In a recent assignment for a class I took on how the brain learns I wrote a paper discussing todays education system and how possibly the fact that everything is fast paced and at our finger tips creates a culture of individuals who are lacking drive and motivation. It also discussed how one learns through the learning cycle and how reflection is a necessity to retaining information. (please see bottom of blogfor complete paper.) I feel strongly that technology has a lot of negatives however, the positives are huge as well. According to the activity posted questions I ask myself and answer briefly, though such a concept requires endless thought and study.
Does transliteracy transcend the digital divide? I think it does because it offers knowledge within literacy. It provides endless opportunity to understand and grow.
does it describe some of the thrust of open source thinking? of open source
learning? of education? Technology is an open source and because it is so available it promotes openness for thinking, learning and education. For example, it is the fundamental aspect of this course that promotes open thinking, learning and education.
What media, tools and delivery platforms do you use, and how long do they stick around and why? I use email, comment blogs, text, phone and fax. To many this may seem simple, but, it works for me and I can get my message through.
Which have you already discarded and why? I do not discard delivery/contact tools because every situation is different and requires a different method. However, I know fax will probably become the thing of the past shortly.
Please see my article about my opinion of today’s society and how I question if technology maybe the best for creating a motivated people.
Yakira Leah Dorfman
Module 4- The importance of complete learners
With what seems to be becoming a generation of “finger exercisers” I’m starting to wonder whether or not the learning system in the states is effective and involving of the learning cycle. However, prior to expressing my opinion and thoughts I must clarify what “Finger Exercisers” are. For starters we have the world at our finger tips, which has of course its pros and cons. We do not need to go far or do much to have complete connection to anything you wish. There is not much thought into that unless of course you are creating the devise. Hence, our fast food and fast paced life styles where everything is disposable. Unemployment rates are high, dropout rates are high, and to my naked eye it seems that we are producing a future of illiterates, who are waiting for handouts. I myself have a terrible time spelling because most of my work is done on the computer. However, I take much time to reflect and I seek knowledge and I am very hard worker. I believe in receiving what I work for – not for what I am given.
According to the Washington Post (By Lyndsey Layton,March 19, 2012) there is a positive turn around in the number of graduates in the states. “The national graduation rate increased to 75.5 percent in 2009, up from 72 percent in 2001. And the number of “dropout factories” — high schools where at least 60 percent of students do not graduate on time — fell from 2,007 in 2002 to 1,550 in 2010.” However, after a discussion I had with a public school teacher about a year ago I’m concerned the system doesn’t meet our necessities of well rounded thinking futures of our nation. She stated that the principal said that “she was doing the best she could.. To try and get the information across.” Of course, with all fairness she was teaching a class of children who needed extra help, but, is the “best” really the best or are we educating to pass the state exams and to reach some general education requirements. Are we really educating so that one perceives and fully encompasses the information.
After reflecting on my learning in this course I am beginning to understand what may be an appropriate approach to education. Firstly, of course education requires self experience and not just textbook knowledge. I am aware that the modern text books show real life examples but, what about the student’s real life examples. I know math would have meant a whole lot more to me if I could apply it realistically. When it was, was when I really understood the content and retained it. There should also be a time for reflection. There is so much on an individual’s plate that I propose that maybe one should be taught to reflect. Having a Dad as a Psychiatrist reflection was always a big aspect of my life and of course as an Orthodox, Chassidic Jew this ideally is supposed to be a main focus of our daily routine. Judaism is about growth and one cannot grow unless they reflect and make meaning.
If the brain learns in the way of the cycle which is abstract hypothesis, active testing, concrete experience and reflective observation, I question if we are teaching in a way that meets these criteria. Are we reaching within and covering these areas? I am aware especially as a Judaic teacher that education should be taught within the Gardeners Seven Intelligences, but, are we still teaching an individual to just shoot from the hip as opposed to encompassing ones knowledge and constructively perceiving it.
I believe that if education is provided in such a manner that offers ones abilities to come through and involves the learning cycle then we will have more graduates, higher employment rates and more success. Individuals will be empowered and make more meaning in life. And, I know personally meaning alone can drive someone to succeed and continue to grow. Because, life is beyond the text book and requires lifelong growth and learning.
With the risk that I possibly have stretched the assigned topic farther than intended, I conclude with reflection of meaning and the understanding that learning is beyond the text but rather a lifelong process of intricate moments compiled together that create a whole person. All we need to do is stretch our fingers and reach for it.