Saturday, October 27, 2007

Merely Managing Data?

This week's readings continued to inspire me in terms of what technological innovations can be integrated in the classroom experience. But as I read, I kept pondering if the utilization of these learning tools (i.e. electronic database software) assumes a certain base knowledge. I remain skeptical.

At this point, I agree that these technological tools can augment the learning experience and even add some breadth to the learning. But I cannot assume that the student will understand the logic and reasoning behind database structuring before they move too far ahead by simply navigating their way through it.

That leads me to the question that are we merely teaching our students how to manage data? Are we truly giving them the foundational tools to understand WHY a phenomenon is the way it is? Obviously both are needed. But we really need people who understand (from at least a minimal baseline) how to be information creators, not just information managers. Why does 3+2=5? Information creators have the capability of adding to our knowledge base, not just the application base. I am concerned that we are raising a generation of information managers.

1 comment:

Nate Maas said...

What do you think of giving the students a 'real world' problem and then demonstrating to them how technology could help them? If they have a problem and know that technolgy can assist them, they then have motivation to learn applications with an end goal. I think it's the hypothetical usefulness to their lives that creates reluctance for our students.