Teaching and Learning in the Information Age

A free course during the 2020 Coronavirus global pandemic

  • The course will be conducted in English.
  • Graduates will be awarded a “Confirmation of Studies”, Approved by the Israeli Ministry of Education.
  • This is not a MOOC. As so, the number of participants is limited.
  • The course is asynchronous and will have an accompanying Moodle™ website.

“How do changes in the information landscape, and the use of computers in particular, influence education? Are these changes for the better?” These questions and more will be discussed in this course. We will examine the goals of education in a society with easy access to vast information resources. We will evaluate how the availability of tools that help us think and remember influences how we learn and how we should teach. We will examine how information technologies have influenced business and leisure, and attempt to determine whether this influence should also be felt in education.

Note: A large part of this course focuses on general cultural changes and not specifically on education.

Through this course we will:

  • Attempt to understand what it means to teach when the teacher has ceased tobe the definitive source of knowledge
  • Examine the changing face of “literacy” in the information society
  • Become acquainted with the varieties of “text” available to us today
  • Understand the conflicting claims about how “Google is making us stupid”
  • Examine how tools that further the social nature of knowledge influence learning
1. “Knowing” today
  • What is important to “know” today?
  • Content knowledge vs. procedural knowledge
  • Do we want “answers” rather than “understanding”?
    • Bereiter, C., (2002): Education and Mind in the Knowledge Age. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. (Chapter 1)
    • Sealy-Brown, J., Duguid, P. (2000): The Social Life of Information. (Chapter 1)
2. What does it mean to be literate today?
  • Beyond reading
  • The advantages and drawbacks of “visual literacy”
  • Computational literacy
  • Who needs all these literacies?
    • Eshet, Y. (2004): Digital literacy: A conceptual framework for survival skills in the digital era. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 13 (1),93-106
    • Mioduser, D., Nachmias, R., Forkosh-Baruch, A. (2009): New Literacies for the Knowledge Society. International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education
3. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
  • Do we read differently today than before the internet?
  • Do Have we become addicted to “fast information” (as in “fast food”)?
  • Do we want “answers” rather than “understanding”?
    • Carr, N. (2008): Is Google Making Us Stupid? (Atlantic Magazine)
    • Lanier, J. (2006): Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism (Edge Magazine)
4. Tools for learning and teaching
  • Information via the Internet – Search Engines vs. Catalogues – and what we learn from them
  • The influence of Web 2.0 on learning
  • Is that a fact? – The place of “facts” in learning today.
    • O’Reilly, T. (2005): What is Web 2.0?
    • Weinberger, D. (2007): Everything is Miscellaneous (Chapter 9 – Messiness as a Virtue)
5. What should we do about schools?
  • Do we need schools to learn?
  • Do pupils need to learn to use computers? (Is there a “digital native”?)
  • Does ICT dictate a particular method of instruction?
    • Egan, K. (2008): Getting it wrong from the beginning: The mismatch between school and children’s minds (self-published on web)
    • Collins, A., Halverson, R. (2009): Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology (Chapters 2 & 3)
    • Tapscott, D. (1998): Growing Up Digital (Chapter 1)

The course is intended for teachers and teacher educators interested in the use of computers –particularly in order to influence education.

Mr. Hurvitz holds a Master’s degree in Computers and Communications in Education from the School of Education of Tel Aviv University. From the mid-1990’s he has taken part in many of Israel’s first internet-based learning projects, including developing some of the first courses for the Aviv Virtual School. Throughout the decade of 1999 – 2009 he served in the Department of Elementary Education of the Ministry of Education as the “resident expert” on learning with the internet. He is a didactic advisor for the development of online courses at the Institute for Online Learning at Achva College of Education, and trains teacher educators in the Information and Communications Technologies Professional Specialization two-year program at The MOFET Institute. He blogs extensively on issues dealing with internet in the learning process on his Hebrew blog.