Week 8: Connecting it.

I loved this article by Dede. I’ve never thought of Web 2.0 tools are negotiating and ratifying knowledge but I have come to terms with that definition. One of the “truths” that I’ve always tried to teach students, especially when I taught WWII, was that books lie. They don’t mean to lie, but they do. Everyone has a bias, and it comes out whether you want it to or not.  We use to read text from the Germans, English, French and Russians when we studied the Second World War. It gave the students some perspective.  Web 2.0, as the article states, can add human experiences to knowledge – such as opinions, values and spiritual beliefs. We can question knowledge and change it as it perceived.

The video on Connectivism relates perfectly to Dede’s thoughts. Students, through connectivism, are given large amounts of information – or they seek to find it.  They must then have the academic skills to sift through that information to decide what is “truth.” Because students are engaged in active learning, the hope is that they peer review, create their own knowledge and always challenge what they read and hear! People are gaining the ability to work together to make decisions rather than being told what is knowledge and what is false. Like the Sieman’s article discussed, we gain knowledge through experiences. Wouldn’t it be great in the 21st century world to teach kids how to learn through experiencing text that is simply an opinion versus that with support and factual information?  This is what will truly create our lifelong learners!

2 thoughts on “Week 8: Connecting it.

  1. jaf378

    Agreed! While there are some areas of knowledge that have more “absolute” truths, such as the hard sciences, most information is open to interpretation (and bias!). The other side of web 2.0 is that since everyone can have a voice, everyone can shout their opinions regardless of how crazy they are! Regardless, it’s important to equip students with the information about how to interpret knowledge based on it’s creation through opinions and bias. After all, there are two sides to every story.

  2. Melissa Glenn

    I love that you encouraged your students to question what they were reading relating to WWII. I am in the process of designing a course for students to practice reading and criticizing scientific journal articles. I also try to incorporate analyzing popular press science articles in some of my introductory courses. It is scary what some people believe simply because it appears in print! Even in humanities fields, it is helpful to have students debate and discuss opposing points of view on the same topic. I am not a historian, but I encourage debate in my household on holidays such as Columbus day. My children learn in school that Columbus was the first to discover America and how wonderful he was that he should be celebrated, but there are opposing historical views!

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