What’s in Your Black Box?

The Internet featured a video Saturday morning produced by Through the Wormhole entitled, “Upload Your Brain to Live Forever?” It basically detailed how researchers are looking into ways in which data can be saved and organized so as to provide a black box of sorts which could preserve one’s thoughts and memories. This black box would possibly be a digital representation of your personality and could be shared with others even after your death. It was a fascinating concept.

It made me think once again, however, about what I put “out there” for others to read and ponder and about my journey as an adult learner; whether or not I was making contributions of real value or just completing assignments. For me, it is all too easy to get caught up into going from assignment to assignment, checking off boxes and gauging how close I might be to the finish line. The idea of having my own “life logging” recorded over time really caused me to hesitate and think about becoming a little more intentional with my efforts.

Ironically, I am doing my first research project on evaluation and although the focus will largely be on the assessment and evaluation of surgical skills, this provides me with a good opportunity to stop and evaluate my learning in this class to this point.

1) How have the end products for each assignment reflected the degree to which I have prepared for each through reading, exploration and utilization of resources?
2) Is there a clear indication that the principles of instructional design are understood in their application to our assignments?
3) Have I contributed appropriately as a team member to develop and complete assignments?
4) Does my reflective writing indicate the practice of critical thinking with regard to my learning and where I am in my journey as an adult learner?

It isn’t important to share how I evaluate myself at this point in this class; just that I am thinking about it and being mindful of where I am in this process.

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7 Responses to What’s in Your Black Box?

  1. lsniestrath says:

    Wally, the fact that you are considering these questions shows that you are a reflective thinker who is cognizant of your role as both a learner and a group participant. Quite frankly, what you’ve pondered could be printed on a note card as a constant reminder that stopping points that are important reminders of what needs to occur in order to meet the established goals. The verbiage would change for each course of study, but the intent is still the same.
    I always enjoy reading your blogs as they are a window into your thinking processes as well as a reminder to me of how important it is to “stay the course!”

  2. Joanne Even says:

    Okay, anybody else think that idea of recreating personality from a digital life log is a little creepy? Yikes! And as for being able to remember exactly how something was versus the way I remember it being… to me, my faulty memory and imperfections are what make me ME! Yes, I do have a life log of sorts between my status updates, tweets, pins, and blog posts… but please, when I’m gone, let those things stand for themselves and don’t try to recreate me from them. There’s a lot of me that’s NOT out there on the internet, trust me. 🙂

    • I hear you, Joanne, and share many of these same sentiments. The whole idea of leaving behind a life log was very thought provoking indeed! It’s great that all these capabilities are being explored and at the same time, there seems a need for a measure of caution. Can a life really ever be replicated from what’s been shared through digital media?

  3. MelKoch says:

    Wally,
    I love your questions at the end. I think it’s important to evaluate our own learning and contributions regularly. I think I’ve gotten a little bogged down by workload and haven’t stepped back to look at the bigger picture. Thanks for helping to re-orient my learning!

  4. I agree with Joanne. a digital life log?
    I found being a student automatically made me consider how I was doing, learning, contributing. I’ve always been a proponent of changing your life if you’re unhappy; striving for something better, more meaningful… balanced with not taking it all too seriously. Being a serious student means continuously assessing your own learning. Hopefully the study contains enough joy and surprise to keep it balanced.

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