Agenda: Class 8

ET 690 Educational Technology Seminar

"What's shrinking is the American view of the world: We are unable to speak foreign languages, unwilling to read foreign news, and unequipped to understand foreign cultures. We naturally perceive other cultures the easy way: by watching them on TV or glimpsing them through a porthole of the Internet. This conveys images, not understanding. Rather than shrinking our globe, this shallow electronic information system makes foreign cultures more distant." Stoll, p. 118

"Alleviation of the misery will depend upon a great deal more than technical fleet-footedness. Other sorts of genius are required as well. Gandhi was a genius, and if we are now convinced that technical cleverness is all that matters -- if we lose our ability to unplug morally and spiritually from the tyrannizing necessities of the Flatland to which Friedman would chain us -- it may then happen that no number of Gandhis can free us." Talbott (in response to Thomas L. Friedman's assertions in The World is Flat) from NetFutures #163

"We remember a phone number; we remember an episode of traumatic suffering that changed our lives. To sweep these different orders of experience under the rubric information can only contribute to cheapening the quality of life." Roszak, p. 100

"The vice of the spreadsheet is that its neat, mathematical facade, its rigorous logic, its profusion of numbers, may blind its user to the unexamined ideas and omissions that govern calculations." Roszak, p. 118

"Related to this point is that where the information on the Internet is contextless, critical users will need to recreate that context, if they can. This not only provides ways of evaluating its significance, but also poetentially of enhancing its meaning. A particular piece of information, again, may be true enough, judged in and of itself; but information as isolated bits is often useless, and it can be decpetive to present such facts as if they simply stand on their own. By questioning the context of information, the meaningfulness of that information can be seen in greater depth and complexity." Burbules and Callister, p. 77 [see a great example of this at]

"Hypperreading is an activity that continually asks these sorts of questions: what are the assumptions being displayed here; why is it easier for me to do A or find B, rather than C or D? If I tacitly accept this way of doing things, how is it shaping or delimiting my options?" Burbules and Callister, p. 91

"It would be naive to believe that censorship challenges are only designed to protect individuals, usually young people, and not to protect existing social and economic privileges and power relations." Burbules and Callister, p. 105

"Knowledge, creativity, critical thinking, discernment, wisdom--these are not about the accumulation of facts. They are about the relations between ideas, information, ethics, and culture." Burbules and Callister, p. 108

"This, then, is the educational challenge: helping students learn to operate in an environment that is inherently 'dangerous,' to deal with what may be unexpected or unpleasant, to make critical judgments about what they find." Burbules and Callister, p. 118

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This page was prepared by Dr. David M. Marcovitz.

Last Updated: October 31, 2011