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Posted Monday, December 22, 2008 5:18 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Smart Teaching






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Post #624351
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 6:02 AM
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I've taught technical and non-technical courses, both computer-based and lecture-based and I find computers are fine for reinforcing specific ideas, or for research, but for most learners other forms of learning are required. There are 3 general learning methods: Visual, Auditory, and Kinestetic (hands on) and most people are a combination of 2 or more methods. Computer training is mostly visual, very little hands on. The more methods that the teaching encompasses the more effective the learning will be. Personally I'm mostly visual and hands on, I like to take things apart to understand them; books on tape put me to sleep.
Post #624638
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 6:09 AM
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I agree with that, I'd also so classroom style training is most useful when you're very new to a topic. If you know 50% of the material it's often challenging not to tune out and miss the 50% you don't know (percentages may vary!).

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Post #624646
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 6:13 AM
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A pointer is the thing that the mouse moves around . I wouldn't really know what a pointer is had I not studied computer science in school. Having this dependence on being able to look up information any time does free us up to be able to do more but if we ever lost it, we'd be lost. Actually, if we were without it for a prolonged period of time, I'm sure you'd see a lot of people experience anxiety and depression, not unlike ending a relationship after a long period of time.

I read that when you are in a relationship, you know that the other person knows certain things and that person acts as shared memory. Losing access to that person causes a loss of that shared memory, like if you had a chunk of your brain taken out. I imagine the same thing would happen if we unexpectedly lost access to the Internet for some reason. It acts as a massive extension of our memory and losing it would be devastating.
Post #624650
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 6:15 AM
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Hi Steve

That was a very interesting post and it is true, not many people do know or make the attempt to know of how things work under the hood perhaps due to circumstances in one's life or what ever the reason maybe.

Just to veer of Databases topic, i have taken some time off to learn how the mechanics of my car works literally getting a good idea of what goes on "under the hood" and it pays off because when a problem did occur, 1. I was already familiar with the terminology and had an idea of what was going wrong, so when i explain to the mechanic I could relate to him where the problem was occurring thus saving the both of us time and 2. Having an understanding dosent leave me susceptible to being overcharged and replacing items that really dosent need fixing.

From my experience it helps a great deal to know what goes on under the hood and it can save time and money maybe even lives ;)

Ciao
Naseem Mohamed


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Post #624651
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 6:32 AM


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There is a downside to technology and a number of futurists have already pointed it out - that is, as we have more and more technology we become completely dependant on it, lost without it, and we lose (or never acquire) base human skills.

For example, over the last 10 days or so, where I live, we had a tremendous ice storm, and then some 16 inches of snow. Half of my home town is still without power. None the less, my local convenience store pressed on and opened up using a generator so they could run some of their equipment. However, the cash register was not operating and so they had to make change using an ancient technique called "doing math in your head". Some might remember this dying skill.

That said, yesterday morning I got coffee and a cold donut totalling $2.34. I handed the young person $3.00. ...and then I stood there virtually amazed that this teenager was completely baffled trying to figure out what my change was. Normally, the cash register does all the math of course, but without it this the poor girl was lost.

Technology, yeah, very cool. Helps with lots of stuff. But no power to run the technology? Welcome to the stone age... and the Smart Learning needed there? Very basic stuff.



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Post #624657
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 6:46 AM


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Immediately as I read the editorial this morning, I was thinking how computers are great tools, but too many people today rely on them too heavily.

Then blandry pointed out how the local cashier was unable to perform basic math when her computer was no longer available. Ever hand a cashier $3.02 for a $2.52 purchase, only to find that the cashier is lost because they punch in $3.00 as you were reaching for the 2 pennies? Same blank look.

Here's one related to a hobby of mine. I don't remember the last time I went bowling where there was not automatic scoring available. I bet there are a large number of people who bowl regularly who have no idea how to score a game by hand.

Oops, should have relied on the spell check, just realized I put "to many" in the first line ...

Scott
Post #624659
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 7:00 AM


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Scott Arendt (12/23/2008)
I bet there are a large number of people who bowl regularly who have no idea how to score a game by hand.

Scott


Score by hand? What is this of which you speak? My Wii scores bowling just fine . . .


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Post #624662
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 7:10 AM


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I never saw all of these people as one camp. I always saw them as two camps. There are the people who are interested in the engineering or psychology or biology, etc. behind the object. Then there are the people that use the object without worrying where it came from.

Furthermore, for every object there are people in both camps. A boy may tear apart his radio-controlled car to see how it works, but he is not interested in how a baby develops. His baby sister just showed up one day.

There are always going to be people in both camps for every object. Pointers may be unknown to many, but they will not be forgotten.


Mia

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Post #624668
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 7:18 AM
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I'm not that old and I feel pretty lucky that I caught the tail end of having to learn to do things myself.

It was a painful experience having to do square root calculations on paper (in pen - stupid teacher), but I guess it is pretty comforting that I do not have to use a calculator to figure out the tip at Chili's after lunch. I have worked with a few people that actually have to break out their cell phones to do this complex mathematical operation.

I spent a lot of time working on cars when I was a kid. My first car arrived on a flatbed and my father, my brother, and I had to restore it end-to-end before I could drive it. Not only did it give me an appreciation of the work it takes to own a car, but it taught me some of the most important fundamental troubleshooting skills that I use every day. I think people lack some of the "break it into pieces and figure it out" skills.

But, I guess that is part of the trappings of technology. To really use it to it's fullest potential, someone needs to learn how to best use and build on what we have. If they spent all of their time figuring out how and why all of it works, they would not have the time to actually make use of it. I just hope we keep in mind that we still need both.

I wonder if CS majors still have to build a motherboard with a soldering iron...
Post #624673
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