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Week 1 readings

I am rather apprehensive about this class. I feel as though I have enough computer knowledge to just get by in school. I would like to know more about computers so that I can utilize them in my classes. After reading the articles this week, I felt a little better about taking this class. The first article "Computers as Mindtools" was helpful because it gave me a broad overview of many of the systems. However, this article was also rather intimidating because I wasn't familiar with all of the systems they talked about. I felt overwhelmed trying to read about systems I never used. I think that it will make more sense once I actually try out some of the programs so that I can get firsthand understanding of the programs the author was talking about. I think this article will be a good tool for me to go back to after exploring some of the programs. The microworlds seemed the most interesting to me because they are active learning environments, and I tend to learn best be being actively involved. I thought that it was interesting to read about the visualization tools. Until reading this article, I didn't ever think about taking in most things visually, but not always being able to represent that. Computers give people that chance. I agree with the author that using computers to enhance learning could be very beneficial for many students.

Learning for the 21st Century was also an interesting article. I think the idea behind the program sounds great in theory. I think it will be difficult to impliment this program throughout the country just because of the different economic status' throughout the country. It is funny that we read this article because I took a class last semester in which we were to investigate a certain educational issue. My group did a presentation about students not having the skills necessary for getting and maintaining a job in "the real world". This article would have been very helpful. I think that it is great that we want to close the gap between the skills obtained in school and those needed in the workforce. However, in reading this article, I am not very fond of adding more standardized tests to the already test crazy curriculum we already have. I understand the need for tests, but it seems as though we are teaching to many tests and students are losing a lot of valuable instruction. I think if we can adopt this program effectively we will create a stronger workforce for our future, but I think that this will be a work of progress for quite some time.