Really interesting article Larry Sanger, Individual Knowledge in the Internet Age (2010), especially regarding the three common strands of current thought about education and the Internet:
- The instant availability of information online makes the memorization of facts unnecessary or less necessary.
- The virtues of collaborative learning as superior to outmoded individual learning.
- Lengthy, complex books, which constitute a single, static, one-way conversation with an individual, are inferior to knowledge co-constructed by members of a group.
Larry deepens around the strand of Unnecessary Memorization. Inevitably, if I say that I know something is because I remember. The bad reputation of memorization is associated with the mindless and not reflected repetition.
This article discusses other arguments worth mentioning:
- if you read an answer to a question, you usually need fairly substantial background knowledge to interpret the answer.
- you need knowledge in order to know what questions to ask.
- a good education is not merely to amass a lot of facts.
- If you do not have copious essential facts at the ready, then you will not be able to make wise judgments that depend on your understanding of those facts
- we should “learn how to learn”
- the ability to learn new things is more important than ever “in a world where you have to process new information at lightning speed.”
- “Children are going to have to reinvent their knowledge base multiple times.
I stopped a little longer in the article: George Siemens, Networks, Ecologies, and Curatorial Teaching (2007). Interesting reflexions on what he calls learning ecology around which I have built the attached presentation.