Perspective of “smart’

September 5, 2007

100 years ago a person who was “smart” was the one who could recite all of the states capitols or  win the spelling bee due to their memorization skills. In the future people who will be considered smart are the ones who can find information and also utilize it in a productive manner. This blog entry from old.web got me started on thinking about who just really is “smart” in today’s world.

The information available at ones literal fingertips today negates almost all memorization skills that used to be necessary to quickly solve problems. Today with a good media package anywhere that there is cell phone reception a person has unimaginable amounts of factual information available to them.

So should we have students memorize things? or let them use the Internet as an eternal “crutch”? The world is changing and information is everywhere and as educators we need to redouble our efforts to teach the students good reliable information from not so reputable sources of information. The Internet and its resources will be there for the foreseeable future so we need to focus our instruction on meaning making from the information and resources that we have.

In the future of our students will have numerous jobs in a career the best set of tools that we can give them is the ability to learn how to learn in new environments.

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2 Responses to “Perspective of “smart’”

  1. Tippi Thompson Says:

    I agree, but I think in every generation people have had to learn how to ‘weed through the bull crap’ and learn to incorporate necessary information into their lives.

    This generation is no different, it’s just a lot more bull crap coming at us a whole lot faster. I think we should still have students using memorization skills but when it comes to researching ideas and topics we should teach them how to distinguish between what is reliable and what is not.

  2. dancingnancy533 Says:

    Students need to memorize the essentials for each subject. The foundation should be strong enough to where they do not have to search for those facts every time they come across a problem with them. However, other pieces of information for a subject can be researched without requiring memorization for it. With proper training, students need to understand what sources are credible and which ones are faulty. Skills like those will benefit them throughout their lives.


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