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Breaking Down the Digital Walls: Learning to Teach in a Post-Modem World (Suny Series, Education and Culture) Paperback – January 4, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Suny Series, Education and Culture
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (January 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791447545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791447543
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,932,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

R. W. Burniske is a researcher in the Computer Writing and Research Laboratory at the University of Texas, Austin and consultant to the World Bank Institute.

Lowell Monke is Assistant Professor of Education at Wittenberg University.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By George P. Shadroui on February 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
In this important book, the authors tackle an old issue in a modern context. We might recall that Victor Hugo, in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, discussed the moral and cultural implications of the printing press. Burniske and Monke bring this discussion to the 1990s by studying the implications of Internet technology on education. The fundamental question centers on what it means to be educated in the first place. Burniske, for example, makes a distinction between being trained, the language of technology, and being educated, the language of the humanities. This book walks us through specific efforts by the authors to integrate Internet technology into their classroom teaching, but what clearly galls both of them is that deeper questions about how to properly educate students are getting lost in the hype over equipment, technical wizardry and on-line chatter. There are plenty of kids out there who can create web sites, hack into complex systems, and master the language of technology, but do these same kids know right from wrong? Can they critically read a text, or relate to the deep emotions revealed in a play or novel, or even treat fellow classmates or online correspondents with respect? These issues are the real test of education, and if they get lost in the hype, we are building a Brave New World every bit as pernicious as the one described by Huxley. Burniske is an innovator who is trying to find ways to correctly use technology in the classroom, that is, without surrendering human issues or context. Monke is more skeptical, perhaps, but a willing participant in the dialogue -- how can teachers be empowered and liberated to properly educate their students.
Students, by the way, are the real concern of these two teachers.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a secondary school English and social studies teacher, I found "Breaking Down the Digital Walls" to be inspiring, thoughtful and helpful. I would like to embark upon a telecollaborative project with my students, and use the Internet for something more than research, but until now, I hadn't felt prepared to do so. This book provided me with ideas and support, and it was interesting to read - thank you!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am a high school (Gymnasium) teacher from Germany and I picked up a copy of this book at an education conference. We have been using computers in our school for two years now but have received little training in how to use them to aid our teaching (we have received only technical training). By looking at the case studies in this book I finally have a good, practical guide for me that I can use to help teach my students using e-mail and the Internet. This really opens up a whole new world of learning for me and my students. It is nice to finally read *by teachers* about how teachers are actually using the technology, and not just a bunch of theories on how you *could* use it. Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
I heard one of the authors, Dr. Burniske, speak at the Odyssey Bookstore in Massachusetts in July. He gave such an impressive and thoughtful talk that I decided to buy a copy of this book. I'm not an educator, but I am a parent and I found this an extremely thoughtful and thought-provoking book. I don't think you have to be a teacher to understand the stories that Burniske and Monke tell or the ideas that they develop. It helps, however, to understand some of the problems that teachers face with respect to their own professional development. If you've not been in a school recently this book will certainly help you understand why so many teachers struggle with new technology -- and why we all should be asking more questions about its place in the curriculum. As some of the other reviewers have suggested, I think this should be required reading for every parent and teacher who wishes to take part in the discussion of technology in education.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
I believe this book will greatly help educators to find practical and very effective uses of this emerging technology. With the guidance of this book, educators should lose their confusion and the trepidations that I believe many of us have in the use of this potentially excellent tool. With a bit of help from their teachers, students can learn to focus their efforts and perhaps for the first time, realize they can take part in making positive and profound changes in their lives and in the lives of others that they will touch. The deep insights revealed by this book, and the practical ideas presented by Burniske and Monke will reduce or eliminate much stess by educators that do not wish to repeat the mistakes of those who have gone before us.
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