Since last year I have been set on taking the course of Age of Exploration because of its allure of independence, and self-guided projects. Now, approaching three months into the school year, this class has proven to be not only the engaging, and intellectually expanding experience I hoped it would be, but an opportunity to explore the realm of research and learning style as a whole. The one great aspect of this exploration that has broadened my views as a student are the copious tools enabled by technology that have been introduced.
In this class, where one of the primary objectives is becoming more skilled and efficient in gathering knowledge for research, it is a necessity to have some kind of ability in the use of the Internet. Furthermore, its not only research, but also the product, and reflective aspects of our projects that require the use of the connecting source that is the Web. Being able to type, surf, click, and skim within a matter of seconds opens up such a vast world of new information, and Age of Exploration allows the student to practice utilizing it. The amount of importance that is put into the use of technology in this class and in every other aspect of my career as a student has as I said enabled a great increase in what is available to help me learn. Keeping that in mind, I have recently begun the book “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains” by Nicholas Carr which looks at how this new found dependency on the source of infinite answers and connections has consequences on our style of thinking. In my opinion it isn’t a reach to consider that that constant access to everything that technology provides can in fact change the working of our thoughts and actions. The opportunity that Age of Exploration has given me to familiarize myself with the tool of the Internet, and therefore be able to look deeper into the relevance of technology in a bigger picture has been a valuable experience.
“Technology makes it possible for people to gain control over everything, except over technology”
This is no ordinary history course, and my proof is that so far, not only have I practiced learning using the tools of techonology, but I have encountered the awareness to think about how technology can affect how I learn.