Friday, January 22, 2016

[Maths_Education] The Need to Harness and Transcend Technology

Problem / Question

Help me please!  My teacher needs it tomorrow!
How many millilitres are there in 3.4 litres?

Answer
     LOL!  Well, if she really needs it, ask her to type the question into Google!

Remarks
     Actually, this is not a joke.  Many easy questions in school mathematics are now answerable by Google.  In fact, Wolfram Alpha is able to answer mathematically more difficult but routine questions.  Wikipedia and YouTube are also useful for learning mathematics.  There are many other good resources available on the Internet and public libraries.  The sad thing is,
1)
It seems that our current generation of kids views homework as a chore to be done for the teacher, not as an experience to be used for their own learning.  OK, maybe the homework task should have been designed better, to ask non-Googleable questions, but educators need to be aware of that is happening to our kids.
2)
Our kids do not know how to choose and use the abundantly available technology and resources
3)
Neither are they taught how to do this in school (do the teachers know it themselves?)
4)
This type of question merely targets the lower levels of Blooms Taxonomy
5)
Even for these easy questions, children are unable or unwilling to make the effort to find their own answers, and how are they to engage in Higher Order Thinking, creative thinking, reasoning etc.?  
     As technology evolves and improves and replaces many jobs, and as our children de-evolve and slacken, when this generation grows up they will not only face an even more challenging environment for their careers than today, they may not have the right values, attitudes and dispositions for living life.
     The purpose of learning mathematics in school should be to learn how to think and to serve others.  Human students must be educated to use technology and go beyond technology, to seek answers and to help other people instead of merely relying from other people for “help”.  This is one of the reasons why an identity (“learning to be a type of person”) approach to learning mathematics is important.

1 comment:

  1. I fully agree with you. Thats why i refuse to answer some questions posted on that Sec and JC Maths F B group.

    ReplyDelete