Coyer/Schram HW10
1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

The summary of the book "Fish is Fish" (page 11) was particularly interesting because it demonstrated the propensity for people (represented as fish) apply their perceptions of current surroundings to descriptions of foreign surroundings. The description of the book leads into a discussion of how much more effective teachers can be when they "pay attention to the knowledge and beliefs that learners bring to a learning taks".

Overall, the most interesting component of this article is the discussion of the effect of preconceptions on the learning experience.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

The first few paragraphs of the article were vague and dry; very little new information was presented that could be considered relevant to the subject matter of the article.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

The work of cognitive scientists has many applications in the classroom.
There have been many advances in education that have been the direct result of the research of cognitive scientists, and this article discusses a few of them.

3. analyze and describe how you have learnt a complex systems (e.g.,“Microsoft Word” or a similar system incase you have never learnt MS-Word, Photoshop, Java, using the Web effectively, …)?

Ryan: I got my first computer (an IBM PC Jr.) for my 4th birthday, and packaged with it was a rudimentary DOS-based text-editing tool (the name of which escapes me). As my lingusitic skills developed, my parents encouraged me to type documents (answers to my homework, letters to grandparents, etc.) Over time, my understanding of text editiors as a tool grew, and before long I was able to produce documents with very little intervention. When I was first exposed to MS Word (on a Windows 3.x system), I had a fairly advanced working knowledge of text editors. The new functions of Word took a while for me to grasp (bullets, justified alignment, double-spacing), but the basic functionality was not foreign and I quickly mastered the Word program.

Aaron: My first text editor was also DOS based. I had a game which helped me learn to type, and my parents (working for IBM at the time) also encouraged me to type assignments and use computers in my everyday life. When Microsoft Works came out like Ryan it was very easy to pick up on and use for all document needs.

4. describe the most interesting / exciting learning episode of your life!

Ryan: In the days before price-wars and cutbacks, most airlines had elaborate programs that assisted minors travelling by themselves. My mom or dad would check me in at the ticket counter and then pass me off to an airline employee that would help me through security and show me to the gate... etc. The same treatment would ensue as soon as I got to my destination: an employee would take me to baggage claim and then drop me off with whomever I was visiting (most of the time, people were too busy to meet me at the gate). I grew to resent this treatment because I felt that I could handle it on my own. When I was 11, I told my parents that I had mastered the entire system and could travel without assistance, and somehow I convinced them to let me try flying without all the hand-holding and coddling. Soon after this discussion, I was sent to visit my grandmother in New York... which required my first Philadelphia connection experience (flying from VA's Dulles airport). So, to cut this short a bit, I had to learn how to navigate an unknown airport on my own and successfully deplane and reboard in time to make it to NYC. It was exciting and interesting, along with being a little scary.

Aaron: When I got my first guitar. I don't think I've ever tried at anything so hard in my life. Attempting to master the new instrument was the most exiciting learning experience I've ever been through. Creating music for me was great because feelings can come out and be expressed in a series of notes and rythms, and the only way to get them to come out right is by learning / mastering the instrument. It makes you want to learn very well and quickly.

5. write in one short paragraph (a) what the following concepts mean and (b) which role they have played in your personal learning (e.g., where you have encountered them)

5.1. learning by being told

(a) Someone describes a task abstractly (like giving directions over the phone), usually step-by-step, and to reproduce the outcome you must remember the description of the task and each step in the process. (b) One can encounter these learning situations daily: On the phone, on the radio, etc. All remedial jobs involve this type of learning. Every food service job served in high school was based on this type of learning.

5.2. self-directed learning

(a) You are presented with a problem (usually dissimilar to other known problems) and you have to negotiate the various aspects of the situation in order to accomplish the goal. (b) One can encounter problems like these in video games and in the design process. Programming in multiple languages not taught in school is often self-directed, as well as music, and some sports.

5.3. learning on demand

(a) You are compelled to learn some obscure fact or process sometimes very quickly, usually by consulting a known information source. (b) Google is a great source for this type of learning, as well as dialogs with friends.

5.4. discovery learning

(a) Discovery learning takes place most notably in problem solving situations where the learner draws on his own experience and prior knowledge to discover the truths that are to be learned. It is a personal, internal, constructivist learning environment ( ( googled) ) (b) Walking in the woods one day, lost, a man reaches for a map and compass to discover the way back to his car.

5.5. experiential learning

(a) Experiential learning refers to applied knowledge such as learning about engines in order to repair a car.( (b) One needs to write a function in C++ to add structures... and must consult a manual or other source of information.

5.6. informal learning

(a) Learning that takes place outside a dedicated learning environment and which arises from the activities and interests of individuals and groups, but which may not be recognised as learning.( (b) One can experience this type of learning nearly anywhere, from tasks as mundane as how to correctly pour a beer to those as complex as how to drive a car.

5.7. collaborative learning

(a) An instructional approach in which students of varying abilities and interests work together in small groups to solve a problem, complete a project, or achieve a common goal. ( (b) This is more difficult to encounter, but a group of people playing a multi-player video game work together to solve a problem.

6. which media support have you used and are you using for your learning?
Google and other web-based information sources are quite useful for learning (such as the online java docs) ... as well as group projects and other sorts of collaboration.