A Web 2.0 Foundations Learner Benchmark Fall 2012

Prompt:

  1. Read the Course Syllabus, and watch all of the Media To Get You Thinking for the week (They are Short) and Read Writing In Discussions
  2. Tell us about the what you’ve researched and what you’ve learned. This could be about the big topics of the syllabus and media, or about little pieces  you discovered and  found really interesting. Remember to comment on at least one other post.

Response:

What We Need To Become As Learners

What I learned from the four “Media to get you think” videos is that right now, across the world, our educational systems are in a rut. By a rut I mean that our educational system is not working. The the third video “a few ideas… Visions of Students Today” –

– stated “Students are told there is always a single unambiguous right answer to a question. Students are also told that the voice of authority is to be trusted and valued more than independent judgement.” Thus students end up guessing the answer that they think the teacher wants from them.” Our educational system is doing this to us. The educational system that we are enrolled in right now is forcing us to be so dependent on our educators that we can not think for ourselves. Thus making us unable to be able to learn on our own. The educational system, or at least the way it is set up, also does not want us to be divergent learners. This is not just theory either. The video “RSA Animate – Changing Educational Paradigms”

– has a part in it when the narrator is talking about a group of 1,500 kindergartners that were tested on being divergent learners. In the test if you scored about a certain level you were considered a genius. 98% of the kindergarten children tested as geniuses. The narrator in the video goes onto say that as the same group of children were tested five years later less than half of them were considered divergent learners. The same children were tested again another five years after their second test. The numbers showed that a minimal amount of the students who were considered now educated tested as geniuses. This relates back to the quote from the “a few ideas… Vision of Students Today” video in which they were talking about how students are told there is one answer to everything. There is undeniable evidence that our educational system is forcing kids (us) to believe there is only one answer to everything and as we can clearly see is that this is making kids (again us) dependent on the teacher and makes us less of individuals and just more dependent.

In the United States the major conception is that if you go to college you will become better educated and thus get a job and thus be wealthy. This is not always the case however. In fact it usually isn’t the case. The video “a few ideas…Vision of Students Today” had a picture at one point that read “After two years in college 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years 36% of students showed change. This is clearly a result of this dependent relationship that we have with our educators. Generally when you go to college you are on your own and you are responsible for your individualized learning. However, in our educational system, as proved by these videos are not taught to be individuals. “ We [Students] are told there is always a single unambiguous right answer to a question. We [Students] are also told that the voice of authority is to be trusted and valued more than independent judgement.”

I have thought about these videos and their message for a while. In my mind I have come to the conclusion that there is something we can do about it. We as students can change this educational rut we are in. We can change it by doing what the second video, “The Machine is Us/ing Us”, hints towards. We have very powerful technological tools on our hands. We as students can use them to become better learners, to become more individual learners, to become more responsible learners, so that we may be held accountable for our own education. In fact that is what we are in this class for. As the syllabus reads “You should be aware that in the my [Mr. Steele-Maley’s] view you are the only person responsible for your education. You must take an active part in that process and act responsibly.” On this not let me say that I hold you, Mr. Steele-Maley, accountable for this statement. I hold you responsible for making us individual learners, making us responsible. As you said at the beginning of class on Friday, September 7th, 2012, “If I do my job correctly, at the end of this course you should not need me, I should be irrelevant.” I hope that this comes true. I hope that his course holds me accountable for my learning. I hope this course makes my education comes from me. I hope that for all of us as we become better individual learners. That is what we need to become as learners. -DM

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