14.0029 knowledge-hunger / technological fascinations

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Sat May 20 2000 - 04:55:19 CUT

  • Next message: Humanist Discussion Group: "14.0030 US/UK networking conference"

                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 29.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: "Price, Dan" <dprice@tui.edu> (99)
             Subject: RE: 14.0022 the ABCs, simple answers, home truths--an
                     observation or two

       [2] From: "Osher Doctorow" <osher@ix.netcom.com> (80)
             Subject: Re: 14.0023 reading vs clicking vs life

             Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 05:44:50 +0100
             From: "Price, Dan" <dprice@tui.edu>
             Subject: RE: 14.0022 the ABCs, simple answers, home truths--an
    observation or two


    Yes, I think that today's students are still knowledge-hungry, at least
    that many of them are and some of them really stand out in this regard. And
    it is all too easy to repeat favorite anecdotes in the opposite direction
    from experiences with both students and colleagues. (The freshmen who could
    not tell me what tell what country bordered the United States to our north,
    for instance.)

    One caution I have, though, is in the phrase of "the beginner and the
    expert." Many of us teachers on this ListServ, I think, are working with
    freshmen and sophomore level courses (though the students in actual age may
    be adults). Many of the students that we have in our classes are beginners
    and have not inetnion or reall possiblity of becoing an expert. From your
    brief description, such was your own experience in the chemistry course.

    The trick, I think, is to captivate and fascinate those who are one-timers
    in our courses or our chosen discipline to see some of the possibilities
    and, after the given course, to keep on asking some questions that we have
    raised for them in the given introductory course.

    Dan Price, Ph.D.
    Professor, Center for Distance Learning
    The Union Institute (800) 486 3116 ext.222
    440 E McMillan St. (513) 861 6400 ext.222
    Cincinnati OH 45206 FAX 513 861 9026


             Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 05:49:01 +0100
             From: "Osher Doctorow" <osher@ix.netcom.com>
             Subject: Re: 14.0023 reading vs clicking vs life

    From: Osher Doctorow, osher@ix.netcom.com, Friday May 19, 2000, 5:50AM

    Dear Colleagues:

    Willard's questions are even more serious in the case of California, USA,
    where reading and mathematics scores are not going up but rather down, and
    where those scores are already behind the majority of the States in the USA,
    which is behind Great Britain. At Doctorow Consultants, we have trouble
    finding any child in Southern California public schools who is not in an
    alpha-wave "half-asleep" state during classroom time. Private schools are
    better in this respect, but not that much more.

    I think that conscious reflection on individual and national and
    international goals is the best answer (at least, that I can think of at the
    moment) and that it requires massive amounts of meetings on and off the
    internet between and among teachers of different levels (university, grammar
    schools, etc.), parents, children, etc. Technology as usual is far ahead of
    the human uses to which it is or can be put. In Los Angeles County, for
    another example, a large number of automobile accidents are caused by
    drivers using cellular phones who are almost totally oblivious of other
    drivers. I myself keep far away from such drivers after many narrow escapes
    including massive lane changes by cellular phone drivers on and off major
    roads and freeways. On the other hand, I have made a number of mathematical
    discoveries on the internet at the Semigroups Discussion List during the
    last year, which I would otherwise not have been motivated to make. The
    technology is a two-edged sword in the way that we use it.



    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Humanist Discussion Group
    <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>) <willard@lists.village.virginia.edu>
    To: Humanist Discussion Group <humanist@lists.Princeton.EDU>
    Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2000 10:41 PM

    > Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 23.
    > Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
    > <http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/>
    > <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>
    > Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 06:38:38 +0100
    > From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
    > Subject: reading vs clicking vs life
    > > > > ....
    > Two anecdotes, with commentary.
    > (1) Last night at the house of friends I spent about a half hour reading
    > Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Mr Todd to their 4 year-old, who is a *very*
    > active and technologically engaged child. (In case you who have not read
    > the story recently, or at all, you should know that it's not an easy
    > for a child of that age.) He sat in rapt attention the whole time. When I
    > think about the kind and depth of imaginative engagement offered by the
    > story as opposed to the gizmos he has to play with, why of course there's
    > no contest. What about when there is a real contest, as surely there will
    > (2) A few evenings earlier I went out to dinner with a friend who works
    > an information-management company whose employees as a matter of course
    > on the job 14 hrs/day. As we were sitting at table drinking our pints (at
    > about 8 p.m.), her cellular phone went off and a 15-minute conversation
    > about a problem at work ensued. It's not as if she or the company for
    > she works has a choice in the matter if that kind of employment is to be
    > maintained, nor can any clear distinction be drawn between her
    > job and many if not most jobs within the academy nowadays. What's wrong
    > with this picture? There's the obvious conclusion to be drawn -- that the
    > technology really isn't the issue, rather what we're doing with it. Then
    > there's the cogent objection that the technology embodies tendencies for
    > change that act on us, as owning a gun tends to result in its use. But
    > importantly, perhaps, is the recognition of what we have to work with, our
    > lives as we find them, in the places where we have washed up, and so the
    > question, what do we want, how do we use our gizmos to realise that?
    > Comments?
    > WM

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat May 20 2000 - 05:01:18 CUT