Monday, March 5, 2012

Tech. Philosophies

Our views of technology affect how we use them in education. From slide 27 on from below, slide content guides the ideas verbalized by Nicholas Carr. Added to the conflicting philosophies of technology tool-ists (better word in script) and technology determinists, educational technologies can become very muddied. Data or thinking?

Reading comprehension decreases 20% when on a screen vs. paper; tech. does shape our mental practices, which if we don't practice go away; students have to be taught evaluation skills on a high level. Even the teacher must be aware that his own reading of student work, such as a blog, is distracted reading when it is on-line. Limiting the distractions by using 'Reader' can help, but still may prove to be an issue.

Presenter, Spilo Bolos, shared much research to support his points, and concluded that much more discussion is needed during the very revolutionary time in teaching and thinking. The potential for positive change, negative change, and no change are all possibilities, depending on educational and technological philosophies, as well as what yet is to come.

1 comment:

  1. I concur with the comment above regarding retention of new information read from a computer/iPad screen vs a paper text.

    I've spent the last two months teaching myself to program iPad apps in Objective-C. I am not trained as a programmer, and the last time I programmed for fun was in 1987 on an Apple IIe, so I'm a little rusty. I have found the following:

    1. 75-minute iTunes U videos (courtesy of Stanford University) are a great way to get a big picture, but are absolutely horrid for explaining detail.
    2. 5-minute YouTube videos are better for detail, just as long as they present a single idea that you can go try.
    3. Classic textbooks (I have about six checked out from the library) are great because you can flip backward and forward through the pages to see how the examples relate to the rest of the text.
    4. Online text (, is great for very short examples, just as long as you can see everything you need on the same screen at a decent size. The second you have to scroll, you lose context and train of thought.
    5. ePub-formatted versions of classic textbooks on the iPad are AWFUL. You can't see enough onscreen at once. You totally lose context. I gave up on them after about 5 minutes.
    6. Powerpoint slides on the iPad (courtesy Stanford University iTunes U course) are better than ePub format, but you are still limited.

    I have found the following combination of steps works best for me:
    1. Watch the long iTunes U video to get the big picture and to get used to the sound and context of the basic vocabulary ("classes", "objects", "methods", "protocols", "delegates", etc.). Also, animations are very informative!
    2. Read the traditional textbook to learn more detail.
    3. Try to build a sample in the traditional text, then try to create my own.
    4. When I hit a snag, or need more information, lookup help online in text form (github, google, or stackoverflow) or on YouTube.
    5. Repeat the above process, bouncing back and forth between resources.

    This process has allowed me to learn without a teacher, but I'm motivated and willing to try new stuff. It would need lots of streamlining to work for a student.