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Response to Gardner Campbell’s article and presentation

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I am often frustrated sitting at my desk at 11:45pm trying to post by midnight on a class discussion board about the week’s readings.  Sometimes  I even curse technology (internet, blogs, and forums) for creating an extra layer of work for me to do.  The classroom is no longer a temporal physical space.  And I’ll admit,  many nights in the few minutes before midnight, I’ve been with the students who just want to know what the professor wants and do the assignment.  But as Gardner Campbell explains, that mode of education is not adequate.  To have students building their own web spaces not only gives students the freedom to explore ways of learning, but it demands it of them.  By only requiring students to work within the bounds of the school discussion forum or blog (as wonderful as they may be) creates stagnation for many students.    We live in a society of options and as Barry Schwartz explains, too many options create depression and paralysis.  It could be said that being able to work and function without strict structural limitations is a requirement for happiness.  Many students haven’t worked or thought about doing work without large structural barriers.  Knowing only how to work within boundaries, limits their future capabilities and opportunities.  Despite the necessities of being confident in the advancing technologies and world of computers in order to function in the post-graduate world, I think being comfortable and having the confidence to work without boundaries and structural limits is one of the most crucial things to learn in school – and creating a personal digital space can help do just that.

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