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Are You a Person Who Knows What to Look For?


There's this outfit in the UK called Learning Without Frontiers: Learning, Innovation & Society. Learning Without Frontiers "is a global platform for disruptive thinkers, innovators and practitioners to share knowledge, ideas and experiences about new learning." They had a number of notable speakers: Ray Kurzwiel, Sir Ken Robinson, Noam Chomsky just to name a few. Chomsky spoke yesterday on technology. The following is an excerpt from a Wired article by Katie Scott. My thanks to DML central for alerting me to this article. "The MIT professor stated that technology can be compared to a hammer. "It doesn't care if you use it to build a house or crush someone's skull. The Web is valuable if you know what you're looking for, if you have a framework of understanding. But you always have to be willing to question whether your framework is the right one." He compared simply browsing the web for information to pointing a student at the library knowing they had no idea what they were looking for. "Exploring the internet can just be picking up random factoids that don't mean anything", he said. "The person who won the Nobel prize in biology isn't the person who read the most journals. It was the person who knew what to look for," he added." I want to be clear how this helped me articulate my hopes for the Teacher-training program I have been involved in these past six months. The JTEs (Japanese English Teachers) that came here to our International Programs at UC Irvine Extension might have expected to attend just a bunch of lectures. But that was not my goal. My goal was not to fill their heads with static knowledge- "reading the most journals" as Chomsky pointed out The goal was to help them know what to do when they went back to Japan...when they go back into the classroom.