RE: Learning How to Do and Learning How to Learn (Was: New Hires)

Subject: RE: Learning How to Do and Learning How to Learn (Was: New Hires)
From: "McDonald-, Nancy A (Nancy)** CTR **" <namcdonald -at- Lucent -dot- com>
To: "'George F. Hayhoe'" <george -at- ghayhoe -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2000 13:30:34 -0500

George, you've put the matter quite succinctly. I wholeheartedly agree.
Case in point:

Many moons ago, (maybe 1988 or so) when I was upgrading my teaching
certificate in California, I was required to take a 'computer science for
teachers' course. In that course, I was required to learn (in an ancient
Mac--no Apple IIe, I think) Basic programming language, moreover, I had to
create a program that would be used in my teaching environment. Frankly, at
the time, I thought that course was going to extremes. After all, why
couldn't I just buy a program to fit my needs? However, when I had gained
some time and perspective, that programming course became quite valuable, in
that I've had my own first-hand experience in the world of programming,
albeit just a taste. I had first-hand experience in the conceptual
underpinnings of the technical world, and from that whole new and other
worlds evolved from that.

That course also included surveying quite a few learning-aid software
applications, (one, I think, was Oregon Trail) and evaluated them in light
of the teacher's perspective.

I think the combination of delving into the programming world, i.e.,
learning how the tools are built, actually attempting to build the tools, as
well as evaluating a span of tools added a great deal to my own concept of
the technical world and the potentials of the worlds around it as a result.

So mixing the use of the tools, the concepts behind the building, and
evaluating (such as it was) those tools was quite appropriate for a
university course. We are in a paradigm shift, folks, and the conceptual
must be mixed with the technical. We must learn our tools.... as they are
changing our worlds.

Nancy McDonald
Lucent Technologies/Bell Lab Innovations
Columbus, OH US

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