed to be, was struck by the fact that almost every student interviewed had an extremely intimate relationship with what I consider recent technology. I personally think that iPods are really expensive, and it’s a little surprising to me when I learn of all the people who have them. I also wasn’t aware that IM’ing was such a prevalent and important part of society. I only picked up the habit late in my senior year, and by then I wasn’t really doing any work anyway. It’s gotta be interesting growing up in an environment where everyone is all connected like that.

I also think it’s really interesting that technology presents such a big gap. For example, handwriting a paper to using the typewriter is a big step, going from typing to word processing is another big step, but then getting rid of paper resources and accessing any information you want from a computer is an entirely different matter. And pile on top of that the fact that from the same computer you can play games, talk to friends, and shop, and the world is way different. I remember having the internet for most of my life, but even my fifth grade brother’s interactions with the internet are far different from those that I had when I was his age. I wonder if it will just keep getting increasingly harder for one generation to understand the next, until children grow up in almost completely different world than their parents.


Response to Comments
Name: Sophia Kos
Date: 2005-03-22 09:44:18
Link to this Comment: 13859

While reading other's responses, I was not really suprised that many of our interviews sounded very similar. I think that most students today are aware of how much they rely on techmology, but never really stop to imagine what life would be like without it. And for many of us, it has almost become impossible to do this. I agree that technology can offer a lot to schools and students, but I worry that we are coming to rely on it too heavily. Often when a computer freezes, or the overhead falters teachers have to alter their lesson plan completely. Sometimes teachers do not even try to continue the lesson, but give up until the next day when everything is working properly. Teachers and students need to find a balance, in which they use technology but are independent enough to carry on without it.


Web Usage
Name: Janique Pa
Date: 2005-03-22 10:11:41
Link to this Comment: 13861

I have two points:

Before using the web in classroom, I believe that teachers need to be trained in how to use it. The teachers at my high school were completely computer illiterate. If they had been told to use the web in their classes, it would have been a complete disaster.

Using the web to supplement traditional classes will provide students with a richer educational experience. However, it is not plausible to believe that every student is going to have access to a computer. Schools that are financially struggling are not going to be equipped with computers and the latest educational technology. The school may have some computers, but what happens when they need to be fixed? Who will pay for the repair? When I worked at the school in my neighborhood, there were fifteen computers, but only eleven were working. Unfortunately using technology in the classroom could increase the achievement gap between students. I think it’s going to take years before ALL schools in this country are financially prepared to bring technology into the classrooms


response
Name: Sam Adler
Date: 2005-03-22 11:39:50
Link to this Comment: 13863

The reflections on the message boards were very similar. I am not surprised by this though, we all went through school during a time of remarkable advancement in technology and so we saw it evolve and change and many of the people interviewed are too young to remember this. While reading I wondered when that point was when schools started having the "cutting edge" technology and students stopped appreciating it? Also is all the new technology helping society become better or hurting it by seperating the intellectual gap between high and lower income households?


Response and questions to my post/comments
Name: Emily Mulv
Date: 2005-03-22 11:53:28
Link to this Comment: 13864

I enjoyed reading the posts that followed my intial post, and I found it interesting that we all had similar points, but very different questions to raise concerning technology in the classroom. The two questions I would like to explore are the following:
1) If teachers are to be trained in utilizing technology in the classroom, how can professional development be approached, and what will training look/be like?
2) When is technology being used TOO much in the classroom?
I am looking forward to the discussion with my group.


Response to Comments
Name: Joanna Fu
Date: 2005-03-22 13:44:38
Link to this Comment: 13872

I find it scary to see how much technology shapes our lives - but at the same time, I see it as a good thing. Even for people who don't use technology that comes in the form of television or computers (things that often get a bad rep) use things like cell phones to communicate with friends, or alarm clocks to wake up for classes in the morning. I think that despite the problems that we can find with technology, I think that it's something that should be embraced - especially in education. Perhaps when it comes to young children using technology, more parental supervision is needed, rather than the total elimination of technology.


Response #4: Technology and Education
Name: Dina
Date: 2005-03-22 15:23:13
Link to this Comment: 13878

Two things are undeniable: Techonlogy facilitates our life in unimagined ways, but it also gets rid of skills generations before us had. I want to draw a parallel between this and something my mother told when discussing the difference between my education and her's in Soviet Russia. She said that while American education puts a lot of emphasis on making projects and writing essays, a skill that often comes in handy when working at a job, not many teachers try to teach students through memorization and repatition. "Memorization may not teach you a lot of different things," my mother explained, "but it trains your brain to handle and store information for longer periods of time." It's true; my mother can still recite a lesson she had to memorize in the 8th grade about the Siberian climate.
When it comes to technology, things like computers help us with research, writing, and articulation. Google can help us find quick background research for a project or paper. Microsoft Word helps us reevaluate our writing. However, these same programs that we could not live without make us form such a dependancy on them that we forget to memorize spellings of words or double check our sources.
Today, at my placement, my teacher warned his students about using the internet to do research. There are no checks to make sure any information is valid. Despite this, it is a heck of a lot easier to type in "rome+slavery+history" and wait for 2000 choices to pop up that go the library and look through books. Another example of skills being lost through technology happened today at my placement as well. As I was teaching my lesson, I misspelled the word "secretary" on the board. Why could I not remember this word when I must have written it many times? Because I typed it, and Word automatically corrected my spelling. I never had to think twice about it.
In the end, technology is an irreversable path. It will continue to dominate and facilitate our lives, and it will bring both good and bad to education.


questions to follow
Name: Jes Chung
Date: 2005-03-22 16:49:50
Link to this Comment: 13882

Although it seems a radical change that would not go unnoticed, I would argue that the idea of replacing teachers with computers is on its way to being realized. What are some (subtle) ways that this concept is played out? There are online college courses, exams for home-schooled students, and even electronic learners for young learners.

As we use the computer and technology advancements to improve our efficiency in learning, in shopping, in socializing, we are moving farther away from contact made in person. How much of our focus in applying technology to education be focused on efficiency? Where do you draw the line?

How is it conducive to a 'learning' audience to use technology that is popular for personal enjoyment, also for schools?



Name: Janique Pa
Date: 2005-03-22 18:17:10
Link to this Comment: 13885

Questions:

1.How can technology be made available to everyone? Whose responsibility is it to make sure that students have access to technology? Parents? School?
2.Does there need to be a balance between using technology and traditional teaching practices in the classroom? If so, who makes the decision?
3.How can poorly funded schools use technology when they don’t even receive enough money to purchase basic school materials?


First Response
Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2005-03-22 19:16:02
Link to this Comment: 13886

Within the Web Principles, there was a mention of the interactivity of the internet. It is an incredible asset to have this ability to point and click where we desire to go, gain information quickly, and shape our own experience, which seems limitless, of what we view because there are so many choices. You choose what you see, read, and find out. There is also another aspect of that interactivity that the website mentions: the internet is a chance for children to experience authorship. That is such empowerment for students, or at least it was for me in middle school. Through class websites, discussion boards, or spaces for the online publishing of student writing, there are so many more opportunities for students to have a voice than if they only had print options. It is a chance for students to feel like a part of the world.

With that, or my opinion at least, established, there is another consideration, though. You have to wonder what having so much available online does. Yes, there is empowerment in having a wide audience. However, consider something such as the website of a school. Many of the students at my high school had learned about the existence of this small, Quaker boarding school in rural Ohio through its website. I think it's great that we were able to reach out to so many people in this way, gaining students from places we never would have otherwise. At the same time, a woman who has some connections to the school was telling me this weekend that she finds it surprising that people can make their decision on a school, which for some of them is countries away, based on its website, and her comment lingers with me. At the time when I was there, our website represented pictures from a few years back, and with our rapid turnover, with only four grades and a changing image, it didn't entirely represent who we were. That brings up the inaccuracies that can abound on the internet and the difficulty there is in determining reliability.

The internet's possibilities are encouraging and they are overwhelming at times. I think it helps to have organizing, central locations such as Serendip for focus and conversation. It's like a deep breath for the web.


Technology in the Schools
Name: Suzy Schw
Date: 2005-03-22 21:57:59
Link to this Comment: 13894

For my response I chose an article entitled, "Learning, Working & Playing in the Digital Age" by John Seely Brown. In this article, Mr. Brown talks about the impact which the internet has and will have on our culture. He compares it to such inventions as electricity and mediums such as the movies, the television and the radio. He talks about how the web is a "medium [is] that [it] enables us to leverage the small efforts of the many along with the large efforts of the few." He gives two examples. In one of his examples he talks about how in a school in Arizona, the internet was used to connect a group of the elderly with students and act as their mentors. In this example, the elderly are the "small efforts of many" while the students' teacher is the "large effort of the few." He goes on to say that unlike before the internet where universities provided corporate centers and high - tech companies with their students, now those same corporate centers and companies are providing valuable resources via the internet to college students.


Sorry it got cut off I think
Name: Suzy Schw
Date: 2005-03-22 21:59:36
Link to this Comment: 13895

In this article, I felt that Mr. Brown strongly emphasized the positive aspects of the internet for students while ignoring the negative ones such as plagiarism and false information. Although mentioning an instance where a seven year old has a conversation via the internet with a UPenn Professor about penguins, I felt as if he did not emphasize how often this might occur.


Education and Technology Response
Name: Erika Carl
Date: 2005-03-22 22:07:19
Link to this Comment: 13896

The first thing I really noticed about the Serendip website was how often the word "experience" came up on the page. According to the site, one of the main reasons that the world wide web is valuable is because it allows students to share their personal experiences with others, even allowing for the roles of student and teacher to be classically reversed. In this way, learning from the web should be more effective than just pulling facts out of a book and memorizing them.


The reason this in particular struck me is because of the way it goes back to Dewey's philosophy, and how "experience" (as opposed to dry facts) can act as the number one teacher. While I do think that the internet can provide yet another forum for sharing and discussing experiences, I can't help but question this statement at the same time. Dewey also said that experiences must have value in order for students to learn from them. Since the internet is so big, there almost might me too MUCH experience out there for any one student to process. In that case, how does a teacher filter out the valuable experiences from the bogus ones? Should part of a student's education allow them to evaluate the content of websites?


In addition, the web is more than just a source of informative experiences-- many students also use it as a source of entertaining experiences. If students link the internet with fun automatically, suddenly linking the internet to school might irritate or confuse them. Or, it may cause them to not take their web experiences seriously. What can teachers do to combat this?


Response to other's Postings
Name: Suzy Schw
Date: 2005-03-22 22:26:59
Link to this Comment: 13897

I think that Janique is correct and that one of the foremost starting points in incorporating technology in the classrooms are to make sure that the teacher is educated in how to not only use the equipment but also how to apply it to the curriculum. Unfortunately many teachers use technology as a substitute for teaching instead of as a supplement to their curriculum. The best use for technology in the classroom is as an aide.


satellite classes
Name: natsu
Date: 2005-03-22 23:51:45
Link to this Comment: 13902

I was talking to a friend of mine who goes to a university in Japan, and was surprised to hear that only about a fourth of the approximately 400 students registered for the class actually come to class, because the students are able to see the lectures on video. I also interviewed a Japanese high school student who told me more about these recorded classes (in Japan we call them “satellite classes”) which are used widely in her cram school where she spends more time than her actual school. In her cram school, there are a number of rooms in which students can watch on-time or recorded lectures. She pointed out how convenient they can be for busy high school students like her. Since the students can sign up to watch the videos at any time (even on weekends), “satellite classes” allow students to schedule their classes flexibly. If a student had difficulty with understanding the subject right away, he could also sign up for the same “satellite class” and see the lecture again on video. In addition, this meant that even those that could not get into the class because of limited enrollment could see the lecture. Furthermore, students can view satellite classes of cram schools in other areas of Japan on time (for example, a student living in a small city can view a satellite class of the “best professors” in Tokyo). The advantage that stood out to me most was that “satellite classes” guarantee a perfect view of the black board. Luckily (or unluckily), I attended a famous professor’s class a few years ago, but was very disappointed when I could not even see the professor because of the mass of people in front of me.
In my opinion, “satellite classes” are not a bad idea for a cram schools, as cram schools are lecture based and they only focus on scoring higher in entrance exams. However, I was surprised to hear that these “satellite classes” are even used in universities. I wonder how Bryn Mawr-Haverford students would react to having “satellite classes” here. Studying in a college like BMC where interaction with classmates and professors is such an important component of the class, it is hard to imagine taking my classes on video. I do not think that I would enjoy that at all. Yet, I know many friends who are auditing lecture courses and also those who were lotteried out of classes. Would “satellite classes” be convenient for such students?


Pros and Cons of the Internet
Name: Maeve O'Ha
Date: 2005-03-23 00:38:40
Link to this Comment: 13903

Technology can enhance and hinder education, at least in my experiences. Many of the sites I looked at through Serendip mentioned what a great resource the internet is, for example "The Web provides, to anyone having access to it, a wealth of information, ideas, and perspectives orders of magnitude greater than was previously available to even the richest and most powerful human beings." ( "Serendip's Evolving Web Principles", http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/webology/principles.html) Although this seems to be a positive thing, in my experiences it has also been negative. Since there is SO much information on the web, it can be extremely hard to sort through. I have spent hours researching on the web and at the end really having nothing to show for it. Sites like Serendip try to help students sort through information by giving links to helpful sites and providing forums where students can discuss. I think Serendip accomplishes that goal for the most part, but there still is a ton of information. It is to the point where I often do not know where to begin. For example as I was searching the Serendip today in order to write this posting I was having a good deal of trouble, and I use the internet every day of my life. Another good thing about Serendip is that the information on the site is reliable. If a student just uses "google" they may find many sites, but only a few reliable ones.

I think that the Internet is an example of how technology can enhance education a great deal when used in the proper way. Technology is not ONLY good, we have to be careful when using it as an aid to insure that it is indeed aiding education and not hindering it.

I also had another thought that I thought I'd mention...the fact that information off the Internet is sometimes hard to read. Staring at the computer screen can be hard on your eyes and printing the information out is very often not practical. A good old fashion book may really be preferred. Although information on the Internet can be accessed by anyone, there are certain irreplaceable qualities about a book. It reminds me of how I use a palm pilot and my dad uses a pen and a date book. He claims that you just cannot replace "pen and paper". I like to argue with him about it, but really, I do agree in some ways.


Does the information have all the answers?
Name: Miriam Gat
Date: 2005-03-23 01:30:34
Link to this Comment: 13904

The disorder of the Web is one of its greatest virtues. As a fundamentally decentralized system of information exchange, it makes available, to a much greater degree than any prior human institution, the widest possible array of information/ideas/perspectives in a diversity of forms which, for the first time, approximates the diversity of human users.
(from: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_edu/edtech04/index.html)
[Emphasis removed]

I agree with this sentiment about the difference of opinion available but also I think this is at the center of what makes the web difficult to use. While the diversity of opinions on the web seems endless, the reality is that not all opinions are represented. The digital divide which occurs not only in our country, but also in other countries where computer resources are not as available. That is to say that particular regions of the world are over represented on the Internet. This is particularly evident when websites ending in .gov are recognized to be US government websites.

At this point, I want to add a small note on how I think technology is useful. I just made a statement about the worldwide usage of the Internet, and then immediately went online to try and find a source on that number, which I did find at http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm. The reality is that this type of behavior has become second nature to me, whatever I want to know I automatically turn to the Internet. I think this is where technology fits in education. Rather than centering all curriculum decisions on technology use, the Internet and many other technological advancements can be used to enhance life experiences. For instance, if I see something on the news that interests me, or something in my reading I don’t understand, most likely some information about it exists on the Internet.

On the website listed above it says only 1.4% of the population of the entire continent of Africa are Internet users, whereas in North America 66% + are Internet users. This information should not be used to decrease the gravity of the digital divide in the United States, but to enhance our understanding of the information available on the Internet.

I love the concept that the experience of the web is a lot of what makes it important. I agree, and I also recognize that this means occasionally what you begin looking for and what you find out are not always the same. Thus as a tool for finding or recognizing specific information, the web may not be entirely effective. As a tool to increase awareness of issues one might not otherwise come across (for example choosing a paper topic), it is particularly important.


Technology and Education
Name: Leslie Haw
Date: 2005-03-23 01:35:45
Link to this Comment: 13905

Like any resource, technology can prove to be an invaluable tool in the classroom. Used correctly and effectively, computers and other electronics have the possibility of bringing a whole new way of learning to the students. However, as Justina Barrett mentions in her words of warning about the abuses of technology (found on this site) and as Janique has mentioned in her post, there are problems and issues that must be addressed when integrating technology into the classroom. Plagiarism and economic barriers are the two most prevalent and unfortunately they are also the hardest to overcome.

As with anything in regards to education, there must be a balance. This balance must be achieved by varying activities that use technology and those that are more centered on traditional tools and methods. Just as it is important to cater to students who learn from different presentations of materials, it is essential that technology does not become the sole focus of the classroom. I fear that because our modern society is so “wired” we will stray completely from older (and reliable) methods of teaching and learning. This whole situation seems reminiscent of Dewey in Experience and Education when he emphasizes that traditional education should not be completely disregarded, because in fact progressive education is not a replacement, it is merely building on the solid foundation of what had been done before it. The same is true for technology in schools. It is ridiculous to throw out all hard copies of texts and simply because students can now surf the web at home or at school. Students will be even better prepared and well rounded if they can research using books and the internet.

So from browsing the Serendip site, my impression of the relationship between technology and education is that there must be a balance and an understanding of the tools being used by both the teacher and the student.


Technology in Education
Name: Meredith M
Date: 2005-03-23 08:34:56
Link to this Comment: 13907

According to the Serendip website on technology and education, the major technological instrument that the classroom should use to gain new experiences is the computer. I believe that computers are a great technological source of data that can enhance the classroom, but what about other technological devices? Can those bring new experiences into the classroom? If we just focus on one aspect of technology, how are we going to allow students to expand their horizons? On the website, Nicole Miller from Bryn Mawr College and Liane D'Alessandro from Haverford College have a page that describes other technology found in the classroom. One example they gave was a microscope. They said, “some examples of when to use this technology are during a study of photosynthesis to examine the structure of a leaf in detail, a chapter on the cell cycle to view prepared slides of cells going through mitosis, a chapter on taxonomy to view prepared slides of representatives from each kingdom, or a lesson on osmosis. A video microscope is a particularly useful teaching tool as it allows an image to be projected to the entire class at once so that all can see it and discuss it together.” The use of the microscope can be used to interact with the science lesson. The same theory that is set up with computers on the website can still apply to this other piece of technology. The theory for the computer states, “The Web makes possible a revolution in "education" in the broadest sense, by making available to all human beings not only information/ideas/perspectives, but also "experiences", of a kind which individuals can themselves learn from, rather than being told about.” If the teacher just allows the students in the classroom to “play around” with the microscope, just like surfing the Internet, then the same responses will occur. I also believe that technology is becoming increasingly over used in classrooms. Calculators are being used at a much younger age then I remember. If we let students use the calculators all the time, do we know if they know the mathematical process of getting the answer instead of just “plug and chug” the answer? On the two students (Nicole Miller and Liane D’Alessandro’s) section, they in someway addressed my concern. They believe that “as long as technology is balanced with the teaching of social and traditional academic skills, it has the potential to revitalize a classroom by appealing to different intelligences in students so that learning is more effective.” Technology is an important tool in our classrooms, but we should use more then one type of technology and also be aware of its use.


Ineffective Use of Technology
Name: Leah Blank
Date: 2005-03-23 08:56:13
Link to this Comment: 13908

Technology can be an extremely useful tool for learning. But I agree with Maeve O’Hara and Suzy Schwartz that technology can also be ineffective. Like all teaching tools, technology is only helpful when it is used well and when teachers do not depend upon it entirely. For example, the teacher of my brother’s shop class gave the students three weeks of class time to use a computer program to design their own floor plans for a house. While the students did learn the basics of how to use the computer program, the lessons were not supplemented by any type of discussion, readings, or even lectures. They had no preparation for the activity, or any information about methods for designing a house. Most of the students finished the project after the first few days, and spent the remaining weeks of class time doing other homework or “goofing around” with their friends.

Secondly, students without access to computers and other technologies at home must deal with certain disadvantages. When a teacher at my brother's school requires that a report is typed, students without computers at home either use a friend’s computer or stay late after school to use the computer lab. This can be difficult to arrange if the student normally catches an early bus. It seems unfair to give assignments that will be so difficult for some students just because their parents have not bought a computer, but exposure to technology at school is even more important for these students. This is why it can be a huge problem when schools don’t have enough funding to buy the latest technology. They students at those schools may never learn the technology skills that are so important in today’s society.


The question of sources
Name: Emily Town
Date: 2005-03-23 11:19:35
Link to this Comment: 13917

One of the questions raised by the Serendip site asks, “Can one imagine a teaching environment in which most materials used are those of teachers and students created in the activity of teaching/learning?” As a student coming from a largely traditional educational experience, where textbooks were the stalwart guideposts of almost every class, my initial reaction to such a state is distrust, and the desire to denounce such a scheme as educational anarchy. After the knee-jerk reaction, of course, I would shy away from describing the idea as anarchical, yet my uneasiness remains (due in part to my own inexperience in inventing viable curricula, and desire to rely on a more established system).

This leads me to question why I feel so strongly about the source of materials, for my practical experience outside of the realm of pedagogy has certainly taught me how useful the contributions and ideas of my peers can be when set against something more clinical and mass-produced. I believe that it is linked to a similar distrust of information taken from the internet (which was in part instilled in me by my own teachers), a forum so open that submissions of dubious quality are often indistinguishable from more legitimate sources. In high school, I often turned to internet search engines to research a project, but in all of my thesis research, I have consulted the internet only a handful of times (and these only to utilize the internet archives of outside sources, e.g. the Oxford English Dictionary, or Early English Books Online). I find it noteworthy that such hesitation is found in a current student such as myself, who is coming of age in this time of great technological advancement and the birth of the internet’s information exchanging powers; how much more might someone distrust the use of non-traditional sources of information for whom the technology utilized has not already become second nature?

The best solution to the wanton environment of the internet seems to be a greater reliance on discernment; whereas the scholarship of a book found in a university collection is to be assumed, active questioning of information taken from the internet is vital. Regarding the question of material produced directly by teachers, my current reaction remains ambivalent. While the pedagogy utilized in such materials might be more useful, the careful screening that goes into the production of more traditional sources for teachers is largely absent. Perhaps discretion is once again the best tool for an educator, who can gain from the experience of others while still retaining her own sense of what works best in her own classroom.


Interactive Educational Experiences
Name: Chevon
Date: 2005-03-23 11:57:03
Link to this Comment: 13922

While browsing through serendip, I found it interesting that many of the elements such as experiences and education were being applied to the web. This shows me that the web has just as much of a role in the learning development of students as the classroom experience. In one of the sections, it talks about a perceived notion that the classroom is the only kind of learning that is important. However,the existence of this website illustrates how that is no longer the case. As the designers of the website states the web is not only an information resource, but it is also an experience resource. I immediately began thinking about Dewey's theory about education and experience.Actually, the web is a perfecct space where people are able to share their expereinces with others. The teacher can learn from the students and can take that into acoount when they develop the pedagogy and curriculum. The web allows a more hands on approach, where students are able to play with and learn on their own and by watching others. This is a point that is reiterated throughout the website. The interactivity of the web also contributes to the experience and education of ALL, because everyone's ideas are available. This allows people to develop their own ideas and perspectives in a setting other than the classroom.


Communication and the Internet
Name: Clarissa C
Date: 2005-03-23 12:02:45
Link to this Comment: 13923

The internet is definitely a realm in which one can find a great many ideas and insights. I really like the idea (stated in the “Theory” part of the website) that the internet helps us to learn from a much more diverse range of sources that are representative of (to a certain degree) many individuals in our local and global community. This substantial range of perspectives can be very useful in pushing our capacity to understand and question. In theory can also help participants become much more enlightened and active members of their global community.
However, I find myself questioning whether it is healthy to rely to a very great extent on the kind of communication available on the internet. It seems to me that online discussion forums (such as this) tend to reduce the author of each posting to his or her ideas. This abstracts the individual and can make students feel as though they have access to different ideas without fully recognizing that those ideas come from very complex humans beings like themselves. It is also easy to assume that the other people posting messages on the forum are just like you and have a different viewpoint but the same background and lifestyle, because you receive so little information about the whole person. In effect, this makes the thought more important than the individual rather than supporting the fact that a thought is a product of someone’s individuality.
Also, in the act of posting a message, one can edit and reword one’s thoughts before making them public. If we grow too accustomed to this form of communication, it is possible that interactions in the non-virtual world may become more stressful for us because we will have so little time to think through our statements before uttering them. Also these real conversations with real people may become uncomfortable to individuals who are used to making their thoughts known to people who may never see, meet, or recognize them.


Emily's Musings (Reflection #4)
Name: Emily
Date: 2005-03-23 12:02:59
Link to this Comment: 13924

I had a really interesting chat with my education placement assignment teacher a week or so ago. I sit in on two of Christiane's middle school French classes, one for seventh grade and the other for eighth. On this particular Monday during our spring break, I spent the entire school day at Baldwin, and I also observed a sixth grade class and another eighth grade class (this one supposedly less strong in academic achievements than the other). Three of these classes were working on research projects and Christiane had given them class time to prepare and research material in their groups (or partnerships). The sixth grade students searched about famous Chateaux of the Loire Valley (they were permitted to do so in English) while the eighth graders were required to research the French museums on French websites and in French books. On to my point about technology in education: I could not get over how dependant the girls were in terms of using the internet as an end-all be-all means to research. At the beginning of the sixth grade class, the computer dude forgot to bring the cart of laptops to the French classroom (there are carts that the teacher can request to rent for a period; these carts include laptops for all of the students and also wireless connection). When the girls didn't have the laptops for fifteen minutes, the class was rowdy and nothing got done--even though there were books available in the classroom and the girls had other printouts of thier own that they could read. It was as if they could not figure out what to do without the internet. As soon as the cart arrived, they were all relieved and logged right on--and the room was relatively silent with thier 'researching' online. I saw this experience as evidence of an innapropriate use of the internet as a source, as an unbalanced way to use all sources available. Later, I spoke to Christiane about this phenomenon that I observed, and she agreed, saying that the girls didn't seem to have the patience to deal with reading books and the like. We went on to chat (along with another French teacher) about how the kids seem to have the patience and work ethic only for such things with "instant gratification" elements, such as the internet. The internet is bright, colorful, flashy, and fast. Books and periodicals are not. These girls needed the instantaneousness of the internet to feel as though they were accomplishing something. Indeed, what they needed was right at thier fingertips: why try and learn in any other way? I am concerned that this is a negative trend in the children who are in school now: these so called cyber-generation or whatever. And I am only nineteen years old, it wasn't so long ago that I was doing research in a middle school French classroom, and already I see a difference in terms of what students expect while doing a project... (continued in my next post)...



Name: Ashley Daw
Date: 2005-03-23 12:15:39
Link to this Comment: 13925

The website seems to stress the avantages of the web in and our of the classroom. And explores this idea the technology is for everyone. I understand that in the world we are living in the web is very important and we have to learn to use it successfully. My problem is this idea is that if there is an over emphasis on the web to find information and communicate, will people lose the ability to do these things without the help of the web. We are taught to use the web for almost everything, what would happen if we had to research using books, would we be lost? Also, isn't is just as important to learn how to do things manually, not shotcutting a process.
An idea thati do agree with is that The internet allows everyone the same information at their fingertips; so in that way it does not descriminate. If used properly the world is open to all. But, then there becomes a problem with using the web properly. Because there is so much information, we could find ourselves lost in the information.
All in all, I do believe that the web is important and necessary, but it's important not to forget how to do things without it.


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Date: 2005-03-23 12:39:53
Link to this Comment: 13926

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My thoughts
Name: alice g.
Date: 2005-03-23 13:03:12
Link to this Comment: 13927

As I began browsing through the site, one of the first things that I stumbled upon was a statement about accessibility of the internet. It is apparent that the internet is a wonderful thing, but one must also recognize that not everyone has access to it. Therefore, though it is out of their control, those people are missing out on so much, both educationally and recreationally.

On another note, I agree that the internet creates many ways to learn; web technology is truly amazing, and it continues to advance. In addition, it is true that web surfing reinforces education. There are so many things to do and see, and most children do not realize that they are learning while having fun.

One possible downfall to the internet, and as stated on this site, people tend to use the web as a "source" rather than a stimuli for their own thoughts and idea. Though many web users do not realize this, gaining information for search engines requires both individual responsibility and critical judgement, as well as evaluating and processing it. Information gained from the internet should only serve as support to one's own ideas, and should at no point shape one's ideas as the only truth. When people fail to make such a distinction is when issues of plagarism and poor citation arise.

Finally, as this cite suggests, I believe that online forums such as this one are extremely helpful. Not only does it allow people to safely state their own opinions and ideas, but it also allows those who would not speak in other settings, such as the classroom or in meetings, to do so.


respone to other comments
Name: Dina
Date: 2005-03-23 15:59:16
Link to this Comment: 13932

It seems that for the most part, everyone agrees: technology is both good and bad. I want to pose a further question:
As future teachers ourselves, how can we use technology in order to utilize it's benefits while preventing dependability? Is that even possible? Is there a way we can take some of the setbacks of technology and use it for good?
I know that was more than one question, but oh well.


Education and Technology
Name: Alice Fern
Date: 2005-03-23 16:33:18
Link to this Comment: 13934

Technology is very helpful in our lives, especially in education but what will happen to our skills or us in general? Technology is taking over the world and it seem like we are fine with it.. What wil happen to people that like to do things that are been taken over by technology? For example, Jess said that computers are going to replace teachers soon. What will happen to those people that really want to teach and have skills for it? Does it mean that they are just going to give up and do something else that technology can't do? How will technology give its students physical help or care when they need it? Another thing is that the web said that technology is for everybody but is everybody getting it? Can every person have the understanding of technology or can they affort it? What about those schools that doesn't have enough money? What will happen to those students that attend these schools? Does it mean that they have to miss on it because of the school they attend? For example my school didnt have a lot of money to get the basic things to teach so imagine my high school buying computers for example. I agree with Janique when she said that teachers have to be trained to use computers if its going to be use in classrooms. Some of my teachers had no understanding with computer, they used to ask the students for everything.


Technology in Education
Name: Alice Fern
Date: 2005-03-23 16:50:17
Link to this Comment: 13936

Technology have its advantage and its disadvantages. Its a great this that was invented. It makes things easier for students and everybody else. Some students for example use the internet as references which is okay but they don't read a book for their reseach papers because navigating on the net is fun and easier. They only use the net as their source without questioning if it's accurate. Everybody can post anything online and middle and high school students (well at least some students from my high school) get whatever they can find. I knew a student that did her research paper without her really doing any research orwritting anything. She copy some information from here, some there. She didnt even try to think about it and she got a really good grade. Did she learn anything anout her topic? Of course not because she got all her info from the net and copy and paste. I know that not a lot of students do this and that some teachers would findout that it wasnt hers but what about her and some others that do get away with it? Is this helping her learn? Maybe if there was no internet she would get a book and read it and really get something out of it.


2nd response
Name: Maeve O'Ha
Date: 2005-03-23 17:44:29
Link to this Comment: 13939

When I posted my first response I had not looked at any other postings, I had only browsed the website. I find it interesting that almost everyone said something about the internet being hard to use since there is SO much information. Is this just because they saw someone else write it so they did as well? In my case it is because I really felt that way, I had no idea so many others had written about the same thing. It is also interesting to note that students of our generation feel this way. We, for the most part, grew up with the internet. Is this why we can see its problems so clearly?

Another point that I found interesting was one Clarissa brought up. She mentioned that we may loose communication skills because of the over-use of the internet. I could not help but think of Instant Messengers. I am on AIM pretty much every second of my life. I have talked to my friends using AIM since 7th grade! Very often, I get to know people on the internet before I get to know them in person (not random people, but, someone I've met once or twice and instead of calling them i IM them). AIM is less personal then other forms of communication, it is faster, it is easier. But, the human experience is kind of lost. I know this does not have much to do with education. So question: How will this loss of the "human experience" in communication effect education? Does it at all?

Finally I'd like to comment on something Emily M. brought up. Many of the postings focused on the internet, mine did as well, but there are so many other forms of technology that are effecting education today. I often picture my classroom of the future to consist of flat screen computer monitors covering the walls instead of blackboards. I picture all my students having laptops that are wirelessly hooked up to eachother and the "blackboard"/computer monitor. I picture calculators that can do pretty much any mathematical function. BUT, students might abuse the calculator and instead of it becoming a wonderful teaching aid, it would become a crutch. Students might talk to eachother using their computers during class instead of paying attention. Is there any way to stop this from happening? Even now students pass notes right? I feel as though the benefits to the increase in technology outweigh the disadvantages.


Questions -- Second Response
Name: Elizabeth
Date: 2005-03-23 18:05:10
Link to this Comment: 13940

Reading others' posts, it is evident that many of us share the opinion that there is an element of the internet that takes away from human interaction and understanding. At first, this led me to just wonder, with the problems that it presents, would we simply be better off without the internet? I don't think so, and I also don't think that it would be fair of me to point to some issues that the internet creates and make an instant judgment. This line of thought led me to a question that I think could be more useful to the world than such a judgment: Is there a way to use the internet that can actually improve human relations and increase the connectedness that we experience? Is there potential in the internet for this type of change, and if so, what would that change be?


Emily Phillips's 2nd Response
Name: Emily Phil
Date: 2005-03-23 18:21:25
Link to this Comment: 13941

...(continued from last time, titled "Emily's Musings")...So, the concern that I have about internet and technology use is that obviously, it can be abused, and other forms of info shafted. Also, I agree with Ashley's comment that the internet as a resource can be overwhelming. Everyone should try and learn to use it as a tool, and in using any tool one needs certain skills. But what concerns me still is the idea of this "instant gratification" phenomenon in our society. I am not exactly sure why it bothers me so much--I guess that I see so many people (including myself sometimes) that gravitate towards what is quickest and easiest to do--whether it be in terms of cooking (using prepared food or a microwave rather than really 'cooking' a meal) to chatting with friends over the net. The girls at Baldwin, for the most part, are extremly privileged and oftentimes rather spoiled. Now of course, this is a generalizaton about girls at such a prep school, but it is honestly what I've noticed. It's almost as if the 'instant gratification' of technology in our society has rubbed off on their attitudes towards getting work done. And this concerns me--how can you value what you have if you can't even say that you've truly worked for it?
ALSO responding to John-Seely's speech about technology in education (posted on this site) I was really struck by several of his ideas. First of all, he makes the point that the net (unlike many other technologies) is a "two-way medium" meaning that instead of simply watching TV or listening to the radio (in a 'one-way' sense) with the net you have the ability to have a sort of "conversation" (as we are here, on this forum). In this you can really respond to what you see and also get feedback. This is great--but what about the ability of fostering this kind of "two-way" environment in a classroom? Isn't that what progressive education is all about? Creating a learning space where one can discuss and challenge one another? Why/what are problems in bringing this ability into our classrooms?
Another point that he makes that I found fascinating is the 'new literacy'--the literacy of navigation. Wow i just thought that his point was terribly interesting, and also touches on the idea of 'multiple intellingences". For instance, I notice that many people of my parents generation are realtively hopeless when it comes to dealing with new technology without a manual. When my family got cellphones, my brother and I (having never had a cell phone before of our own) knew right away how to work the usual functions. My parents needed a manual. Somehow, my brother and I could just figure out, and risk pushing buttons, to make a call or check our voicemail. We just kind of "knew" what to do. I think that this really is a new kind of literacy--the "knowing how" of navigating through computers, the net, cell phones and the like.


Questions after reading others' postings
Name: McCurdy Mi
Date: 2005-03-23 19:14:23
Link to this Comment: 13943

Although I didn't fully understand the main purpose of posting the first time I think, I agree with Maeve's question about why everyone focused on the Internet.
Why do students automatically think of the Internet as their first item of technology? Why not computers or calculators or TVs? Why has the Internet become so important in our lives? Is it because of what Emily Philips said about her placement students wanting the instant gratification of the Internet?
I still am grappling with the idea of restrictions on technology (especially computers and the Internet) in classrooms. How can teachers limit students' use of the Internet and where they are researching? Is there a proper way to teach students how to use the Internet to find proper sources?


question
Name: Erika Carl
Date: 2005-03-23 21:25:02
Link to this Comment: 13947

I guess after reading my group's responses, I came up with the following question: how, with all this new technology, do we fight off student laziness and apathy? The internet, satellite classes, and calculators all have the potential to enhance work, but at the same time they can hinder students.


Another question that struck me is that if technology can be used as a resource just like books can, how can we insure that a technology-based source is credible?


technology in special ed classes
Name: natsu
Date: 2005-03-23 22:08:00
Link to this Comment: 13948

Dina's comment about skills being lost through technology stood out to me, because a few weeks ago, we were discussing the use of computer programs in special ed classes, which made me think. Programs like Word which have spelling and grammer check tools can be very helpful for people who have difficulty distinguishing letters and numbers because of disabilities like dyslexia or those who have difficulty with spelling because of learning disabilities. However, I am not sure about there implementation in classrooms. Some of these programs are extremely advanced. For example, the Word program I am using now, automatically corrects my spelling. When we use these programs, we do not even notice that we are making mistakes. I have a feeling that in the long run, such programs will not be of profit for children who have disabilities and particularly need to be noticed of their mistakes.


Experience Resource
Name: Nia Turner
Date: 2005-03-23 22:14:45
Link to this Comment: 13949

I am especially interested in the assertion that “the web is not only an information resource, it is also an experience resource. Because the web is computer based, one can create not only information resources but also experiences,” The web is particularly interesting because it is a distinct experience, which creates a continuum of educational experiences. The web is an experience resource in a variety of ways. It requires individuals to experiment and explore things familiar and unfamiliar to one’s own experience. The web cultivates essential elements of intellectual life including, intellectual curiosity, presenting learners and educators with an invaluable opportunity for intellectual growth. This quotation poses a wide range of interesting questions. In light of the depth and scope of the web,how should educators assess the value of web fostered experiences? What are some of the models educators can adopt to teach students how to broaden and enrich their web experiences? How is the notion of learning through “play” useful in thinking about the web as an “experience resource.”


Response to Group Statements
Name: Clarissa C
Date: 2005-03-23 23:35:47
Link to this Comment: 13951

The questions that have been raised for me are as follows:

1) Some of you have mentioned the great volume of information available on the internet. Does this large amount of information in any way take away from the significance of that information? Can we experience "overload" and lose interest in all information because we attempt to assimilate too much?

2) If we begin to rely on the internet more, do we run a risk of losing track of certain aspects of reality? (This is mostly in relation to what Elizabeth said about her school's website.) What if we are heading towards an increasing disparity between the real and the virtual in which we forget to compare concrete experience and virtual experience in the way that we are comparing different virtual sources of information?

I really agree with Elizabeth that in order for the internet to be a really meaningful and useful tool for learning it needs to be focused in some way. (Perhaps in various content-based websites that can uphold standards for accuracy?)


Response
Name: Leah Blank
Date: 2005-03-24 00:49:40
Link to this Comment: 13954

As I've been reading everyone's comments, I've been trying to think of technology in the third grade classroom that I observe. I realized that when I was in the third grade, I was only just beginning to use word processing, and I didn't learn how to use the internet until middle school. Part of this was because technology wasn't readily available to my school at that time, but I feel that many of my teachers wanted me to learn how to do things without technology first, and then later incorporate technology into my work.

For example, my algebra teacher never let my class use calculators, because he wanted to make sure that we mastered basic math skills by ourselves. I'm wondering if this is a good/realistic strategy for using technology in education in general. For example, a teacher could limit the number of internet sources for a paper and insist that students learn how to use books as sources first. Maybe gradually introducing kids to technology would lessen their dependence on it. One problem with this idea is that many kids become familiar with technology from a very young age (though many of the students at my placement are unfamiliar with computers).


Does the information have all the answers?
Name: Miriam Gat
Date: 2005-03-24 01:32:23
Link to this Comment: 13957

After doing my interview, I have been doing a lot of thinking about exactly how our education systems have been affected by the technology we use. As far as I can tell from Serendip, it primarily addresses the use of technology in the college or university classroom, but at an early time in school, it seems to have a different effect. How has it affected the kind of offerings that elementary and secondary schools can provide?

The primary experience I took away from my interview with a current sophomore in a private suburban high school was that technology has increased, dramatically, the speed at which teaching and learning takes place. This is in some way symptomatic of an American workforce who only gets two weeks of paid vacation, as opposed to the world wide average six weeks – as my interviewee told me. With technology, teachers can teach some things at a more peripheral level because technology makes up for particular deficiencies. That is to say, you can teach the basics of addition or subtraction and then hand students calculators to make up for any misunderstanding. Teachers can move on without fear that their students will be without the tools to continue in coursework.

So what happens to those without access to speed? In my interview, the impression of my interviewee was that these students had to learn a smaller volume of material simply because the speed of traditional methods did not match the speed of the more technologically advanced classrooms. My interviewee saw this perpetuating a cycle. Individuals in schools could not afford technology. They would not be able to attend the best continuing education institutions. They would not get the best jobs. They would not be able to provide the appropriate technology for their children to advance.

I had never thought of technology in these terms before. The ways that I saw technology in the classroom when I was in high school was that it enhanced in the essential tasks such as addition/subtraction in the case of a calculator or spelling in the case of word processing. In my own experience, I remember playing Oregon Trail in the 4th grade; I remember using the Internet to do occasional searches; I kept in touch with email. The reality is that I’m not sure if the technology was appropriately advanced at the time or if the curriculum was appropriately adjusted to it. In my interview, my interviewee spoke about SmartBoards, which made it easier for him to take notes and have teachers review what they taught. He reminded me of his use of the Internet. He understood that it was a different kind of resource, that it taught different kinds of skills from a book. When considering his experiences, I have to question whether students of our age group are simply unsure of technological advantages because we were in some sense the guinea pigs of the technological age. I think that when appropriately incorporated, technology can be beneficial, but it does also perpetuate an existing divide.


response Question
Name: Meredith M
Date: 2005-03-24 08:17:55
Link to this Comment: 13961

In a time when computers seem to be the major source for students papers, what do we do about the use of books? Are schools heading down a path that leads students to heavily rely on the internet to get data? Is this a bad thing? If so, should teachers limit the amount of internet use in students papers? What happens if students do rely heavily on one source of infomation? At what age do we introduce students to computers to reduce the reliance on it? Can students still have experiences through technology without dependence?


More thoughts
Name: Emily Town
Date: 2005-03-24 09:42:16
Link to this Comment: 13964

Leah's comment reminded me of my externship experience in January, working in a third grade class for a week at a posh school in Washington, DC. My mind boggled at the integration of technology into their classroom at a level I was unfamiliar with, and almost every day I went back to my sister's apartment with tales to astound and amuse her.

Two things in particular stand out for me. The first seemed to begin on familiar territory- I learned that the kids would have Computer class one afternoon. Ah, I remember those lessons, I thought, reminiscing about my own time spent on clunky Macs that we called The Glorified Shoeboxes in the fifth grade. When the time came, however, a teacher I had not yet met walked in with a cart of laptops, one assigned to each child. As I watched, the children created badges for an upcoming project that had clipart, fancy text, and their own pictures, retrieved from a school storage server (for all of the computers had wireless internet). Although my mind reeled at third graders using skills that I myself had only recently acquired, I realised as well that what the world considers commonplace technology has changed since my time in third grade. These skills were now considered basic enough to be taught at such a young age- perhaps others might have stood in amazement at the exercises I performed on the old Shoebox.

The other notable technological incident for me that week I want to note as a slightly differet instance than those most of us have mentioned. I'm sure many of you remember fondly the chaos of after-school pickup, where all the children dash around the playground while our teachers attempted to attract the attention of one child among many. Nothing ever really worked, although systems were often tried to streamline the process. Not so for the children of my externship. Instead, each car had some sort of device that transmitted a signal from within a certain radius, which could in turn be detected by a magical receiver somewhere. When the end of the day came, students remained in their classrooms, and teachers logged into a certain page on the internet. As a parent's car approached, it showed up on the screen with an indication of how far away the car was from the front door. When the computer read '3 min away', the child left the classroom, went to the school entrance, and was whisked away. I spent all this time describing this process because it's one of the most remarkable integrations of technology into a classroom that I've encountered- it was easy to use, an incredibly helpful concept, and actually worked. But it also reminds me of the great disjunct between schools that can be indicated by the use of technology- my own elementary school could never afford such a system, and instead currently relies upon little signs displayed in the dashboard and teachers equipped with old megaphones. Technology in the classroom is great, but it's sobering to realise how many school systems lack the ability to give their students such opportunities.


2nd response
Name: Jake Mendl
Date: 2005-03-24 10:43:29
Link to this Comment: 13969

Most of the postings, including my own, dealt with the balance between using technology and not using technology. I think Leslie put it best when she referenced Dewey and how in Experience and Education he states that traditional education should not be disregarded. People also have to understand that technology does not only consist of the internet. Television and video games and computers and DVDs and Cds all make up the technology of our generation. These are all things that have assimilated themselves into our education, and our education has been molded around them. I remember many times when a teacher didn’t go through with a lesson because the computer or whatever gadget he/she needed wasn’t working. There definitely needs to be a balance, between technological education and traditional education, the same way there needs to be a healthy balance when dealing with everything in life.


jackie's thoughts
Name: jackie fle
Date: 2005-03-24 11:09:55
Link to this Comment: 13971

Browsing the site and reflecting on the advantages of the internet, it seems as though the internet is being glorified and idealized. While for educational purposes it offers a wide spectrum of resources, the reality of the internet is that it comes with a responsibility on the part of the user that I often view as a burden. There are viruses, pop-up ads, a rather intrusive accessability of sites with questionable or inappropriate material. There is a responsibility to judge each source of information and to determine its credibility and thus to develop a sort of defensive approach to the barrage of messages the viewer is being subjected to. My concern lies with the encouragement of children to explore the internet with no monitering or supervision to aide them in developing this neccessary responsibility. Thus the issues that were touched upon in earlier postings such as plagarism and inaccurate material are often lessons a child must learn too late.

There is an additional topic that I find relevant to this discussion. Maeve and Clarrissa discussed the internet as a means of possible alienation between people. I see the opposite effect as well. With a huge amoung of people participating in online communitites such as "livejournal" (an online host of millions of people's diary entries) as well as nation-wide online directories such as "the facebook" or websites hosting people's photo albums, an increasing amount of personal information is readily available for the careful study of anyone who stumbles across the website. While this has quickly become an accepted part of our modern culture, what are the implications for our relationships with each other and with the internet? To think about this issue within an educational framework, an example may be helpful. Stories circulate about a student discovering the personal website of a professor or perhaps about a professor happening across a wesbite of a student, or even between one student and another, how do we function differently if our personal lives take shape in part through the internet? What does this mean for the two worlds of internet for educational purposes and internet for personal purposes?


question
Name: jackie fle
Date: 2005-03-24 11:34:54
Link to this Comment: 13972

One of Clarissa's questions asks about the difference between a virtual experience and "real" experience. I had difficulty in trying to express to myself what the significant differences are. I thought about this forum. This is a virtual experience. Comparing it to a discussion taking place in the classroom, I realized, in what now seems to be a very obvious thought, that this online forum lacks the "human" component. That I cannot hear and see the speaker and respond to a speaker while making eye contact, feeling whethor or not we have come to an understanding. This relates to Natsu's interesting thoughts on satellite classes. The students may be able to watch a lecture, but they cannot ask questions of the professor. If they were to email any questions to the professor, their thoughts may not make sense in the way they did at the time of the lecture, since the question is now out of place, the thought process may have lost momentum. I know I frequently feel that it is more difficult to articulate questions or confusion after the class than during the class while all the minds in the room are working together to learn the same thing. This online forum has been a very educational experience, but it has certain practical drawbacks: that while I am typing up this question, someone else may be simulatneously posting a comment that addresses a different topic, making continuity of discussion more difficult.


2nd time around
Name: ashley daw
Date: 2005-03-24 11:38:26
Link to this Comment: 13973

I like the idea Emily P. brings up about this new type of literacy. I too had a similar cell phone experience with mom (who is fairly up on technology). I also received an emergency phone call from my Grandfather asking me why he had a flashing line on his computer, and had to simply explain it was his cursor. In evaluating my interviews I noticed my students claimed they didn't know much about technology but claimed to use computers, i-pods, cell phones, and digital cameras on a regular basis. So what constitutes "knowing" technology? I was also wondering how we could possibly solve this problem of immediate gradification Emily talks about. How, as future educators, can we create a classroom where students know how to use technology, but are dependent upon it? Also, I'm interested to find out if others think technology may take over the world in the future? I guess by world I really mean nations like the US because Miriam points out there are other places (such as Africa) where the people don't have access of dependence on technologies available here in the US. I think we need to evaluate out prioroties and see where people stand with this whole situation. Because I can say that technology, such as the internet, can be a bad thing because everything's at my fingertips as long as I know how to use it, but I'll probably keep using it over books for research, because it's just that.


More fom Emily P
Name: Emily P
Date: 2005-03-24 12:35:50
Link to this Comment: 13977

So, what about this idea that technology takes some of the ‘humanity’ out of things? Is there a problem in that we now type most of our papers and letters rather than handwrite them? Would people rather ‘chat’ on the internet rather than on the phone (because you can do so with many at once? or because you can be anybody on the internet? Somehoe, sitting in front of your computer is very much like sitting in your own fantasy world, where you need not truly interact with others in a physical way…
Onto the classroom—I think that in general children today need to be taught about the merits of books and periodicals, etc. even though it is much easier to simply log onto the web and have millions of sources at your fingertips. There still stand several problems: that many children are already used to (from a very young age) the speed of such things as computers (provided that they have access to it). Also, what about the ‘equal opportunity’ in using the net for those with learning differences? if the net works for them (because of graphics or whatever) should they be exempt from learning through books?
Also, how does technology take away from children’s creativity? Imagination? Ability and willingness to play (with toys, or outdoors)? I find that often, if kids are used to using computers and this ‘insta-gratification’ idea, then they have very little confidence in their abilities to have fun without those sources. That they are ‘bored’ without the Nintendo. My mother always expressed concern about art programs on the computer, such as Paint, saying that “the computer drew the picture, not you!” she doesn’t let my 9 year old sister use the computer (except at school). then again, my mother is completely computer illiterate and I like to argue with her (as Maeve and her father do) when actually I do agree with the fact that technology takes away a child’s ability to be creative, not only in art but essentially in problem solving.


question!
Name: ryan ocamp
Date: 2005-07-28 04:14:10
Link to this Comment: 15699

1.does the laziness of the students really comes from technology,if so
2.what is the major factor of the student to become lazy?


Booker T. Washington
Name:
Date: 2006-02-24 03:00:44
Link to this Comment: 18322

I've lately been getting into reading the books for free online. It's a great way to read the classics like Dostoyevsky without having to pay for the books. The site I've been using is http://thefreebookshop.com/, and it's very convenient. I was also reading Booker T. Washington on that site. Fasinating stuff!


background check essentials
Name:
Date: 2006-05-25 01:13:43
Link to this Comment: 19421

There is no disputing the importance of conducting background checks in today’s society. The benefits of comprehensive background checks are felt not only by business owners but by the individual customer. From CEO's to housewives more and more people are beginning to view background checks as a pro-active risk management strategy. The question many are asking is, “can I afford not to conduct a background check?” “Can I afford not to protect myself, my family, or my business when the cost of acquiring such information is becoming increasingly more cost effective?” What used to cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars to uncover can now be quickly and easily obtained at a fraction of the cost.

There are a few important components of a background check that need to be discussed. In order for any background check to be considered thorough both an SSN trace and a criminal record check must be conducted. There are many different types of criminal record searches. They can be narrowed easily into two main categories: database criminal record searches and onsite criminal record searches. The most thorough criminal record check available will always be an onsite search. Database searches, as we all know are fallible, but are a cost effective means of research. It is only at the onsite level that social security numbers can be used for criminal record verification purposes.

Sadly, the criminal record system is not as refined or accessible as the background check system. Thanks to credit card companies, telemarketers, and marketing research firms an individual’s residence history, bankruptcies, relatives, and alias names can be determined with speed and efficiency. The criminal record system is entirely the opposite. The system is antiquated to say the least. Due to many different state and county reporting practices and regulations it is not uncommon for criminal records to “slip through the cracks.” This lack of proper reporting can be dangerous both to businesses and individual citizens. This risk can be averted by conducting manual onsite criminal record searches along with SSN verifications for every subject.

Alias names are a crucial aspect of any background check. It is because of alias names, that SSN verifications are so important in conducting a thorough background check. Most of us have what are considered alias names. Allow me to explain, a John Wayne Smith can show up via public record as John Smith, John W Smith, JW Smith, J Wayne Smith, Johnny W Smith, etc. and the list goes on. Public record may list an individual’s personal information in many different ways. Therefore, it is very important that a human researcher of some kind review and compile any comprehensive background check. There will never be a substitute for human reason.

Remember that identity thieves are not always strangers. They could be co-workers, friends, relatives, roommates, and others physically or emotionally close to you. Thieves often steal from people they know, sometimes because they know you are unlikely to suspect them, and sometimes because they know you are unlikely to punish them. Learn more about protecting your identity at www.unlimited-backgroundcheck.com

In conclusion, one would be well advised to find a company that specializes in this type of service. There are many companies out there that offer only one service or the other. A criminal check is not complete without an SSN verification or background check, nor is a background check complete without a criminal record search and SSN verification. They indeed go hand in hand. Beware of any company that cannot or does not offer both, because the information returned may not be complete or accurate. In today’s society you really can’t afford not to conduct a comprehensive background check.


online distance learning
Name:
Date: 2006-07-25 09:45:49
Link to this Comment: 20005

Hi

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summarizer online
Name:
Date: 2006-10-16 15:52:41
Link to this Comment: 20690

Here is a nice tool to summarize texts of the hit list of google : http://www.pertinence.net/google/en To summarize online documents from a desktop or from Internet : http://www.pertinence.net


For Critical Issues
Name: Laura Humm
Date: 2006-11-05 19:07:42
Link to this Comment: 20871

Well, I just finished looking at the website. I have a few issues with using the internet so much in classroom. First, unless students have an understanding of how to make good, productive searches on sites such as Google, doing research on the internet can be really frustrating (speaking from personal experience here). Also, it can be pretty difficult to determine authenticity of text on the net. I guess what it comes down to is whether the good points of the internet (a huge database of knowledge from many diverse sources) outweigh the bad. Personally, I haven't made up my mind about it yet.



Name: Laura Humm
Date: 2006-11-05 19:32:25
Link to this Comment: 20872

Oops! I forgot to make my post a couple of paragraphs. So let me expand here.

When I was reading through all the different aspects of internet use on the website, there didn't seem to be a lot of ways in which that use could be supported by the teacher. With students at all different levels of experience and comfort with technology in general and the internet in particular, how would one structure a lesson plan that involved using the internet?

Another concern could be that it is so easy to be distracted on the internet. Even in the short time it takes to look at this website and write a posting, I have been IM'd by numerous people and been really tempted to look at facebook or check my email. And all those temptations are just a click away. It would be really challenging to keep an entire class under control and on task with everyone on a separate computer. And if they were sharing computers it would take away one of the components of the internet that this site so highly praised, and that is its interactivity and ability to create experieces.


Technology
Name:
Date: 2006-11-07 00:53:01
Link to this Comment: 20887


If I was stranded in a desert island and I could only bring one object for entertainment, that one object would probably be a computer with internet access. Now, of course if I had internet access I would probably be able to communicate with plenty of people and probably be saved from the desert island. But, let’s say that it would still be impossible for me to be saved, the computer plus internet access would be the best object for entertainment, because I could watch television shows, chat or email my family and friends, play games, download and listen to music and find loads of information online. Now, of course being stranded in a desert island I would not have to worry about typing up papers and doing research projects, so my computer would just be a form of entertainment. But, if I were not in a desert island and I would be in the setting that I am in now; which is a school setting I would say that my computer and internet access is a form of entertainment and a form of stress. So, when you ask me how I would define technology I would say that technology is entertainment that has its positive and negative consequences.
If we take a look at the positive affects of technology we could say that technology provides us with some form of happiness, because we are able to keep in touch with our loved ones who might be far away from us; like talking to them online, on the phone or just get on an airplane or car to see them. In addition to keeping in touch with our loved ones, we also have the television as well as computers to keep us updated about the things that are going on in our world. We also have ways to have fun inside our homes, by having game systems like PlayStation2 and Xbox, without having to go outside all the time. We also have internet access that helps students or anyone who wants information pertaining to a certain subject, to help them out with school work or for their own personal pleasure. Technology is so advanced that people are also able to order food online and through the phone, as well as shop online, that they don’t have to leave their households in order to do so. Now, this is all fabulous, but of course this also has a negative affect. Why? Well, people are so dependent on technology to do everything for them that they are incapable of doing it themselves. Technology sometimes avoids certain confrontations, because people would rather do it through the phone or online. In addition to this technology creates a form of laziness that prevents people from going outside and doing certain activities, because they feel that they are getting all their entertainment at home.
When we look at technology and education, technology has caused a positive affect on education, because like it was previously mentioned students like me are able to do research online as well as keep in touch with their peers from school and teachers, in order to do certain assignments. But, of course along with technologies positive affects on education, technology has also had a negative affect on education, because more and more students find themselves utilizing the internet to do research projects, and not all the information that you find online is correct information. In addition to this, students waste so much time online or watching TV or playing video games or on the phone, that some students lose focus and grow not to care for their education, because they are so focused on the entertainment that all this technology provides them with.
When I spoke to a 16 year old male known as “WWE”, and I asked him about his ideas on technology, the first thing he said is, “Technology is important, because it keeps people like me from being bored”. When I asked him what objects he would bring if he was stranded in a desert island, he said that he would bring his PlayStation2 to play wrestling games, his TV and his computer with internet access so he could chat online. I asked him why he would bring all these objects and he said, “They are all fun and entertaining”. So, when I asked how he would define technology, he said, “Something that is fun and entertaining”. I then asked him why else does he think that technology is important and he said, “Well it’s important for schoolwork, because I need a computer in order to type up a paper, and to do research projects and to distract myself from schoolwork”. When he said this I completely agreed, because technology can be a form of education as well as a form of entertainment.
Now, when technology branches into education and entertainment, this brought me to the idea of procrastination. For example when I have to write a paper; which means typing it on a computer, I always avoid typing it in on a computer that has internet access. If the computer has internet access, I know that it will be a very difficult task to type up a paper and avoid chatting with my friends online or checking out websites that have nothing to do with my school work. This demonstrates the positive and negative affects that technology has on my education, because although the internet has been a good source for me to find information, the internet is also a form of distraction that could affect the way I perform academically in classes. However, sometimes that distraction is necessary, because everyone always needs a break from the intense work that he or she might have. However, the person should be able to manage their time wisely and not let the fascinations of technology distract them from certain goals the he or she has. I then asked him how he uses technology in his school, and he said that in his school there are computers, but he usually never uses them, because they sometimes don’t work and most of the time the internet access is down, so he depends on the computer that he has at home. This of course is something that I could definitely relate to, especially since “WWE” goes to the high school that I graduated from. My high school did not and does not have the best access to technology, and although it was sometimes a problem in class when the teacher wanted to do certain demonstrations in class, I didn’t find it be that big of a deal. The teachers always made an effort to find another way to get their idea across without the need of technology. This brings me back to one of my previous ideas; which is that although technology is very useful, people should not depend on it, because you never know when technology will fail. This is also why in our education system; teachers should not revolve their ideas or demonstrations on just technology but around other ideas and material as well.


my thoughts....
Name: Amber Hopk
Date: 2006-11-08 01:43:29
Link to this Comment: 20901

In exploring this site, I found a talk given by John Seely Brown, called Learning, Working, and Playing in the Digital Age- and in it, he talked a bit about kids of the digital age. What was interesting to me in reading this, was that I felt like he was describing me (the talk was given 10 years ago, and the trends he was discussing were only beginning to emerge.) but as I sat here, reading his talk for this homework assignment, I had my itunes on and several other windows open (IM's, other homework, email, etc)-I fit (as do most of us, I'm sure) his description of students becoming multi-processors.
But what was interesting beyond the fact that we are these multi-processors, is why we have become so. In my interview with my little brother, he said that science leads to technology, and technology leads to new science-but taking his thought a bit further, these technologies and new sciences create new demands in order for this progress to continue. It is in response to these demands that our generation has become these multi-processors, capable of navigating huge quantities of information.
However, another question that was posed on this site was that information from the internet is sometimes used as a source, rather than as a stimuli for individual thinking- so, in becoming better navigators at finding the information we are looking for, are we losing our capacity for critical inquiry, imagination, or other methods of discovery? And as was said above, as technology is not infallible, where would we be intellectually, if it ever did fail?


John Seely Brown reference
Name: Ann
Date: 2006-11-08 07:46:43
Link to this Comment: 20905

Others can find "Learning, Working and Playing in the Digital Age," at http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_edu/seelybrown/seelybrown4.html


Ann


What a bummer!
Name: Jill
Date: 2006-11-08 14:51:25
Link to this Comment: 20909

I like how the web allows for greater access to information and experience. It is a great resource for those who have access to it. Students can learn about different people, and can actually talk to different people through different forum. Access to information is the greatest advantage of the internet.
Technology is great for students and teachers, but what about in poor cities where the schools can not afford computers? These students do not have access to as much information. It would not be fair to make all students use internet access for homework and other projects in school. Some students do not have that ability to use the internet. It would be great if everyone had access, but how could one accomplish this huge task?


technological inequalities
Name: Margarita
Date: 2006-11-08 15:31:31
Link to this Comment: 20915

Although I agree with the statement that the Internet has revolutionized our world as we know it with respect to educational tools, I do not agree with the statement that it is truly available to all human beings. It is the students from wealthier families that have computers with internet access, not the poorest of the poor. Many families struggle to provide their children with the most basic school supplies and cannot even come close to being able to afford a computer with internet access. Yes, it is true that most kids today essentially live in front of the computer screen and are often much more computer savvy than their parents, but doesn¡¯t this mean that there is an even greater gap regarding computer capabilities between wealthier students and their poorer counterparts? Students who have the benefit of having a computer at home have the opportunity to become extremely familiar with the capabilities of the internet, but those who maybe only get to use a computer at school every once in a while, probably have more trouble learning how to do things like proper internet research. I cannot agree with the statement that the internet is available to all human beings until some sort of major step has been taken to insure that computers with internet access are actually readily available to students everywhere.



Name: Erica
Date: 2006-11-08 15:47:37
Link to this Comment: 20917

To kind of go off of what Jill said, I am always amazed when I come across someone who has been born into this "technological age" and can't perform simple computer tasks. I think we often take for granted the technology that we have, and we assume that if we have access to it then everyone must have access to it. Over the summer I tutored kids in a computer skills class, and these were 9-12 graders who were just learning the basics of Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Internet searches, and the majority of them still hadn't mastered correct finger placement on the keyboard (ironically enough every single student in my four classes had a MySpace account and could navigate that website like you wouldn't believe). I've heard from several people recently that technology is the future, and if that is the case what are we going to do about those individuals that don't have this access to the future?
Another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that it is not only poor inner city schools where the children don't have access to computers. My placement school is in a middle class neighborhood and the only computer in the classroom is for the teacher, and the entire school shares one computer lab. Knowing this I assume that it would be slightly challenging for a teacher to incorporate computer technology into lessons and projects for the students. But I definitely think that computer skills is something that teachers should definitely try to incorporate in their classrooms, and I think it is helpful to take this further than just writing documents in Word and doing searches on the internet. I think it is helpful to reinforce the idea of learning to use spreadsheets and make Powerpoint slides, because it is highly likely that students are going to have to do this at some point in the academic or professional careers, and the earlier they learn the more likely it is to stick with them.



Name: Steven Ram
Date: 2006-11-08 16:59:19
Link to this Comment: 20918

I read the article about inquiry, interaction, and technology and it raised a question that I have never exercised until now. Can the tools of technology be made to further the educational objectives, if so, how? Technology has without a doubt revolutionized the way knowledge is shared and how can we as educators use this endless resource to expand what needs to be taught in the classroom. We can also use technology to enhance education to an inquiry based, interactive, or constructivist mode. We have as a resource the ability to change the way education is taught. Students of today's generation have already imersed themselves in this technological lifestyle, that it seems like the next logical step is to bring it into the classroom as a new resource (this of course creates another unlimited number of questions/problems). The first of which is already a big problem in distribution of the resources.



Name: Aquila Ale
Date: 2006-11-08 17:16:39
Link to this Comment: 20919

My thoughts pretty much echo what most of my classmates have talked about. Technology is something that is often taken for granted by those who have access to it. I find sometimes that it drives me nuts when I can't get access to my email. I feel naked without my computer when I am doing school related things. At a college like Bryn Mawr, we are surrounded by technology. Everything is taken care of by email; we even have to register online. Being in a culture like this we forget that technology is a privilege not a right. Now more and more young children are growing up with that notion about technology as well. But what happens when you don't have those resources? Like everyone said, not everyone has access to these things, not everyone is computer/web literate.
Though sometimes I feel like technology to some extent should only be a supplement to the classroom teaching. Meaning the lesson can be done and understood without the web. When we integrate technology into the classroom to much, we get a population that is forgetting technology is a privilege not a right. What happens if a teacher gives an assignment to students on the web and that child does not have internet access at home? Or doesn't have a computer/printer to type his/her paper on? This notion is not only important by social means, but by means of learning. In high school everyone was required to use a TI-83 graphing calculator for all math courses. I got so dependent on it, that when I got to college calculus and was told I could not use a calculator, I struggled with basic math concepts.
We rely on technology sometimes too much, that we are not really learning because we can "look it up online" or have an online database to "do it for me". Where do we draw the line with this use?


Reflection #4
Name: Aly
Date: 2006-11-08 17:19:30
Link to this Comment: 20920

It is incredible to me how much technology has transformed our lives. Just last night I was talking to one of my friends about Facebook and she burst out “What would we do without Facebook? Or Google? Imagine our lives without them!” When I interviewed my younger brother, who is a freshman in high school, about his relationship with technology I received a similar reaction. So many of his daily activities, whether for pleasure or work, revolve around technology. His music is blasting on his iPod, his homework is all being researched on search engines and typed up on Word, he’s talking to his friends on AIM or his cell phone, and any free time he spends skateboarding with his digital camera to take pictures of the tricks he and his friends do, and then proceeds to doctor them up in Photoshop and post them on websites he makes. My brother spends several hours everyday on the computer, and he is easily to the most tech savvy of my family, and so the examples from his life may seem a little over the top. But as I sit here typing this on my laptop, I have my email pulled up in the background next to my Buddy List with music playing on random off my iTunes. It’s certain that I’m just as impacted by technology as my little brother.

I feel one of the largest effects the increase in technology has had on students is that there is now a need to be a true multitasker. We need to be able to process a lot of information from a lot of sources and take it all in rapidly and almost simultaneously. There is so much accessibility to information now and so many different ways to process it. We can read websites, download audio to listen to, or view images on the web; we can present our ideas through written documents, Power Point presentations, or edited videos; we can communicate with others anywhere in the world through email, instant messaging, cell phones, or webcams. With such an unbelievable ability to find all of these venues of information there is a greater expectation on our generation to be able to tap into more perspectives and ideas. But I also think there is a greater desire in our generation because we have all of this right at our fingertips – literally!

I think schools are trying to keep up with these developments because technology provides so many opportunities for education. It appeals to different types of learners because it provides so many different formats for taking in information. It also allows curious, techie kids like my brother to shine and share his knowledge with his peers and teachers. As he told me in our interview, he has learned the most about technology just from messing around on his own on our home computer than he ever has in school, and he could be a great resource in a class. For students who aren’t as technologically inclined, working technology into the curriculum allows these students to learn important skills for the rapidly evolving world. I think it is essential that teachers understand technology and allow their students to engage with it in innovative and meaningful ways.


Connection
Name:
Date: 2006-11-08 18:06:21
Link to this Comment: 20921

Technology is a wonderful addition to the classroom and to the formal learning process as a whole. It really provides many opportunities for the classroom material to be taught and to be learned in a variety of manners. For example, a student may not work well when her teacher tells her how to compose sentences in Spanish, but she may work better when she sees how the sentence is broken down visually, such as on a computer program or website. The use of technology emphasizes the fact that there are multiple intelligences and that there is no single way of teaching and learning. Technology, especially internet accessibility, has enabled us to access tons and tons of information rather quickly that otherwise would be extremely difficult to obtain. The internet is also a wonderful tool that is helpful in contacting people easily via e-mail, blogs, vlogs, online forums, instant messenger, and many other methods. The internet has provided people with the opportunity to connect with information and with people that we normally would not be able to contact, thus emphasizing that idea knowledge can be absorbed from many different people, in many different places, and in many different ways. The internet and other forms of technology are often taken for granted. There are many institutions, facilities, and homes that do not have internet access, let alone computers. The internet is a privilege, a wonderful resource that needs to be valued and used.
Internet accessibility and usage can be incredibly beneficial for the learning process. Students are able to access multiple explanations of a given subject matter, which may facilitate their understanding of the material. In some cases, students are also able to access the assignments of their peers, and from that they can reflect and respond with their own feelings and thoughts. One of the aspects of electronic communication via the internet is the fact that one can detach herself from the individual she is trying to contact. This can be beneficial because students may have more confidence when working independently as opposed to when discussing the material in a conversation. For example, in class when we were to read quotes that were posted on the wall and reflect on them, I was unable to write when a classmate was also reading the same quote. I needed the privacy that would have been provided if a similar process was conducting in an internet forum. The separation provided by technological means of communication is that the composer is detached from her audience and in many cases, which enables her to feel more confident about herself and what she is writing. The unfortunate side of this is that some people become too detached that they are not able to honestly express their opinions face to face or people become overly aggressive and overly offensive when communicating electronically because there is not current physical threat. In most cases, it seems to be beneficial to have alternative means of communicating with one’s peers and teachers because then she is able to voice her opinions, even if she did not have the chance to do so in the classroom. This also emphasizes the idea that learning is an exchange, and by having these assignments the student is able to submit her information in exchange for reading that of her peers.
One this website, the following question was posed: “Can one imagine a teaching environment in which most materials used are those of teachers and students created in the activity of teaching/learning?” I definitely can imagine this environment and it seems that it would be a great one. If students and teachers created the course materials themselves, it would connect the student more to the teacher, and vice versa, so each person is no longer one dimensional and solely acting as student or teacher. This environment would also take away the authority associated with education and it would show that the student is able to teach as well as learn, just like the teacher. This shows that education is not limited to a textbook written in the past by stranger in a different social context, but it is a continual process, and the material and the students and teachers are works in progress. Technology also assists in this process because websites and web pages are constantly being updated, which can happen with books, but not as frequently. This teaching and learning environment also eliminates the idea of one truth, because the setting would be much like the student and teacher exchanging their ideas of truth.
Technology is wonderful asset to the classroom setting and to the learning process in general, and I hope that all though it can physically distance us sometimes, it can bring us together in a communal learning process.


Connection
Name: Rachel A.
Date: 2006-11-08 18:07:04
Link to this Comment: 20922

Technology is a wonderful addition to the classroom and to the formal learning process as a whole. It really provides many opportunities for the classroom material to be taught and to be learned in a variety of manners. For example, a student may not work well when her teacher tells her how to compose sentences in Spanish, but she may work better when she sees how the sentence is broken down visually, such as on a computer program or website. The use of technology emphasizes the fact that there are multiple intelligences and that there is no single way of teaching and learning. Technology, especially internet accessibility, has enabled us to access tons and tons of information rather quickly that otherwise would be extremely difficult to obtain. The internet is also a wonderful tool that is helpful in contacting people easily via e-mail, blogs, vlogs, online forums, instant messenger, and many other methods. The internet has provided people with the opportunity to connect with information and with people that we normally would not be able to contact, thus emphasizing that idea knowledge can be absorbed from many different people, in many different places, and in many different ways. The internet and other forms of technology are often taken for granted. There are many institutions, facilities, and homes that do not have internet access, let alone computers. The internet is a privilege, a wonderful resource that needs to be valued and used.
Internet accessibility and usage can be incredibly beneficial for the learning process. Students are able to access multiple explanations of a given subject matter, which may facilitate their understanding of the material. In some cases, students are also able to access the assignments of their peers, and from that they can reflect and respond with their own feelings and thoughts. One of the aspects of electronic communication via the internet is the fact that one can detach herself from the individual she is trying to contact. This can be beneficial because students may have more confidence when working independently as opposed to when discussing the material in a conversation. For example, in class when we were to read quotes that were posted on the wall and reflect on them, I was unable to write when a classmate was also reading the same quote. I needed the privacy that would have been provided if a similar process was conducting in an internet forum. The separation provided by technological means of communication is that the composer is detached from her audience and in many cases, which enables her to feel more confident about herself and what she is writing. The unfortunate side of this is that some people become too detached that they are not able to honestly express their opinions face to face or people become overly aggressive and overly offensive when communicating electronically because there is not current physical threat. In most cases, it seems to be beneficial to have alternative means of communicating with one’s peers and teachers because then she is able to voice her opinions, even if she did not have the chance to do so in the classroom. This also emphasizes the idea that learning is an exchange, and by having these assignments the student is able to submit her information in exchange for reading that of her peers.
One this website, the following question was posed: “Can one imagine a teaching environment in which most materials used are those of teachers and students created in the activity of teaching/learning?” I definitely can imagine this environment and it seems that it would be a great one. If students and teachers created the course materials themselves, it would connect the student more to the teacher, and vice versa, so each person is no longer one dimensional and solely acting as student or teacher. This environment would also take away the authority associated with education and it would show that the student is able to teach as well as learn, just like the teacher. This shows that education is not limited to a textbook written in the past by stranger in a different social context, but it is a continual process, and the material and the students and teachers are works in progress. Technology also assists in this process because websites and web pages are constantly being updated, which can happen with books, but not as frequently. This teaching and learning environment also eliminates the idea of one truth, because the setting would be much like the student and teacher exchanging their ideas of truth.
Technology is wonderful asset to the classroom setting and to the learning process in general, and I hope that all though it can physically distance us sometimes, it can bring us together in a communal learning process.


The Digital Age
Name: Mary
Date: 2006-11-08 18:19:10
Link to this Comment: 20923

In the piece by John Seely Brown on the Digital Age he says, "Indeed, almost all our past technology for helping the authoring process has been aimed at one particular kind of intelligence. With the Web we have for the first time a medium that could truly honor multiple forms of intelligence—abstract, textual, visual, musical, social and kinesthetic."
I think this is a great way to frame the role that the internet plays in education. If educators could somehow access and harness the unique power that the internet possesses, they could open up the world to their students. The possibilities are endless both for exposure to new and interesting information to gain a better understanding of all aspects of life and also for exploring new forms of expression that may be able to tap into different types of knowledge and uncover novel perspectives that provide a fresh vision to a stale image. How exactly to achieve this goal, when the internet has become cluttered with material that at best is less than constructive and at worst is actually false and misleading, can be a complicated process, but I believe it is possible. What is a more important problem is how to provide this resource to everyone. The quote above talks about honoring all forms of intelligence, which to me is synonymous with honoring all types of people. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that it is not synonymous, but conditional or dependant upon honoring all types of people. In order for the internet to truly become a medium to honor all forms of intelligence it needs to be available to all people.



Name: Annie Scha
Date: 2006-11-08 19:51:50
Link to this Comment: 20924

What I found most interesting about the Serendip Web Principles was the idea of interactivity. Until fairly recently I was more or less unaware of the fact that the internet was not just something I could look at or learn from, but an entity to which I could contribute. I have used the internet for years without ever considering becoming an active participant in the creation of content.


I feel that many people realized the potential of the internet in this area much earlier - anyone can make a website, post a blog, edit Wikipedia and thereby make their personal knowledge and opinions accessible to a huge group of people. I think the interactive nature of the internet has great potential to be an empowering learning tool. The students in my placement post content on a class website in order to help their peers with research and projects. I have heard of another class creating a website about whales designed to synthesize knowledge for future researchers and the world in general.


Regardless of whether anyone out there actually utilizes the information students put on the internet I think this is a great activity. The website talks about how contribution can be empowering and I certainly agree - I also think this is a great way of implementing Carol Tomlinson's ideas about making curriculum engaging. One of her specific examples (page 72 of Ch. 6) is to use meaningful audiences and I think that it could provide a powerful experience and give great meaning to work if students are aware that by contributing to content on the internet they are essentially increasing the world's body of knowledge.


Ever-changing Impact of technology on Education
Name: David Bama
Date: 2006-11-08 20:13:15
Link to this Comment: 20925



"The interactivity of the Web is perhaps its most important characteristic. For the first time in human history, it is becoming possible for all humans to play an active role in world-wide cultural and intellectual interchange. This means not only that everybody's ideas/perspective can be made available, but also that people can develop their ideas and perspectives in extensive interaction with other people."

This is a theory I agree with. Unlike predominant technologies of the past like Radio and Television, the Web gives people the opportunity to interact and thus exchange ideas. The serves as a social setting even though you are not in sight of your peers. Aside from allowing people to share ideas and thoughts, the web also improves writing and reading skills through inventions such as email, discussion boards and AIM.

I also think that the technologies such as Television and the Radio are educationally informative. In fact there have been studies done suggesting that children who watched Sesame Street did better at school thank kids who did not watch Sesame street. However television and the radio can be dangerously informative. The information passed through TV and radio is transmitted down a one-way street. One-way channels of information do not allow you to eaily contest what is being said. Without opposition false information can be easily passed and implanted.

Post made by David Bamat


Response Paper # 4
Name: Sydney Sil
Date: 2006-11-08 20:44:07
Link to this Comment: 20926

“The Web provides the potential to create an equality of opportunity for every individual human which is enormously greater than at any prior time in human history.” I think I agree with this statement as it’s written here, but there are also always outside factors that make statements such as this one more complicated and less feasible. In the case of the internet being more or less a great equalizer, I think there are a few key things that stand in the way of this being achieved. The most obvious one is, of course, the fact that many students who are already marginalized in the educational realm, (minorities, poor students), don’t have access to the internet at home. In fact, many might not even have a computer, and most times their schools will not receive enough funding to cover their basic needs, let alone financing computers and internet connection.
Another thing about the web that seems problematic to me is that there is no way to control it. Perhaps that is why it is so frightening to many in power who like the idea of being able to control the media and press at times of crisis; the internet is much too free-flowing and ubiquitous that is its own owner. This is a side comment but it speaks to my greater point, this being that the internet is so widely accessible that it becomes hard for a student to distinguish fact and fiction. Through doing a simple Google search, one can receive a million hits for one topic, and many websites can come off as looking very professional. However, it becomes very tricky to utilize the web for projects, papers, and other academic endeavors when one is unsure of the accuracy of the source.


Response Paper # 4- Post 2
Name: Sydney Sil
Date: 2006-11-08 21:38:31
Link to this Comment: 20930

Reading what people said on the board, it sounds as if the general consensus is that technology should be and already is incorporated in the educational system. I agree with this, but I do see problems as well (after all, most everything has foreseeable problems…). I was wondering, if a teacher is to utilize technology, especially the internet, in his or her classroom, where do they draw the line, as Aquila brings up? Is there a point where students can start to learn and grow more from the internet and technology given to them than from the actual teacher, and if so, is that an ok point to reach? Can too much technology offer kids an opportunity to slack off? Ie; if all lectures for a certain class are available online, where’s the incentive to take notes or even to come to class everyday?



Name: Erica
Date: 2006-11-08 21:49:09
Link to this Comment: 20931

I definitely second Aquila's comment about relying on technology too much. I know that I probably haven't done research in a library for a very long time becuase I normally will just look things up on the internet or go use the internet to find a book and then go somewhere like Barnes & Noble where I can sit and read it and drink coffee or something. And one of the problems with this reliance on technology, especially the internet, as someone mentioned before (I think it was Laura) is that not all the information that you find on the internet is reliable and a lot of kids don't really grasp that even though most teachers probably think to mention it. I t hink a lot of students feel that if someone took the time to put it online then it must be accurate.
Also, along the lines of taking technology too far, how do people feel about "smart" classrooms where students are being taught by a teacher that is in another location but the lesson is being broadcast onto a tv? I know there are many college classes that are taught in this way so that professors can teach at institutions around the country without actually having to travel. While I think this is convenient for some, I feel like it is inevitable that certain aspects of teaching and learning would be lost. But I don't know maybe this kind of classroom would be okay for people that don't value teacher-student interaction.



Name: nydia
Date: 2006-11-08 22:06:44
Link to this Comment: 20932

Seeing as I'm one of the last people to post, I'll have my few paragraphs and my questions in the same message.

"The Web provides, to anyone having access to it, a wealth of information, ideas, and perspectives orders of magnitude greater than was previously available to even the richest and most powerful human beings."

This is off of the Serendip evolving principles website and I found it quite interesting. I think that it's amazing to see the leaps that my own family has made in technology in the last decade, let alone the rest of the world. Frankly, there are so many leaps in just a year that it's annoying. We keep going faster and faster, leaping into what may be more chaos, and it's almost too much to keep up with. How are teachers supposed to keep up with technological leaps (while keeping the attention of their students) if I, a college student that spends quite a bit of time on the net every day, am finding it hard?

With all that said, I agree with what others on the board have said today. We keep thinking of technology as a right, not a privilege (a key phrase in the principle is "anyone having access to [the internet]). While the web is defin. getting more people on board information-wise, it still has a long way to go before it is a universal commodity. You don't have to be rich to have a computer and an internet connection but you do have to have some sort of excess cash flow that allows you to have that commodity. If schools have a hard time affording paper, then they're defin. not going to think of high speed internet as a priority. The internet has a great capacity to "even the playing field", but like public schools, could fail in doing so because the lower classes still don't have access to it or don't have the more efficient and better versions of it.

Question:

1. If teachers are already having a hard time designing an engaging curriculm for students because of too much standardized testing, how can we fit technology in the mix without distracting students even more?


Technology-the means to socialization
Name: Tallie
Date: 2006-11-08 22:08:42
Link to this Comment: 20933

Talking to my sister who is now a freshman in high school I feel as though the world of technology has really changed things. For her, using technology or the internet is the only way to be successful in school, most teachers expect you to print things off the internet or to use blackboard to recieve homework assignments.(this assignment is ironically similar). But as my sister said, technology is now much more than just a way for teachers to get you to do your homework, it is also a necessity for communication with friends. My sister discussed how important having a cell phone, using AIM and having facebook or myspace was for her and her friends, interestingly enough e-mail doesnt seem to make the cut anymore.

I feel that technology has really become a part of education, it seems that no matter where you look there is always something electronic being used in the classroom. Its almost to the point that we are so relient on technology to help us out, that sometimes we get backed into a corner and then are stuck not being able to complete the assignments or tasks that we have been assigned. Thinking back to high school when I would turn in powerpoint presentations and there would always be the one student whose ppt. wouldnt work, and there were times when they suffered for that. Unfortunatly a poster and notecards doesnt seem to cut it anymore which makes me wonder what we will do, if there is ever a time when we cant use technology.


EL INTERNETo
Name: Mendita Fr
Date: 2006-11-08 22:26:09
Link to this Comment: 20934

In the year 2006, technology is definitely at its prime-and RISING! The worldwide web is amazingly convenient and manages to make the world seem so much smaller than it really is... What with online social networks (such as MySpace, Facebook and Tagworld,) AOL Instant Messenger, chat rooms, and e-mail, communication is becoming more and more convenient; it also seems as though the telephone is becoming less and less of a necessity. The internet has become just as essential to students as it is to working professionals. We college students are constantly checking our e-mail inboxes throughout the day. In fact it has become the best and possibly most reliable way of communicating, not only because access to a computer is hardly an obstacle on a college campus, but also because it serves as a record, which can be upheld in a court of law, if necessary (thanks to the date and timestamps).
However, as pertinent as the internet is to life as a scholar and professional, far too many students do not have access to it. Many underprivileged masses who attend learning institutions in underfunded school districts do not sufficient access to computers or the internet, if at all. As a high school student, I didn't have an e-mail account set up until my junior year of high school. All too often, students are not exposed to the wealth of resources which should be available to them, reason of which typically relate to a lack of funds.
I like the notion of incorporating online conversations into the classroom curriculum. I took a course once where each student was required to post online via Blackboard; we had to reflect on the readings and respond to one another's posts. It worked well, because the conversation continued in class and it helped the professor add structure to the classroom dynamic. However, seeing as the course was a sociology course discussing extremely sensitive topics, such as race class and the notion vs. reality of "ghetto" and "urban," the online posts at times were problematic, because language is often much more open to interpretation when things are written and not said. So while the online posts were convenient because it gave the more timid students the opportunity to actively participate and voice their opinions, it also allowed for and caused for overall far too many misunderstandings.


ACCESS NOT GRANTED
Name: MendaRita
Date: 2006-11-08 22:50:16
Link to this Comment: 20935

I am hearing alot of people coomplain about the leaps and bounds that have been made in technology in the recent present, and how that may be hazardous for educators or detrimental for citizens/students.

However, I wouldn't be so quick to "badmouth" technology and its exponential growth. While I do understand and sympathize with the greivances which have been brought forth, I feel tht more focus should be placed on the LACK OF ACCESS to technoology as opposed to the surplus/abundance or faultiness of it.
I find it alarming and downright disturbing that some students do not have equal access to technology, and that if and when they do, they are often not provided with the proper tools to allow them to maximize their resources.

Traditional education, what with all of its strict rules and curriculum guidelines does not always allow for teachers to incorporate outside/ alternative learning accessories into the framework of their class. There are presently far too many high school scholars who are intelligent and excel academically, yet are "computer illiterate."

Why is there such a HUGE disconnect?

How can this problem be alleviated?

Does the answer begin with providing more funds or revamping the curriculum system?

Or both???


Do we draw a line?
Name: Jill
Date: 2006-11-09 00:07:38
Link to this Comment: 20940

I completely agree with Aquila. Where do we draw the line for technology? People are becoming dependent on technology, but it is not always necessary. I feel like sometimes it takes away from education in a sense because people can have the answers at their fingertips and not have to even try to figure it out on their own.


How could we prevent this dependence from getting too deep?


Also, how much does multitasking take away from learning?



Name: Aquila
Date: 2006-11-09 00:08:34
Link to this Comment: 20941

What ever happened to hands on learning? Seeing what people are saying, it seems that we are dependent on technology and at the same time it is making education an un-level playing field. What about all the things we have talked about in the beginning with Dewey and Freire? Knowing you students and using that to really have them understand concepts. In response to what Erica said about Smart classrooms, where teachers are teaching over tv screens, how does that help the student? I feel like if you don't want to make an investment in your students at least somewhat (I know it’s harder in larger universities) then why are you teaching? Effective educators are supposed to know their students and learn along with them. How can you do that when the only time your student can see you is through a tv screen? I stand by my opinion that technology should simply be a supplement to the classroom not a necessity.

I would also like to comment on what Menda was saying about online forums and what we have been discussing in class about what is ok and not ok to teach in the classroom. Though I feel as though online forums can be good for continuing conversations that start in the classroom, sometimes I think that can be problematic when being the initial start of a conversation. Like Menda said, words are open for much more interpretation in forums like these. What happens when we are talking about very "touchy" topics, such as race, class, gender, sexuality or spirituality? Sometimes online forums are supposed to represent the views of those who are not heard in class. But what happens if the words said in the forum are controversial. We need to talk about them in class right? Of course, but too many times online forums are left out of class context. People are relying on technology to protect themselves from talking about things that should really be discussed in the classroom. Though like for our class, we are printing these out and talking about it in class, which SHOULD be done. But I have been in classes were these things are kind of a homework thing, and disregarded in class. What do others think?



Name: Laura Humm
Date: 2006-11-09 00:10:14
Link to this Comment: 20942

Ok, so this is my second post and I guess the comments that stood out to me were the one's about how some schools don't have access to computers. Most of the time this is seen as a bad thing, but in some ways I think it's also beneficial. When I went to school in Montes Claros, Brazil, there weren't even textbooks for every kid, let alone computers. Probably the time this was most evident was in math class. At my high school in Swarthmore, we all used fancy graphing calculators to aid in complicated problems, but in Brazil I learned for the first time how to do things like logrithms and the quadratic formula by hand. I think that people rely too much on technology sometimes. What happens when it fails? The Y2K scare was a good example of that; would continue functioning if we had a major systems failure? And how do we avoid that kind of dependency?


Technology vs Imagination
Name: Asia
Date: 2006-11-09 01:09:39
Link to this Comment: 20944

Wow, you all have really blown me away with your commentary and questions. You've gone into such depth with this, I'm not sure my observations are really of much value.

At my placement I had the opportunity to interview two students, one male, and one female. At the stage of third grade, they have yet to see the importance of technology beyond its ability to entertain them, but they already have the idea that it will become far more important as they age, particularly as they progress through the education system into college. Their dependency on technology is already very evident.

This reminds me of my childhood when my mother would always send us outside only to have us to complain of boredom. Video games and other gadgets had somehow become far more entertaining than hoola hoops and jump ropes as we grew up. We could no longer rely on imagination to entertain us.

What does this say about our society? Is this a positive thing, that our children are mastering technology before their own imaginations? Clearly technology has had some negative affects on our children, the most prominent likely to be obesity. What do you all think?


Technology Response
Name: Steven
Date: 2006-11-09 12:09:05
Link to this Comment: 20946

In reading many of the comments I have a found that many of us feel technology to almost de-personalize teaching. I believe this to be true in the case of "smart" classrooms with teachers on a tv screen instead of in front of the class. The advances of technology seem to be complicating teaching more than supplementing it, which it should be doing. Aquila has a valid point when she says technology should only supplement the work done in the classroom. In an era that has revolutionized the way information technology is shared and expressed, why do we feel that we must bring this into the classroom? I do feel like the internet is a valuable source of knowledge and we should learn to properly use its resources in the classroom, but the internet has no limits and I feel in order to gain a full understanding of concepts and lessons the lack of censorship/limits may create larger complexities than it solves.


Aly
Name:
Date: 2006-11-09 12:30:35
Link to this Comment: 20947

I really like what Menda brought up and agree that the larger problem is not the use of technology but who has access to it because there is a large and extremely significant gap between who has access and who does not. How important is the technology gap in comparison to other educational issues? Should that be a primary focus of improving education or do other issues take precedent?



Name: Annie Scha
Date: 2006-11-09 13:52:51
Link to this Comment: 20948

The main question this discussion has raised for me is the issue Aquila brought up about the limits of technology in education, or rather, whether there should be limits. I think it is valuable that using technology such as the internet in classroom activites utilizes and supports multiple intelligences and different skill sets, but I do think that in today's society it is important to be both computer literate and have proficiency in the skills needed for successful personal interaction. I wonder how these two very different skill sets can be balanced so that students are able to be successful with both.

I also wonder, since technology has become so importatn in everyday life, how much time schools should devote to helping students become computer literate, and to what level. Should the required knowledge be simply about Word and Powerpoint and searching the web? I think it would be helpful to me in many ways to have a deeper understanding of the internet and computer programming, and I wonder if we are moving towards a time when these concepts will be incorporated into required high school curriculum.



Name:
Date: 2006-11-09 13:56:19
Link to this Comment: 20949

Using computers are part of part of school curriculum. At Mastery Charter, the Spanish teacher I work with says that they are suppose to use Rosetta Stone (computer program) for at least 1 hour a week.



Name:
Date: 2006-11-09 13:57:01
Link to this Comment: 20950

That last comment was mine (David's), sorry.


my response
Name: Amber Hopk
Date: 2006-11-09 14:13:17
Link to this Comment: 20951

I agree with what has been said above, and I feel like I'm just reiterating a lot of it- but I also believe that technology in education is creating a very problematic gap, both in access to it, as well as in the abilities of students to manipulate and utilize that technology, as this is largly dependent on their having access to it. Also along this same thought- with this gap, the collective education that seems to be increasing only in those who have access to the latest technology and newest developments. This is further distancing them from the population that lacks access to it, isolating (and in a sense, alienating) that population from the developments that are being integrated into our progressing society.


Technology can be a good thing
Name: Rachel Awk
Date: 2006-11-09 14:21:49
Link to this Comment: 20952

In response to Erica’s comment, I find it discouraging that all people do not have access to such an amazing tool as the internet. In my placement, there are not any computer labs in the schools. Some of the teachers have their own, while others have to bring in their laptops. Few of the students have internet access, if they have a computer. I would be nice if there were a level playing field in regards to education, but it is rather difficult because there are so many different things people are competing with, such as financial issues, family issues, etc, that make it incredibly more difficult.
In Erica’s second comment, she mentions how something is loss in the teaching and learning process in “smart” classrooms. I think that they can be beneficial, but it seems like it can separate the teachers and the students more than they already are. Learning and teaching is something that does not stop and does not happen in isolation, so in a smart classroom it furthers the idea that when learning goes on communication and connection with the others around you are quite limited.
To try to answer Nydia’s question, I think that technology could be used more as a tool as opposed to a distraction. I must admit like many people that the internet can be distracting. Facebook + Myspace = the devil. However, technology can be an amazing way to teach students in a manner that is not restricted to a chalkboard. For example, in high school my chemistry class was incredibly difficult. It is hard for me to imagine that there are always these microscopic objects bouncing around inside of me and in the objects around me. For my class, there were a few computer programs that helped us to visualize some of the processes that were normally limited to a static description in the textbook and on the chalkboard. In my case, technology really help me to gain a better understanding of the course material, and I believe that the same can happen in other classroom settings if presented in the right way


Tom Read 2-post
Name: wwwroot
Date: 2007-02-22 11:16:15
Link to this Comment: 21485

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The Internet's Role in Education
Name: Z. Singer
Date: 2007-03-25 12:48:57
Link to this Comment: 21572

The internet is certainly a valuable tool for research, communication and education in modern society. It is almost routine for children to gain knowledge of the computer and internet by the time they are in elementary school. Oftentimes when students reach their teens, they have far surpassed their parents’ comprehension of the computer and internet. The internet is, of course, useful for academic purposes, and many jobs require employees who are competent in using computers and the internet. Consequently, steps should certainly be taken to ensure that the internet is available to all students. However, while I believe it is crucial for students to have knowledge of and experience with the internet, they should not rely solely on technology as an “easy way out” of researching and learning from other potentially useful and interesting sources of information.

Serendip’s “Evolving Web Principles” page claims, “The Web should be used to encourage humans to further develop, as individuals, the capacity to pass their own critical judgements and to continually expand their own perspectives and understandings.” Indeed, the skill of wading through the abundant and diverse material on the Web to find desired, accurate information is extremely important. However, too often, students take the easy road of conducting *all* of their research on the internet, in the comfort of their own homes, while books with potentially different (and oftentimes more accurate) information collect dust on library shelves. I, too, have been guilty of this; it is certainly easier and faster to research on the internet, rather than drive “all the way” to the library. But because researching from books is a very different (and still important) process altogether, teachers must take precautions to ensure that their students don’t lose touch with these resources. The internet has a huge role in today’s fast-paced, technological society, but I believe it should be a supplement to students’ educational experiences, rather than serve as an alternative to printed material.


Using Technology to Teach
Name: Shasha Che
Date: 2007-03-25 22:15:02
Link to this Comment: 21576

I personally believe that technology in the classroom is essential. The ability to use computers and other fundamental technological devices are key to success in future job markets. However, when I think of education and technology, I come to a concern. Although this is somewhat of a tangent because it doesn't focus on the use of internet, I still think that this concern holds some relevance in the education world today.

I feel that the use of technology in teaching can definitely hinder the relationship and one-on-one teaching methods between the educator and the students. There are many online/computer tutorials designed to teach certain skills. For example, when I trained to work in the library, I was not taught by the supervisor on how to shelve books and read the call numbers. Instead, I completed an independent tutorial on the computer. At the end of the tutorial, I would take a test on what I learned. If I failed it, I would take the same test again. I felt that learning the information through the computer was much harder than if I had a supervisor simply explain it to me. Putting this scenario into the classroom, this form of teaching is distant and does not allow relationships to build between students and teachers. Also, in my opinion, it can easily allow an educator to become lazy. Thus, I think that technology as a tool for education, but its use needs to be carefully planned. Furthermore, the use of technology in the classroom should be reduced to a minimum in younger classroom because it fosters a good learning environment and younger students need the student/teacher relationship much more.




Point #2
Name: Ian Lawren
Date: 2007-03-25 23:01:56
Link to this Comment: 21577

When I read the Serendip theory about why the web is such a positive asset to education, I was drawn specifically to the remark about the disorganized, democratic nature of material published online. My main concern is that over time, the Internet will become less a tool for the "rebel forces" and be increasingly manipulated by the system and status quo. In the past year alone, education has been revolutionized by Wikipedia, essentially an all-encompassing online encyclopedia. Having one monopolizing website catalogue all of history's factoids might be beneficial in cutting down on Web-surfing time, but it also might blur our idea of the truth and discourage us from seeking out many points of view. While there are contributions from everyday people on Wikipedia, there are not enough safeguards to prevent the goofballs that roam the Internet realm to obscure what is and what is not the truth. Seeking out all those website addresses with a mile-long URL name might have been time-consuming, but it least it forced Internet researches to seek out many perspectives. Wikipedia is a book for and by nameless historians and people are supposed to, in an almost 1984-like manner, accept its material as the gospel truth without critique, analysis, or verification. One of the first ways a society descends out of democracy is for information to be corraled. My fear is that Wikipedia is in the infancy stages of attempting to organize all our knowledge - and I'm not sure that's what these theorists had in mind about healthy usages of the Web.



Name: Sasha
Date: 2007-03-25 23:06:07
Link to this Comment: 21578

The use of technology in classrooms is being seen more and more throughout schools. Now even pre-schoolers are being exposed to lessons using computer games. I think technology is another way for students to be educated that is not the traditional teacher drilling information and the students repeating it. Because technology is a break from what would normally be considered to be "education," the lessons are viewed as fun and allows for a good educational experience that otherwise may not occur.
I do not believe however that teacher should become dependent of technology. Students should have exposure but it is still the task of the educator to promote further growth that goes beyond a computer game. There are certain skills that are essential in the development of students that will never be learned through technology. There is still a necessity for the relationship between the student and the educator. Technology should only be used as an alternative outlet but never a dependent resource to teach something that should in reality be the educator's responsibility to enforce. Technology is a good tool to reinforce lessons but I think it should be monitored and used as an additional resource.


"Experience" on the Web
Name: Lauren Dic
Date: 2007-03-26 00:38:20
Link to this Comment: 21579

As a new student of education, I am coming to understand how important experience is in forming valuable knowledge. My question is, how valuable an experience the internet can really provide? Yes, there is exploration in using search engines for research or analyzing a web page, but the internet appears to be only the starting point for truly educative experiences. For example, in surfing the web I may discover an image of a painting that attracts my attention. From this point, I can research the name of the artist and the location of the work in order that I may go to the correct museum to view it. I also stay offline when I experiement with the artist's painting style or subject matter in creating my own artworks. It is up to me to have the actual experience. The internet, facing limits in its power to interact with me and my needs as a learner, may only offor me opportunities to "read/hear/be shown," and not engage my full understanding as offline experience can.

The internet is a priceless tool for students and educators. Its ability to provide educative experience, however, cannot be compared to the value of experience in direct interaction with the material--not separated by a screen. When conventional classrooms meet technology and the two form a compromise, the students can have the best of both the online and real life worlds.



Name: Nick
Date: 2007-03-26 08:07:20
Link to this Comment: 21580

I think the great shame of Wikipedia has been its' emergence as a legitimate full encyclopaedia, as opposed to simply a resource to 'fill in the blanks' of topics not covered in traditional encyclopaedias. In other words, I think that for topics such as the revolutionary war it would be preferable to use primary sources, books, and a legitimately researched encyclopaedia (Encyclopaedia Brittanica, etc...) instead of simply Wikipedia, as has become in vogue during recent years. That is not to say I believe Wikipedia doesn't serve a purpose: I can't find out about the roots of Kid Rock's angst in Encyclopaedia Brittanica, but I can (and did, last night) on Wikipedia. It's just a shame such watered down and dubious 'history' has risen to a nearly acceptable level in our middle and high schools. It may be only a matter of time before this spreads to college.


education and technology
Name: Andrea C.
Date: 2007-03-26 10:01:50
Link to this Comment: 21581


If education is the means by which the students of today are prepared to effectively contribute to society, then I believe that technology must play a part in this preparation; through inclusion in the curriculum.

This inclusion is necessary in order to allow students, who would otherwise not have access to such technological advances, to stand on more equal grounds with those from more privileged backgrounds. Coming from a high school that did not offer technological studies, can cause the experience of entering into a class, such as chemistry, where the labs involve computer usage in which prior knowledge is assumed, (such as creating and using Microsoft Excel documents), to be both intimidating and uncomfortable. Thus the addition of a computer proficiency class into the curriculum would be beneficial for the student for attaining future educative experiences, and for the future educators so that in teaching, they may draw upon students’ equally solid foundations in technology without hesitation.



Name: Leonel Oli
Date: 2007-03-26 10:29:40
Link to this Comment: 21582

I believe that the web may be a great educational resource. Through the internet students ans teachers from all over the world can share their knowledge and experiences. The web might not recognize nationalities, but simply having internet access is a luxury, and there are millions of people even in the US that don't own or have access to a computer. We must not forget about the financial implications of technology.

Although public schools do provide internet access for students, not all of the families can provide this same commodity at their homes. "Computers for youth" teaches low-income families how to use a computer and gives them a computer at no cost. I believe this is a great idea because it serves various purposes. Technology will no longer be an obstacle for low-income family now that hey have been exposed to it in their home. Since Since the web can be used as a great educational resource, the family can keep learning in their homes without the financial obstacles of expensive schooling. Therefore a free computer and free access to the web might improve the over all socioeconomic position of low-income families, because technology translated into an educative experience might help to decrease illiteracy and eventually poverty. I am advocate for the web as an educational resource, but that means free internet access for all! The web should not discriminate nationality or socioeconomic positions!



Name: Jeff
Date: 2007-03-26 10:43:37
Link to this Comment: 21583

There is no doubt that technology is consuming an ever-growing aspect to education. The question arises of how is it to be applied to the classroom setting. I believe it to be a priceless entity outside of the classroom but doubt its value in the actual classroom. I believe the instructor plays a vital role in the learning experience of students. They are an adaptable resource that can respond and translate varying needs when a computer cannot. In an advancing technological society, we must we must do our best to maintain to value that is the student-teacher relationship. It is something no computer program will ever be able to replace. In summary, technology is an extremely viable source outside the classroom, but we must must tread carefully upon determining its role within the classroom.


Technology and Education
Name: David Sanc
Date: 2007-03-26 10:52:54
Link to this Comment: 21584

Having the incredible amount of information available online at one’s disposal is an invaluable resource. I cannot fathom a time when students needed to do research in a library more than once or twice a month, and I am constantly amazed by the amount of information I can find online (ranging from a wikipedia article on Interstate 95 in Pennsylvania so that I can figure out driving directions to a website on an obscure US Trade Bill for a history class). Furthermore, I wholeheartedly support the movement to place more academic websites online. Websites such as these are often useful as sources and as tutorials, two things I view as very useful to students of all abilities. Furthermore, such websites are able to reach anyone with a computer and internet access, making available to large numbers of people information that was previously buried in university libraries.
Discussing academic subjects and engaging in debate online can be very productive, but it is much different from engaging in conversation in the classroom setting. I am hesitant to support online education in the way we see it commercially presented (for example, online masters degrees) because I feel like the ability to participate in class discussion translates into other skills later in life, and those who participate solely in online classes may lack these skills. However, in most contexts (i.e. not just receiving online education), the ability to discuss online is fantastic, especially in a global sense where we can engage in conversations and debates with people around the world. In general, I fully support the expansion of technology and internet-use in education for all students.


Democracy, technology and education
Name: Barbara Ha
Date: 2007-03-26 11:18:10
Link to this Comment: 21585

One thing that occurs to me as I read through your posts is that you don't, as the newest generation of college students, express here a perspective that frequently gets attributed to your generation/age group by my more senior colleagues. I wonder what you think of this idea...

Some educators who grew up wihout widespread use of the internet, or home computers of any kind, think that the only way to get (and keep!) the attention of students who did grow up with these things is to be very techie in class. This line of thought holds that since you're used to being online constantly, using your cell phones, playing video games, and learning in a web-based format, and as a result need instant, easy response gratification as learners, you won't tune in and sit still for something without flashing lights or some kind of fun "bling" like an actual book. So, you're more technologically savvy but less well-read than previous generations, and although they should, traditional teaching methods won't reach you.

What do you think? - about this and the other tremendously interesting ideas that have been raised here by your classmates and others?

BH


Free web use for all
Name: Barbara Ha
Date: 2007-03-26 11:32:08
Link to this Comment: 21586

I keep thinking about Leo's idea that everyone should have access to the internet somehow, especially because (as Shasha pointed out) workplaces tend to use computers pretty heavily. Public libraries and schools often have computers, but that doesn't seem like enough... it seems clear that people who have web access at home will be at an advantage in advancing professionally. And the folks who have web access at home have lots of advantages in advancing professionally anyway! What would Freire say, I wonder? Does the web support social justice or create more barriers to creating it? And what about democracy? David points out that the web can increase the amount of information to which people have access (since it can't just "sit" in a library), and I think that's true, but when we lack free and practical internet use for all, how democratic can we really call this access?

Lauren's reach back to Dewey for a way to sort out the quality of technology-related educational experiences, and the wories Ian and Nick have about the web and democracy (and about random bozos writing on Wikipedia! promise me you won't cite Wikipedia in your papers!) are also really compelling to me. And then there's the concern Jeff raised (and others share) about relationships between students and teachers when technology is involved. Let's kick those ideas around some more, either here or in class (or both).

BH


Questions and concerns about technology in the cla
Name: Zach
Date: 2007-03-26 13:44:09
Link to this Comment: 21587

I strongly agree with Jeff’s concern regarding the importance of teacher-student interactions; it is, after all, important not to lose the “human” aspects involved in learning. This point leads to some interesting questions: Is it “dangerous” to introduce young children to computers and technology? At what age should this immersion occur? Who should be responsible for this immersion—teachers or parents?

Leo’s point that “the web should not discriminate” based on one’s socioeconomic positions is an important one. It too brings to mind some interesting questions: Who is responsible for assuring equal access to computers, and how can this be achieved? Should acquiring technology be a priority of struggling schools (which may lack funding), or should other school improvements come first?

In regards to Professor Hall’s question, I feel like it is actually important *not* to use technology all of the time in schools. I agree that students today are much more technological than students of the past, but I (and maybe others) would feel inundated (even bored) with technology if it was always being used as an educational tool. Furthermore, although technological, students of our generation are still human beings who, biologically, have needs for communication and social interactions with other human beings. Therefore, I think technology (as Sasha said) is a great supplement to current educational practices, but it should only be used when it provides something that current methods do not.


Technology and The Classroom
Name: casey r
Date: 2007-03-26 19:15:05
Link to this Comment: 21589

In response to Zach's question about immersion, I would say that because technology and computing has become such a major part of the world it is the educator's responsibility to introduce his or her students to computing and technology in order to adequately prepare them for their futures. As for the way in which this should be done, and at what age, I'm not so sure I know the answer. As someone who grew up with compyters I can attest to the fact that introductions to that type of technology are happening earlier and earlier. I was familiar with basic computer skills by the age of eight, at the latest, and my six year old cousin alrwady knows how to browse the internet. This being the case, I think that children are going to become familiar with certain forms of computing pretty early on from this point out. The resl question is, I think, how to properly and effectively utlize this.

The article we read in the New York Times about students taking Virtual Field Trips in Whiteplains, NY shows an interesting and innovative way to both introduce students to technology andalso to build on their previous knowledge of it. At the same time, though, I worry about it. It seems to me that there is potentioal here to try and "kill two birds with one stone" by forgoing computer classes and field trips in an attempt to combine the two in ways similar to those discussed in the article. Not only would this remove the class aspect of computing, and the more technical aspects of it, but it would also elminate (or at least decrease) the amount of hands-on experience the students got. In a world already dominated by text messages and IMs as a form of communication, especially it seems for younger people, removing more human contact may not be the best thing to do.



Name: Matt Doole
Date: 2007-03-26 19:16:49
Link to this Comment: 21590

I think that technology is being introduced far too early into the classroom. While the concern that traditional methods won't reach the younger generation because of short attention spans, is valid, trying to accomodate the wants of our techie generation will backfire, and only lead to more distractions. For example, in the Montessori school I visited, about five kids were gathered about a computer playing a game that was supposed to have the kids work on classifying animals into arachnids or reptiles or mammals. Instead, the child who was playing merely skipped the learning part of the game and constantly messed around with the "games" that were supposed to make the learning part fun. Of course, it does show a certain kind of intelligence that he was so quickly able to figure out how to sidestep all the learning parts of the game, but the only real result was that he clicked buttons for half an hour while four fellow students watched. While I think the Internet should be used later on, (say, fifth/sixth grade), I think the expansion of "learning games" for young children really doesn't help that much, and undermines the foundations of tangible reading and writing that everyone should have. (Sorry this is late).



Name:
Date: 2007-03-26 19:58:47
Link to this Comment: 21591

matt said: "I think that technology is being introduced far too early into the classroom. While the concern that traditional methods won't reach the younger generation because of short attention spans, is valid, trying to accomodate the wants of our techie generation will backfire, and only lead to more distractions."

While I think your criticism is valid, and while the example of your Montessori school is illustrative of how technology in the classroom can be misused or even abused, I have to wonder if what you observed is the fault of the technology's presence or, rather, the fault of the educator for allowing his/her students to misuse the computer in the way that they did. Also, I wonder: would this have happened in a non-montessori/more traditional school setting where there is more structure in the classroom? If not, is what you observed then a fault of the educational system that particular school has chosen to adopt and practice?


Using Technology to Teach
Name: Shasha
Date: 2007-03-26 20:50:49
Link to this Comment: 21592

I have a problem with USING technology to teach students.

When students learn from a screen, there is no interaction. Also, a computer only has a limited set of information it can teach a student whereas a human educator can contribute much more to the student's learning because what happens when a student has a question that needs to be answered? A computer cannot spit out the answer and elaborate on it like a teacher can.

Of course, I'm looking at this from a view that is possibly too simplistic. Also, I'm only touching on a small aspect of the use of technology as a tool. But, I think that the introduction of technology shouldn't occur early in the classroom (like what Matt said). Technology has done many harmful thing to society despite its many contributions.

The article that we're suppose to read for tomorrow about virtual field trips confuses me. What's the difference between a virtual field trip and just watching the discovery channel? Although it's better than nothing (since you can't really get a whole middle school out to the Amazon rain forest for a field trip), it shouldn't be the only source provided for the students. They should also learn from textbooks and discussions. If we only relied on technology, there would be no student interactions, which fails to prepare students for the real world. All they know is how to stare at a screen and absorb information that way.

I know that this has been brought up before by many people already but I think that technology can only be supplementary and almost unnecessary. Computer wise, the student should only be taught HOW to use technology such as WORD, EXCEL, the internet. However, technology shouldn't be used to teach. Even take the internet for example, lots of false information, unreliable data can be found on the internet. Student's shouldn't be using those unnamed sites as their references (like wikipedia mentioned earlier). They should be using books and other print material that have copyrights and legitimate authors.

I think that people love technology because it's new, hot, the most trendy thing out there.. but using it for everything isn't always good.


Reliance on Technology
Name: Shasha
Date: 2007-03-26 20:54:32
Link to this Comment: 21593

Oh. And I also remember a good example:

Those graphing calculators that are able to calculate everything for the students don't allow students to actually learn the methods themselves. The TI-89s can find the derivatives and integrals of functions with the click of a few buttons. Not only is this detrimental to a student's learning, it also forces the student to rely too much on something that is external. Students can slowly stop relying on their on brainpower to think about the answer to these math problems which leads to laziness and lack of motivation to think. I think that is very harmful to a student's learning not only for the specific class but also for the his or her mindset in the future.


internet as part of society
Name: Sarah Choy
Date: 2007-03-26 21:57:57
Link to this Comment: 21596

Sorry this is late, it completly slipped my mind.

I feel that many school assume that each student already knows how to use the computer and the Internet. It is an unfair assumption to have because not everyone has access to a computer or an Internet connection. Computers and other technologies, however, allow each student a great wealth of knowledge at the touch of a button. The growing amount of information available online and the ways to access it from most sources allows students the ability to explore and discover information which pertains to their personal interests. The speed, efficiency and possible convenience of the internet allows individuals to learn much more than they ever dreamed without lugging around an encyclopedia collection. The internet can open up jobs opportunities thought discovery online and also computer technician jobs which are learned skills.
Since it is so accessible and so easy to jump from thought to thought with the click of a button, the internet is a quick satisfier of interest. We find one site, assume it is correct and base our information on it. In the past, people had to actively seek out and explore what they were curious about. Sometimes this deterred them from searching, but other times, after going through books, they found more in-depth information from a more reliable source. In our society, knowing how to use the Internet efficiently is a necessity. So much communication and information is pass along. Ignoring it would be like ignoring a major part of American society today.



Name: jeff
Date: 2007-03-26 23:22:13
Link to this Comment: 21597

I disagree with the opinion of Professor Hall's colleagues. I believe that students of today live in a different society than the past. Professor Hall once expressed in a previous class that the WAY used to be do this, and it was done. I believe that students nowadays are simply more engaging. The fear of adults is dissapating. I feel students are questioning more. They ask WHY. Thus, the role of the teacher is heightened because they must have reason (motive for younger minds) to do certain activities and to learn particular topics.
It is not a lack of flashing lights and "bling" in textbooks that sways today's students' attention. The blind fear of a teacher has practically vanished. Teachers must win the respect of their students before their words are heard. This is terrible because this should be automatic as is was in the past. Unfortunately, this is not the case.



Name: sarah choy
Date: 2007-03-27 07:57:22
Link to this Comment: 21598

There is more material available to the common person than there used to be. Children can play computer games which teach them how to do math and read. Such games are now common place in most houses with computers. Such technologies are also more affordable and so some schools assume prior knowledge of reading and math, or the ability to use a calculator, before coming so that they can speed up the material and accomplish more, faster. But, just because these are accessible does not mean that everyone uses them nor that people have learned everything from them. Although it is easier to access material for your self, putting a teacher in front of you can act as a motivation or a guide through the material. With the myriad of material available it is more important for teachers to sort through what is good or bad, correct or false to help guide the students to refocus their ideas so they can most efficiently find the desired information on the internet or understand why they could not find it and fix the methods. Surfing the web is fun to a point, the vast expanse of knowledge can be overwhelming and difficult to sort through. Plus there is something to be said about writing things down or underlining a passage and commenting verse reading off a screen.



Name: David Sanc
Date: 2007-03-27 09:39:57
Link to this Comment: 21599

I wanted to respond to something Andrea mentioned about the lack of standardization of computer knowledge in America. Having attended public school in Pennsylvania, I was subject to the myriad "standards" of Pennsylvania's education board. These standards dictated what each student needed to be able to do each year in each subject. While the value of this system is up for debate (I have both positive and negative feelings about it; while I've had terrible teachers who literally go down the list of standards in class, I also see its value for underperforming schools), I feel that computer knowledge, including knowledge of the use of spreadsheets, word processing, presentation software, etc, should absolutely be included in such standards. Being able to use technology is an essential skill in today's world. Having technology in the classroom is useless if the students themselves are not instructed in using the technology by themselves.



Name: Ian Lawren
Date: 2007-03-27 10:44:44
Link to this Comment: 21601

In response to the computer standard idea, I have some questions:
Should computer classes be mandated?
Should computers be on the same level as other academic subjects?
Is it computer literacy or ability that we are striving for?


Distance Education
Name: Lauren D.
Date: 2007-03-27 11:09:02
Link to this Comment: 21602

This is a response to some great points that Shasha brought up. I absolutely agree with you about the disadvantage that comes with learning through a computer screen without actual interaction between instructors and students. This distance takes away the human side of education, the interaction and social contact that, in my opinion, is so crucial to the development of fully educated and mature learners. In high school I took a couple virtual courses entirely through the computer. Coursework went between the teacher and students through blackboard, and we had "discussions" over message boards much like this one. This learning experience could not compare to the conventional classroom. I never felt any connection with my teacher or classmates, and I don't think our discussions ever reached the level of complexity that often occurs in our education class. It is hard to get excited when reading what someone posted as opposed to hearing it being presented and argued with the entire class at the same time.
A big part of education is learning socail skills from interactions with the teacher and with peers in the class. This just isn't possible in a virtual setting. Asking questions face to face is so much better than sending an email to a professor. Really getting into the material with a class full of students is superior to reading a discussion board, where each comment is more isolated and making connections is more difficult. Technology is great, but it can never take the place of conventional education. A real classroom setting provides a more engaging educational experience that cannot be virtually simulated.


More
Name: Lauren D.
Date: 2007-03-27 11:16:15
Link to this Comment: 21603

I got so into my last comment that I didn't add any questions--here they are.

As technology becomes more and more prevelant in the workforce, should schools adopt computing courses into the core curriculum, or is this threatening to traditional ways of learning that may be more effective? For example, would it be worth it to schools to hire a computing teacher if this would mean cutting the budget for materials and teachers for other courses? What is the opportunity cost of adding computing to the curriculum?
Also, how could we ammend distance or virtual education to make it more personal? Can we use the virtual discussions and "experiences" as first steps to actual experience? Which kinds of students benefit from virtual education, and which are better suited for a conventional classroom? Assuming that not all students learn well from computers, how can we ensure that students gain equal, or at least comprable, educations when computers are involved?



Name: Adolfo
Date: 2007-03-27 11:22:19
Link to this Comment: 21604

Computer education is undoubtedly necessary today. We are becoming increasingly dependant upon computers and as a result students need to be able to use them effectively in order to succeed. However I find that technology's role in the classroom is akin to the role of the textbook. It is a source of information which is at the teacher's disposal and which can enhance the overall learning experience. However it isn't supposed to be the one that is doing all of the teaching nor is it supposed to be the most heavily emphasized thing in the classroom. So technology in the classroom can be really helpful, but at the same time, it can also be pretty useless. I wonder about the extent to which technology should be incorporated in the classroom. I particularly have things like smartboards in mind since we had several in our schools and people just wanted to buy more of them and hopefully but one in every classroom. But why? Is that really the most effetcive way to teach? I personally don't think so. Sometimes chalk, a chalkboard, and depending on the time of day some working lights are really the only piece of technology that you really need.



Name: Andrea C.
Date: 2007-03-27 11:23:23
Link to this Comment: 21605

In response to the question raised by Barbara’s post, I disagree with the notion that only technological approaches, instead of traditional ones, should be used in order to hold a class’s attention.
Educational computer programs, such as virtual dissections or the “fieldtrips” mentioned in the reading, can provide an educative experience in areas or subject matter where one otherwise would not have been available. However, how much can computer programs and technological innovations in the classroom supplement the traditional teaching experiences, with “hands on” interaction and human/social interction, without threatening to replace them altogether with virtual trips and online resources?


>>>><<<<
Name: Nick
Date: 2007-03-27 11:29:00
Link to this Comment: 21606

I agree that computer learning (Online Classes, Online Colleges, etc...) is not ideal, it has the potential to allow many people the chance to learn who could not have otherwise. Stay at home parents, people with full time jobs, and people without transportation are just a few of the people for whom a traditional college degree is out of the question, yet through the advent of online learning it is possible for them to earn a degree. Of course their degree may never be quite as solid as someone who attended a brick and mortar college, but it is most certainly better than no degree. I took an online class because my high school did not offer a year long economics class, and it turned out to require even more studying and discipline than any of my regular classes.

Some questions I formulated on this idea.
1. Can an online degree match the quality of a 'traditional' degree?
2. In reference to the TI-89 dillema... if some mathematical equations can easily be figured out by computers, do people really need to know how to do them?
3. Is teaching students without the aid of technology actually crippling them?



Name: Matt Doole
Date: 2007-03-27 11:30:36
Link to this Comment: 21607

I have some questions about the how the traditional vs progressive approaches affect teaching with technology. 1. Will a traditional approach be more effective? (as someone noted in response to my post, the distracting effects of the computer game at Mainline may have been because of the overly progressive and relaxed use of the computer).
2. Is isolating the classroom from technology a realistic way to make kids actually learn or a refusal to deal with the real world?
3. My K-8 grade Montessori school required that we work on a farm, and recently they extended it to a three-week period and call the farm "the land school". Do methods like the virtual field-trip cut kids off from the nature one can find in the city park? Why don't we use the resources we have right here?



Name: Leonel Oli
Date: 2007-03-27 22:17:30
Link to this Comment: 21609

Shasha said: "All they know is how to stare at a screen and absorb information that way."

I want to argue the positive side of the web as a teaching and learning tool. Through the internet, students who would never have the opportunity to travel and see another culture for themselves now have a chance. The web, as a democratic environment, can increase global awareness in students. The internet allows students from all over to virtually interact with other students and discuss their opinions on various topics, advancing multicultural experiences. A great example are forums. I disagree that students only "know how to stare at a screen." This would be an example of the use of technology in a traditional classroom. One of the advantages of a virtual tour is that the users can actually guide themselves to their area of interest and explore on their own. They successfully become their own tour guides. The same happens when you explore a huge web page or data base. Web users have a chance to explore the sites and focus on what interests them. If there is proper supervision and guidance from teachers, the web could be incorporated into a progressive classroom.

I also believe that in a higher learning setting, the correct and responsible use of the web is almost necessary. Let us think of college for example. We don't all have the extra time to go to the library every time we need to consult an author or look up a fact. Therefore, the web is simply saves us precious time that we need for more time consuming learning.

I wonder how it would be if one day our computers simply stop working. Lets imagine that a a virus infects our school network. Would our academic performance change drastically? Would our professors expect the same type of work? I guess if we think about a very drastic reality we can evaluate to some extent the impact of technology in education in the present, and where it's heading.


1984?
Name:
Date: 2007-04-27 19:54:53
Link to this Comment: 21715

This is a test. Is anyone still discussing Orwell?



Name: Impala
Date: 2007-05-26 21:21:16
Link to this Comment: 21734

Fellow coursemates have voiced their concerns about the accuracy of information on the web and the lack of "human" contact. I think that it is important for us, as students, to be "masters" of and not "slaves" to the internet. The internet is simply another form of media and the best thing about it is that everyone is able to participate in the dialogue if they want to. It may even faciltate cross-cultural conversations because users are blind to the skin color/accent of fellow users. In this way, it is possible to have a more meaningful exchange of intellectual ideas or opinions. One may feel less inhibited about expressing one's thoughts, and it works well for students who are shy about speaking up during class discussions.

Some questions:
1. How can we build an educational network within the web that allows students to communicate with other professionals (who are not teachers)? Purpose: career development, mentoring etc.

2. How can we expand the "functions" of the internet for educational purposes? (online quizzes? online exams?)

3. Should there be a set of skills that students must acquire in order to benefit from the use of technology in the classroom? What are these skills?



Name:
Date: 2007-05-26 21:24:32
Link to this Comment: 21735

I am struck by the reality that technology is simultaneously accessible and inaccessible in so many different ways. It is theoretically accessible in that there is information out there that anyone can access, but there are so many other variables that impede on this accessibility. Coming from the discussion the class had today about multiculturalism, I wonder if there is a difference in the ways that different cultures and ethnic groups approach the use of technology? Aside from cultural differences, the access to the technology itself would act as a mitigating factor. If someone has less experience with technology, they may be less willing to explore a site and search for hard-to-find information. The ability to read, interpret text, and think ahead to what link might get you where you want to go (hypertext) rely on a high level of thinking. A site like Serendip depends on interpretation, which is a high-level cognition that is necessary to use the technology in a purposeful manner. It allows fast access to multiple sources of information, which serves to deepen the points of reference upon which you can situate, your argument. This is a useful thing, but I am also fascinated about the ways that the computerized text is similar and different from text in the printed form. I like the ability to hyperlink to other useful texts, but the physical book/paper itself is irreplaceable and the search for sources of information yourself is necessary to develop many skills necessary in academic work and in jobs in general. Sometimes I think the easy access to readings online makes students unnecessarily lazy!


Online Tutors
Name: M Bonnevil
Date: 2007-06-06 00:05:48
Link to this Comment: 21747

Of late there have been a sizeable number of tutoring sites that have appeared on the Internet. One of those I have seen is NetworkTutors.com . The sites have a mix of paid for and free material, cater mainly to Math , Science and Language tutoring and all seem to have significantly lower prices than would be the case otherwise. How effective is this kind of tutoring? Are there any studies on the subject yet?



Name:
Date: 2007-06-07 08:08:53
Link to this Comment: 21750

i agree with the first man


Use of Digital technology in Education
Name: Stuart 'sm
Date: 2007-07-17 22:23:01
Link to this Comment: 21826

Having just spent 2 days of my holidays at the NSW Computer Education Group conference, I have to admit one thing as a teacher, we aren't doing our students any favours keeping them in the "analogue" era. I learnt that the students these days are in a digital world, and as a teacher, (and I teach in Information Technology at a senior level) I need to learn to use this new technology as a teaching tool. Podcasts! Once seen as a waste of time; "put that away", often barked at students, but not with this new technology, it can be used to great effect as a tool for learning. As can Blogs, Wiki's and Moodle. I have yet to use any of this technology, but have started putting some lesson content together that will use this technology to its full advantage, and only time will tell if it grabs the students attention back to learning, which has been drifting over the last few years. Oh, and I'm not young, 54 this year, so anyone can change if they want to. :)



Name:
Date: 2007-08-08 11:26:31
Link to this Comment: 21849

This is a response to some great points that Shasha brought up. I absolutely agree with you about the disadvantage that comes with learning through a computer screen without actual interaction between instructors and students. This distance takes away the human side of education, the interaction and social contact that, in my opinion, is so crucial to the development of fully educated and mature learners. In high school I took a couple virtual courses entirely through the computer. Coursework went between the teacher and students through blackboard, and we had "discussions" over message boards much like this one. This learning experience could not compare to the conventional classroom. I never felt any connection with my teacher or classmates, and I don't think our discussions ever reached the level of complexity that often occurs in our education class. It is hard to get excited when reading what someone posted as opposed to hearing it being presented and argued with the entire class at the same time. A big part of education is learning social skills from interactions with the teacher and with peers in the class. This just isn't possible in a virtual setting. You need a proactive solution to this problem. Asking questions face to face is so much better than sending an email to a professor. Really getting into the material with a class full of students is superior to reading a discussion board, where each comment is more isolated and making connections is more difficult. Technology is great, but it can never take the place of conventional education. A real classroom setting provides a more engaging educational experience that cannot be virtually simulated.


Not the teacher but you and reality.
Name: Ron C. de
Date: 2007-09-18 06:16:51
Link to this Comment: 21910

"I absolutely agree with you about the disadvantage that comes with learning through a computer screen without actual interaction between instructors and students."

The interaction is just one form of feedback. What you need is feedback that thrills you, that resonnates your whole body and mind. Not the cheap thrills of course but those of true understanding. So that you feel that you can stand-under it and carry it like Atlas. Therefore you need analytical principles that you are learned, laws of nature including the higher-level ones such as those from alpha studies. Anyway, you can count on it: IF they are true, THEN they ring true. So, it is not the teacher that does it, but you and reality.


Forum Archived
Name: Webmaster
Date: 2007-10-18 12:47:16
Link to this Comment: 22062

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