Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Realities

Moore's law provides that the computer's advancement is exponential and it has no other direction but to increase computer power. This may not be such an understandable gibberish for many educators, but for scientists, engineers, and enthusiasts alike, all it says is that we could expect more things that our computers can do for the future.

But how are things in the educational world? The OLPC Project has been trying to break wave to put a suitable, economical, and powerful form of computing unlike any other in the hands of the public. The Project aims to provide each child from a Third World country to have in his fingertips a computer that should help him learn more and communicate through the Internet. Such a project would not come into fruition if not for the fast-paced advancement of computer technology. However, one would think that with such an advancement, we should be progressing intellectually both as educators and as students.

How would you assess the current situation? Are we overestimating the value of advanced computers and rely on it to further education? What are your thoughts regarding the use of such technologies in the hands of our school children? Why do we use bleach with white socks?

Monday, June 23, 2008

It Doesn't Take THAT Long

If you were asked to define learning, how would you define it?

An experiment done (check here) showed how one can mechanically define learning as a conditioned response to a certain stimulus. How would you relate this then to something as complex as students in a classroom and the subject matter involved?

In a sense, have many teachers simply "conditioned" the minds of students to attain who they are or to become what they are, such that they feel only the teacher knows and they are simply receivers of knowledge? What should the role of such an established mode of learning in this modern society?

Who do you think would win in a beauty contest: Jezebel or MariMar?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Wired Mind

A farm made up of human beings in fetal position, in liquid, with at tube used to feed through the mouth. All eyes are shut. All are dreaming. Dreaming of a life that they think they are living. Dreaming of a life they think is real.

Such was the reality that was introduced to us by the film The Matrix. When human beings are being controlled by "machines," electronic entities of their own making. Through the dream-like state the continues to fuel the mechanic existence, the human beings are unaware of the circular fate that awaits them - the endless dreamworld that they are now in.

I was awed by the premise of the movie and how it treats the seeming state of humanity as it is now. Like the movie's inhabitants, people now are also wired, glued in fact, to an entity as enigmatic and mechanical as the film's antagonist - the Internet.

Here we realize that we are now a part of a global society that is run by electronic information. We are defined by the vague e-mail addresses that we provide, we are described through the social networking accounts (Friendster, MySpace, Multiply) that we continue to fill with scraps of what we think is our humanity. We share information like it was perpetual, from the songs, to the videos that each of us talk about in virtual chatrooms.

Has this generation become a slave of its own machinations? Are we now living the movie that we think is still fiction? Or have we realized living in our own dreamworld is better than facing the real problems of disease, war, famine, hunger, and brokenness and depresion?

If you were asked to define the Internet based on your own experience, what would it be? What should it be? Seriously.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Yo Ho Ho! A Pirate's Life for Me!

If a Christian steals, did he or she sin? What if I told you that many Christians right now are thieves? Would you believe me?

The contention of the software industry remain in echoes - intellectual property needs to be respected for the sake of those who labor in coming up with the solutions brought about by commercial software.

Now what if I told you that more than 89% of the software that you use - to type your homework, to run your computer, to do your yearbook - are pirated software. No matter where you go - AUP, MVC, or the homes of Christians - the source of application software that many of us use are bootlegged (not all, of course). Why is that? Because of the high costs of software compared to the almost eerily cheap pirated sources.

You see, software piracy in itself is just like stealing. We tend to steal the ideas, the revenue, and the ownership of those who did the work honestly (as far as we know, of course). We may easily say that the same people are richer than us anyway, so that they can afford to lose a meager amount. But then, can we really rationalize our way out of this?

Of course, many of us tend to shoo this away and think, "I do what I have to do." That is the case. We do what we have to do. But as Christians, do we just, well, do? It remains imperative that if we want to be truthful to our beliefs, we better do it practically. I may be preaching this knowing that I too might be guilty of this atrocity. Yet I do believe that there is room for change and we can either go ahead and actually buy our software (painful to the pocket) or migrate to Open Source software. Either way, the benefits to our character become a lot better than just hiding within the bounds of, "I do my share as an evangelizing Christian." I bet you segregate your trash too.

Whether you are a computer geek or a computer user, you are not immune from your supposed Christianity. What practical steps do you think should you do as a Christian educator when the fine line is drawn to usability and character? Will you continue to become a thief, or will you change your ways just like your Christianity compels you to? What did you have for dinner tonight?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Land of the Lost

The classroom, if not properly tamed, is home to the wilds. Literally. Don’t you agree? In this case you also have to remember though that you are dealing with people. Young people to be exact, who are still seeking lost identities and principles.

I’m sure that most of you were able to experience different teachers and instructors, and found them either amusing, boring, despicable, lovable, horrible, or just plain “she/he’s a teacher, I don’t think he/she is human.”

What do you think made those teachers and instructors the way they are to you? Can you remember some of them who you would like to recall and tell us a story about it? What kind of strategies did he/she use? What didn’t he/she use?

Nope, sorry. No showbiz today.

Dep Eddie

We just finished discussing the ADDIE Model in class and how it affects the quality of instruction. I do hope that you learned a lot from the discussions and the fact that as future teachers you will one day be able to apply it in your own workplace.

Let’s take a look at the national scene though. Until recently DepEd has posited that public schools will soon be connected in the form of cyberclassrooms *– students being able to access schoolwork and other school-based activities through the Internet. Although news still is not very clear about how this would be done, I am sure that budget-wise the biggest factor for the project would be the availability of state-of-the-art facilities (equipment such as computers, airconditioned rooms, etc) and licensed software (which you all know, are very expensive), training, and a lot of other necessary purchases and preparations.

If you were to apply a system-oriented model (or the ADDIE in general) to this project, what do you think will be problematic about the situation? Can the project be justified in lieu of the state of public schools today? Do you think Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo will ever marry? Do tell.

* Note: I will be including hyperlinks, such as this word: cyberclassrooms, in many of the articles for more information on certain topics. These hyperlinks are clickable which will take you to the resource link. If you are using Mozilla Firefox, I would suggest you right-click on it and use "Open in New Tab." If you are using Internet Explorer, do the same if it is IE 7.0 or higher. If it is lower, use right-click, "Open in New Window." Cheers.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Welcome to Class

I would like to welcome you all to our online sessions. Please feel free to speak your mind!