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Assignment 2 - William Beachley

William Beachley
Assignment 2

Fischer, G. (1998) "Making Learning a Part of Life-Beyond the
'Gift-Wrapping' Approach of Technology." Notes from 6/96
NSF Symposium on Learning and Intelligent Systems available at:

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?
I really liked what the article had to say about how technology is
applied to education because it really exposes one of the most
serious problems our culture faces. We live in a "quick fix" society
which causes education to change, but not evolve. Technology
cannot just be thrown at a problem without laying some groundwork.
I feel that we don't take the time to lay solid foundations because
everything has to be "right now."

1.2. not interesting about the article?
The article talks about the objective of the seed. People want
all-encompasing solutions now. They don't want to start off small
and wait for evolution to run its course, although I agree that
the process discussed in the paper will lead to much better systems.
I think that our culture needs to slow down and focus more on
the design process, but work environments rarely work that way if
any of them.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?
The main message of the article is that major reforms in the way
technology is "integrated" into education are necessary to provide
a framework in which computers are effective tools for learning.
It is common sense that people learn much more if they
have a desire to learn, but ideas such as these are slow to take
hold in the "teacher as oracle / disciplinarian" standard. The roles
of the teacher and the student should not be so sharply defined.
A good teacher learns as much from a student as the student learns
from the teacher.

3. click on one of the words in blue and see what happens?
A definition of the term or phrase comes up.

3.1. is this feature useful?
It is useful to provide a solid definition of what is meant when these
phrases and terms are used.

3.2. in which other situations have you encountered this feature?
I have encountered this feature mostly in application help and
documentation files when terms require an explanation or if someone
does not know what a particular acronym or word means.

4. global learning theories and approaches

4.1. do you know any of the people mentioned in the diagrams:

4.1.1. Skinner

4.1.2. Piaget

4.1.3. Papert

4.1.4. Illich

4.1.5. Vygotsky

4.1.6. Dewey

4.1.7. <ignore Taylor>

4.2. select one of the six

4.2.1. in case you know something--write a paragraph what
she/he has contributed to a deeper understanding of learning?

I know from a Psychology course I took in 1994 that Piaget did
a lot of work in developmental psychology.

4.2.2. in case you do not know something, find out something
about her/him -- write a paragraph what she/he has contributed
to a deeper understanding of learning?

Jean Piaget developed the idea that learning is a process of knowledge
and it is knowledge-dependent. Knowledge is sort of built up like
a hierarchy from childhood to adulthood.

5. identify one website (and mention the URL) which you
consider interesting and relevant for "learning." Write a one
paragraph justification!

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