As a life long learner and educator, I am wondering what information we should attempt to teach our students and why.  With the availability of all the information that can be accessed via the Internet, it seems less imperative that we fill our students with dates, facts, figures and the type of information that was often how many of us perceived our roles. Of course we wanted our students to embrace learning for learning sake, become competent in the process by which we learn, and make connections between the content of one subject and another, as well as relate it to the real world. Yet, do our standardized tests really measure our students' abilities to make something of the information we taught them or the process we hope they have learned?  Even if we teach our students, based on their individual learning styles and/or the type of multiple intelligence they prefer, are they evaluated on their ability to express their comprehension in the manner that reflects their learning style or their ability to take a multiple choice test based on their ability to read a passage and figure out the most likely answer from 4 or 5 possible choices?  Any thoughts on this?

Tags: Brain, MI, learning, styles, testing, theory

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Dear Gary,


I have to say that I disagree with a basic premise, that information, not learned, can be accessed via the internet. If a person has not studied and learned a large volume of knowledge, then that person will have no clue about what to look for, Or should I say that they'll have no basis of facts as a starting point. Knowledge is comparative, we compare what we know to new information that is being presented.

Just a small real world observation about depending on another source for information. Here's a little test.
Make a purchase at any food establishment for $3.67....Hand over a 10 dollar bill and as the clerk is entering in your payment, offer the clerk 17 more cents to round out the change. You will have a totally clueless individual staring dumfoundly at the money and the cash register. That clerk is over his head, because he cannot add and subtract in his head.
You make an excellent point, John. So there is some knowledge/information necessary as a foundation upon which we build. I'm trying to discern what information is fundamental and what is not.
Dear Gary,
It is a pleasure to speak with you.
Unfortunately, the second half of my diatribe was lost in hyoerspace. Se La Vie'.

I am not an educator, nor do I have a high level accredited degree in Education. None the less, I have had a conventional education in both a Catholic Elementary and High School Education dating back to the Black and White age of Television. Elementary school was based on memorization and drilling. Pretty staright forward, I learned how to read by studying Phonics, I memorized the multiplicational tables and still remember the tough ones, "8x7" and "7x6"...The sevens were tough, they did not have a discerinable pattern. We learned long division, spelling and grammar, some American History and a lot of Religion.
All Good, I was preped for the BIG TIME....High School.
Once again, memorization, drilling, formulas, theorums, book reports (without Cliff Notes, they always knew when you used Cliff Notes) Overall, in every subject, you had to know the subject to get a good grade.
Cheating was very creative and individualized. Its amazing to see how much info can be inscribed on a gum wrapper or inside of a ball point pen.
Then College....DRUGS, SEX and Rock and ROLL,,,,Almost lost it all there. Way too much fun!
Finally, the AGE of enlightenment, somewhere around the age of 20, the light went on. It was timne to crack down and make a difference in my life.
(It is morning and I am ranting, I am sorry)
Gary! You know the basics that are necessary....you learned them in your early years.

Computers, Internet, Web 2.0, and multimedia are all tools and toys.
The teams of technichians that created all these "weapons and crutches" studied, mathematics, calculus, electrical engineering, design and analytical theory. They didn't sit around and play video games. They memorized and drilled, they developed a thourough understanding of the principles of each science and then....They were able to create.
JJC

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