Wow are these days ever flying by. I am not sure if they are moving so quickly because there is only 22 teaching days left in the school year, or I am just ready to enjoy all summer has to offer. This week we were lucky enough to enjoy 2 debates. I will just give an overview about instant access to the wealth of knowledge available at our fingertips with just a few clicks of a button and scrapping all the memorization in the classroom. I will also explore the other side of the debate talking about ensuring that students are ready for the world by making sure they know all the drill and kill facts.
I enjoy how the opposing team finds articles reliant to their side of the debate. Luke, Ashley, and Andrew provided us with 3 articles and a video for us to ponder.
The first article How Google Impacts The Way Students Think really opened my eyes in the sense that when students are using Google they are missing out on the process. Knowledge is not simple searchable. The internet is making it seems as though the answers are always accessible to us. The whole idea that googling is easier than thinking is scary, now we are so used to just searching for what we want to know that all we need to do is type, we don’t even need to know how to spell. However, I must admit that I am a fan of Pinterest, but again it is just plucking visuals and saving them for your own access at a later date.
Wow, How the Internet is Changing Your Brain is another eye opener of a article. I understand that Google searches are on the rise but i would have never guessed that the idea of instant information reached 4.7 trillion searches a day. I know first hand that it is so very easy to whip out my smart phone and look something up, perhaps I continue to do the same searches over and over again because I know that the info will be waiting there for me. Google has become my longer term memory. I think I am going to do a running tally of how often I use Google in my daily life, both for personal and for the classroom use. It is bizarre that Google that become a storage place for our memories.
Three Rules to Spark Learning was a very interesting TED Talk by Ramsey Musallam. He makes many valid points about how students questions come first in learning these are the seeds of the learning that will take place. He further goes on to remind us that we should not dehumanize learning by just allowing the students to look things up and use technology. Learning is about so much more than just finding the answer it is about the trail and error and the frustration, and the ahh ha moments in the classroom. Most of all learning is about the reflection and the revisions so that we can get better and do better.
Amy and Heidi chose some great articles for us as well. The first article that I explored was When Rote Learning Makes Sense. There are many valid point that made me lean towards this side of the debate. I really believe that before students can think critically, they need to have some sort of background knowledge or something to base their new knowledge on, the scaffolding. This article further pointed out that gaining something from a quick knowledge source such as Google doesn’t allow us to actually think about in our brains. ” Knowledge without comprehension is of little use, but comprehension requires knowledge and it takes time and effort to acquire”. We needed to understand that the brain is a tool that needs an active effort to make it work harder and somehow Google just isn’t making our brains work hard enough. The old saying practice makes perfect is true when it comes to allowing the brain to soak up more knowledge and actually move it from short to long-term memory storage facilities. Googling does not engage our bodies or allow us to learn aloud. If we move past the memorization of the basics we are overlooking all the basics we need to continue to build on what we know.
Memorization is Not a Dirty Word is a great article that talks of the importance of memorizing info. We have to remember that there will be times when we don‘t have access to the internet or our phones. This memorization is exercises for the mind and the brain. I 100% believe that memorization trains our brains to get ready for building on to the knowledge that we already have. The final words of the article make so much sense “But what good is learning if you don’t remember it?”
Why teach facts to the level of automaticity? This article continues to illustrate that memorization improves students ability to learn. When students memorize information or facts it allows them move to higher order thinking without having to back fill. They are able to focus on learning the new facts and continue to build their knowledge and retention.
Humm, I guess this is a very tough one for me. I defiantly think that memorization is a very important learning concept. I have always struggled when it came to learning math or just learning in general. I would have to come up with all sorts of mnemonics and rhymes to help me study. That is just how my brain works. I understand that accessing knowledge at your fingertips makes for some simple answers but sure takes away from what you know and what you can recall.