So, in my sessions these days, I often refer to a Prensky article that asks whether we are doing old things in old ways, old things in new ways, or new things in new ways (using technology). I just read this NYT article that presents an interesting picture by doing new things in new ways. Yes, I suppose that the researchers could have manually counted the frequency of word usage in 5.2 million books published between 1500 and 2008. However, they would still be working on it.
Instead, using Google’s online database of these same books, the researchers (and David Brooks in the NYT), used their critical thinking skills to tell a story about the last half-century based on word frequency in books. It’s very interesting, and, of course, provides opportunity for further analysis, with an examination of bias needed.
Either way, the information and data that our students have access to is mind-boggling. What WILL they do with it????
Prensky Article: http://www.edutopia.org/adopt-and-adapt-shaping-tech-for-classroom (Geez, this is from 2005, and we’re still talking about it.)