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Education Technology

Some Mexican Classrooms Adopt Hi-Tech Teaching 150

Posted by Zonk
from the creepy-but-cool dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It what is believed to be the most ambitious project of its kind in the world. In a program called Enciclomedia, giant electronic screens have been attached to the walls of about 165,000 Mexican classrooms. Some five million 10 & 11 year-olds now receive all their education through these screens. 'From maths to music, from geography to geometry, black and white boards have given way to electronic screens. During a biology lesson we watch as pupil after pupil comes to the screen to piece together the human body... electronically. One boy taps his finger on the screen and brings up the human heart. He then slides his finger across the screen, taking the heart with him and places it where he thinks it belongs on the body located on the other side of the screen.'"
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Some Mexican Classrooms Adopt Hi-Tech Teaching

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  • old news (Score:2, Informative)

    by omar_armas (633987) on Friday March 30, 2007 @02:58PM (#18547367) Homepage
    I live in Mexico City, Enciclomedia has been used since 2 or 3 years ago.
    Omar
  • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Friday March 30, 2007 @03:29PM (#18547867) Homepage
    From this essay I wrote:
        http://patapata.sourceforge.net/WhyEducationalTech nologyHasFailedSchools.html [sourceforge.net]

    With all that technological success in other areas, why are schools still
    considered a problem area, see:
        "To fix US schools, [bipartisan] panel says, start over"
        http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1215/p01s01-ussc.htm l [csmonitor.com]
    Or in other words, why has technology failed in compulsory schools?
    Clearly something is wrong here -- technology is helping make these other
    places more productive and more flexible -- but in schools, there is not
    much change, despite a huge expenditure in technology and training.

    Ultimately, educational technology's greatest value is in supporting
    "learning on demand" based on interest or need which is at the opposite
    end of the spectrum compared to "learning just in case"
    based on someone else's demand.
    Compulsory schools don't usually traffic in "learning on demand",
    for the most part leaving that kind of activity to libraries or museums or
    the home or business or the "real world". In order for compulsory schools
    to make use of the best of educational technology and what is has to
    offer, schools themselves must change. ...

    And it also turns out, based on psychological studies, that for creative
    work (as opposed to ditch digging), reward is often not a motivator, and
    creativity and intrinsic interest diminish if a task is done for gain:
        http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/motivation.html [gnu.org]
    This finding calls into question the entire notion of a scarcity-based
    ideology oriented around exchanging ration-units for creative goods, as
    opposed to a "gift economy", such as drives GNU/Linux.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gift_economy [wikipedia.org]
    So, if most of what people do is not related to growing food or making
    things, then a system based around material rewards doesn't make much
    sense. And it turns out, a lot of difficult work is quite interesting, if
    you are not forced to do it -- where the work (and success at a
    challenging task) is its own reward.

    But then is compulsory schooling really needed when people live in such a
    way? In a gift economy, driven by the power of imagination, backed by
    automation like matter replicators and flexible robotics to do the
    drudgery, isn't there plenty of time and opportunity to learn everything
    you need to know? Do people still need to be forced to learn how to sit in
      one place for hours at a time? When people actually want to learn
    something like reading or basic arithmetic, it only takes around 50
    contact hours or less to give them the basics, and then they can bootstrap
    themselves as far as they want to go. Why are the other 10000 hours or so
    of a child's time needed in "school"? Especially when even poorest kids in
    India are self-motivated to learn a lot just from a computer kiosk -- or a
    "hole in the wall":
        http://www.greenstar.org/butterflies/Hole-in-the-W all.htm [greenstar.org]
  • Re:Good for mexico (Score:5, Informative)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Friday March 30, 2007 @03:32PM (#18547917) Homepage
    You don't know what you're talking about.

    From the CIA World Factbook [cia.gov]:

    Literacy Rates for Mexico:
    Total Population: 92.2%
    Male: 94%
    Female: 90.5% (2003 est.)

  • Re:Teachers (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jsov (1082149) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @12:45AM (#18553113)
    I am afraid you are confused as to what constructivism is. Constructivism is a learning theory. It is NOT a teaching theory or anything that has to do with teaching methods or how bad or good a teacher is. When you are learning something you are "constructing" new knowledge. You make connections with things that you already know (prior knowledge). That can happen in a discussion or in a lecture, it doesn't matter because constructivism is about learning and not teaching.

What ever you want is going to cost a little more than it is worth. -- The Second Law Of Thermodynamics

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