Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Special Blog Assignment

A World Where Grades Will Be Left Behind” Mary Beth Marklein

This article was in the news of USA Today, about a man named Sebastian Thrun. Sebastian is a man who made a learning system revolving around technology. He is vice president of Google, and used to be a professor at Stanford. Today he is the founder of an education company called Udacity. His vision he set out to achieve was a school that was free, and fun. Udacity is an online source, with free courses taught by famous professors around the world. Where does the fun come in? Thrun and his staff made computer games, for the lessons taught by the professors. That is right his schooling consist of playing fun puzzling games, which are meant to challenge the mind. New technology and programs are emerging everyday; Udacity is only one of the top experiments for the new learning in the 21st century.

Sebastian Thrun also states in his interview, with Mary, “Grades are the failure of the education system.” He believes there should not be a limit set, based on someone’s skill. When someone learns a new skill, they should take as long as they need to master that skill. Grades should not be a part of the learning process; if there are exams they should be set separate from the learning process. His school is about mastering a lesson, not worrying about getting a good grade. Udacity is a different way to learn it is new, exciting, and entertaining.

For the most part I found his argument to be positive. I agree with his argument about how grades are holding others back from mastering courses in learning. If there were no grades, students would focus more on learning new sources rather than getting a good grade. However, grades also acknowledge how well a student’s performance level is, and it is important for the students to know this. What I do not agree with is learning through a game system. I feel it is ok to play games every now and then to get students involved in a lesson. I do not think computer designs should be the main source of a lesson, just like I do not think the whole classroom should revolve around technology. It is important to keep some of the basic learning material in a classroom such as, books, computers, paper, pencils, etc.

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