Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Don't Burn the Books too Quickly

Bringing hypertext into the classroom is something I experienced in middle school and high school on an occasional basis despite the fact that I went to a laptop school. My teachers did not identify with the technology; therefore the laptops were usually another mode of distraction for the students. Because of my use of the Internet as a extra curricular activity I did not identify the computer as an educational tool. Everything I researched on the computer had to be printed out in order for me to pay attention to what was going on. These fears presented themselves in the worst way when me and about 4 friends took the GRE which was on the computer. This was a horrifying experience which I don't believe would have been as bad had I been accustomed to taking these sort of tests on a regular basis.
At what age is it necessary to bring a hypertext realm into the classroom in order for it to be truly effect. The representation of hypertext in the classroom that Stephanie B Gibson scared me as opposed to convincing me that this would provide my future children with a limitless opportunity to explore their own education. I think at some point Americans place too much of an emphasis on individuality. Does our education need to be that individual as well. In what ways is this beneficial to have people learning bits and pieces of history. I know we only know bits and pieces of history right now; however there seems to be some sort of debate and classroom discussion that comes out of the shared readings that we share. Are we at a point where we want technology informing us about humans instead of humans informing us about humans. Teachers can be great motivators. In fact, I might not pay attention as much in class had it not been for the respect I had for some of my teachers growing up.
I do see the benefits of bringing technology in the classroom, but I do not believe that it should hold such an emphasis on the way children learn. This may be due to my old age, according to middle schoolers who consider me a dinosaur at the age of 22, but I think that the book is a tradition that should be kept alive.


Anonymous said...

From one dinosaur to another, I couldn’t agree anymore with your point about keeping the tradition of physical interaction in education systems alive and well.

I do think we should embrace the opportunities that these technologies present for enhancing learning, but not before thoroughly understanding the ramifications of their digital limitations. If we do not, our dinosaur tradition may hold nothing compared to a digital education environment.

Lance Strate said...

Neil Postman would look kindly upon your remarks, Ashley, and I certainly like the fact that you question the need for more individualized education as opposed to the shared, social experience.