Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blog Post #14

Big Brother's Always Watching

Teacher Knows if You've Done the E-Reading

This article Teacher Knows if You've Done the E-Reading in New York Times in Business Day Technology is about an instructor, Mr. Guardia, who started a study with intentions to help under performers in his class.  The underlying idea is that through web E-book's tracking of students reading the e-book and highlighting the e-book, the compiled data would help Mr. Guardia see who was actually engaging in studying.  He tracked his students and gave them a performance grade based on the time spend studying on the site and the highlights. Some students had high grades but low engagement scores and vise versa.  There is much debate over this method.

Although there are good intentions behind this idea; the execution is not productive.  More information should be gathered based on the necessity to address the under performers.   This kind of data will not help the students do any better in class.  As a teacher, I think:

HE IS NOT FOCUSING ON THE MAIN PROBLEM: The students are not doing well.  How do we fix this?  Take a look at how they are studying, not how much.  And this can be done through taking the time to sit and have a conference with the students.  Also, not all students study in the same way.  A required study program can hinder a students' ability to retain information if a student knows his or her learning style already.

Response by ailun99:

"I'm a professor and very weary of all this technology.  My best teaching happens person to person where I can see their eyes, interact with them as human beings, adjust my teaching to how they are reacting, and engage them as whole people-not just mere scores on some computer program."

Moreover, students who do not open books probably do not take the class seriously.  They are adults and the consequences of their actions lie in the future.  Therefore, the grade they receive is a product of them not putting forth the effort to make it a priority.  The students who score high with less studying--good for them! They get the concept and can move on to the next challenge.  On the other hand,  students who study their brains out, but just cannot grasp the concept usually take the time to go to the professor and let the professor know that they are struggling.  This shows that the teacher micromanaging the students required and structured study techniques is pointless.

Achievement correlates with engagement, however tracking structured engagement does not improve information retention;  both are completely different issues.  Anything can be written in the book; however if a student does not learn or apply the material, the student will still not perform as well.  Time spent and the number of pages read and highlighted will not predict success.  Comprehension quizzes and applications will show understanding; or a student who can read the chapter one time while comprehending the key concepts will always be a high achiever, and the students who struggle may have to address a fundamental problem: how do I study successfully.

My reactions as a student:

 Just because it is possible, does not mean it is right.  This is definitely unfair micromanagement and instill a lack of trust and expectations in students from teachers from the beginning.  People rise or fall to expectations.  This reminds me of The Dark Knight when Batman accesses all of the phones in the city to get a grid representation of the city.  Morgan Freeman does this, but then he resigns.  This situation illustrates that although technology opens the possibility, does not guarantee morality; even with good intentions.  People give up their liberties every day the moment they become fearful.  For instance, the Patriot Act or Protect America Act.   If we give up of our civil liberties for protection, where will we draw the line? As a student or teacher, I feel like an explanation is not even needed when I say this is just wrong.

For the Teacher: 

Question 1: Do you care about your students?
Question 2: Do you see your students?
Question 3: Why do you think this is necessary in your classroom?
Question 4: Can this hurt a students grade?
Question 5: What about students who would like to buy the textbook?
Question 6: How many emails do you get a day?
Question 7: What is your favorite part about teaching?
Question 8: With the experiment, what research question, hypothesis, and final analysis?
Question 9: Do you have any doubt or excitement about this technique? Why or why not?
Question 10: Have your students had any negative reactions? How did you respond? Was it fair?

Milgram Experiment
For the Students: 

Question 1: What was your initial response when the information was presented to you?
Question 2: If you would fail the class without, would you do it anyways?
Question 3: What is the best way for you to study?
Question 4: Does this technique help of hinder your grade?
Question5: Does this technique help of hinder your learning? (information retention)
Question 6: Why do you like or dislike this technique?
Question 7: Do you think this is productive or counter productive?
Question 8: How often do you communicate or see your teacher?

Response from Newsfreak613:  

"As a retired educator this entire process totally ignores learning style.  AND since each individual has their own learning style, to expect standardization as the best method is counterproductive to knowledge acquisition.  Some highlight, others don't, some can type notes and others need the tactile experience of pen and paper.  Still others may utilize auditory strength, by reading aloud.  

The length, depth, and type of notes or highlighting done--depends on individual needs.  There is no right or wrong.  Right is that which enables the student to learn and comprehend the material.  

It is a sad day when the way a student is graded is based on how he or she interacts with a textbook.  Teachers need to evaluate a students written work.  They need to pay attention to responds in class discussion.  They need to look at exams...which means NO multiple choice, blue book detailed answers reflect both knowledge and thinking processes.  

This is another attempt to equate education with manufacturing.  Students aren't widgets, there is no mold they can, in liquid form, be poured into.  Programs like this are huge steps in the wrong direction" 

"Praise the young and they will flourish" - Irish Proverb 


No comments:

Post a Comment