In today's Times, Larry Summers weighs in on the question of what college students ought to learn in college.
Larry's answer: not too much, because the entire Library of Congress will soon be accessible on a mobile device with search procedures that are vastly better than any card catalog!
Larry bases his novel and highly original thesis (to wit: "factual mastery will become less and less important") on "what we now understand about how people learn."
(Does Harvard have node chairs, I wonder? Sounds like no.)
OK, I'm going to go look up calculus on the internet. I've always been interested in calculus, so now that I've received a mobile device for Christmas, I'm going to look it up. Then I'm going to collaborate with some friends who also looked up calculus on the internet to figure out what to do about the 21st century global world meltdown.
I'm going to do this because I've noticed that economists use calculus in their collaborative group papers.
There is a reason why students must commit content to memory as opposed to looking it up on a mobile device with search procedures that are vastly better than any card catalog.
That reason has to do with working memory.
What You (Really) Need to Know by Lawrence A. Summers
update: Why students have to memorize things
and see: Extremely fast learning & extended working memory
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