Smart Teaching

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Smart Teaching

  • 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.

  • 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!).

  • A pointer is the thing that the mouse moves around :hehe:. 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.

  • 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

    Regards
    |\|@$££|\/|
    🙂

  • 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.

    There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
  • 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

  • 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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    "stewsterl 80804 (10/16/2009)I guess when you stop and try to understand the solution provided you not only learn, but save yourself some headaches when you need to make any slight changes."

  • 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

    I have come to the conclusion that the top man has one principle responsibility: to provide an atmosphere in which creative mavericks can do useful work.
    -- David M. Ogilvy

  • 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...

  • Scoring by hand, isn't that where you type your name into the computer?:P

    I usually try to guess the score ahead based on strikes and spares so I know how badly I'm going to be losing after the next roll :hehe:

  • Calculators were being introduced when I was in high school, but we weren't allowed to use them in most classes, physics at times being an exception. I had a calculator watch (I know, geek to the max) in the early 80s and had to leave it in my locker on test days.

    Those were good skills to have and it helped. That along with working at a grocer in high school and making change on those old fashioned registers built up some skills. I thought I was fast until I got to UVA and we had a guy at the local 7-11, pre-touch screen, who made it a point to make change faster than anyone. He would see what you might be pulling out and rip the change out quicker.

    Hopefully my kids aren't that bad. We practice making change from $1 as a way of learning money, "buying" something for a fraction of a dollar and having them make change.

  • Oh, and I also make it a point to ask the mechanic/furnace guy/plumber/etc. how and why they do things. It's a good chance to learn a touch about some other skill.

    It also helps me to decide if I should bother learning the skill or just keep calling them back. I've found the better tradespeople don't mind explaining things. It's the ones that don't do great jobs that are reluctant.

  • Michael Earl (12/23/2008)


    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...

    I keep one of my old slide rules in my desk. Perhaps 1 or 2 people here have ANY clue as to how to use it ... it's just a mystical device with numbers.

    People in IT often have limited understanding what is happening above or below their level of action. I remember a networking class where the instructor obviously had NO understanding of what a stack fault actually was. Apparently he never had to write a stack handler in assembler.

    [and yes I still get my hands dirty with my cars--even if I opt to have a mechanic look at it, I diagnose it first]

    ...

    -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --

  • Computers as well as Technology in general should help us doing things faster and/or more easily that we already know how to do without the technology. There are of course some exceptions which vary from person to person and scenario to scenario. For example I shouldn't have to know how to do brain surgery or use Brain Surgery technology to have a brain surgery but the doctor who is operating on me should at least have the knowledge, if not the practice, to do the surgery with the minimal technology required. The new fancy Fiber Optic lights worn on the surgeons head (see any episode of Greys Anatomy) improves their environment thru technology making their job easier as do the micro cameras they use however they should never be dependent on these where they could not do the job without them unless the scenario is one where the task or job is only possible because of technology.

    In general we should when applicable & realistic, always use technology to do things easier or faster or even better then we could without the tech. Too many younger people become like Superman with a Kryptonite necklace whenever their tech goes down/off line. They can't do the most basic of mathematical operations like making change. I'm not saying they should be able to calculate the total sale including tax on a multiple item sale at the store but they should be able to calculate that value using a writing tool & surface to write on. Some kids are capable of doing amazing things without their tech but they are sadly in the few.

    As for teaching, I teached for several years at my prior job receiving praise & positive feedback from all attendees almost without exception (no one is perfect). And this was because I employed the hands on approach, being sure that the students hands were never idle more then 30 minutes at most and 15 minutes on average.

    Not only did we have hands on but I also built-in mistakes into the problems so as to get the user to not simply autopilot thru the lesson by following along or watching others. The students who pointed out the mistakes would always be the ones who did best in the end.

    "I may not calculate as quickly as you, but at least I can calculate without a calculator."

    -A grandfather to his grandkids upon their kidding with him about his difficulty with using one of these new darn founded adding machines.

    "Is that a song from when you were a teenager?"

    - A teen replying to his dad upon hearing him say "I before E accept after C"!

    Kindest Regards,

    Just say No to Facebook!

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