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A “Revisited” blog post indicates that I reread the original and used AI-assisted tools (e.g., Grammarly) to improve grammar and word choice.

First published on May 19, 2014.

As I continue my transition to WordPress.org (and apply Margareta Magnusson’s ideas articulated in The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning to blogs I have written and photographs I have taken), I shall be revisiting some earlier pieces I have written during the last 15 years or so. I’ll title those pieces Curious David Redux.


[The photo above is of me, Dad, and younger brother Bruce in Grandma Stover’s backyard. I wonder where sister Connie was? Perhaps with Mom.]

The thought piece below, first published on September 2, 2008, is a slightly revised blog piece I wrote in May of 2004 under the name “Curious David” when I was a community educational blogger for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I was attempting to think through the potential of Internet Learning Tools. Today in 2018,  I am now thinking through which of these might lend themselves to maintaining or promoting brain health.

I’m nervous and excited. Time to take off my invisibility cloak. Tomorrow (Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 8:00 a.m.) I meet in person for the first time with my 20 first-year students. What an immense responsibility to be their first professor!

We will explore “21st-century” learning tools such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networks, virtual worlds, and YouTube. The idea for this course emerged from my experiences writing this “Curious David” blog column. Last year’s opportunity to write for “JSonline” was transformative. I learned from elementary and secondary school teachers, high school students, virtual school advocates, retired faculty, and readers about innovations, challenges, and successes they faced promoting learning.

In this first-year seminar, we shall focus on some of the 25 free learning tools described by educator Jane Hart. [Here is an updated list I would draw upon to teach this course again.]  As we examine these learning tools, we hope to answer questions such as these:

To what degree can these web tools truly enhance student learning?

To what degree are they just “cool” tools?

Could they be used to develop critical thinking?

Do they improve or degrade communication skills?

Might they be applied to fostering cross-cultural or international understanding?

Might they strengthen or weaken writing skills?

What are their weaknesses or dangers?

Should they complement or replace 20th-century learning skills/tools?

How can one evaluate their effectiveness?

[It seems possible to produce an evidence-based paper like this to address the questions above.]

 I intend to assist students in the transition from high school to college—and investigate Web 2.0 learning tools that might be useful across classes and in the workplace. I want to involve them in educational experiences to develop and enhance their reading, writing, reflecting, presenting, thinking, and producing abilities. Writing exercises include short in-class and out-of-class reaction papers, journals, blogs/wikis, and exams. Presentations will be both formal and informal, individual and in small groups. The collaboration will be both with fellow students and with me.

Still Curious,