Sunday, November 18, 2012

Is Google Making Us Stupid Reflection

I couldn't agree more with Nicholas Carr's opinions in, Is Google Making Us Stupid?.  Our minds, both old and young are changing faster than ever before.  We read and learn and access information in an entirely different way than we did twenty years ago which was different twenty years before that and twenty years before that and so on. I think what is important to remember is that this change is not necessarily evil which I think is what a lot of the older generation thinks, especially those teachers who have been in the profession for a while.  Students can no longer sit down and read a chapter out of a biology book.  Literally, they cannot.  Instead their minds are malleable and have been reprogrammed to take in, process, and learn information in an entirely new way.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It does mean though, that we, as teachers, need to learn to teach based on this information.  Instead of assigning twenty pages of reading on photosynthesis in class we should use the iPads to do an interactive lab with small bits of reading material to get the exact same message those twenty pages would have across to the students.

Some points I found especially interesting from the article was the fact that the author said with all of the text on the internet, cell phones, etc. it is possible that we are reading more than was read in the 1970's-1980's when television was incredibly popular.  This to me was shocking but it does seem true.  Back then in order to read you had to physically open a book or newspaper and practice reading.  Now it is almost impossible to escape reading.  The only difference is that reading is done in small chunks.  The other thing I found interesting in this article was the reoccurring theme that everyone feared the new technology but it always created much needed improvements.  For example, Nietzsche was having trouble writing, then he got a type writer and he felt that he could write far more easily.  This did, though, change the way he wrote.  This is similar to what we're seeing today.  The way we learn, write, etc. is going to be different, but this may just be the change we need.

I think this article showed that the time has changed and new technology is inevitably here.  Yet, we need to recognize that this may not be a bad thing, there are many positives that could come out of it.  As educators though we need to realize this and adapt our lessons because students literally learn in new ways now.

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