If you haven’t heard by now, the title of this post is a direct quote from Steve Jobs to a college journalism student from Long Island. She was assigned a story by her journalism professor to cover the iPad initiative at Long Island University. Long story short, after trying repeatedly to get some sort of statement from Apple on the use of iPads in academia, Jobs finally told her “Please leave us alone“.
The obvious angle on this story is Jobs’ attitude toward a customer; being rude, condescending, etc. However, there is an allegory here with respect to academia.
One of the beauties of science is that, unlike religion, you shouldn’t have to accept things completely on faith. That means there might not be a single answer or that a previous answer can be challenged by new information. And such is the case with the encoding variability hypothesis, which just so happens to be exactly what I’ve been talking about in my previous posts.
Previous posts have dealt with how of learning things in multiple contexts leads to greater comprehension and future application of what has been previously learned. To a certain degree, we have explained why this happens, but one still might wonder HOW this actually works in the brain.
The original theory goes something like this:
If you’re not familiar with TED talks, you should be. Speakers cover a wide range of topics from nearly every field known.
The talk below was given by math teacher Dan Meyer. Here’s the abstract of the talk from the site
Today’s math curriculum is teaching students to expect — and excel at — paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them. At TEDxNYED, Dan Meyer shows classroom-tested math exercises that prompt students to stop and think.
I believe Meyer’s ideas could, and should, be applied to many subjects being taught from pre-k to the PhD level.