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    #79774 - 07/06/10 06:04 AM Computer based training (CBT)
    PoppaRex Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/09/10
    Posts: 44
    Anyone know of any studies that indicate whether computer based training is effective when used in an individual setting as opposed to a school setting?

    I credit most of my education on just having loved to read. The internet wasn't around and encyclopedias were my friends. For myself, i can envision that i would have done well with CBT but i wonder if I would be the exception rather than the rule?

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    #79778 - 07/06/10 06:54 AM Re: Computer based training (CBT) [Re: PoppaRex]
    Lori H. Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 982
    I have a well-read 12-year-old son who has spent many hours of his life looking up the answers to anything he wanted to know on Wikipedia. He regularly read random Wikipedia articles just for fun. It is the reason that so many people over the years thought he must have a really high IQ. If he wanted to understand something better, he found things like the "In plain English" videos on Youtube or howstuffworks.com. When he was younger, I was bombarded with questions any time we were in the car and I found it very distracting, especially when I didn't know the answer. Now there is the iPhone and iPad so he can learn even more on long car rides. Not only do I not have to find answers for him any more, he shares the interesting things he is learning with me.

    Our public school didn't offer any kind of computer based training or an appropriate education for my son, which is why we have to homeschool. Computer based training definitely works for us.

    I found this article about the effectiveness of computer based training: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5885754_effectiveness-computer_based-training.html

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    #79782 - 07/06/10 08:38 AM Re: Computer based training (CBT) [Re: Lori H.]
    Austin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    CBT is the new Autodidactism!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autodidacticism

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    #79816 - 07/06/10 06:27 PM Re: Computer based training (CBT) [Re: Austin]
    passthepotatoes Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/09
    Posts: 687
    Sorry I don't have the link, but isn't there some research suggesting we use a different part of our brain when reading online versus reading a book?

    As homeschoolers we've certainly used some online options and we enjoy noodling around reading online, but I don't see it as an adequate substitute for other approaches. Simply reading is very different from producing something (drawing, writing, etc.) The kinds of interaction that happen in good discussion groups, in a classroom, working with mentors are different educationally than simply absorbing facts from reading online. Also, and I think most of us have experienced is that being online it is easy to flip from one thing to another rather than focusing on indepth study. It may lessen persistence and the willingness to stick with and tackle a problem because there is always another shiny pretty thing that requires less effort.

    Real learning is more than just taking in facts.


    Edited by passthepotatoes (07/06/10 06:28 PM)

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    #79838 - 07/07/10 07:16 AM Re: Computer based training (CBT) [Re: passthepotatoes]
    Lori H. Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 982
    I agree. Real learning is more than just taking in facts, and I don't know what part of his brain my son is using when he reads online, but he retains enough of it that he is able to relate his knowledge of one subject to another and come up with even more questions that lead to even more study which seems to result in a deeper knowledge of a lot of different subjects.

    When online learning is the only option, it can work if a child is really motivated to learn. Online learning leaves more time for learning fun things. Through online learning my son learned to do a lot of different accents and a really good general knowledge of different countries that add to his ability to do comic improv which is a very useful social skill, not only in his musical theater class but in discussions with friends or family. If a discussion starts to get a little boring or if he is trying to make a point he can make up a scenario that not only helps him get his point across but makes people laugh.

    His interest in sociology and psychology which he learned about online were useful in dealing with feeling shunned in our community because he does musical theater instead of sports. When he has a problem he looks for solutions on his own online and it works really well for him.








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    #79842 - 07/07/10 08:35 AM Re: Computer based training (CBT) [Re: Lori H.]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    The internet is superior to a book in that the information is interconnected and browsable in any direction, much more easily than in books. And there's a lot of good reference material out there on the web-- Wikipedia alone is worth the cost of entry IMHO.

    Then you have online learning sites, some of which have active as well as static content. That's something you just can't get from books.

    I don't think the notion that learning can and should involve more than engaging in memorization of facts (which is also "real learning" of a kind, as intelligence depends in part on knowledge) means that reading and/or interacting with non-static content on the web or elsewhere isn't a learning activity. Austin's link is a good one.

    The main drawback to the internet is, of course, danger, e.g. from inappropriate material and predators. But as long as use of the internet is made safe, I don't see much to argue about: in addition to everything else that a child can be exposed to for learning, the internet can be quite a useful resource.
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    #79844 - 07/07/10 09:15 AM Re: Computer based training (CBT) [Re: cricket3]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    The point is this:

    Quote:
    The internet is superior to a book in that the information is interconnected and browsable in any direction, much more easily than in books. And there's a lot of good reference material out there on the web-- Wikipedia alone is worth the cost of entry IMHO.


    Wikipedia is superior to a book in that it's larger, much more interconnected than almost any book, and easily, quickly browsable. While it might not be ideal for medical students doing a research paper for a final source, here we are talking about children using the web to learn. I'm not sure I understand how your medical education experience is directly relevant to that.

    Overall, I have to say that Wikipedia is a more useful general learning resource than, say, the Encyclopedia Britannica. While it contains some inaccuracies, at a higher frequency than a standard encyclopedia-- as well as other faults, such as some biased information-- it also has much, much more information on the whole, and much more unbiased, correct information. As an information hub which is also to some extent an authority, it can't be beat.

    That isn't to say that information shouldn't be verified, or that children shouldn't be taught to verify. I think it's a little off topic, though you're certainly right. The topic is whether the web in general is a useful learning tool for kids; it is, and Wikipedia is a good example of a part that's useful for that.

    My main reservation with letting kids use Wikipedia is not the accuracy of the content, but the appropriateness of some of the content.


    Edited by Iucounu (07/07/10 09:23 AM)
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    #79867 - 07/07/10 01:39 PM Re: Computer based training (CBT) [Re: cricket3]
    PoppaRex Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/09/10
    Posts: 44
    Formal vs. real vs. plain ol' learning. Isn't it really all the same? Any source whether book, web or teacher can be wrong. Maybe the real learning begins when a student is able to get past taking everything as gospel from an "authority".

    The gist of my question was more along the lines of how effective is CBT compared to having a live teacher, but i am now thinking that's pretty moot. There are all sorts of different styles of learning and it may even depend on what's being taught.

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    #79869 - 07/07/10 01:45 PM Re: Computer based training (CBT) [Re: cricket3]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    Mmm, I'm sorry if I came off a bit touchy there. I didn't mean to. Really what I am trying to get across is that while I understand what you're getting at, and Wikipedia isn't perfect by any stretch, I think it can be useful for learning on some level, and I can see how it would be fun and useful for a self-teaching kid. I really do agree that it's not great as an ultimate authority on anything, though it may be good enough for some purposes. (But my concerns about appropriateness/safety are real... I am currently setting up my DD4's computer for internet access. If I can't figure out how to keep him to "safe" areas of Wikipedia, I will have to just block the site for now.)

    Anyway, it's just one example off of the top of my head. We might agree on the self-directed learning usefulness of some other sites where the content is not user-edited. Many of them are free.

    I don't think that inaccuracy is possible to get away from completely:
    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/05/dictionary-definition-of-sipho.html

    I see inaccuracies fairly often in children's media, which I chalk up to the likelihood that both writers and editors of such stuff tend toward the less technical end of the spectrum. But I freely grant that Wikipedia, due to its basic nature, will have sections with a higher inaccuracy rate than almost any decent edited or peer-reviewed source.
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    #79870 - 07/07/10 02:16 PM Re: Computer based training (CBT) [Re: Iucounu]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    My D15 is also a big Wikipedia surfer, mostly used for picking up info that would be useful in Quiz Bowl, but I think she also does it for fun. She is well aware that the info is "user provided", and that it COULD be incorrect, but Wiki is still a great way to learn quickly about a new topic. I have no qualms about this, I know she wouldn't depend on it for any super critical info. And just take a look at the non-fiction kids section of any library these days... so many of the books are 30 years old and completely out of date, I would trust Wiki over many of them!

    I look up technical terms all the time on it at work; I had one client that blocked it, and it really bugged me when someone would mention a new encryption algorithm or technical acronym, and I couldn't pull up a description on Wiki so I could sound smart about it smile As a pretty heavy user, I actually only rarely see something out there that I consider inaccurate.

    Not saying it is the best way to learn... but I actually think it has a whole lot to recommend it over the old Encyclopedia set we had when I was a kid.

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