Technology and Context

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Alec Couros leaves me a nice note and asserts this:

We must help students to understand what is worth reading, how to find the relevant voices in the huge raving river of information, and then be able to engage in conversations with what they have learned, and who they have learned from.

I agree that a great deal of critical power is important to solving infoglut. Software like Feeddemon helps.

But I would suggest that the habit of change and critical powers are relational in a new media world.

Specifically, let’s take Shakespeare on as an example. Online search tools provide effective drills into Macbeth. Additional software such as Diigo and Tinderbox provide analytical tools, as would a pencil and notebook.

The new media thinker must, however, be aware of the tool. Both Macbeth and the tools used in engagement must be evaluated deeply, just as I must evaluate a router in carpentry work. A router is, conceptually, an opportunity to create.

My goal is always this: to teach people in a particular course to teach themselves (and to beat me at my own game).


2 responses to “Technology and Context”

  1. Mary Ellen says:

    Coming to the medium of the internet as an adult, and having graduated some years ago, I am reluctant to use search tools and information gleaned from the ‘net to aid me in my studies. Is this foolish? Am I underestimating the resources because there is also so much garbage? It feels like taking the easy way out if I don’t sit down with the course materials and a notebook and grind through it all, the way I’ve always done it.

  2. Josh says:

    “My goal is always this: to teach people in a particular course to teach themselves (and to beat me at my own game).”

    This is why you are one of my very favourite educators and conversationalists. There are not nearly enough like you in American classrooms.