"COMPUTERS in EDUCATION"
with Dr. Chad Osborne.
This is a distance learning course, concentrating on uses of the Internet for teaching, learning and professional development. It also is intended to give you enough web sites and leads-in to more web sites to be a continuously useful resource for your learning and doing.
Assessment is based on work you produce in series of essays/listings for each Essential Question or topic you "connect with," and with an annotated lists of sites supporting your views and reflecting your web work.
For instance, you might write “The site XXXX [http://www.xxx.com] gave me a different perspective on how to help students learn _____. It also cleared up for me something I was confused about, and that is what educators mean by __________.” Certainly you would want to elaborate more.
The most important, MINIMAL parts of the course, have a double star (**) next to them.
For Questions, Problems, or Progress Reports, E-Mail Dr. Osborne
GOOGLE [Top-rated single search engine]
DOGPILE [Top-rated multiple search engine]
Your **Journal is to record specifically your commentary on the uses and role of the Internet use relative to each of the following topics from the reading:
1. The pace and quality of change.
2. Internet use likely in students’ futures
3. The social nature of learning and Internet use
4. Integration with other portions of curriculum and teaching methods
5. Acceptable Use Policies
6. Potential Uses for e-mail, listservs, newsgroups—especially keypals
7. Internet Workshops, Activities, Projects, and Inquiry
8. Adapting to use of a single computer in the classroom
**Select 9-13 according to your teaching role and goals
9. English/Language Arts
10. Social Studies
13. Primary Grades
14. Multicultural education
15. Equity [Computer use for all students
16. Developing a Class Home Page
Consider the following Warning:
ALSO, read THE RISE OF INTEGRAL CULTURE, a long [12 page] essay theorizing the emergence of a Transmodern culture.
Marshall McLuhan said, "We shape our tools; thereafter, our tools shape us." Have video and computer games, e-mail and cell phones, MTV and the Internet re-shaped student learning styles? Two articles suggesting such shaping has taken place are
DIGITAL LEARNING: Why Tomorrow's Schools Must Learn To Let Go of the Past
and **TWITCH SPEED: Reaching Younger Workers Who think Differently.
Also** be sure you look over **ThinkQuest projects in your subject/areas of interest!
Regarding research on computer use in classrooms, much research remains to be done. The effort to find the most appropriate and intelligent uses of computer technology for teachers and learners is "still under construction." It is possible, though, to find numerous examples of promising ways teachers and students and teachers are using computers; below is a collection of many sites for doing just this. The first two sites give the most up-to-date research findings. Others are fruitful sites for seeing some of the most intelligent and appropriate uses of computers by teachers:
**Subscribe to one of the following ListServs, or one of your choice[our textbook suggests many]:
Investigate links from this Web Based Learning Resource Library and then select and surf through some of the following to anticipate **possible futures in web use at your school:
HERITAGE ON-LINE: Continuing Education for K-12 Teachers
FUNDING K-12 CURRICULUM & TECHNOLOGY
THE OFFICIAL HYPER STUDIO WEB SITE
HOT SITES on HYPER STUDIO
COLLABORATE WITH HYPER STUDIO
Then read and respond to the following:
Advocates of school reform would do well to consider the "Hard Truths" the “deep structure of schooling,” Barbara Benham Tye explores in her book by this title (Teachers College Press, 2000). Consistent with the failure of past reform cycles to last beyond a three to five year cycle, and the lack of transfer of successful practices from one context to another, Tye’s insights help explain why what can hope to be changed in schools are the “personality factors”—moving pieces around within a box. The box, the deep structure, is not simply the factory-like structure of school organization, or the persistence of teacher-centered classroom traditions. Tye asserts it is the “conventional wisdom” of unexamined assumptions held in our culture. The ones she enumerates are
1. Schools are chaotic, dangerous places.
2. Teaching is an easy job, with lots of time off.
3. Too much money is spent on schools.
4. Schools today are not doing a good job of teaching the basics.
5. A quiet classroom is one where learning is taking place. 6. The most effective teaching is traditional frontal, and teacher-directed.
7. Children should be grouped by age and ability.
8. Parents should participate in running the schools.
Given these unexamined assumptions, and the influence they have in current society, is it any wonder that we have growing movements in
Here is a final reading to consider in this inquiry. Think about the role of thinking time in your own learning; of privacy and solitude, of this diminishing and essential ingredient of intelligence and intellectual and emotional growth. React to the reading on the discussion board and in this inquiry.
Here is the calculus of time the children I teach must deal with:
- Out of the 168 hours in each week, my children sleep 56. That leaves them 112 hours a week out of which to fashion a self.
- My children watch 55 hours of television a week according to recent reports. That leaves them 57 hours a week in which to grow up.
- My children attend school 30 hours a week, use about 6 hours getting ready, going and coming home, and spend an average of 7 hours a week in homework - a total of 45 hours. During that time, they are under constant surveillance, have no private time or private space, and are disciplined if they try to assert individuality in the use of time or space.
- That leaves 12 hours a week out of which to create a unique consciousness.
- Of course, my kids eat, and that takes some time - not much, because they've lost the tradition of family dining, but if we allot 3 hours a week to evening meals,
- we arrive at a net amount of private time for each child of 9 hours [per week!].
I want to tell you what the effect is on children of taking all their time from them - time they need to grow up - and forcing them to spend it on abstractions. You need to hear this, because no reform that doesn't attack these specific pathologies will be anything more than a facade.
1. The children I teach are indifferent to the adult world. This defies the experience of thousands of years. A close study of what big people were up to was always the most exciting occupation of youth, but nobody wants to grow up these days and who can blame them? Toys are us.
2. The children I teach have almost no curiosity and what they do have is transitory; they cannot concentrate for very long, even on things they choose to do. Can you see a connection between the bells ringing again and again to change classes and this phenomenon of evanescent attention?
3. The children I teach have a poor sense of the future, of how tomorrow is inextricably linked to today. As I said before, they have a continuous present, the exact moment they are at is the boundary of their consciousness.
4. The children I teach are ahistorical, they have no sense of how past has predestined their own present, limiting their choices, shaping their values and lives.
5. The children I teach are cruel to each other, they lack compassion for misfortune, they laugh at weakness, and they have contempt for people whose need for help shows too plainly.
6. The children I teach are uneasy with intimacy or candor. My guess is that they are like many adopted people I've known in this respect - they cannot deal with genuine intimacy because of a lifelong habit of preserving a secret inner self inside a larger outer personality made up of artificial bits and pieces of behavior borrowed from television or acquired to manipulate teachers. Because they are not who they represent themselves to be the disguise wears thin in the presence of intimacy so intimate relationships have to be avoided.
7. The children I teach are materialistic, following the lead of schoolteachers who materialistically "grade" everything - and television mentors who offer everything in the world for free.
8. The children I teach are dependent, passive, and timid in the presence of new challenges. This is frequently masked by surface bravado, or by anger or aggressiveness but underneath is a vacuum without fortitude.
I could name a few other conditions that school reform would have to tackle if our national decline is to be arrested, but by now you will have grasped my thesis, whether you agree with it or not. Either schools have caused these pathologies, or television, or both. It's a simple matter [of] arithmetic, between schooling and television all the time the children have is eaten away. That's what has destroyed the American family, it is no longer a factor in the education of its own children. Television and schooling, in those things the fault must lie.
Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education (Oxford Village Press, 2000), gives complete background and sources for understanding the intentional "dumbing down" of public education to create a consumer and working class basis for commercial profit. Gatto says it was not a conspiracy as such that brought this about, but numerous factors and the implicit bargain of giving up our freedom and quality schooling in exchange for prosperity and a higher material quality of life. It is now becoming apparent, however, that the bar is set too low for either human good or the future prosperity of corporations.