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The Firewall in the Mind (Slide 21) Serendipitous outcomes in the workshop

So what does everyone do with all these computers? Well, that's everyone's challenge. Sure there are great demands placed on teachers who are supposed to know how to exploit and manage a computer-rich environment, and this is especially challenging in a situation where students are more flexible and capable than entrenched teachers of mastering the new technologies. But students tend to be good at mastering computers for their purposes. They can fill a hard drive with mpeg music videos and minimize windows with sites they aren't supposed to be on (though the teachers are starting to get good now at spotting minimized windows on the task bar .. everyone is learning it seems ... ) Some of the things that people learn how to do with computers are not conducive to the reasons they are in your institute, you would think, or are they?

I think they are personally. I see technology from a tool perspective. I see the language center as a workshop which we stock with tools. Imagine yourself in a workshop. Over here there are some hammers, and here a complete wrench set. Over here a vise and a lathe, some drills. Tools and more tools. This is your well stocked workshop. Do you know how to use all this equipment? Maybe not? Can you learn? Maybe, or maybe you'll learn to use a few of these items, and certainly you'll learn how to use what you need. If we're all employed in or have access to this workshop, there are some among us who will use the same tools every day to perform the same redundant but perhaps useful tasks. But there are others among us who will learn to use a variety of tools, and some few among us who will learn to be creative with some of these tools. Thus, our justification for having this workshop in the first place is two-fold: not only to allow us to work efficiently in day to day tasks, but also to enable us to push to the next level.

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Last updated: May 23, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0