The course is not only a “digital engagement expedition” like mentioned in the syllabus, but a technological evolution exploration to me. It had given me a trip back to time where many ordinary technology and matters today were only revolutionary concepts. Each of the readings in the course taught me one interesting aspect of technology in context of education or human society. As I progress through the course, I learn more about the fascinating evolution of human race in general, and advancing of technology particularly.
The first reading in this course was “As We May Think” by Vannevar Bush. Approximately 70 years ago, Bush proposed an idea to mechanize human memory in order to leverage and utilize he huge pool of knowledge that we had accumulated throughout human history. He called it “Memex”, which now is known as “Google.” Before this reading, Google search engine existence is no more than just where I can turn to whenever I have a question. The underlying intention of this virtual database, why did idea come about, how did it come true, are a whole astonishing story.
The second reading and third reading of the course were “Man-Computer Symbiosis” by J. C. R. Licklider and “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework” by Doug Engelbart. Man-computer symbiosis is a concept where human and machine are harmoniously exist to assist and benefit one another. This is another advancing turning point of human race. Similar to how human used to use stone to make weapon, use fire to cook food, Licklider and Engelbart suggested to use computer to improve human processing efficiency and memory ability. Thanks to this idea, my life now is much more fun and easier with the help of computers. Computers nowadays are not only a tool but an extension, unalterable part of human mind.
The last two readings were Computer Lib / Dream Machines by Ted Nelson and Personal Dynamic Media by Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg. These authors focus on implementing technology in education. Disagreeing with the current constrained education environment, they argue for a new education platform that can foster creativity and allow students’ potential to freely grow. Since technology is interactive and flexible, digital based education deems to be a solution for it. These two readings are almost directly related to my IP final project in which I researched about effect of game based learning in formal education.
These two readings are actually the inspiration for my topic, which I have always passion about. Through my own experience, I really adore the idea of teaching through game play, even though I realize its novelty wears out very quickly plus the curriculum contents could be distracted, or not realized because of the entertaining part of the game. But as I research more about the topic, I find that game based learning is a plausible concept and such limitations could totally overcome with good game design.
Synthesizing all of the course readings together is a story of how students’ “best friends” such as Google, Internet, video games, computers, became contemporary society is as advance as it is. As a discipline in computer science, I found the course to be very interesting. Throughout the course, I had learnt and continuously amazed at human’s capability. Aside from that, this course is equally challenging as it is interesting. Since English is not my native language, I had a very tough time keep up and complete the assignment. The advantage as well as challenging part of this online course is that there is a flexible schedule. It requires lots of dedication in order to “voluntarily” sit down and do your work because there is nobody around to push you do your work. Even though the course organization really helped guiding me in the process of research and organize my paper, I found it would be more helpful to seek in person consultant. As a conclusion, I think my advice to be successful and survive an UNIV 200 online course is that one must be persistent, manage the time carefully, and definitely scarify some time to go ask for feedback, researching resources.
Final note to wrap up my reflection, it was indeed a tough but compelling semester. Even though I wasn’t able to keep up my groove in the second half of the semester, thank you professor Boaz for all your help and comments that get me to push for a strong finish.