Chapter Report:
New Ways of Learning



Instructions For This Report Summary of Article Class Discussion


     Actually I was not assigned a chapter to report on from our book.  My assignment was to read an article from the Boston Globe about the new ways of learning that computers and technology provide.  The name of the article is : New Ways of Learning:  The impact of telecommunications and computers in the 21st century.

Summary of Article


    This article was about a panel of technology experts who were discussing the question of how computers and technology will impact the way that children learn.  One person thought that computers are a new opportunity for those who are not close to good education centers such as children in developing countries.  By using computers they would have access to information that was never available to them before.

    Another thing that was said of computers is their flexibility.  Not everyone learns in the same way but with computers you can use them in whatever way you need to to learn something. The traditional way of learning is the transmission of information from teacher to learner but with computers as a tool people are able to explore and to create on their own.  They have the ability to expand their learning beyond the walls of the classroom.

    They went on to say that we are still in the learning stages of how we can use the computer to improve learning.  One thing that is known is that teachers themselves must learn to use computers.  Computers present a better possibility of learning as a life long process.

    One point that was made was that the computer needs to be used more than just a means of gathering information.  It is a good thing that computers are able to sort through large amounts of information but we need to take it beyond that.  People need to contribute something to the process of learning.  It is like a library but if you use the library you should have something to add to it to improve it.

    One concern of the panel was that computers need to available to everyone regardless of socioeconomic status.  One solution to this that they saw as possible is the donating of old computers to schools or community centers.  They believed that soon the computer would be like the television with people having 2 or 3 per household.

    Another concern was that if the internet becomes the dominate means of communication it will no longer be free.  Also people may believe to much in technology and begin accepting everything the computer does as correct or everything the computer says as truth.  They thought that people assume there is a greater authority that comes with technology.

    They ended the forum with discussing the commonly stated fact that people tend to spend more time on the computer than with their families, loved ones, etc.  They think that that computer is not a barrier to social interaction but rather a tool to enhance it.  They believe that by using computers one can plan and organize meetings and events that occur in real life.

    I think that they had a lot of good points that were actually pretty realistic to our future.  I'm sure soon there will no longer be physical universities.  Everyone will be getting their degrees on line. We need to use computers to learn new things, things that can not be learned the traditional way.


Class Discussion


    I am scheduled to present my chapter on the last day of class so I will not be able to publish what we will discuss but I have some ideas on what we could talk about.  I think there is something to be said about the fact that the computer may make the traditional teacher obsolete.  My classmates would have something to say about this.  Also what other types of technology will help learning besides the computer?  What about hackers who can destroy a online learning community?  How will the change affect those caught in the switch over?



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