Quote– “The new culture of learning is based on three principles: 1) The old ways of learning are unable to keep up with our rapidly changing world. 2) New media forms are making peer-to-peer learning easier and more natural. 3) Peer-to-peer learning is amplified by emerging technologies that shape the collective nature of participation with those new media.” (p. 50).
Question: Are we sacrificing face-to-face human interaction for advancements in technology?
Connection: We have been using Twitter and Instagram at our school site and at CSUSM but instead of interacting with our students or professors, we Tweet or post photos to Instagram of what we are doing. It seems we are moving toward a society where everyone needs instant gratification 24/7 and the reward is receiving likes or comments on a photo or blog. Many feel ignored if a photo or Tweet gets hardly any attention. Instead of interacting with a professor during class, we are tweeting what we are currently learning and it takes away from the point of having a teacher in the room i.e. hardly any human contact.
Epiphany/Aha: We need to be aware of other people and our humanity when dealing with technology. We must develop as many skills as we can throughout life and we need to interact with people more. People need to stop with having their heads down in their phone while walking to and from class. This results in students bumping into one another and they are missing out on what is in front of them because they are preoccupied with something that won't likely matter the next day. You do not need digital communities to feel a sense of belonging, this is terribly misguided.
Quote: Pg. 55 – “One of the greatest concerns about digital media today is that it may be rendering our lives too transparent.” Well, in the sense that we have the tendency to put out a lot more personal information and pictures of ourselves now that at any other time in history, the concern is well founded. Ill intending individuals have used that information for nefarious purposes. But I contend that in one important sense, digital media is making us more opaque. We are much more able to hide who we really are on the Internet. We become 140 character quotes and a series of punctuated photographs showing only what we want to show, which may or may not really reflect who we are. People become Twitter handles and sink into a depersonalized identity, or a new form of online identity that they desire much more than who they really are.
Question: Are we losing our real selves to created online profiles and avatars of our own making?
Connection: We have had discussions in class about the effect of social media and how much good is accomplished by sending out random Tweets into the digital ether. This issue of the value of social media and personal learning networks is not yet settled in my thinking. If learning is all I’m after, then I can pump the Internet system for vast quantities of knowledge. But if I want to be a fulfilled and balanced human being, the Internet is not going to provide my needs. The real danger is that some feel that the Internet defines their being – they become residents in virtual space and lose their real selves to binary code.
Epiphany/Aha: Once again we are seeing common terms redefined and need to be careful not to get sucked in to the vortex. “Personal” in terms of social media hold a different meaning to the personal of two people talking face-to-face. Chemistry occurs between people that makes us humans. One would be hard pressed to make the case that any sort of valid chemistry occurs between Twitter handles.
Quote: Pg.75 – Knowledge was valued in the old culture because it was seen as stable.” Pg. 76 – “In a world where things are constantly changing, focusing exclusively on the explicit dimension is no longer a viable model for education.”
We agree that there are two types of learning, explicit and implicit. There is much in science and math, the worlds that I lived in, that can only be taught explicitly. There has to be a base of knowledge and understanding. Yet there is also that is new, or at least a new way of viewing old concepts. As scientist, we need to use both methods – we need to join the two streams of knowing into on program.
Question: How can we balance the need for explicit learning with opportunities for our students to learn implicitly – in a way that they can only learn by doing and experiencing failure and success?
Connection: Our 20% projects needed to have the possibility of failure built into the system. I look back on my growing-up years and know that I followed my passion to learn how electronic and mechanical systems work by personal experimentation. I learned a vast amount by doing and failing and doing again.
Epiphany/Aha: I need to find ways that my students can learn implicitly as well as explicitly. I need to set up situations in which they can learn through failure and trying again.