Friday, 2 September 2011

Message from PGDE Text

despite the readily available information for pupils via the internet, shouldn't we be concerned about reduced memory and certain brain functions not being used to the fullest capacity because of how easy it is to simply look something up?@


  1. Beware of reading The Daily Mail!

    If we're smart, we'll realise that a) ready access to information simply requires us to think differently about how we teach (I recommend you read "Why Do I Need A Teacher When I've Got Google")' and b) this is an accident that has been repeated several times through History... Think of the impact of books/printing, the calculator, and countless other technological advances that have made life easier for us!

    Remember, just because we have easier access to information it doesn't mean we are any less intelligent. It just means we need to ask smarter questions! :-)

  2. More serious response:

    {...But first, a disclaimer. I am not denying that there is a place for memorisation. I would agree that it still has a place but it is a means to an end rather than the end in itself.}

    Knowing where to find stuff and what to do with it once you've found it is a much more important skill than simple memorisation. Not only more important but more difficult too. I'd argue we have to use our brains more effectively not less.

    When we lived in an information poor environment, memorising made sense. We now live in an information rich environment and we couldn't possibly memorise everything we need to know even if we wanted to. I read a report a few years ago and I can't remember the exact details (thereby proving your point!) but although I've made up the numbers, the basic point is correct (thereby illustrating my assertion). Ten or so years ago, they asked business leaders how much of the information they needed to conduct their daily business was kept in their head and how much was stored elsewhere and accessed when necessary. The response was something like (made up number alert!) 80% in their head and 20% stored elsewhere. When they asked again ten years later, the figures had basically swapped and they only kept 20% in their head and looked the rest up as and when they needed it.

    Know-where and know-what is more important than know-all.