We’ve covered so much during this semester that has flown by that it’s hard to know what to write about first. I will say that when I signed up for the class I expected it to be dry, slow and probably boring. This class has been anything but! I had some basic computer knowledge coming into this class but I think the material was so varied and built on itself so well throughout the semester that I have learned quite a bit. I think I have a much broader understanding of technology in general after taking this class.
First of all I like how we went through the practice of “building” a computer from scratch. I actually think I have a clue now about how I would go about doing such a thing and I probably wouldn’t require much assistance from my techie husband! Then, thanks to going over binary language and the assembly language simulator I can now say that I understand binary where I didn’t know anything about it before. I also have a basic understanding of how information is encoded into numbers. It actually takes a little bit of the mystery out of how my mp3 player works.
I think the exposure to different applications such as Scratch, Alice, and Greenfoot was also good experience because I had never heard of those things before. I enjoyed working with Greenfoot because it helped reinforce concepts we’re covering in my Java programming class.
My only regret is that I wasn’t able to attend the class in person. I especially wish I had the opportunity to work with the robotics “hands on” but I still think I got something out of that segment because of the research I did on my robotics topic. I also learned from the other students by reading their blogs and looking at their research and their Scratch projects.
Overall I’m very happy with the experience I’ve had taking this class this semester. I even recommended it to a friend the other day at work! I think in this day and age with so much technology that permeates every aspect of our lives it would be helpful for anyone to take this class to get some overall general knowledge of “how it works”. Plus, it’s more than just how it works….it’s how it impacts our lives and how it may develop the future. There are a lot of philosophical questions around technology and it’s use. If you think about Moore’s Law and the idea of a technological singularity, artifical intelligence, robotics, and virtual reality, you have to consider the implications of our ever evolving use of technology in our lives.