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1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

Not too long ago (about 4 years ago), I made an active decision to become a producer rather than a consumer. While it is easy in a society with 500 cable channels to become passive, a number of things inspired me to consider designing. Foremost was the idea that I like to make things. I enjoy listening to music, appreciating art, etc. But what I realized lately was that I can make music, art, or technology, too. Maybe someday I can consider myself to be among the best at what I choose to do. I aspire to make things, and make them well. I think that I will constantly meet with new challenges as long as I have this goal. I think this position paper was written in that same vein. How can we use information technology to extend the reach of man? How can we weave the ideas of education researchers and the power of technology into education instead of merely giftwrapping it? I agree it has to be a systematic and constructive process. In addition, I am intrigued by the idea of leaving development open to the end-user. Do you therefore recommend an open source agreement? Although, now, modifying source is beyond the abilities of most people, as people become better educated and more familiar with computers that may change.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

There was not too much I found not interesting about the article. I have realized why this material is important for my life. All I need is a better frame or context within which to understand it. The writing was relatively abstract, and I found myself wishing for more stories or examples. I would have been more interested to see anecdotes in addition to the abstractions.

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

In my view the article is very egalitarian. It says everybody participates. Everyone plays apart in bringing the design to fruition. The learning machine is built by everyone, but at times those who are more skilled take the project in their own hands and work on it alone.

3. click on one of the words in blue and see what happens?

3.1. is this feature useful?

Yes, I found the links to the glossary useful. In one case, however, I was a little confused because I could not find any reference to a DODE.

3.2. in which other situations have you encountered this feature?

Almost everywhere on the web. A good example is the wikipedia.

4. global learning theories and approaches

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

4.1.1. Skinner

B.F. Skinner! Trained a pidgeon to play ping-pong. I am not a huge fan of Behaviorism. When I was a teenager I tried to read "Walden Two" (which is written by Skinner and is supposed to represent a behaviorist's utopia.) I was pretty put off by it. I have heard a lot about B.F. Skinner because I study psychology. In my history of psychology class I remember learning about his book "The Technology of Teaching."

4.1.2. Piaget

If this is the same Piaget I know of, he is Jean Piaget a developmental psychologist.

4.1.3. Papert

From class I know a small bit who he is. Seymour Papert, among other things, invented LOGO. I was familiar with LOGO before taking this class, and vaguely remember learning from a variant of it when I was in elementary school.

4.1.4. Illich

Ivan Illich. Very interesting figure. Either a very dangerous man or a voice of reason. Wrote "The Deschooling of Society", which is available online.

4.1.5. Vygotsky

Lev Vygotsky. Very advanced child psychologist for his time. From Russia his ideas were discovered by the Western world in the 1960s. I like his idea that developmental psychology is very reliant on not only what is within an individual, but also the environment the individual is in.

4.1.6. Dewey

John Dewey, an interesting educational reformer. Ran his own school with his wife called the Laboratory School at the University of Chicago. Interestingly enough the children at this school learned much of their early Biology, Chemistry, and Physics by cooking breakfast, which they did at school.

4.1.7. ignore Taylor

4.2. select one of the six

Ivan Illich

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

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?

Ivan Illich, among other things, improved education by describing some possibly useful learning webs. The idea behind learning webs is to empower the learner. Give him or her the possibility to access information needed to complete projects or accomplish goals. Illich, in "Deschooling Society" suggested four methods in which this could be done. The first would be to reserve (presumably physical) resources and make them accessable to students, perhaps stored in rental agencies, showrooms, or libraries. Objects more suited for daily showing and use could be kept on farms, factories, etc. and shown to the interested in off hours. The second method would be skill exchanges in which skilled people offer to teach students or apprentices their skills under conditions that they set. They could leave their contact information for others. The third method is sort of the inverse, a communications network where people with a particular goal in learning make an inquiry, hoping for a proper response. Finally, I interpret the last method as a professional agency, which keeps track of partical skill teachers. This adds the benefit of a discriminating critic. One that helps one choose from the professionals, para-professionals, and freelance educators. Reviews could also be provided by former student/clients.

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


As of late this tool has been invaluable to me. A mind mapping tool, Freemind helps you compile and organize information. It is a computer program, and it is written in Java so it will work on Macs, PCs, your Sun workstation. I think it is a great way to write outlines, keep thoughts together, etc. a true learning aid. Try it out!

I have included a very map I made last year as an example, so you can check it out if you get the program.

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