The fun they had – Isaac Asimov

12448302asim_20010626_20131.jpgTime flies, TELIC 2 – session 1 arrives. Time to reflect!

We had to read an interesting paper from Isaac Asimov: The fun they had (1951). Asimov wrote more than 500 books during his lifetime and is widely considered one of the big three science fiction writers.
In “the fun they had” Asimov creates a futuristic view on schools in the future. The fact people don’t know books and human teachers anymore is fun to read. The fact people are robotic (and not computers) isn’t that strange. He was hard to predict the upcoming computer at that time. The fact he included the fact they could slow down the learning process (from 11 to 10 y/o) is extremely interesting. Is this possible nowadays, for example in Moodle?

The paper brought us to an interesting question: are there any existent full-robotic learning systems? Google is an algorithm which guides us to human-written websites. So I don’t count that option. I think the closest thing would be AI. For example Artificial Learning in games. James Gee states that games enables learning too (gamification). I like learning by tutorials, on computer, tablet, by social media, websites, blogs, etc, but the amount of information is overwhelming. There should be an AI tool which selects the best sources for me (cfr the app Zite). I think at this moment this doesn’t exist. Innovative people have to be optimistic and expect this feature any time. Nevertheless, Claire¬†brought up an interesting question: “is Twitter a learning environment”. Guy proposed it might just be a communication channel which just enables incidental learning. I think this is true, it gave me great insights. I don’t think Twitter is a learning environment, but … besides incidental¬†learning Twitter enables collaboration. It’s possible to ask questions. By making smart use of specific hashtags it can even be possible for a teacher to offer specific and controlled information.

Interim conclusion: I don’t think Twitter is a learning environment, but I think it is more than a channel what brings incidental learning.

Of course I can’t jump to conclusions without doing some research. In a next article I’ll find some definitions about learning environments and its benefits…. and my new opinion.



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