Unit 5 – Polite Computers

by Irate Wizard

Disclaimer to the Polite Computer: These packets were sent to the MAC address of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient, please be polite enough to not open the packet.

Disclaimer to the System Administrator: You may be as impolite as you like. Packet-sniff away.

Continuing the theme of etiquette, I must apologize in advance to the world of computer technology for the following post. As far as my learning style goes, I prefer to learn as far away from screens and technology (beyond paper and pen).  So that’s any screen. No matter what’s on it.

So I print everything out (visual) and keep away from the computer for as long as possible. (Terrible for a digital information course, I know.) And, this might be even more unbelievable, but reading on paper keeps me more active and engaged. I like to make lots of notes in the margins and attach post-its with more notes. I like to flip through my post-its after I’ve done my initial reading and go back to things I’ve highlighted or left for later. It’s interactive (a word we’ve set aside for computers, though I don’t see why).

Reading on the computer is dull, boring. I’ve got nothing to do with my hands (kinesthetic). The light from the screen hurts my eyes. Clicking on links and watching videos is distracting. I find it harder to stay focused. As a result, my style has resulted in several reams of paper that have died for this course. But I consolidate the readings on as few pages as possible and plan on recycling everything once mastery of the information is achieved.

I’m sure this is not what Felder and Soloman had in mind when they wrote about active learning, but I think it’s a complimentary parallel. I like to work in groups, but find this difficult due to the structure of the course. This is why I may push for a study group earlier than Sunday, when we’ve all pretty much mastered the information on our own. The class has written a lot about visual learning on the discussion boards and it was interesting to read a professional definition, after which I concluded that I may not be one after all (which supports my flip-floppiness on the GUI vs CLI discussions). I found Kolb’s model to be too boring even to read, so I can’t imagine I’d fit into that model. I like the model proposed by Gregor. I’ve often alluded to these concepts in my former life in education publishing. It’s interesting to consider perception in learning, as oftentimes a subject that starts off as concrete can become abstract (like mathematics and the sciences).

All in all, I must be like most: a combination of lots of styles (depending on the material, weather, and what song comes on the radio).