What did you learn about coding today?

What did you learn about coding today? Be specific and expansive. Consider how technology influences what people write online and what the limitations may be in terms of what they are willing to reveal and what they may hide. What is there about public and private discourses that we need to bridge as academics that makes online and technology-infused learning activities and informal learning different from traditional classroom learning?

 

An ongoing concern that I have about CDMA is the sometimes subjective nature of the action. In reading the interview transcript, I’m not certain that the teacher was always responding precisely to the question of the interviewer asked.

 

In my own limited experience with these things I found that sometimes the interviewee would sometimes ask clarifying questions about the question I posed. Other interviewees didn’t ask clarifying questions and I’m never certain that they interpreted the way I had intended for the way that other interviewees had interpreted.

 

It brings to mind the parable of the blind men and an elephant.

 

A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: “We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable”. So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said “This being is like a thick snake”. For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said, “elephant is a wall”. Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.

 

Each blind man is correct, of course, just as each of the interviewees in my situation responded to the question they thought I was asking. I am turn interpreted their responses in the way I chose, complete with my intellectual limitations and inherent biases. I understand that techniques such as triangulation may help mitigate this concern by I don’t believe even triangulation would eliminate it completely.

 

This brings to mind another story from my Corporate America experience. A manager was impressed by the developer’s solution to a technical problem. The manager told the employee “you did a helluva job!”  The employee, not being a native speaker of English, knew that “hell” was a bad place and interpreted this as a criticism bordering on insult. And it was difficult to convince him otherwise.

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About rondfw

Dad, Husband, Techie, Boilermaker
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