Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Project 3

Student taking test

In David Wees's blog he discusses the issue of ebooks. One issue that he brings up is the fact that a lot of students do not have access to the technology needed in order to use an ebook. Some schools are making these adjustments to give students the technology needed. Sometimes this involves laying off teachers so that the school system can afford things like computers. Another problem that is brought up is the pricing of the ebooks. Wees says that the publishers of these ebooks price them the same as the hard copies and even expect the school to buy multiple copies if they plan to have multiple students using them. The ebooks also sometimes have an expiration date, where if a hard copy were purchased the school would then own the book. 
I agree with most of the points that Wees has made on the subject of the ebook. They would be more environmentally friendly but there is the issue that still stands of affordability. I also brought up the point that I would be more likely to read a book if I had a hard copy of that book. This I believe is because I grew up in a educational system where we used hard copy books, this being because there weren't ebooks then. I do believe that this could be a cost effective solution if the publishers would give a little on the pricing and the money saved could be used on new technology for students. In conclusion, ebooks have the potential to be a great tool, but until they are cost effective then this is not an option for most school systems. 
Another topic brought up by David Wees is "Assess what students can do". He himself is a programmer and has made a good bit of money in doing this, but he says that he would not pass an exam on programming. Wees says that he would not be able to regurgitate the information needed to pass an exam without referring to different source material. He brings up that people in the professional world are not required to do their jobs on only information that they have memorized, they are allowed to use different sources to complete any given task. So why are students required to memorize information for their exams?
Is memorization really learning? I don't believe so. Students should be able to use different source material on their exams like, notes, study guide or a note card. A physics teacher also commented on this particular blog posting and she puts the equations needed to complete the exam on the exam for the students to use. This would allow students to really learn the information that they need to know rather than spending all of their study time trying to memorize equations. There isn't an occupation that comes to mind that requires a person to completely memorize the information needed in order to complete any task that is required of them, so why is this required of us as students?

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