Ted Nelson At Midterm

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Nugget from the Reading: The computer is as inhuman as we make it. The computer is no more “cold” and “inhuman” than a toaster, bathtub or automobile (all associated with warm human activities). Living teachers can be as inhuman as members of any people-prodding profession, sometimes more so. Computerists speak of “freeing teachers for the creative part of their work;” in many cases it is not clear what creative tasks they could be freed for

Nelson hit the nail on the head with this one. This is relative especially to all of the supposed ADD/ADHD people in the world. Everyone has that condition and it is attributed to the mundane, uninteresting, mediocre everythings involved with human life. I am a great worker. If you give me a project to do with my hands I can work it out with the upmost efficiency, but if you tell me to sit down and stare at a book or screen I won’t be efficient. Not only will I not be inefficient but I may even offend someone unintentionally by perceiving something a person is passionate about as boring or unimportant to my life. Not because that thing is boring, but because of the way it was presented to me.

Nelson sees learning as student driven, and while I do not agree entirely with that I will say that student driven is better than being under the leadership of a person who is dispassionate towards the subject they are supposed to be teaching. It is difficult to learn from someone who bores themselves, and that is what teachers do when they attempt to teach what they are uninterested in. It is unfortunate that when a student attempts to be creative, if they are not the teachers pet they have a higher chance of being shunned.

Students do need structure, we do need someone with more experience to show us the way but we do not need to learn anything from a person who has no control over their own lesson plan. A teacher who teaches something someone else wants them to teach in the way that the other person wants to teach it is doing a disservice to themselves and their students. This is why I had such a hard time in certain settings under certain teachers. I have had teacher tell me verbally in front of the entire class that: They didn’t care about me, individually, and they also didn’t care if I learned anything or not, and also they didn’t care if any of us (the students) passed or failed and that they would get paid either way.

This is not a good example to set for students who are soaking in everything they see, especially young students who are still going through puberty and their hormones are all over the place. All students are sponges, but especially kids and teenagers. They mimic, copy, make fun of, and emulate any and everyone at any given time. People learn more from action than from words because words show intelligence but action shows commitment. A person who is committed to the mediocre and mundane should never be in a position to teach, but unfortunately most of our leaders practice this lifestyle.

I agree mostly with Nelson, we need interactivity with interconnectivity. Learning should be interesting and enjoyable more so than not. Building a program or any technology that students can use online is a great idea to me and the few times it has happened, for me, the work was more enjoyable. I was privy to the fact that I was learning, and I was also privy to not being forced to listen to a voice that sounded like an episode of Charlie Brown. This made being educated more acceptable and intentional. I wanted to learn because it was different, and interesting.



One thought on “Ted Nelson At Midterm”

  1. Thanks for your honesty in this post. I think it’s an important line for teachers — to provide enough structure for learning, and enough openness to allow for student curiosity and creativity.

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