Week 06 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Project Development

Primary Sources –

In order to find out about the history of tech in education I need to find out the roots of how technology environments came in to being this picture sheds some light upon PLATO. The first primary source in my opinion will be this article and picture of PLATO from the 1960s. This article talks about PLATO, I feel this is important in exhibiting the roots of online and technology aided education at the University. Since PLATO was a monumental discovery for the whole world, it is a bigger sense of pride for the University.

Source: https://www.vice.com/en/article/pa3vvg/the-greatest-computer-network-youve-never-heard-of

This picture talks about how several courses at the University are dependent on Technology for instructional purposes. The article introduces RELATE, a study platform that was created by a Professor at the University to help classes take place more seamlessly. This picture helps answer the question in terms of the need for technology platforms and the article further elaborates on how platforms like RELATE are changing the way studies take place at the University.

Source: https://dailyillini.com/news/2018/04/05/engineering-professor-develops-free-online-course-platform/

Secondary Sources –

In order to answer my question of how technology is aiding education, we need to show how the technology environments have evolved over time. This article from 2013 talks about the introduction of Compass2g at the University. It also sheds some light upon the new features that the platform possesses. This article will be useful in showing the evolution of such digital platforms.

Source: https://dailyillini.com/uncategorized/2013/08/30/moodle-compass-manage-class-readings-quizzes-homework-assignments/

In order to answer the question about the impact and different methods of technology that are used in education we can use this research study by Prof. Wong. This study examines the factors of technology that impact the learner, educators and administration. How these platforms are aiding or affecting education and what kind of a growth we are seeing in online education.

Source: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/108160/WONG-DISSERTATION-2020.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=n

Once we are done scraping through the above resources, I believe reading more into studies and articles where students and educators talk about how their lives have changed with the advent of such technology would be an interesting source to help answer the questions. I also believe we should research more into the impact of online environments like these in time of the COVID pandemic because online education in Today’s era is more important than it ever was. I believe this would be a very crucial part in our study too. I would also like to look into the impact of devices like the I-Clicker in education and how it has helped in attendance and class attention grabbing statistics.

Drafting Interview and Survey Questions

a. Have you ever used any online learning environments/platforms? If so then which ones and in what capacity? (eg. Student, Educator, Administrator, etc.)

b. How do you think your educational experience would change if you were to shift your studies to completely offline without access to such platforms?

c. What are some offline study experiences that you think cannot be replicated in online study platforms?

d. Are you currently a student, if not what year were you one, and what kind of technology did you use at that time to aid in studies at the University?

e. Do you think your attention is better grasped if the class uses interaction technology such as the i-Clicker, etc , why? or do you prefer some other kind of classroom experience.

Reading Response

Three strategies that Foster and the team at BCL used to develop cybernetic practices were –

a. Heuristics – In the spring of 1968, a group of students from a variety of majors approached von Foerster and Brün with a proposal for a course on heuristics—a broadly focused, interdisciplinary survey of how problems are identified and solved, whether by artificial or living systems, by individuals or groups. This helped students be more involved in research in the classroom. (Hutchinson)

b.  Publication of Das GedächtnisThe same year that von Foerster published Das Gedächtnis, MIT mathematician and Macy Conference participant Norbert Wiener published Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, on the science of communication and control. This gave cybernetics the exposure in the education community that it needed. (Anderson)

c. Proposal to National Science Foundation – Von Foerster made a final, ambitious attempt to keep BCL alive by submitting a proposal to the National Science Foundation entitled, “Cognitive Technology: A Citizen–Society Problem Solving Interface.” The proposal drew on campuswide expertise in cognitive theory, educational psychology, linguistics, computer networks, programming, and multimedia. (Hutchinson) This proposal tried to raise enough grants for the BCL to keep it up and running.

Questions –

a. What makes you say Cybernetics is the most important tool to cure the problems of a troubled today?

b. Do you still think Cybernetics is as impactful in the present as it previously was, is there anything you feel needs evolving?

c. Do you think Heuristics is a necessary field that all students should learn? What are your thoughts on learning research in the current world with the advent of advance searching tools of the present?

d. What kind of other research took place at the BCL? Do you think there is still a void that needs to be filled by reviving BCL? What and Why?

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