Student Machines

teach-student-search-internet-800x800“A Vision of Students Today” and “The Machine is Us/ing Us” were gripping and also incredibly made. The raw way in which they were shot gave them a unique image that I admired. They seemed to cut out all the fancy junk that doesn’t really mean anything, in order to get right to the point of what matters. The two videos really hit home for me, as someone who hopes to be either a librarian or a teacher.  I think it’s important for me to listen closely to the message these videos send.

The world of education is changing because students don’t learn the way used to. We live in a world where everything is at our finger tips with a touch of a button. This immediate access has made our attention spans shrink to a ridiculous size. Yet, in many institutions the way that teaching is approached is unchanged.  “A Vision of Students Today” makes the bold statement that the things that are being taught in the classroom, or perhaps the methods in which information is being taught, are not preparing students for the real world problems they will face. I think the reality is that the classroom pales in comparison to the virtual world in which students are immersed in. When you have the option to browse Facebook or Twitter or listen to a lecture with 150 other people the selection is easy. This is exactly why I think a class like this is really on to something because we are learning in a format that keeps us listening. It faces the truth that young people would most likely rather be on programs like Twitter instead of listening to a lecture and concludes: “then we will bring the learning to you!” The phrase “if you can’t beat em, join em” comes to mind.

I liked what “The Machine is Us/ing Us” said about the machine (i.e the web) being us. The entirety of the virtual world is made up of man-made creations. Much like any other situation, you get what you put in.  Because of its collaborative and informational qualities, the Internet has the potential to be world changing…or destroying. If we continue to bombard the web with false information, frivolous pictures and videos, or as a tool for the destruction of others, then it will become exactly what we have taught it to; a weapon.

What this means for students today is that a change is vital. If education doesn’t evolve with us, its effectiveness is going to get worse and worse. In “A Vision of Students Today” they say “some say technology is the answer” to this problem and I would have to agree. If it is approached correctly, the Internet can serve to save quality education by teaching students in a way that they will actually be learning; through things like video, images, collaborating, and blogging. These are the venues in which most of the population today is used to communicating, and also where we are spending most of our time. A new idea of “hands on learning” is emerging that I like to think of as “hands on the keyboard” learning.

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3 thoughts on “Student Machines

  1. Rachel, I think you make an excellent point when you state, “We live in a world where everything is at our finger tips with a touch of a button. This immediate access has made our attention spans shrink to a ridiculous size.” This statement is very astute as to the distractions we face in response to the growing advancements and accessibility of technology.

  2. “I liked what “The Machine is Us/ing Us” said about the machine (i.e the web) being us. The entirety of the virtual world is made up of man-made creations. Much like any other situation, you get what you put in. Because of its collaborative and informational qualities, the Internet has the potential to be world changing…or destroying. If we continue to bombard the web with false information, frivolous pictures and videos, or as a tool for the destruction of others, then it will become exactly what we have taught it to; a weapon.”

    This paragraph! This really gets to the heart of the nature of the beast. Spammers, cyber bullies, and misinformation run rampant in our digital world. It is sometimes difficult to wade through to what is good. Interestingly enough, if you take the digital aspect of this away, the world hasn’t changed much across the course of history. Sure, technology changes, but people don’t change. There are those out there who would do harm to others; lie, cheat, and steal. There are those who are trying to navigate the world in an honest and honorable way. The only true change that the internet has had is the immediacy it brings to an already jumbled world. I truly believe that the good will win out in the end, even in a digital world. It just might take some time for our society to work out some of the kinks.

  3. “What this means for students today is that a change is vital. If education doesn’t evolve with us, its effectiveness is going to get worse and worse.”

    I agree. I think that is where the disconnect is with some kids today. Using outdated tools doesn’t make kids more interested. It causes them to be detached.

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