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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What a Class!

So far, my experience in this Digital Civilization class has been challenging, but very beneficial. There are many things about history that I have never really studied or thought about until I got to this class. I had never heard of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Painter"; or John Milton's "Areopagitica". I had never heard of Thomas Hobbes or his Book "Leviathan". To be honest, history and me have never really gotten along well. However, I think that the topics we are covering in this class are really interesting, and they are able to keep my attention. I love learning about the ideas of those from history, rather than just the dates and facts themselves. I think it is a wonderful way to focus and delve deeply into a very important aspect of the past.

On top of that, I love tying the computing aspects of today into our learning of the past. I think this is truly what history should be about: looking to the past, comparing it with the present, and looking at how the future might be by comparing them. For example, looking at how the Catholic Church regulated the information that people were able to access, and how Martin Luther and others wanted to liberate information to all people was really easy to compare to the Open Software Movement in our day. This class has really opened my eyes to how Computers in our day can be compared to many of the revolutionary thoughts, ideas, and inventions of the past.

As far as the digital literacy goes, I LOVE this aspect. I was really skeptical about it at first. In fact, I was pretty opposed to it. However, it is opening my mind to better ways of connecting with people in order to learn. Recently I've been thinking about how effective this sort of learning and collaborating will be when I'm a math teacher. To be able to connect with other math teachers from all over the world and share ideas will be a HUGE advantage to me in the future. It is also wonderfully helpful in this class. I'm really enjoying Diigo, because it allows me to keep track of the websites I have highlighted, liked, and even commented on. Writing in a blog is also a convenient way to share the information I'm learning, and a wonderful way in which we are able to connect with the other people in our class, and others from all over the world. Blogsearching has become a wonderful tool that I am really beginning to enjoy. It takes me to new ideas and places that I never would have gone to through a search engine like Google. It even sparks new ideas in me that I then want to share on my own blog. For instance, when we were talking about the Printing Press, Ariel made a comment on my post Printing Press=Internet Press?, which then sparked me to write another blog post about books becoming obsolete. (See Books and Printing Becoming Obsolete?) I love the "research-post-comment-gain new ideas-post again" model that is happening in this class. I think it is a wonderful way of collaborating and discussing the things in class. Other tools like Google Documents are also making it wonderfully easy to share the information we gather with the class and with the world in general.

I think this class is fantastic, and the ideas we learn here will be beneficial to all of us for the rest of our lives.

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