10 Comments

  1. Lara Martini

    Your Thomas Friedman reference reminded me of this article I read last week – http://www.vulture.com/2014/04/guy-tweets-his-way-from-peoria-to-30-rock.html – speaking of writing for an audience we don’t even know is there… I am just beginning to realize how powerful one voice can be.

    I appreciate you making me think about the “time between knowing and not knowing”. My own children and students have new needs as learners – their time is as valuable on mine and needs to be spent on the creative and meaningful ways to enhance/apply the knowledge that is at their fingertips. Why are we still doing worksheets?

    • Michelle M

      I agree that Technology is affording us the opportunity to think differently. We do not need to remember certain information anymore like phone numbers and this frees up our memory and mind giving us ‘brain space’ to ponder other things. I contest the idea that we are no longer curious due to technology. I think it invites us to explore more things at the press of a button. Of course like anything there are shortcomings but to suggest it is making us dumber is too extreme.

  2. This discussion reminds me of the fear that calculators would lead to a decline in math. Rather as a college math teacher, I was able to concentrate more on the concepts and less on arithmetic errors. I also used the graphing calculator which was new at the time (1990’s) to facilitate the teaching of calculus. It really helped I think.

  3. Laura Hill

    A healthy shift in mindset is a good thing. Technology lets us choose to use our minds to store or create and to share in exciting new ways. And though I use tech a lot in my work as an author and illustrator, I also use pencils, paper and paint just as frequently. In the end, however we express it, what we can’t replace is the experience of doing. And thats what I think many people forget when discussing education. Its easier to write about a field of flowers covered in dew when you’ve plunged your hand into a bucket of fresh cut blooms. So how then can we ask students to create without giving then the opportunity to explore?

  4. Stephen Ransom

    It seems to me that the big message here is, what do we DO with information? Information can lead to knowledge [construction], but as in the Pete Holmes bit (funny!), it’s less about HOW we get information and so much more about what we do with it and how that information leads to knowledge and application of knowledge. Truthfully, school has often been about acquiring information and less about becoming knowledgeable, or as Mike Wesch twists this, ‘knowledge-able’. So, the real challenge is to give kids personal and powerful experiences that allow them to take information, wherever they may find it, and do something meaningful [to them] with it. That… that is when it becomes something. This is the bigger challenge, I think – and perhaps the dirty little secret is that it always has been thus. When learning only = information recall, then controlling where students get that information from becomes a big deal because if it is not coming from their own brains, then we can [wrongly] say that they haven’t “learned” it.

    Let’s not use the sources of information and the tools of information access as the scapegoat. Great post, George.

  5. Emily Whitehead

    Things can’t make people dumb. Tools are objects. They are also opportunities. Pick one up, ponder it, question it, play with it and then see how it can fit into your life. Tools can adjust our schemas, create opportunities, enhance our lives and provide an opportunity for more learning. But, it’s a human choice. It’s making the choice to try and explore that makes us smarter and walking away that makes us dumber. No one and no tool effects our ability to learn and become smarter. Great post. Thank you.

  6. When the car was invented no one complained that we were getting where we needed to go to fast. We need to focusing less on the experience of using technology, and more on where we want the technology to take us. I think your article really strikes a cord on the balance of how, when, and why we use technology. Its a big leap for educators to let go of the information, or the expectation of internalizing raw data and more on what kind of creative process we can come up with together, both teacher and student to make the information meaningful. Thanks for sharing the parenting moment. It’s something that I also need to be more aware of. My sons don’t ask Google, they asked me. One day they will ask Google, andI need to enjoy the “all knowing father” status before its over.

  7. Just thought I’d let you know a funny little coincidence:

    In the weeks prior to prepping for a workshop on supporting science inquiry with technology, I heard Pete Holmes’ bit on Google on the Comedy Central channel on Sirius, and thought it would make a great intro for the session. I’ve been searching the interwebs to find just the right version of his stand-up (the words “Now I’M impregnated with wonder!” are important for me to be in there, which not all of the examples have), I ran across your post here…which essentially has done the same thing!

    Looks like connected minds think alike. I’ll be sure to share your post w/the group, as well as this story which reminds us all of the #powerofPLN.

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