It was pointed out to me how much learning can be accomplished with technology when I read the article Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age by George Siemens. New knowledge on subjects is acquired every day, every minute, every second. This is obvious to me when I go to buy a book for a college course and there are 7 different editions that have been written in the past 4 or 5 years. Since it is impossible to update these books every day information is given through the world wide web. Type anything into google and there are copious links filled with articles, blogs, informative websites, books, and definitions on the subject. Technology is fast enough to allow us to be handed more information than is even possible to digest, in the blink of an eye.

I recently had a discussion with my sister who is 14 years old and a freshman in high school and I asked her flat out “what are you learning.” She just shrugged her shoulders.. I then proceeded to ask her what she does in class and this is what I found out..

 

More than half of her classes are lecture style and group discussions consist of the teacher reading them the material and then talking to them about it. The students however, just sit and listen. When I asked her if they used computers at all she told me they were allowed to type up their homework on them and there was one class where they had to do a powerpoint project. The only class she has with hands on learning is science where they do labs. When I asked her if she was learning anything by listening to the teacher she responded with, “well not really.”

I feel bad for students. The majority of them are just NOT getting the education that they deserve and it is so sad. Instead of allowing students to enjoy learning by engaging them they are daydreaming and pretending to listen. Students who sit and listen to a lecture are hearing one person’s point of view on the material. It could be biased, and it may not contain all of the information that they could be getting if they could use computers and talked to their peers. The fact that my sister took part in NO discussion with her peers throughout the school day is pathetic. This cuts down on a lot of possible knowledge gain.

With technology the student is in charge of his/her learning. They can research a topic, find something else that interests them, and research that topic. There is information from multiple sources so that students can pick out what is bias and keep what is important to know.

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