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Thoughts on “learning spaces” presentation

Whether you agree or disagree with this post, it’s worth thinking about: Thoughts on “learning spaces” presentation: “You know why a student would prefer to look at a picture or watch a video? Because it’s way easier than reading something that would nearly always be more informative about the subject at hand. You know why a student would be more interested in producing, say, a video than writing a paper? Because writing well is DIFFICULT and it’s far easier to gloss up poor research by packaging it in a video format that appears to involve a lot of work.
Yes, older people who think that games, social networks, collaborative learning environments, and the creation audiovisual mashups are the future of education, the basic message I’m sending here is that young students don’t want to learn, they want to play, and presentations like the one I saw today essentially seem to be saying that we need to support this play (masked as educational needs) as much as possible in order to try to get some learning in there.”


  1. Chris Lott wrote:

    Can we agree and disagree? Maybe it’s not a binary proposition or a zero-sum game.

    Maybe there’s truth to the idea that sometimes resistance or attraction to a technology or mode comes from reasons other than learning or out of laziness and sometimes because it conveys more or other information?

    For example: I’d rather write a paper than make a video in almost every case, and it’s not because I am less lazy and not because it’s harder to gloss over shoddy arguments.

    And what’s wrong with adding to the value proposition by appealing to desire anyway? Sometimes the soft whisper, sometimes the whip…

    Friday, October 24, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Permalink
  2. Marcel bruyn wrote:

    Seems to be a tension:

    Are we lowering the bar? This poor Y generation who grow up on MTV, YouTube and X-box need short grabs of fun and involved learning. Style over substance. Teachers fall into the trap of providing style over substance, where the medium challenges or even overshadows the content. Yeah great collaborative learning, lots of creative thinking, but in the five lessons that spent on the video, what content did they actually acquire or what knowledge did they construct? Did this huge amount of time spent in collaborative technology mediated learning mean that a chunk of content has to be glossed over? Have to be careful here, Maths as a discipline is being eroded, and is under threat. [I hope the Civil Engineers of the future completed a lot of drill and practice (though automaticity has been presented as a preferred word to rote learning) so that they had the skills to ensure their bridge building equations were exact and sound.]

    Or is it a case of providing them with a learning environment that matches their digitally rich lives? That is motivational and supports learning and can facilitate the application of modern learning theory.

    Book avoidance is increasingly occuring in my observation. Of course it is up to teachers to model and encourage and yes dictate requirements.

    I agree with Chris that true dichotomies rarely exist. A blend is usually called for. But I think it must be seen that technology is Education’s servant. I am not convinced that the role of collaborative and/or tech-mediated education is fully understood by education deaprtments, let alone teachers.

    Digital literacy is becoming increasingly important and probably could be placed near literacy and numeracy. But even then, aren’t these still all means to an end?

    Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 11:41 pm | Permalink
  3. Bill R. wrote:

    I agree that this is not a black or white answer. While I’m sure that many student are lazy and making a video may be a more pleasant distraction, I don’t necessarily think that’s always bad.

    Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 12:38 am | Permalink
  4. Ethan wrote:


    I agree with learning spaces” presentation post. It is really easy for a student to see picture or video to learn. I recently purchased a book called “No Props” from which teaches corporate games as a real icebreakers for students.

    “No Props: Great
    Games with No Equipment” Activity Book

    Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 11:30 pm | Permalink
  5. Martin wrote:

    I do not agree .. simply because we have to think about that we use different “channels” …

    explaintions only in textform will be not as good as with additional pictures and videos … and this maybe means “it becomes easier”, but maybe it becomes also understandable …

    so I would conclude, videos and pictures should not replace text in general … videos and pictures enhance your materials in a complete new dimension ..

    nice greets george

    Monday, October 27, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Permalink