Your Mind Online: How Is Your Use of Technology Affecting Your Life? A Socratic Conversation, Thursday, 9/22, 4-5pm

Inspired by Socrates' famous conversations with his friends in the marketplace of 5th century Athens, we engage in spirited discussions of ideas and issues. Socratic conversations range broadly and probe deeply into the basic challenges of life. They are informed by the latest literature for reference and follow up. While building a sense of community on campus, these meetings enliven the intellectual atmosphere and model dialogue and discussion as modes of inquiry.

  • Your Mind Online: How Is Your Use of Technology Affecting Your Life?, Thursday, 9/22, 4-5pm


  • Participants in last year's Socratic Conversation on this issue reported that it helped them better understand and use emerging personal technologies. And since then, the pace of change has increased sharply, as reflected in the books listed below.

    So please join us to update and refresh our ways of enhancing our lives while avoiding the perils. Share your experiences, thoughts, and suggestions.

    • How is your thinking, communicating, and understanding of the world being affected by Cell-phoning, Apps, Laptops, Blackberries, I-Phones, Twittering, Facebook, and using Wikipedia and the Web as aids?


    • Does your Personal Technology make you feel better-connected and more in control of your life? In what ways?


    • Or does it sometimes seem intrusive and distracting? How?


    • What is the role of Books in our digitized culture? Are they less important, just as important, more important, or important in different ways?


    • What new opportunities does digital culture offer for collaborative learning, research, and social change?


    These issues are raised by recent books which will be discussed at this session, including:



    Please: During this session, no Instant Messaging, Twittering, or using Facebook!!

    Socrates worried about the new technology of his time (written scrolls) because he feared that it would "erode thought by permitting people to forget what they had learned because they'd be able to look things up, and wouldn't feel the need to remember it from the inside, completely on their own."

  • Enjoying Great Conversation: How Talking Together Can Enhance Your Life & Your Learning, Thursday, 9/8, 4-5pm


  • You spend 6-12 hours a day talking with other people. So making that process more enjoyable and rewarding is one of the most effective ways to enhance your pleasure in life.

    Let's discover how to do that, by pooling our experiences, knowledge, and skills!

    • What do you value most in the best conversations you have? (Humor? Rapport? Discovery? Or...?!)


    • What conversational skills have you used, or observed and admired? (Listening 'actively'? Empathizing sensitively? Being truly curious?)


    • Who's the best conversationalists you know, and what makes him or her outstanding?


    • What can you learn from the best conversations on the media -- and possible from the worst (e.g. Charlie Rose, Terri Gross, The Group, "Talk Radio," etc.)


    • How does your online communication (Texting, Twitter, e-mail, Facebook, etc.) complement, replace, or change your face-to-face conversations?


    • How can conversations in schools and in classrooms contribute more to the educational process?


    ***
    These highly-participatory conversations with fellow students are moderated by Ronald Gross, author of Socrates' Way and Co-chair of the University Seminar on Innovation in Education. They are part of a year long series of Socratic Conversations hosted by the Gottesman Libraries (see TC Today, Winter 2010, p. 65).

    Where: Second Floor Salon

    Next Session: Thursday, 10/6, Topic: Sacred Trust: A Bill of Rights for Children, continuing the book talk with Peter Cookson on Tuesday, 9/13

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