Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Week 3 reflection'#edcmooc'

Film1: Toyota GT86

The suggestion is that the modern world is artificial & dully uniform but at the same time there is a strong human desire to be natural & different. The way to do this, says the advert, is to buy a Toyota GT86 and smash through the barrier of the unnatural to the natural world, even though it takes a man-made 'artificial' motor car to do this. With regard to education, some people see technology-mediated education as impersonal, even artificial, and believe we should return to more  natural face-to-face teaching & learning.

Film 2: BT heart to heart

Again there is a distinction drawn between authentic human contact & technology. And again   the answer to regaining authenticity lies in a machine, in this case a BT phone.

Film 3: World builder

As your notes say, it deals with simulation, immersion & artifice. But it is optimistic/utopian in that the man seems in control of what he is creating & this brings some degree of pleasure to both him & the girl.

Film 4: They're made out of meat

This ties in with Steve Fuller's point about defining what it means to be human. The 2 aliens cannot comprehend that something made of meat can be defined as real or, as we might say, human. Can education help us achieve  our potential (being more human) if we can't define human?

Steve Fuller's Warwick talk

1.   He mentions education as being a dying art, I think, to shock & challenge the audience. He is trying to get his listeners to consider what it means to be human.

2.   How can education enhance us/make us more human if we can't define human (see Film 4 above).

3.   Only some homo sapiens are human? The political implications of this are chilling. Both Hitler & Stalin, mass murderers, frequently referred to their victims as sub-human or animal-like & set about exterminating them as pests. Several more modern political figures brought to The Hague to face charges of attempted genocide have made similar claims.
If applied to education it would imply that not all  people are capable or worthy enough of education beyond a certain level.

4.   It's rather a sweeping claim that we are questioning the existence of 'human'. I'm certainly not. The humanist project to achieve racial, gender & class equality has made considerable progress in most western societies & some progress is discernible elsewhere, but I believe it is equality of opportunity that is both more desirable & more achievable.

5.   Certainly I think we can see MOOCs as appearing to offer democratization, equality of access etc. One problem is the question of standards & assessment. Another question, as raised in week 2, is whether there is a conflict between so-called impersonal MOOCs & the more personal, traditional, classroom-based model we are all familiar with.

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