How to stare at screens 101

Communication technology has played a big role in my personal learning. I can’t think of one huge overarching type in particular, but I certainly have used alot of them. Everyone in the course can probably relate to the things like Blackboard, online books, and even email. I can list plenty more, from the tablet integration over at speed school, having online documents, powerpoints being posted online, online lectures, full online courses (I have taken one), online library services (which are fantastic), all the way back to me playing “The Great Math Adventure” and trying to find Carmen Sandiego. Then you get to the question of whether or not all this tech has been helpful. To that I would have to say that it has had a positive effect overall. These techs have solved problems of communicating with teachers, managing files, some just being convienent.

I probably learned as much from Howie the bear, and Stinky the skunk as I did any math text book.

I probably learned as much from Howie the bear, and Stinky the skunk as I did any math text book.

Now onto the articles that we read. The first topic is E-Readers, and online books. This issue to me is pretty similar to the digital audio issue. I see the benifits of the all digital world, but I still feel more drawn to physical copies of books. I don’t particularly like digital books. I read alot of online articles, but they are tailer made for websites. Digital books are often just pure text, or copies of the physical books layout. They lack the kind of design that makes online articles work for me, and lack the functionality that make physical books work for me. Similar to the complaints in the article about it taking time to find a page, or use sticky notes. I can’t really say that its a problem holding E-books back (considering how fast their use is growing), but I would really appreaciate an overhall of the user interface. Allow me to treat it like physical book, with notes, highlights, quick page changing, and at the same time highlight e-book features like word search, toggle on and off notes/highlights, links, videos, images, ext.

The secound article I really liked. I’ve been intreged by the idea of this kind of online video class for a while now. My first introduction to it was Khan Academy, which is basically a video lecture service combined with online quizes and a progress tracker (Here is a CBS story if you want more). The part that I like about Khan Academy is it switches the lecture and practice parts of learning. Instead of using the teacher interaction to lecture/ students do homework on their own, give the lecture online/ teacher can help students do practice work. I like that kind of idea, but at the same time I recognize that one way of teaching can never work for every type of class. I think that is the problem that happens with MOOC too.

As someone who loves to listen to podcast, interviews, panels, and lectures online. I love the idea of having another type outlet for information. I personnaly just like hearing people who know what they are talking about talk about it, and learning from them. It also allows people to interact with lectures when they want to. A person can quote their favorite movie, because they are in the mood and attentive when they watch it; But being in the mood every monday-wednesday-friday from 9:00-10-15 for 15 weeks isn’t something you can just do. These are just a few of the points on a subject that I can’t really imagine confined to one blog. This presents alot of variables to consider. You can look at it from some many angles, from limiting factors like high speed internet among low income households, unintended negative social effects of homogenized learning (one professor teaching 100,000 students), to uninteded negative health conserns of eye strain. With all those thoughts fighting it out in my head to get mentioned, i think ill cut this post off here. 


One thought on “How to stare at screens 101

  1. Yah I saw that piece on Khan Academic as well and it’s pretty amazing. My daughter is using it now (she is a high school junior) for math and it is making a difference for her. sle

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