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RE: [WWWEDU] Re: fyi, WIKIBOOKS ENTERS TEXTBOOK PUBLISHING FIELD

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  • Dr. Steve Eskow
    Patrick, might it not be time to drop the cliche of the 21st century to justify the celebration of technology as the solution for our educational ills? All
    Message 1 of 33 , Oct 3, 2005
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      Patrick, might it not be time to drop the cliche of "the 21st century" to
      justify the celebration of technology as the solution for our educational
      ills?

      All of us on this list are living in the same 21st century, with its
      terrorism and wars, its global warming, its wealth and poverty, and its new
      technologies.

      And all of us here use Google and wikis and cell phones and hyperlink and
      yahoo.

      How to arrange this pieces of the 21st century into a responsive and useful
      education is not solved by assuming that the answer is the introduction of
      the new technologies into the old institution of the school.

      Steve Eskow

      drseskow@...
      -----Original Message-----
      From: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wwwedu@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
      Greene, Dr. Patrick
      Sent: Monday, October 03, 2005 9:00 AM
      To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [WWWEDU] Re: fyi, WIKIBOOKS ENTERS TEXTBOOK PUBLISHING FIELD


      > I don't think either would suggest teaching students to Google, wiki,
      or IM is critical.<

      In an era in which more information is available to a quick
      Google than any textbook or teacher's brain can hold, I believe that
      being able to Google, including all the peripheral skills that entails,
      is critical or should be.

      In an era in which printed books are skewing the spines of
      middle schoolers, and skewing the budgets of schools/districts, I
      believe that the use of wikibooks could become critical very quickly.

      I hear the admonition to be careful with this stuff, and stick
      with linear textbooks. I think care is needed, but linearness is not.
      Are we going to repeat the experience of continued refutation of the
      Theory of Evolution by those stuck in the superstition of the middle
      ages? Are Googling and wiki-ing so outlandish, so sifi-ish that
      educators are going to stick their collective heads back into the sands
      of the past? Technological innovation is supposed to be carrying us
      forward into the 21st century, not scaring us back to the 19th.

      Patrick Greene, PhD
      Florida Gulf Coast University
      pgreene@...



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    • Dr. Steve Eskow
      A few comments, hopefully relevant, to Patrick Greene. ... on the radio in their classrooms. From Patrick:
      Message 33 of 33 , Oct 6, 2005
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        A few comments, hopefully relevant, to Patrick Greene.

        From me:
        >Patrick Greene and his colleagues at the university hardly ever turn
        on the radio in their classrooms.>>

        From Patrick:

        << Flippantly, I would like to comment that my courses, indeed my
        entire masters degree program, is online.>>

        Flippantly, with dead serious intent, I would like to suggest that you are
        evading the question.

        You, Patrick, have classes on campus: I am asking you how you handle
        those.

        Presumably you have negotiated a class size of less than a thousand
        students in each of your campus sections, although radio and television
        would allow 1000 students around the world to see and hear you, and by the
        skillful use of the computer and constructivist pedagogy you could oversee
        small collaborative groups that teach themselves with minimal help from you.

        << In a more serious vein, I
        don't remember any radio programs being created to produce specific
        educational opportunities. >>

        I think we have to open that serious vein.

        There were hundreds of such programs produced: radio courses, radio
        colleges, radio universities, radio lecture series, all the initiatives
        being reintroduced and promoted for the computer.

        Radio and television instruction were all introduced into American
        education with the same messianic fervor by a similar group of prophets and
        new converts that are hyping the new technologies.

        < Radio is
        a one way audiotory transmission device that doesn't, to me, seem to
        have significant advantages over didactic teaching.>>

        Perhaps that is the wrong answer to the wrong question.

        The book, the chalk board, Power Point. . .all are one-way communication
        devices that become powerful enhancements of the two-way conversation
        created by the teacher using any
        technology in the instructional mix of media that allows for two way
        communication.

        So: you read a book, and the teacher and the students talk about it Or you
        listen to a radio program, or watch a tv show, and use that experience as
        the basis for critique, for conversation, for, if you'll excuse the
        expression, constructivist pedagogy.

        That two-way technology can be the classroom, the faculty office, or talk
        radio, or email, or....

        >Patrick, does the research you mention tell us why these earlier
        technology revolutions failed?>>


        << No, it does not. And in my experience, even those schools that
        incorporated school-wide cableTV networks had a difficult time finding
        packaged programs that could inculcate specific learning objectives at a
        specific time.>>

        Why packaged programs for radio and tv and not for the computer? Why not
        arranging with schools and school districts to use these media to broadcast
        programs on poetry or art or music or science using pieces of what is
        readily available, and, more importantly local teacher talent, or, say,
        broadcasting from a Florida university like yours to the neighboring
        schools? And taping such programs so they can be used at a convenient time
        if a school or a teacher or a student can not attend to them live?

        << I think the reasons for that go from the fact that the
        Public education system is a monopoly that doesn't have to change, to
        the fact of copyright laws and restrictions that make it difficult for
        teachers to provide themselves with a pertinent TV program in a timely
        manner.>>

        This is swinging wildly, Patrick.

        First: our road and water systems may be public monopolies, our public
        school system is far from a monopoly. To test this, count the number of
        private schools in the nation. (Do our best private schools all embrace and
        make central the new technologies? Or do the best, and most expensive,
        private schools emphasize personal instruction?)

        Second, the schools and the principle of local control continue to vest
        much power in the laity, despite school centralization, and the state and
        federal bureaucracies.

        Third, the schools are the scene of contention, of political action by
        players that include the state, teacher unions, students, parents, and even
        teacher colleges, although it is getting increasingly clear to many that the
        teacher colleges have become a serious part of the problem of education in
        the U.S..

        I'd like to comment on Hank Becker and his good research, but that for
        another post.
        Cheers, Patrick.

        Steve Eskow

        drseskow@...




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