August 30, 2010

The Net Gen, Continued

Chapter 4: Using Technology as a Learning Tool, Not Just the Cool New Thing
Chapter 5: The Student's Perspective

Chapter 4 emphasized further what was discussed in the first three chapters. It's interesting to read about how the Net Gen learns differently than other generations do. They use computers and other most recent technology in everyday life including work, school, play, and hobbies. But at the same time, the Net Gen is similar in work ethic and ambition to the Greatest Generation: their grandparents. NetGeners like to be creatively challenged.

I don't necessarily agree with the way the article mentions how NetGeners should study. Although a stimulating study environment is essential, I think it's up to the student to decide where and how to study. Personally, I like a quiet room with not much distraction. I find that I can get more done, and get it done faster, with a concentrated attention span.

Human interaction was also mentioned. This section really brought light to how I think about online classes. Social interaction is extremely important, and online classes need to do as much as possible to enhance it, not replace it. I get angry at people who notice trends from statistics of Math Emporium classes and think that it must be working because grades are higher. But it never occurs to them that maybe the reason grades are higher is that cheating is easier, which brings me to my next topic.

Technology is definitely helping cheating. This was made obvious, what with text messages, copy/pasting, internet sourcing, etc. However, technology is also helping teachers (and software) detect cheating. This wasn't mentioned in the article. Cheating detection software has gotten better through time, just like all technology has. Technology makes it easier to cheat, but it also makes it easier to get caught.


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