EdTech Brainstorm#16B - December 17, 2005

Speaking of Dates - The EdTech Massacre(1:41:59)

Download mp3 (26.0MB, 56:52)

Eric Langhorst of the Speaking of History podcast joins us for a several minutes of discussing what he's doing in his 8th grade history class followed by an hour of fiery discussion on the importance of knowing exact historical dates. The real action begins about 30 minutes into the show.

Chat Transcript Below

[elanghorst] Hello. I am planning on chatting and maybe calling in tonight but I have to put my 2 year old to bed first.
[elanghorst] She is a little would up - just finished watching "Frosty the Snowman". Talk to you guys later.
[elanghorst] Can you guys give me a phone number to call - I have yet to get a Skype account.
dave-in-air has joined the chat.
[JeffLebow] Hey Eric
[dave-in-air] greetings
[elanghorst] The larger portion of Kansas City is in Missouri - a smaller part is in KS.
[dave-in-air] ah.
[JeffLebow] Hi Eric, you can call
[dave-in-air] I never knew that...
[JeffLebow] 1-402-756-9000, access code 537267#
[elanghorst] I have been to the KC meetup once - back in Sept of this year - was really cool.
erin has joined the chat.
[dave-in-air] you're not a football fan i hope
[dave-in-air] hi erin
[erin] hey dave.
[dave-in-air] erin is cool
[erin] i am? wow, it's news to me.
[erin] i was just having a conversation with barbara about how big a dork i am.
barbara has joined the chat.
[erin] speaking of the devil...
[barbara] uh oh
[barbara] Jeff: erin and i have been having many nicecast nightmares
[dave-in-air] barbara is evil
[barbara] dave....
Scott_from_Oberlin has joined the chat.
[erin] barbara: i talked to dave. he told me to not pay attention to the instructions. and i think we have it worked out. maybe.
[erin] hey scott!
[Scott_from_Oberlin] hello
[barbara] oh dave, you are now officially outnumbered
[dave-in-air] yes. i am
[barbara] by people from Oberlin'
[barbara] no way!
[barbara] 10:156
[barbara] heckle heckle heckle
Scott_from_Oberlin has left the chat.
[erin] uh-oh, you scared scott away.
[barbara] no dave did
[dave-in-air] that happens
Scott_from_oberlin has joined the chat.
[dave-in-air] hi again scott
[erin] there he is. but where's mr. bent?
[dave-in-air] i scared him away last time
[erin] oh no, henry doesn't scare easily.
[barbara] no way. He got a headset just to come after you
[barbara] be afraid
[erin] be very afraid.
[Scott_from_oberlin] Barbara, are you skyping?
[barbara] Scott: dude, isn't everyone...
[erin] so dave, when did you learn to levitate (dave-in-air)?
[dave-in-air] i was born that way
[barbara] scott does not like iRivers. Thanks, I needed to share
[erin] you sound fine to me, dave.
[erin] well, as fine as is possible for you.
[barbara] was that a cat?
[barbara] LOUD!
[elanghorst] i rivers rule
[dave-in-air] loud is nice
[dave-in-air] i like loud
[dave-in-air] especially if it's me that's loud
[barbara] what is social bookmarking?
[erin] don't start, you.
[dave-in-air] blog blog blog blog
[barbara] WHAT???????
[barbara] what the heck are you talkiong about
[barbara] dates are irrelevant?
[dave-in-air] yes. they are not relevant
[dave-in-air] not, at least, in terms of memory
[erin] woah, back the truck up.
[barbara] (John just jumped off of the couch an screamed at the computer... sigh, the edtechtalk effect)
[barbara] are you nuts, Mr Validation Man?
[dave-in-air] lol
[erin] how can you possibly expect students to make sense of a timeline if they don't have at least most of that timeline memorized?
[erin] both are important.
[dave-in-air] who said we didn't establish a timeline
[dave-in-air] are timelines only based in dates?
[dave-in-air] we all have computers... the dates are available
[dave-in-air] but yes, timelines are important
[erin] but do you really want to have to look up dates every time you want to make an argument?
[dave-in-air] you learn it eventually anyway
[erin] right! the date is part of the context!
[barbara] and why might that be, dave?
[dave-in-air] because you talk about it... not because someone grades you for remembering it
[barbara] Barbara is making her bloodpressure go down
[barbara] histiry is contextual, and the fact that one event happens in the context of other events ...and that there is a date associated
[barbara] with that context...that's bnot important?
[erin] plus, when you learn about a new event, you won't learn about how it's interconnected with the rest of history if you don't know
[erin] what else was happening at the same time.
[dave-in-air] order and timelines are not necessarily about dates
[erin] and history is all about interconnectivity.
[barbara] hmmm... try studying literature without knowing dates
[dave-in-air] the SPECIFIC date is not important
[erin] yes, it is.
[dave-in-air] the era is
[erin] no, the date is important.
[barbara] knowing what was goingn on in1789 is a tremendous help when readung lit from that particular timeperiod
[barbara] fin de seicle lite is called that for a reason
[barbara] lit
[dave-in-air] thinking it's 1788 will not change anything
[dave-in-air] yes.. .it's an era
[dave-in-air] i agree
[dave-in-air] you guys are so 1957
[barbara] what?
[erin] i'm sorry, i wasn't around then.
[barbara] no was I
[JeffLebow] Why are you all so shy about participating? Space open in skype (worldbridges) and of course the teleconference
[erin] i don't want to skype in because i think we should move on to other topics in the audio feed. like maybe, blended learning.
[barbara] the school schedule is based on the farming cycle... so they could get home in time to farm
[Scott_from_oberlin] I agree with Erin
[JeffLebow] We need someone to bring it up...
[barbara] and have time off in order to plant'
[erin] (i'm more than happy to confine my quibbling over wwii to the chat room.
[barbara] so let's make the analogy with language...
[dave-in-air] not analogous
[dave-in-air] :)
[barbara] who the heck cares about subject/verb agreement...
[barbara] it's all communication
[barbara] they'll just figure it out
[dave-in-air] that is the very definition of a specious analogy
[barbara] excuse you?
[dave-in-air] your analogy is specious
[barbara] and that would be WHY?
[dave-in-air] how is subject/verb agreement connected to remembering dates?
[dave-in-air] it's your analogy
[dave-in-air] remembering is sometimes useful
[erin] dates form part of the foundation of learning history.
[dave-in-air] at other times... not useful
[dave-in-air] remember a stop sign means stop... that's useful
[dave-in-air] testing students on historical dates... not useful
[erin] oh but it is.
[dave-in-air] understanding subject verb agreements as a L2 student... useful
[dave-in-air] understanding same as L1... not useful
[erin] ?? dave, you are making no sense.
[dave-in-air] lol
[dave-in-air] actually, i am. i might not be agreeing with you... but that doesn't mean that i'm not making sense
[dave-in-air] it also doesn't mean that i think you're wrong
[erin] um, i repeat my previous statement.
[dave-in-air] i can disagree with you without thinking you are wrong erin.
[erin] why don't you think it's useful to understand L2 s/v agreement as well as you do in L1?
[erin] that's what i don't understand.
[erin] but how can you understand context unless yu first learn the date?
[erin] but barbara - did you have to learn the date at one point?
[erin] hooray for john!
[erin] yes, you want them to remember both! they CAN do it! the two are not mutually exclusive to learn!
barbara has left the chat.
barbara has joined the chat.
[erin] and you can't learn history without dates.
[dave-in-air] March 5, 1770
[barbara] (for those of you are listening and wondering why Barbara suddenl became John...he is my hsuband and launched off of the couch
[barbara] in ager)
[barbara] anger
[dave-in-air] ah. i was pretty sure that this wasn't barbara
[barbara] dude you are so wrong...
[barbara] that's barbara not mee
[barbara] me
[dave-in-air] now i'm confused... i was sure the deeper voice was barbara
[barbara] her voice drops when she is pissed off
[dave-in-air] lol
[barbara] how angry am I...hmmm, baritone...
[barbara] so, if there are three kids in a class. All get the context ncely and two get the dates correct.
[barbara] the other gets the date wrong by a year
[barbara] do all three get the same grade?
[barbara] what is the conference call humber...scott wants in
[JeffLebow] call 1-402-756-9000, access code 537267#
graham_wegner has joined the chat.
[dave-in-air] hi graham
[dave-in-air] how goes things out there...?
[dave-in-air] hee hee
[graham_wegner] Not bad - doing a few things while listening - not as hot here today.
[barbara] dave: memory does not equal knowledge. So there
[dave-in-air] do you really know what knowledge is?
[dave-in-air] can you tell me?
[dave-in-air] what is knowledge b.?
[dave-in-air] i don't
[dave-in-air] but i do know the words are different
[dave-in-air] how do you fell about dates graham?
[dave-in-air] feel
[barbara] memory is recall
[graham_wegner] What do you mean?
[dave-in-air] oh. you missed the earlier part of our conversatoin
[dave-in-air] no biggie
[graham_wegner] Yeah, only just turned on the PC about 5 mins ago.
[dave-in-air] ah.
[dave-in-air] it was a great debate
[dave-in-air] hard to describe...
[barbara] rockem sockem robots part 2
[graham_wegner] I will listen in full when the mp3 is posted. Not sure if I would have had anything useful to say at this point!
[barbara] graham" we were debating whether students needed to know dates when they are taught history... the ED side of Edtech talk
[barbara] My husband, who was trying to read a book in the other room, heard the audio feed, launched off the couch and juped right in
[barbara] a familyy affair
[dave-in-air] that is a perfectly fair description of the debate b.
[graham_wegner] Aust'n education is probably structured differently but I think on the whole, Aust'ns are pretty poorly educated history wise.
[barbara] and what would you consider poorly educated?
[graham_wegner] Our country's only a shade over 200 years old - what's important to remember?
[barbara] oh don't say that...
[graham_wegner] I can't think of many significant dates history wise to do with anything on Aussie history!
[graham_wegner] Maybe that's more a reflection on me.
[dave-in-air] b. the world is against you
[barbara] au contraire mon ami
[dave-in-air] but now you'll never again forget the date of the boston massacrew
[dave-in-air] i knew it
[dave-in-air] but i'm canadian
[graham_wegner] What's the Boston massacre?
[barbara] naneenannanneenana
[barbara] I fully appreciate the fact that i was poorly taught the facts that i should have known
[barbara] I was in HS in the 70s and 80s when things were about feeling and relationships and contexts...no facts
[barbara] and I paid the rice for that
[graham_wegner] Aussie tend to remember sporting history facts - when Australia last made the World Cup in soccer, and so on.
[erin] siguccs = Special Interest Group on University and College Computing Services
[Scott_from_oberlin] thanks erin
[barbara] http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/
[graham_wegner] Actually in Aust. it is sometimes a matter of whose history is being told.
[graham_wegner] Australia Day Jan 26 is sometimes referred to as Invasion Day by Aboriginal groups who don't see white settlement as a gd thing.
[erin] actually, here's the full link: http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/gadgets/dualcor-technologies-cpc...
[dave-in-air] that's exactly the point that we were making graham... the content is more important than the
[dave-in-air] something else
[erin] and that's exactly the point we were making...that both are equally important.
[erin] dates as well as context.
[elanghorst] thre is a question there about the Lincoln Douglas debates but I'm not going there......
[dave-in-air] jeff is cool... he understands that dates are stupid
[dave-in-air] :)
[barbara] dave you are in the air
[dave-in-air] dates are everything erin says
[dave-in-air] and no child left behind says
[barbara] no that is NOT what she is saying
[dave-in-air] and therefore erin loves no child left behind
[barbara] sollipsism?
[barbara] (sp?)
[dave-in-air] lol
[erin] oh, no.
[dave-in-air] well... that's what you said
[dave-in-air] if a child gets the date right... isn't that enough
[dave-in-air] as long as they can prove that they can listen
[erin] no, i said no child left behind was too focused on dates. i think both dates and context are equally imporant.
[dave-in-air] isn't that all they need to learn
[graham_wegner] Every generation wishes they'd been taught differently - just think of this gen. with teachers who are technology challenged!
[dave-in-air] ah... it's so much easier to do this...
[erin] you're twisting my words, dave.
[dave-in-air] as you did mine erin
[erin] you think dates are not as important as context, no?
[dave-in-air] when i said "dates aren't really the be all and end all of education"
[dave-in-air] you said "hey context is important"
[erin] i think dates are part and parcel of context, and therefore just as important.
[dave-in-air] erin... how many things are 'part and parcel' of context
[erin] a whole lot. that's what makes it context
[dave-in-air] prioritization is necessary
[dave-in-air] i think social, economic, political, etc... should be prioritized over dates
[dave-in-air] that doesn't mean that the dates are irrelevant
[erin] and i think all of those things - society, politics, economy, and dates - make up context. and are all equally imporant.
Antony has joined the chat.
[barbara] graham... come and join the skyoe chat... i think there is room?
[barbara] hello Antony
[Antony] Hi
[JeffLebow] Hey Ant
[barbara] welcome to edtechtalk... just so you known where you have arrived
[JeffLebow] So, how do you feel concerning this 'date issue'
[Antony] I agree (so far) with Dave
[barbara] Antony can you explain why?
[graham_wegner] Can't right now - I'm minding the kids and putting headphones sort cuts me off from doing that. yu guys keep taking!
[Antony] Dates are a part of context
[Antony] Is the date relevant to the occurance?
[barbara] My kids love it when i put the headphones on... all heck breaks loose... :-)
[graham_wegner] Maybe part of the issue is the precision of the date.
[Antony] The fact that the Magna Carta was signed in 1215 is only relevant insofar as it tells how far we have come since that date.
[barbara] and what happened before during and after
[Antony] other dates?
[barbara] but the date is crucial
[Antony] only in context
[Antony] we rationalize information from a point of view
[barbara] what is you read lit from that timeperiod... wouldn;t that date matter... something before vs something after... wouldn't
[barbara] knowing that date aid in understanding the lit?
[dave-in-air] yes it does
[Antony] when it occured is relevant (the date) but the reson it happened then is more important
[Antony] reason, rather
[Antony] agreed
[Antony] I agree with Dave
[dave-in-air] thanks antony
[erin] the date it happened is part of why it happened! you cannot remove history from its context and expect it to make sense!
[dave-in-air] as odd as it is that someone in the chatroom is agreeing with me
[Antony] We, as educators, are limited in what we can teach - context becomes paramount in that sitiation
[Antony] but limited
[erin] and the date is part of that context.
[Antony] agreed
[dave-in-air] no one is saying that we are removing history from the context
[Antony] but why did it happen on that date?
[erin] so how can you say date is less important that context, when date is part of context?
[dave-in-air] less
[dave-in-air] i can say less
[dave-in-air] not as
[dave-in-air] not quite
[Antony] everything has a value and therefore is ratable
[dave-in-air] my mic is off
[erin] we're talking about the building blocks of learning.
[erin] for math, it's time tables.
[erin] for language, it's grammar.
[erin] for history, it's dates
[Antony] the date is of less weight than the story about why did an occurance happen when it happened
[Antony] but of vlue - just less value
[Antony] value
[erin] the argument does translate. antony: but when it happened is crucial to why it happened.
[erin] history starts with dates.
[erin] it does not end there.
[Antony] history starts with occurances
[Antony] and is recorded as dates
[erin] okay, let me rephrase: learning history starts with learning a timeline, which ismade of dates.
[graham_wegner] Who decides which dates are important and which aren't? It's like all knowledge - what is relevant 2 one is not to another.
[Antony] Erin, I agree with the fact that when something happens is crutial, but what is needed is a concept of why it happened then
[graham_wegner] History has many timelines - all from a bunch of diff. perspectives.
[erin] yes, but the fact that we disagree on what dates are important does not negate the importance of dates.
[Antony] To some extent it does
[erin] howso?
[graham_wegner] No, but it influences greatly what is chosen to be taught.
[erin] graham: yes! and yet the importance of dates is not negated.
[Antony] Graham, That is true
[Antony] are'nt the words in toefl the same as dates?
[erin] there's a difference between words and grammar.
[Antony] how so
[erin] use the wrong word: you will very likely be misunderstood. use the wrong grammar: others can probably figure out what you mean.
[Antony] words have rules - grammar is an ordered rule
[Antony] spell a word or use the wrong word and your meaning is lost
[dave-in-air] 'night guys
[Antony] g'night
[dave-in-air] i'm off to lala land
[erin] 'night dave.
[graham_wegner] Not necessarily true - this chatrrom is living proof that you don't need spelling to communicate meaning.
[Scott_from_oberlin] night