Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn
Oakland, CA

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Technology and Culture
By Barbara Bray    May 25, 2007 -- 08:53 PM

So this is the theme for my next article. Decided to brainstorm here and figured that I might get some ideas from you.

The world is smaller now than it ever has been. And flat... You can produce your own books, publish your writings, and connect with a student in India as your tutor. mmmm... culture? What does that mean now?

So more people speak English but now more people in China speak in their first language on the Internet. How do we connect with each other? Do all of our communications go through a translation program first?

With the discussion of digital immigrants vs digital natives, I started to figure where I fit in. I started thinking that I have been using computers for over 20 years and maybe longer. I'm not really a digital immigrant and definitely not a digital native so what does that make me? a digital alien?

I know - I'm all over the place but am not sure the direction I want to go with this topic: technology and culture. Culture has changed a lot since I started using computers. I remember in the 80's we were teaching how to use the technology. Many people are still focusing on the tools even 20 years later. What digital immigrants and aliens are finding is that with the ease of the Internet with all the great tools available, everything is right there at your fingertips when you need it.

Tag - you're it! Now you're connected to others with similar tags. What else? My avatar in Second Life is pretty cute - My first walk through SL was pretty dangerous. I was harassed by a few male avatars. I didn't know how to move around this new environment and couldn't get away. I think I'm going to ask a digital native to give me a tour.

Does a 3D or MUVE environment help students understand the curriculum more effectively? I see now there are virtual museums and universities but not the way I was hoping. I used to work with Oakland Unified with a technology challenge grant where we had a virtual museum showcasing student work. Blogs are great for interactive discussions. What if students had a place to upload their work themselves and be online docents through their own museums?

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By Andrew Reid      August 4, 2007 -- 01:34 AM
Interesting thought about cross language communication. Although the internet and technology has brought the world closer together, it doesn't necessarily mean that we 'have' to communicate with everyone. Useful - yes, necessary - no. Thankfully the world is large enough and diverse enough for us to thrive by communicating with those we can already do so with.

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