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Re: [learningwithcomputers] Young learners and the Internet

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  • John Hibbs
    Fifteen years ago I decided the Internet was the best thing for education since the advent of the printing press. For ten years I beat a drum called Global
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 18, 2008
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      Fifteen years ago I decided the Internet was the best thing for
      education since the advent of the printing press. For ten years I
      beat a drum called Global Learn Day in an attempt to showcase those
      doing extraordinary work increasing access to education and/or
      improving classroom outcomes and/or reducing delivery costs.

      In that time, over two billion are now on line. In that time
      something like three billion cell phone users have been added (to a
      miniscule number just a decade ago.) We now have Skype, iTunes,
      Twitter, youtube, wikipedia, calendarhub, flickr, and blogs, blogs,
      blogs. Few in the "developed" world see any of this as dangerous to
      our kids; in fact the drums beat harder every day for laptops for
      every child, connectivity for every breathing human.

      Today, I am not so sure that all of it isn't adding a brick to the
      accelerator of a vehicle already headed for the cliff?

      I watch collegians of both sexes walk to class iPods stuck or mobile
      phones stuck to their ears -- unmindful that Spring is
      approaching...don't the trees look green? Inside the dorms or
      fraternity and sorority houses, I watch large numbers of kids take
      their meals directly to their rooms, addicted by the latest video
      game...or mindless texting where brevity is the absolute king. I
      watch Moms put their six strap their six year old to back seats of
      SUV's, then insert moron stuff into the video machine while they rush
      off to work.

      I see less and less interaction and almost nothing of the creativity
      it took me and my buddies 40 years ago to play a sandlot game of
      baseball...first base is the car over there, second base is the tree,
      if you hit it in the river you lose; not all of us had a mitt and we
      shared everything. Later, we hitch hiked our way to the beach...and
      some of us thumbed our way around Europe or Africa or Australia or
      even all of them. We didn't lock our cars and we played cards and
      watched our Dad's drink beer at the picnic table and our Mom's worry
      they had a wee bit too much.

      Glum thoughts? Connected to this thought? I don't know. I do know I
      just finished a great novel The Seville Connection, mostly about a
      crusty old Spanish priest who thought the Mass should be celebrated
      in Latin, that the mystery of religion was lost if the ritual was in
      the language of the vernacular. He was up against the Power of Rome,
      television, a workplace that was 24/7/365..that the role of the
      parish priest was now long to help the parishioner live better and
      die more comfortably...that the monster was all this damn
      technology...a preventative to the days when we thought that sitting
      on a log in deep conversation, like Socrates, was more important than
      learning how to twitter.

      Just a thought.


      At 10:47 PM +0000 2/17/08, Elizabeth Hanson-Smith wrote:
      >Just wanted to mention a couple of interesting examples of young
      >learners using the Internet and the excitement it generates:
      >
      >from Sus Nyrop:
      >===============
      >Mini-bloggers asked for mentors
      >A primary school in Australia was looking for mentors for young
      >students who started their own edublogs! The mentors are coming from
      >all around the world and my blog buddy's called Jacob. He is 8 years
      >old, like my grandson Chris. Chris did not start learning English
      >language in school yet, but he knows a little from conversations and
      >probably also from some computer games. When he is coming over to stay
      >with us next Saturday, I'm going to show him my new penpal, and ask
      >him to help me write something fun. I just love this kind of open
      >experiment, and I see that there were many other teachers who
      >responded, too.
      >http://alupton.edublogs.org/minis-blogs/
      >==============
      >
      >and from Nicky Hockley -- his workshop contains links to several
      >exchanges among school children:
      >======================
      ><http://www.theconsultants-e.com/workshops.asp>
      >=================
      >--Elizabeth
      >PS: The photos of my grand-daughter are in the PHOTOS area, not FILES,
      >of this group.
      >
    • Michael Coghlan
      Fascinating observations John. I share some of your reservations but ask myself if people weren t glued to their ipods, laptops and cell phones can we assume
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 19, 2008
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        Fascinating observations John. I share some of your reservations but
        ask myself if people weren't glued to their ipods, laptops and cell
        phones can we assume they would be smelling the flowers, playing
        baseball out in the park, going to the beach more, and playing cards?
        They I'm sure would be locking their car and house doors (wasn't that
        amazing in the past - leaving everything open!), but something would
        be impacting on the way they live their lives in a way that's very
        different to how we lived pre-technology. If it wasn't technology, it
        would be something else. Yes - The World We Have Lost v The World We
        Have Gained.......

        Thanks for your honesty John.

        - Michael

        ----------

        At 04:11 AM 2/19/2008, you wrote:

        >Fifteen years ago I decided the Internet was the best thing for
        >education since the advent of the printing press. For ten years I
        >beat a drum called Global Learn Day in an attempt to showcase those
        >doing extraordinary work increasing access to education and/or
        >improving classroom outcomes and/or reducing delivery costs.
        >
        >In that time, over two billion are now on line. In that time
        >something like three billion cell phone users have been added (to a
        >miniscule number just a decade ago.) We now have Skype, iTunes,
        >Twitter, youtube, wikipedia, calendarhub, flickr, and blogs, blogs,
        >blogs. Few in the "developed" world see any of this as dangerous to
        >our kids; in fact the drums beat harder every day for laptops for
        >every child, connectivity for every breathing human.
        >
        >Today, I am not so sure that all of it isn't adding a brick to the
        >accelerator of a vehicle already headed for the cliff?
        >
        >I watch collegians of both sexes walk to class iPods stuck or mobile
        >phones stuck to their ears -- unmindful that Spring is
        >approaching...don't the trees look green? Inside the dorms or
        >fraternity and sorority houses, I watch large numbers of kids take
        >their meals directly to their rooms, addicted by the latest video
        >game...or mindless texting where brevity is the absolute king. I
        >watch Moms put their six strap their six year old to back seats of
        >SUV's, then insert moron stuff into the video machine while they rush
        >off to work.
        >
        >I see less and less interaction and almost nothing of the creativity
        >it took me and my buddies 40 years ago to play a sandlot game of
        >baseball...first base is the car over there, second base is the tree,
        >if you hit it in the river you lose; not all of us had a mitt and we
        >shared everything. Later, we hitch hiked our way to the beach...and
        >some of us thumbed our way around Europe or Africa or Australia or
        >even all of them. We didn't lock our cars and we played cards and
        >watched our Dad's drink beer at the picnic table and our Mom's worry
        >they had a wee bit too much.
        >
        >Glum thoughts? Connected to this thought? I don't know. I do know I
        >just finished a great novel The Seville Connection, mostly about a
        >crusty old Spanish priest who thought the Mass should be celebrated
        >in Latin, that the mystery of religion was lost if the ritual was in
        >the language of the vernacular. He was up against the Power of Rome,
        >television, a workplace that was 24/7/365..that the role of the
        >parish priest was now long to help the parishioner live better and
        >die more comfortably...that the monster was all this damn
        >technology...a preventative to the days when we thought that sitting
        >on a log in deep conversation, like Socrates, was more important than
        >learning how to twitter.
        >
        >Just a thought.
        >
        >At 10:47 PM +0000 2/17/08, Elizabeth Hanson-Smith wrote:
        > >Just wanted to mention a couple of interesting examples of young
        > >learners using the Internet and the excitement it generates:
        > >
        > >from Sus Nyrop:
        > >===============
        > >Mini-bloggers asked for mentors
        > >A primary school in Australia was looking for mentors for young
        > >students who started their own edublogs! The mentors are coming from
        > >all around the world and my blog buddy's called Jacob. He is 8 years
        > >old, like my grandson Chris. Chris did not start learning English
        > >language in school yet, but he knows a little from conversations and
        > >probably also from some computer games. When he is coming over to stay
        > >with us next Saturday, I'm going to show him my new penpal, and ask
        > >him to help me write something fun. I just love this kind of open
        > >experiment, and I see that there were many other teachers who
        > >responded, too.
        > ><http://alupton.edublogs.org/minis-blogs/>http://alupton.edublogs.o
        > rg/minis-blogs/
        > >==============
        > >
        > >and from Nicky Hockley -- his workshop contains links to several
        > >exchanges among school children:
        > >======================
        > ><<http://www.theconsultants-e.com/workshops.asp>http://www.theconsu
        > ltants-e.com/workshops.asp>
        > >=================
        > >--Elizabeth
        > >PS: The photos of my grand-daughter are in the PHOTOS area, not FILES,
        > >of this group.
        > >
        >


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