Category Archives: Education

Nugget 4: Computer Lib/ Dream Machine

“Compulsory interaction, whether with a talking machine or a
stereotyped human, is itself a put-down or condescension.
(Note that on superhighways there is often a line of cars
behind the automatic toll booths, even when the manned
ones are open.) Moreover, faked interaction can be an
annoyance. (Consider the green light at the automatic toll
booth that lights up with a “thank you.”) Moreover, dialogue
by simple systems tends to have a fake quality. It is by no
means obvious that phony dialogue with a machine will
please the student.”

Feel like an American?
As someone who has not always been computer literate, this spoke to me directly. Being forced to engage with a machine that one does not understand, and being told by one’s teachers that “it’s very simple” becomes grating after a while. Nelson talks about designing media and computers for the future, and I think that is the right attitude. Bespoke technology is the ideal for which we reach, making a machine that works with as little training as possible for any person. However, it is important to remember that condescension is ingrained in our education system, as Nelson points out multiple times. I would submit that condescension has no place in the classroom of tomorrow, therefore in agreement with Nelson.

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It is time for a classroom that doesn’t pander to children or make them feel inferior because they aren’t proficient in some subjects. It is time for computers and media to find a new place in the education system! Let us foster creativity and imagination, not stifle it as we are currently.

lab6photo Students_in_a_computer_lab