Monday, November 26, 2012

Abstraction, Critical Thinking, and Postliterate Learning

In my last post I mentioned that instead of teaching scientific "facts" to my undergraduates I encourage my students to think critically about abstractions. Abstractions like protein folding, membrane permeability, mycorrhizae, and ecosystem diversity. Pretty wide ranging stuff, all part of the backbone of evolutionary biology, and all of it hopelessly abstract to a second-year undergraduate.

Marching to the library this afternoon I got to thinking about how a year ago I was writing about the importance of taking a break. Suddenly now, halfway through my sabbatical, I find myself thinking and writing about teaching. A strange dialectic.

So what about critical thinking in a postliterate world? I've always been big on showing my students images. I learned to use powerpoint to my own purposes, no bullet points, no wordy outlines, mostly images. I found that my students used their cellphones to photograph me during my lectures. They would come in for office hours with a printed version of my lectures, highlighted by pictures of me next to a gigantic mitochondria or chlorophyll molecule. Wow. Images (with a side serving of words) as a way of learning. Maybe deep learning!

This brings me back to the "Man in the Holocene" exhibit at MIT. One of the artists featured there is the Futurist artist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, whose early 20th century work used mathematical symbols to evoke the sensations brought about through modern technology and science.

Protoemoticons?

Thinking about Marinetti's work brought me back to my NEH trip this summer, where we learned that among royals of the Mexican central highlands, iconography evolved as a lingua franca to accommodate feasting and gift giving associated with ethnic intermarriage. Iconography and glyphic communication systems allowed diverse peoples to make meaningful, long lasting, and politically potent contact with one another.

We discussed this in the perspective not of a prehistoric, non-literate cultural milieu, but in the context of an advanced, highly refined set of human interactions that had cast aside the written word in favor of images.

So here we are in this century in this world cascading toward an international, intercultural, postliterate system of communication. How can we harness this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective?



131 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. We can use this cultural trend of international communication to make our teaching and learning environment more effective by providing students with the idea that communication can be accomplished in more ways than just writing and speaking. It can be accomplished through photographs or drawings as well. We communicate through our actions, and those actions transcend cultural barriers.

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  2. By combining the wants and needs of different cultures into one cohesive form.

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  3. We can incorporate all of these new forms of communication into our teaching and learning environment. If we appeal to all different aspects of communication, more and more people can apply it to themselves and relate to our environment and each other.

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  4. I think the evolution of the society we live in had offered us diverse education possibilities. We can take advantage of the knowledge of people all around the world with the new forms of communication that he have access to.

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  5. We can use these newfound tools and combine them with old ways of learning to most effectively learn material. If we use new technologies to enhance the old ones instead of replace them, we can find the necessary middle ground.

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  6. We can harness this cultural trend of international, intercultural, postliterate system of communication, to make our teaching and learning environment more effective through social media. In my opinion social media can help with teaching and learning because social media is the fastest growing and most advanced form of communication that our world has ever seen. Through social media we can teach and learn, as we do in this class, with readings from blogs, responses on twitter, pictures on flickr and the endless abundant forms of social media linked to a URL. Critical thinking is enhanced through this form because students are able to use so many different forms of learning, reading, responding etc. instead of just a book and a piece of paper. the multiple forms adds to critical thinking because students can see trends easier from sight to sight in my opinion.

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  7. We can harness this trend and make teaching and learning environment more effective by using abstractions to help inspire critical thinking.

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  8. By using these new tools and interweaving them with the traditional ways of learning we can learn material much more effectively. If we appeal to new forms of communication then we can use it to our advantage to relate to many more people in our environment.

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  9. Since today's world seems to be very different from the past it is necessary to change teaching styles to help fit this communication based world. Our generation is very up to date with technology and all other forms of communication, applying these different methods of communication more and more people can relate and understand.

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  10. Different people are attracted to different types of learning. Sometimes people learn better by reading while others learn better by listening, etc. As technology advances, people are discovering different ways of teaching and, in turn, learning. In this way, we can accept the diversity that comes with learning in order to broaden our minds and, ultimately, make the process more effective.

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  11. We can intentionally use the forms of communication in our everyday learning environment instead of avoiding them. In other words, we can take advantage of the endless amount of possibilities communication provides for us. We can use the internet, for example, to quickly research other people's teachings, using that as a tool to enhance our own learning experience.

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  12. I think that because different cultures have unique ways of understanding, describing, and exploring environmental phenomenons we can use cultures besides our own's ideas in combination with our own concepts to create a more comprehensive understanding of the environment.

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  13. Adapting to new technologies will better engage generation Y in the learning process because we have grown up with these ever-evoloving forms of media and technology. With your worldview intertwined with ours, the technology will serve as a platform for growth of a synthesized worldview of the two generations, teaching and learning as one.

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  14. To harness the cultural trend to make teaching and learning environments more effective one can take the needs of the students into consideration. Some students learn better visually more than auditory. The younger generation I am apart of has a big reliance on technology. Way back when, teachers primarily used blackboards to write things down or just verbally spoke to teach their students. In a generation now where iPhones are constantly in the hands of everyone around you, teachers should harness the new generational way of teaching through technology to better engage and get the focus of their students.

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  15. We can make our teaching and learning environment more effective by utilizing images rather than words. We can harness this through emphasizing images in learning. For instance, your powerponts contain many images that truly help in the understanding of water and its many properties. So, if more people begin to teach through images we can have an all together smarter community.

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  16. We can harness this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective by using more images than words and internationally known symbols that connect to and apply to everyone around the world, regardless of ethnicity, origin or linguistic ability.

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  17. As a visual learner, I always appreciate pictures on power point slides. I think a picture is worth a thousand words and can encourage deep learning that prose sometimes doesn't. Sight is a universal sensation and can be used as a medium for deeper learning.

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  18. We should take the cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective by applying them to todays tools of cellphone use and social media.

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  19. We can use this trend to further engage students in our modern age. Incorporating images and interactive technology helps interest students and is a familiar way of communicating for them. It increases their productivity and knowledge of something if what they are learning and the way they are being taught are both simple and applicable to their daily lives.

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  20. It is important to intertwine traditional methods of teaching with new methods of teaching and learning, such as the use of technology and social media. This relatively new form of communication enhances the way students are taught in the classroom, for example, how we are able to read blogs, compose tweets and post comments via technology.

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  21. We can use this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective by creating a system in which we combine our old ways with new methods. If we use both visuals and words, it is helps more people understand, as some people prefer to learn visually, while others would rather read and write.

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  22. If we use these new innovative ways of communicating, we can enhance our knowledge and improve our old ways of learning as well. These new approaches can reach out to more individuals and connect to their lives in different ways.

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  23. Different cultures can provide us with different ways of learning. Our cultural learning involves technology, and incorporating different images into our learning. We can also take from other cultures their symbols as a way to help us learn. Incorporating technology into our classroom has helped a great deal with how I learn, especially looking at pictures. I'm a visual learner and by looking at things helps me better understand.

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  24. Starting with incorporating postliterate strategies into teaching, just as you do in your lectures, we can utilize this new cultural trend to make the teaching and learning environment more effective. By adding images either instead or in conjunction with words on the screen of a powerpoint, we as a society can propel ourselves into a new innovative way of education, and a lot of the time, this is found to be helpful for students as well.

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  25. We can harness this cultural trend by teaching with universal methods of understanding, such as pictures, diagrams, or symbols. Since these methods appear to be understood among all societies, perhaps they will even resonate better in our own than traditional powerpoint presentations or note taking.

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  26. While it is true that these days most people are communicating largely through words and not images, we still have the potential to make our teaching and learning environments more effective through the use of abstractions and images. If we begin to incorporate more and more images, and depend more on critical thinking and interpretation and less on the "wrong" or "right" answers to objective comments, I believe that there will be a greater sense of creativity and connectivity among us. There are obviously objective concepts that do have wrong and right answers, but expanding the lesson beyond the objectives can really enhance our understanding of concepts and help us achieve a deeper sense of what we are attempting to comprehend in this ever-increasing complex world.

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  27. We need to embrace these new cultural trends/technological tools to share, educate and learn. I think that including pictures and new technologies in a powerpoint (or whatever ones teaching method is) helps those who learn in different ways than listening or reading words. Using symbols also helps make the message more universal. I think the main point is to embrace these new methods without losing the old methods of educating.

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  28. Isabel Vera NS 201

    I believe we should combine the old ways of the world with the contemporary cultural trends in our respective society. Today, our generation tends to be very visually and technologically-inclined, and I find that the teaching world could use this to its advantage by providing a intriguing and comfortable medium for students to learn from. The use of twitter and phone photography in our Natural Science course, for example, is a great way to harness the cultural technological trend of the world while also incorporating the verbal teaching style that has existed for centuries.

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  29. Doug Lewis NS201
    Well the obvious advantage of a transition to a form post-literate communication is that more information will be able to gathered and understood at a quicker and more concise pace. When it comes to learning this creates a tremendous advantage to the student because now once the basis of information is gathered, more time can be taken to think critically about this. The problem that this more universal form of communication creates is the possibility that a student will be blindly gather an excess of information without critically thinking about its purpose, but hopefully the material will create inspiration for the student to gain a further understanding.

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  30. In our world today, it is important to note what type of communication is used to pass information. Information is being processed by individuals of various backgrounds, languages, and cultures. When communicating with individuals of different areas, visual aspects are key in establishing the point that is trying to be made. While words can be lost in translation and lose or gain a different meaning in different places, pictures and other visual representations remain universal.

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  31. I think that if we add these new technologies and ways of thinking with the old ways then we are able to not only learn, but teach better. Especially when you were talking about powerpoint and using photos, I think this helps people a lot because many, including myself, have a hard time learning with just bullet points. In most of our classes we are used to this boring way of being taught and I think it's refreshing to learn in different ways sometimes too.

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  32. There is no disputing that technology has tremendous implications for education. Technology enables students to personalize how they access information and how they absorb information. However, this potential can only be actualized if we (as a society) embrace the changes technology has to offer. For example, I remember being told last year that, unless you had written consent from the office of learning disabilities services, computers were forbidden during discussion and lectures in CGS. Why? Note taking applications on computers offer students the ability to organize their thoughts in a more linear format – a format that allows information to be added too easily. We should embrace these tools and integrate them into our education system instead of suppressing them from our education system.

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  33. We can harness this cultural trend by by catering to people's preferred way of learning. For example, I tend to learn better with visual images, while others retain information better through listening. Since communication comes in many forms, it can be altered for different needs.

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  34. Students find classes and professors who incorporate technology and pop-cultural trends into teaching and learning more interesting. Similarly, professors who engage their students with their pre-existing world allows for more successful education to take place. Removing technology from the classroom is detrimental to learning and produces distractions and does not encourage present day communication. It is important to allow students to use modern technology while learning because it builds interests and draws connections that last outside of the immediate classroom.

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  35. The different cultures and their individual ways of communication make it very difficult to teach and learn in an uniform, or or effective way. However, through understanding all cultures' languages, history, and cultural norms, communication in between cultures or cultural circles can be more effective. In other words, openness and a will to understand all are key, not just debating whether to adapt simple visuals or complex languages.

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  36. We can make our teaching and learning environment more effective by updating our traditional ways of learning. We can apply our modern technological abilities to traditional ways of learning by teaching students how to apply what we learn to our everyday lives like through social media to engage more students.

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  37. I believe that this trend for international and intercultural systems of learning would greatly benefits the entire world as a whole. Not only do people from different cultures learn differently, people within the same culture have different ways of attaining information. By learning every way possible one can teach and apply knowledge, it becomes more easily understood by a broader audience.

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  38. Yina Cordero
    I think to improve the ways in which we communicate symbols going along with the idea of images is the most prominent because symbols that exist now mean the same to everyone regardless of their culture or the language that they speak. Its a better way too allow communication with many groups regardless of their background and in my opinion is much more inclusive than exclusive. This will allow for people to come together I believe under this new form of communicating that is much more enjoyable than just looking at words, symbols represent a culture of a new generation that is progressing.

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  39. In a world where technology is the center of everything, it only makes sense that something has come out that suppresses the need for the written word. While I am in no way stating that writing is unimportant in our modern technological state, I am suggesting that maybe there is a faster and more exciting way to get your point across (i.e. emoticons and other images). By using colorful and interesting images, it is easier to stimulate the people we are teaching. Words on a page, while still interesting, are often borings and overlooked. If certain things were to be simplified by images, perhaps students would have an easier time memorizing them.

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  40. The Knowledge we have of other cultures can aid us in forming more efficient ways of communication. Throughout history, communication has become more and more efficient. Today, we need to utilize the ultra-efficiency we have at our fingertips to make learning more efficient and more effective simultaneously.

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  42. I believe that technology has created so many new ways to communicate with one another (from email to snap chat) that visual stimuli can maybe be a more exciting way to communicate between one another. Powerpoint slides devoid of words and just possessing images are something many of us haven't seen before and that may prove to be a good things since communicating symbols along with an idea or lesson seems to be very beneficial.

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  43. We can use these tools to make learning more effective by taking advantage of the resources we have in this day and age. And example would be using modern technology to our advantage to promote critical thinking, such as learning through pictures. As you had suggested, images can be more effective sometimes than just words and images and they are also more universal so the information will be understood by many cultures.

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  44. Many students who have trouble learning a type of concept, usually refer to the internet for clarification. The internet has proven to be effective in teaching. Certain things like social media also allow us to communicate our teachings with others. The information age which we are in revolves around the internet and the fact that it reaches so many people so fast, so to base our teaching around the internet would be extremely effective.

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  45. I believe this cultural trend enhances our learning. People have learned to live in different societies, that are different to their original living conditions. Language barriers have become uncommon because over the year, people have chosen to learn new languages for many different reasons, whether for pleasure or business purposes. Technology has also enhanced our ability to communicate with other. For example, Facebook has enabled people to reconnect through photos. Photos tell a lot. Not only are they helpful in Professor Hammer's lectures, but they tell a lot about a culture, and barriers are somewhat broken between the unknown.

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  46. We can harness this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective by becoming open to the change it will bring. If we acknowledge this international, intercultural, postliterate system of communication in more aspects of our lives, we can make teaching and learning environments more effective. People are always interested in using these new forms of communication and if it is incorporated in schooling I believe teaching would be enhanced and more effective.

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  47. We live in a very special time in which communication and technology allow us to both teach as well as learn in new ways. Rather than reading out of textbooks about cultures and scientific subjects, we are now able to visually observe them. If we stray too far away from traditional teaching structure, however, students will come to rely too heavily on technology rather than observation to get work done. We must blend modern technology in with more rigid education in order to maximize the potential benefit for both students and teachers.

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  49. We can harness this cultural trend by promoting the innovative teaching and learning environments which are accessible to many people. Perhaps, through technology and social media mediums, we can alter our ways of learning, relaying, and retaining information and, through our success with this method, we can promote this way of learning.

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  50. Iconography and the use of pictures in education as a technique is very valuable. While there is no universal language, pictures are something that everyone in the world recognizes and has an opinion on. Using iconography as a tool for teaching means that the teacher also becomes the learner. Because one image will not be interpreted the same by all people, it is a great way to teach since many viewpoint and ideas will be expressed that otherwise would not. The cultural trend of interconnectivity between different types of people can be harnessed through a method of teaching that uses less words and more pictures, which in turn can be interpreted into ideas and abstract concepts. It is easier to be taught when you can hypothesize and analyze on your own rather than having someone tell you exactly what someone is. The point of education is to further your insight into different subject matter that makes it so we can eventually develop our own predictions, hypotheses, and ideas. In the multicultural, inter-cultural nation that we live in, it is important to value and accept the many ideas of different cultures in order to further our understanding of anything we are studying.

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  51. We harness this cultural trend by taking advantage of the various resources around us. In our generation, the most available and wide-spread resource is technology. Computers and smartphones exist to speed up the process of communication and it is important that we use those resources to enhance our learning experience. The instantaneous characteristic of modern media makes learning so much available and makes spreading information so much faster and easier. It is our responsibility to make the most out of that.

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  52. Victoria Pache:
    We can harness this cultural trend by doing exactly what you are doing Professor Hammer, we need more Professors that embrace the visual art of teaching. BY doing this we can instill the idea of visual learning in generations to come.

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  53. From this cultural trend, students can observe how communication can be achieved in ways other than linguistics. Individuals can learn from one and other through images, art, symbols, etc.

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  54. We can mix new technological and traditional ways of learning. For some people, it's easier to learn in a more traditional setting, but others enjoy using new systems and programs.

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  55. We can harness this cultural trend by incorporating these new teaching methods in the classroom. It can help students learn in different ways.

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  56. We can make our teaching and learning environment more effective by helping students, children and adults alike, understand that there are more ways to learn besides words and sentences. If we teach them that deep learning and critical thinking can occur with something as abstract as symbols and pictures than we are broadening their learning horizons exponentially.

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  57. This can be a very effective method of teaching and learning because it uses a delivery system that students our age are very good at. It encourages us to be creative and it even excites us - after all, technology and social media are a very integral part of most of our lives. Additionally, it allows us to communicate our thoughts in a more concrete manner.
    Abby Danowitz

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  58. I believe that in this new, technologically focused culture and the world we live in today, information can be communicated to people through so many different forms and allows us to gain knowledge from other sources, rather than simply linguistics.

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  59. We can incorporate ideas from other people more easily and now it is even possible to conduct learning on a global scale with others at the same time. With technology we can Skype-learn or Skype-teach, for example, with others around the world. I think this is an amazing concept that changes the idea of learning environments only being in the classroom or school building to the world itself.

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  60. We can harness this cultural trend of international, intercultural, and postliterate system of communication and enhance our learning environment by using a variety of different forms of communication. Not only through images and words or descriptions, but also through various forms of abstractions to help encourage critical thinking. Everyone learns and understands things differently, and through multiple ways of communication, our learning environment will have such a diversity that inspires each and every student to learn and study.

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  61. I feel that we are already harnessing cultural trends to make teaching more effective. Over the past few years, teachers have adapted to the advances in technology and started to incorporate them into their teachings. For example, when we had to create a twitter and flicker account for NS. All the students were familiar with how to use these social networking sites so it was very easy for them to use these. In order to keep this going, educators will have to continue to adapt to the new trends over the course of time and continue to incorporate them into their teachings. This will make their teachings more effective.

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  62. Images and words take meaning for many people in various ways. There are certain images that are a universal understanding for people, such as an image of two hydrogens combining with an oxygen molecule creating water. There are certain concepts and understandings that are relevant to many people. An image of this water molecule would communicate to many, an understanding of what it is. Communication is a mix of various images and words which help to connect various cultures together.

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  63. Everybody learns differently. Some people learn by seeing, others by hearing, and some by writing. Usually, people learn through a mix of the three. This class allows us to use allow three learning techniques to understand the material we are learning much better.

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  64. we can harness this trend of an international , intercultural, world by using images. instead of trying to communicate with speech and having barriers there, we can use images, that is how people learn, a picture serves more than a thousand words

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  65. I believe the best way to harness this trend is by not fighting the changing world we live in, but embracing it. This means learning new forms of social media, taking lots of photographs, questioning facts and authority out loud (and on social media platforms), being unafraid to delve deeper into the unknown. Communication will help as well. By integrating different types into the course, we will learn not only on a deeper level, but a more varied one.

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  66. We can harness this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective by using images to try to communicate and try to improve language barriers.

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  67. We can harness this cultural trend to make our teaching & learning environment more effective by coming up with different forms of communication rather than just writing and speaking. We can use pictures, diagrams, videos, and music.

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  68. "A picture is worth a thousand words" I think that by using pictures people will better be able to communicate. Language barriers can be tricky without a translator, and when no one is there to translate people point to things (images) to get their point across about what they are talking about. People will easily be able to learn using images.

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  69. We can harness this cultural trend by comparing and contrasting different cultures through the use of images. Being able to see the many differences but also connect the similarities allows on to see that bottom basis of everything is connected and comes from a similar start point.

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  70. Using images in conjecture with social media and other technologies allows for increased points of contact between the student and the material. Images are a huge facet of social media, and incorporating them in the curriculum offers an added level of intellectual stimulation to help students understand the content better.

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  71. We can harness this new cultural trend by using more technology. Using more technology does not have to mean getting rid of older ways of learning like pencil and paper, it means integrating the current technology into the learning environment to make the classes more up-to-date.

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  72. We can combine old ways of learning with new ways of learning to enhance the way students learn, feeding the new cultural trend. An example of this would be using social media (tweeting to Professor Hammer during lab). Tweeting during lab helps the students better understand the material and learn from one another by reading each others tweets.

    Allie Silber

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  73. We can combine the old way and new way of learning. For instance, by using twitter, which limits us to 140 characters, it forces us to think more effectively so that we can fit what we're trying to say in those limitations. We can also do this with images and graphs or other visual ways. As technology advances, maybe we'll find more and more abstract ways to learn.

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  74. using technology in images are ways to bridge language gaps. Also, it has already been proven to me effective to help learn complicated material.

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  75. We can harness this cultural trend by using photographs and images as ways of learning since it is just as effective as traditional literate methods. Learning isn't, and shouldn't be, limited to definitions, constant note taking, and listening. Though all of these are effective, it doesn't work for everyone, particularly those who learn through images and interaction. It is that type of learning that goes beyond cultural barriers and allows an international/intercultural post literate system of communication because everyone, regardless of what language they speak, can take in information through visuals.

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  76. New technology can be seen as a limitation to learning in todays society. However in reality it can be a very valuable resource. Technology (Pictures) can be shared and with that, different ideas are shared as well. Also a picture is totally open to the interpretation of it's viewer.

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  77. We can harness this cultural trend of having different systems of communication to demonstrate the different ways a point can be made. For example, you use more images than words, others used used mathematical symbols, and one used iconography. Each of those methods was useful to getting that person’s point across. If we take advantage of the diversity of communicate, it would the teaching and learning environment more effective as students may be more receptive to one or more of the variety of methods.

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  78. There are several different types of learning like visual, auditory, kinesthetic etc. It is important to figure out what kind of learning style works best for each student and to use more than just one of these styles when teaching. This will provide a diverse learning experience and more than one opportunity for students to get the most of teaching.

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  80. I think by using various forms of multimedia, students will get a better understanding of the material at hand. As some students are more visual learners, while others are oral, aural, or reading learners, it is important to use a combination to best reach each student's capability.

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  81. We can harness this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective by combining new technologies with old methods of teaching. By using social media or photography students can incorporate something that many of them use daily and are well accustomed to, to learning about the world.
    Anna Dreyer

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  82. How can we harness this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective?

    We can control this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective through visual aids and experimentation. For example, Aristotle believed that observing and experimenting was the key for valuable learning and to gain profitable experience. In addition, I believe that using social media, like the ones we have been using in NS201 this semester, is truly beneficial to the learning environment. We have now entered The Technological Age; thus, it is only to our advantage to use these resources in the learning environment.

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  83. Through interpreting the teaching methods of other cultures, we are able to compare and contrast the various possibilities of observing to enhance our learning process.

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  84. Learning is different for everyone and I feel that we can use all the advances we have made to enhance the ways that we already know work when learning. Some people are visual learners, others like to listen or have hands on experiences. Schools and teachers have come such a long way.. (we use twitter in class!) to make it possible for individuals to learn in a way that works best for them. All of the methods we use combined help us gain a deeper insight and understanding to the concepts we are learning

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  85. We can harness this trend by using the cultural variances among students as an advantage. We use different perspectives to cultivate new methods of teaching that go beyond the confines of the textbook such as multi-media photos, videos, podcasts, diagrams, and charts.

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  86. Negin Taleb NS201
    We can harness this cultural trend by using different forms of communication. Instead of simply speaking, we can use photos, videos and diagrams. Also, using social media as a means of communicating and learning. Social media will make it easier to share information quickly and will give us chances to interact with one another through easily sharing photos, videos and diagrams.

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  87. We can harness this cultural trend to make teaching and learning more effective by combining these different methods of communication to make a unique style.

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  88. i think if we just use the new technological advances of communication and apply them to what we are trying to teach we can create a more effective learning environment

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  89. We can harness this cultural trend by using old trends and combining them with new ones to create a more robust education where we are utilizing as many resources as possible.

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  90. Everyone has a different way of learning. The best way to figure out how the mass learns best is by trying different methods and seeing the results from the exam scores. With this, a teacher will understand what the best way for the masses are because everyone learns differently.

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  91. We can use these various forms of communication to teach students more effectively. The use of pictures, videos, charts/diagrams, etc., can create a broader understanding of the topic and make it easier for the entire student body to understand the subject, whereas previous methods, such as just a textbook, can limit the number of students who fully grasp the topic at hand.

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  92. Technology makes teaching more effective already by allowing diagrams, images, slideshows, etc. to be made with ease. Not only can they be made with ease, but they can also be shared easily so that students can access these resources whenever they need to. Using this cultural trend, we can make teaching and learning more effective by creating an environment where educational resources (lecture slides, additional reading, outside resources) are readily available 24/7 so students can go over information when it's convenient to them and their schedules. Doing this allows students to set time aside for learning instead of conforming to one universal schedule where they would most likely have to multitask or otherwise not give their full attention to learning.

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  93. We can harness tho new culture of communication by combining different methods of communication to create a meaningful and impactful learning and teaching experience.

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  94. It's hard to imagine a post-literate world. Especially when our education system has been based off of reading and writing since essentially its creation. I suppose, however, that an imaged-based educational system could help make learning more universal?

    If we wanted to harness this trend without completely abandoning our literate roots we could encourage students to create images more frequently rather than solely text. For example, instead of simply a final term paper students would create an in depth model of a certain phenomenon. In addition to this model would be an accompanied explanation about each aspect of the student's creation.

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  95. Using a mixture of the old and new I think we can create an effective learning technique that not only facilitates learning, but enhances both the quality of learning and teaching. This could provide one of the most effective techniques yet, that could hopefully re-vitalize the American education system.

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  96. I think that we should be open to new ways of teaching and learning. We should look at these advances as an advantage to be more productive and efficient. While I do still feel as if we need the written word for teaching/learning, it is becoming less and less of a necessity. To find a balance of these learning techniques would be the best for our society.

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  97. We can harness these things by embracing the new ideas and inter cultures to then teach in our schools

    leah and grace

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  98. We can harness this cultural trend by using both images and words or language. You can post and image and give an explanation or words that describe that image. Or you can show an image and ask people what they think is happening in that image. This is an interactive way of learning, appealing to both language and vision.

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  99. We can use old trends and new trends to create a whole new mixture of learning. Also, by trying different methods of teaching or communication, perhaps from other cultures, we can experiment and discover which methods are the most effective.

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  100. Judy Le:
    We can use this trend to make teaching and learning more effective by using its benefit to our advantage. Reading this post reminded me of abstract art and how it is interpreted relative to the person observing it, and of course each person has a preferable method of learning. Since it appears that reading extensive passages can make one lose focus, this more interactive method of presenting information may be the solution. If we incorporate this postliterate trend into teaching and learning, as you have done in our lectures, then it might have a better result that involves more participation and interaction between students and teachers.

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  101. Using various forms of communication in learning can help broaden ones view of the world and think more creatively.

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  102. I think we can harness this trend by incorporating more social media along with traditional methods such as reading and writing because these are all effective ways to learn And combined may help us learn even more effectively.

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  103. How can we harness this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective?

    Using this relatively new trend in our global culture, I think it's critical to embrace it in its entirety and not steer away from it. This is one of the things that I value in professors, mentors, like yourself; You're not here to print out hundreds of pages of notes that may or may not, most likely the latter, mean anything to us come mid-December. It's just not how our culture and society functions anymore. By embracing the fact learning can be taken to new extremes. Each new technological innovation helps bring students, anyone in the age bracket during 'The Machine Age,' closer to content at hand. Sure, we all have different learning styles, but we are that much closer to a plant's cell wall and Webster's entry could ever be. Steering away from this new culture filled with images and symbolic icons would be foolish and ignorant - times change, so should people and ways of life. It'll benefit everybody, coming out more on top than submerged below the level of the global culture that's seemingly been diffused to nearly every coordinate.

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  104. In today's world where everyone has smartphones to take pictures, images are extremely relevant. Learning through pictures is an effective teaching strategy and when you look at a picture there are many ways of viewing it, not just abstract thinking
    Brendan Sullivan

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  105. As we move into a more technology based era drastic changes have occurred allowing our world to become one whole instead of separate entities. This fact helps me to understand how we have come to the cultural trend described above. Our world consists of many separate countries each with its own individual culture and possibly language. If one person can't speak to another, due to cultural differences, the chain of communication is broken and therefore so is knowledge and understanding. The only true form of communication understood by all is the language of mathematics, but this only helps the engineers and mathematicians in the world. We must find a way to harness this cultural trend in a way that will benefit all people of the world. In my opinion I believe the best way to do so would be to use visuals. Languages and words may look different or even foreign to individuals, but each person can look at a picture and see its shapes and colors and come up with a similar meaning for it. The much over used cliche of how "a picture can say a thousand words" allows me to believe that visuals would break that barrier and allow all to what technology has given us to its full potential.

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  106. We live in an age where new forms of communication are what we put our focus on. If we are able to incorporate learning with these forms of mass communication, then our focus will involve learning. If I'm scrolling through twitter or Facebook, reading about celebrities, it is not useful to me. But if I scroll down and there is educational information to take it, we use communication forms to our advantage. There are several different forms other than social media, but it is a major one at the moment.

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  107. This article conveys to us important information because people speak different languages so teaching through written communication may not always be effective. Thus, through reading this article and learning in lab, I have learned that the closest thing to universal communication is photography because everyone can interpret it for himself and won't have to struggle with esoteric phrases. Through photography, everyone has a different learning experience and can convey this learning experience to others with few communication barriers.

    Grace Alessi

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  108. In this day and age there is communication available in all forms and at all levels of the senses. We can hear people through phone calls or in person or draw in virtually thousands of different materials on thousands of different materials. With this technology advances the possibilities are endless. If we combine this with cultural and international communication trends from the past we can find the most effective way to communicate.

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  109. I believe that a new form of communication that can be used to reach out to people can be found in the form of social media. On various social media sites, people can combine both visuals and words to get their message across. This method can be used to appeal to both literate and non literate people, which is something that is crucial to the foundation of ideas.

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  110. As the article refers to establishing a lingua franca, in such an advanced society, technology can act as our lingua franca to make teaching more effective. Not only do we speak different languages, but we also have different learning languages. Some people are visual learners while others are more oral learners, but these two people can come together and learn together through the lingua franca of technology.

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  111. We can use images to better learn by pairing them along with other methods of learning such as writing, etc. Often if there is a picture to go along with the words I am studying, it is much easier to understand the information.

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  112. We can use images to create a more meaningful learning experience by taking abstract or complex systems and using images, real, drawn, or diagrapic, in order to make it simpler. I believe its the key difference between knowing and understanding, one can know what a beach is, but do they really understand its beauty and harmony if they've never seen it? Words only get students so far in understanding, but pictures allow students to almost "experience" what they're learning for better comprehension.

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  113. By integrating pictures and images into other popular forms of communication like writing and speaking we can create more cohesive and effective learning and teaching.

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  114. We can harness this cultural trend to enhance our teaching and learning environment by giving the idea to students that there are other forms of communication and learnning than a traditional classroom setting. Presently, modern technology allows us to further use mass communication through enhanced photography, social media, and even search engines like google to help us process new information quickly and more effectively. This form of learning allows us to be more innovative and creative.

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  115. We can harness this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective by using these protoemoticons to make everything more universal. Technology can almost serve as another language or another way to reach out to people. Things like Twitter and other social media websites are already keeping students like me, and others, more involved in what is going on around the world.

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  116. As human beings, I feel like things are understood more easily when observed, when things are visual. We can show that there are more ways to learning than just looking at facts or what's written on paper. Seeing is universal; therefore, it is a better form of communication.

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  117. in our generation, the basis for most of our learning is technology. Technology has given us access to learn wide array of things. today, technology helps all cultures grasp the same concept regardless of where they are from or what language they speak. It serves as the universal language for learning.

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  118. We can use images to start teaching people from a young age. when children start learning they will see an image and relate it back to what is being taught.

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  119. By incorporating images into our education and learning environments, people become more interested and it helps them grasp a concept more fully. Due to the use of technology today images are extremely relevant. They catch people's attention. I think it is important to know that there are other types of communication besides writing and speaking and they should be used for full comprehension of a topic or subject.

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  120. What we need is a universal form of communication. Whether it is a language that all understand or a simply a string of pictures which send a message, what is needed is for people of all nations and cultures to be able to communicate and bring pieces of there knowledge to bring answers to problems which humans have. Using images is great way for which people who to interact and bring forward ideas even when they don't speak the same language.

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  121. We can use pictures and other images to teach that there are many ways people can learn. Learning is not just passed on through word of mouth but people can also be taught with detailed images. In fact learning through images can be more effective with some people than if they were taught by someone speaking. By harnessing these techniques in classrooms and workplaces people could learn more.

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  122. In the world we live in today, we can harness this cultural trend by encouraging an exchange of ideas and opinions in a universal manner that will touch anyone and everyone who wants. This way, it will allow people from all over to understand same topics. It can be like a universal language!

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  123. In the advanced society we live in today, technology plays a key role in enhancing our learning environments, making them more effective. Social Media has become a crucial part of our everyday life. It is how we share and inform ourselves on what is happening constantly through out the world. On social media sights, people not only share the news, but they can share their ideas, customs, and opinions, through photographs, videos, and words.

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  124. We can harness this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective by using these new forms of communication to be able to get messages across more effectively. Also with these new cultural trends we are able to stimulate students more with these visual ways of learning that is not just a bunch of words on a page that does not seem interesting. They are able to fully visualize what they are learning about and see it in a different context rather than in a textbook.

    Alexandra Hilas

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  125. We can harness this cultural trend to make our teaching and learning environment more effective, by using technology, pictures and actions to communicate in a manner that everyone understands, and transcends language.

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  126. All effective changes in any evolution should facilitate a process. Clearly, using images to understand abstract concept works. Our ancestors devised written language to communicate...first through pictures and slowly into all kinds of alphabets. Just like math is seen as a universal language, so should pictures.

    ALejandra Rodriguez

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  127. In today's society, we can incorporate all of these ways of learning by merging the old with the new tools. By doing this instead of replacing the old ways, we can maximize learning effectiveness.

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  128. As we're coming into a digital generation of shortened attention spans, pictures are key in "showing" info.

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  129. Rather than finding a uniform communicatory medium, I think we should understand what it is about the various mediums we already have that makes them so successful; the intersection of cultures, values, etc. I think it's more effective to understand our current teaching/learning styles before learning others--an understanding of how we work is key to understanding how others work.

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