Week 7 Readings (Thursday)

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The quote that got me thinking in this week’s reading was “Personalized learning is, somewhat ironically, far more socialist than it may first appear” in the article “Are We Training Our Students to be Robots?” by Danah Boyd. We always here the complaints about how rude it is to be on the phone or a tablet in a social event because it is an act of ignorance for the people in the room. The argument is that we are suppose to socialize with people in the event rather being egocentric. But how many of us are actually egocentric when we use technology? All of our social networking is of course a way of socializing. Even playing a game nowadays mostly consist of some sort of interaction between people online.

I think this same fear exist in personalized education where teachers are afraid that a kid with a computer or phone in class might just be too self-centered to learn any skills. Danah Boyd makes a great counter argument saying that personalized education can promote student learning by using each other because of the “network effect”. Technology used for personalized education can help students learn in unique ways and at their own pace, still maintaining a healthy relationship with other students. If we physically separate students in classrooms because of their pace of learning they are subjected to labels and humiliation. Personalized learning with technology can help stop exclusion and build student networks.

This concept also ties in with the “Champions of Children’s Privacy” reading by Megan Cottrell where she argues about the importance of children’s privacy when using technology. If students are to find their unique learning styles and their pace, they need to explore technology on their own. To do this, privacy is essential. We have to trust that our kids are just not being rude and ignorant when they play with technology rather they are trying to find themselves and learn in the new age.

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