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“We know what we know because we interact with technology”

Posted by Carlos Vaz em Novembro 12, 2007

Does technology really serve as a key for “better” education?
Education does not necessarily become ‘better’ in any general sense. The role and function of education changes in the world of digital media. Schools were designed when we lived in a world of little information, and it was the job of schools to present students with such information. Today, the situation is very different. We are overwhelmed by information, and the skills we need to develop have to do with being able to decide what is relevant and not, what is trustworthy and so on. To be successful, schools must focus on the skills which people need as citizens. These are not the same as those of yesterday. Information literacy is much more complex and demanding than traditional textbook literacy.

So what impact do you think digital technology has had? How has it affected the way we learn?
Digital technology has a range of effects on how we learn, remember and organise information. For instance, digital technology makes it easy to store a multitude of information in a variety of formats. The problem is knowing what information is relevant and useful for different purposes. Thus, we must learn how to organise information and how to navigate the online resources (data bases and such) that we have available to us.
A second manner in which our learning is transformed is that we have access to a wide range of tools to support us, like calculators, word processors or design programs. In various professions we can see how these have transformed daily activities: scanners in hospitals, software for bookkeeping, interactive maps etc. This implies that we know what we know because we interact with technology.

Roger Säljö


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