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Learning is frustrating and life-enhancing

James Paul Gee says in his 2003 book that learning is both frustrating and life-enhancing. One doesn't have to look very far in this community to see how that quote applies!

We are all, well with the a few notable exceptions, frustrated when we begin. The mountain seems so insurmountable. And yet, when we crest the peak...our lives are so enhanced!

The technology available to us, both here and elsewhere, has so many applications in the education of the natives we teach. I am alluding to Prensky of course. What he doesn't sketch out is a good description for the likes of WebcastAcademy Interns. I propose another term: illegal aliens.

So following his logic, and possibly extending it,  there are these groups in societies now: industrial settlers, digital natives, digital aliens.

What think ye?

Sorry Illya, I didn't realise it didn't publish my name...Durff

Students/learners and learning

I tell my student learners that  if we knew how to do something, then there would something else new to learn and practice. I think it is the practice step that frustrates us, until we make all the synapse connections. I can learn one new skill, but I have to have somewhere in my brain to make a connection to a previous learning. Thanks for all of the support at Webcastacademy for pointing my brain in the right directions.

Cheryl Oakes

Webhead 2006, Collaborative Content Coach for Technology K-12, Wells Ogunquit CSD 

The other component

 We can completely have all our dendrites connected, all the synapses firing, conceptions complete. We still may fail. Sometimes the equipment will just not cooperate. So yes Cheryl we may know exactly how to accomplish. But no Cheryl sometimes the frustration is in the performance step too. We both have been there. It's Hamster Dance time now for all who are successful!


Illya Arnet-ClarkI enjoyed

Illya Arnet-Clark

I enjoyed your  quote. As you imply, it's only life-enhancing if you are prepared to deal with the frustration and continue despite the obstacles. It is so easy to give up, and I certainly would have by now without the exceptional support of the members of this group.

What about the Louis and Clarks of the digital world? Climbing the mountain of webcasting (to use your allegory) aren't we digital explorers, surfing on the tracks of ever-renewing tools in search of benefits for humankind, our students and ourselves?  - just running away with your thoughts there. (btw- there's no name, so I don't really know who I'm addressing this to.)

I disagree

As frustrating as this is, I'm used to it. I've been using and working with technology in one form or another since I was a pre-teen. I'm not afraid, or intimidated by it. In fact, I think many of my students may have a lower tolerance for frustration with technology than I do because the quality of what they work with is so much better than what I grew up with, and they are 10 years old compared to my 42. Age has it's wisdom and compensations.


 Frustration does not imply unwillingness. You are a very willing innovator, I can personally attest to that! 

How then can we as educators increase the tolerance levels of the students whom we teach?

They will be dealing with apps we cannot yet imagine, how will they do so without endurance, tolerance, or ability to deal with incongruity?


forum | by Dr. Radut