Saturday, March 15, 2014

Now You See It by Cathy N. Davidson

I realised that I've been taking a lot of breaks this year, but my sisters are coming over for a week (starting from tomorrow), so I won't be blogging, I'll be spending time with them!

I got this book as part of the The History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education MOOC at Coursera. But that's not the point I want to make. The point I want to make is that I didn't realise that the author, also the professor in charge of the MOOC, is also the author of 36 Views of Mount Fuji! I remember reading the book and I liked it(:

Now You See It is divided into four parts. The first is about cognitive dissonance. The second is about technology and education/children. The third is about technology and the workplace. The last is about how brains are flexible. Out of all four sections, the second part (about kids/education) was the most interesting to me and left the strongest impression. For example, do video games really cause violence? Or do they help kids learn? (Apparently, 'televisions cause violence' was a thing when televisions first started, so this blame game with technology does seem cyclical). Of course, this book is focused on learning and technology, such as the Duke iPod experiment, which makes sense, seeing as Ms Davidson is a teacher.

Since I know nothing about neuroscience, I can't say if the science in this book is accurate or not. But I do think that a lot of the ideas in this book are interesting. For example, her student-led class (and the controversy that later became when she proposed to delegate the grade-giving process) was definitely food for thought, although I can't imagine something like this happening in Japan in the near future. But for ACS(I)/IB/Singapore JC[maybe], yes, I can see something like this, for perhaps one class.

This is an interesting and fairly easy-to-read book. Since there are basically four sections, you may want to just focus on the section that interests you most, but if you have the time and inclination, you should definitely read it through.

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