TOK MidTerm Packet

Although this is located on ManageBac, I thought I’d copy everything here as well.

This document contains everything you need for your MidTerm exploratory packet as a culmination of our Nature of Knowledge Unit (Unit 1). You will have approximately 2 class periods (2 weeks) in which to complete all the requirements to the best of your ability. Because much of the packet involves multi-media elements like videos, you will need to bring headphones to class. The tasks are open-resource, so you are encouraged to use your own blog, your peers’ blogs, the TOK blog, the resources provided, as well as the Internet to assist you.

***All elements are due by Friday, Dec. 14 at midnight. If you do not submit (via your WordPress blog) by that time you will receive an email that you are required to come to TOK class for final exam week EITHER Monday, Dec. 17 (10:30-12:30) or Wed., Dec. 19 (8-10 or 10:30-12:30), and will not be able to earn a 7. Please take advantage of the time given in class so you do not have to do that and can concentrate on your other midterms and holiday preparations.

 FIRST: Read the Intro adapted from Richard van de Lagemaat  and the Overview on the Google doc packet

TASKS: Below are the copied/pasted tasks and resource links.

I. Quotes about Knowledge:

Choose 1 of the following quotes and write a paragraph or two discussing / exploring it further. You should directly refer to things we have studied in this course so far and hyperlink to at least one of your blog posts or relevant resource. Try to include multiple perspectives.

“The greatest obstacle to progress is not the absence of knowledge but the illusion of knowledge” – Daniel Boorstein, 1914

“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is” – Bjagavad Ghita, 500BCE

“To know one’s ignorance is the best part of knowledge” – Lao Tse, c.565 BCE

“There are 2 ways to slide easily through life: believe everything, or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking” – Alfred Korzybski, 1879-1950

“A very popular error- having the courage of one’s own convictions; rather, it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one’s own convictions” – Nietzsche, 1844-1900

“By doubting we are led to enquire, and by enquiry we perceive the truth” – Peter Abelard, 1079-1142

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts” – Richard Feynman, 1918-88

“Knowledge is the small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify” – Ambrose Pierce, 1842-1914

“We must rise above the obsession with the quantity of information and speed of transmission, and recognize that the key issue for us is our ability to organize this information once it has been amassed – to assimilate it, find meaning in it” – Gregorian Vartan, 1934-

“If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing” – Anatole France, 1844-1924

“If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can’t be done” – Peter Ustinov

“Knowledge is of 2 kinds- we know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information on it” – Samuel Johnson, 1709-84

“The more connections and interconnections we ascertain, the more we know the object in question” – John Dewey

“We may be learned with another man’s learning, but we can only be wise with wisdom of our own” – Michel de Montaigne, 1533-92

“There are no whole truths- all truths are half-truths” – Alfred North Whitehead, 1861-1947

“Anyone who makes a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know a thing about either” – Marshall McLuhan, 1911-80

“I wouldn’t have seen it if I hadn’t believed it” – Marshall McLuhan

“The more data banks record about each of us, the less we exist” – Marshal McLuhan

II. Questions About Knowledge.

Some of the following questions address things we’ve studied, while others will become more clear after watching the videos in the playlists and/or reading the provided articles. Choose at least 1 of the following questions and respond in a thoughtful paragraph with specific references to things/ people we’ve studied or the resources provided in this packet (hyperlinking is preferable). ***note: this might be good to save until LAST, so you can have a better , broader understanding after using the resources

1. How do we determine the reliability of information and sources found on the web? What effect does the web have on “authority or expert”-based knowledge?

2. How can we manage the deluge of information and organize it into a meaningful whole?

3. Why does man have an insatiable need for information and a drive to “share”? Is it true to say “We think because we share” (a parody of Descartes’ “I think therefore I am”)?

4. Why and how has man attempted to collect and archive all of humanity’s knowledge and what does the future hold?

5. What place does Artificial Intelligence have in the acquisition or management of knowledge?

6. Is collective knowledge and crowdsourcing the new paradigm?

7. Who “owns” knowledge and can ownership be protected (intellectual property) in the digital age?

8. Can there be a true “democratization of knowledge”? What are the constraints and implications?

9. Why and how can we look for multiple perspectives in media? What effect do “filter bubbles” have?

10. Why and how can we contribute to the production and curation of knowledge, using technology?

11. How should schools/ education (all levels) change to adapt to new technology? (think time, physical, instructional)

12. What will be the major paradigm shifts in the acquisition and transmission of knowledge and what role do “alternative”, non-print-based knowledge sources (outside of the Gutenberg parenthesis) play?

13. What are the implications of moving from a knowledge-based workforce to an innovation/insight-based workforce? When you see yourself your future career, what do you envision?

III. Readings.

Read the 2 readings in Diigo and reply in the comment stream provided. (we will not be using the Diigolet annotation tool, as one of the readings is a pdf.) The directions and sample are in the post. Feel free to respond to others. You are required to make at least 2 comments/questions with quotations for each article.

Knowing Knowledge:

***If the link in Diigo doesn’t work, access this pdf here:


How the Internet is Changing What We Think We Know:

IV. Must-See Video Playlists and Articles (5 themes).

Choose 3 of the 5 themes. Read through the provided articles. Then access the playlists linked and watch the video resources. As you watch take notes, because you will need to directly refer to / quote from the videos. You are asked to pose questions and offer commentary on the theme as a whole in 1 of the of the following ways (you choose!):

a. as a video blog (a vlog)

b. in writing in paragraph form

c. in writing as bulleted lists

1. Thinking

YouTube playlist:


Is Google Making Us Stupid?:

Google is Making Us Stupid and Smart at the Same Time:

Google is Not Making You Stupid:

Where have All the Geniuses Gone?:

2. Indigenous Knowledge

YouTube playlist:


People Are Knowledge:


Database for Indigenous Knowledge:

3. Digitization

YouTube playlist:


Digital Preservation, An Unsolved Problem:

What is Project Gutenberg?:

The Real Death of Print:

Collaborative Digitization Project at U. of Mich:

Why Preserve Books”

4. Encyclopedia

YouTube playlist:


Why Wikipedia is as Important as the Pyramids:

The Encyclopedia of Life:

Explore the Encyclopedia of Life:


5. Libraries

YouTube playlist:


History of Libraries:

Disruptive Change at Harvard U. Library:

Rethinking Libraries for a Digital Future:

The Future of Libraries Interview:

V. VLOG- My 10 Ideas for Rethinking Education and School.

For this last task, you are asked to make a video blog discussing your top 10 ideas for making school and education better. You should already have an understanding of the changes in society, media, and the acquisition, transmission, collection, curation, and archiving of “knowledge” and information in the 21st century due to rapid, exponential technological change. The resources (videos and articles) should really help you develop some ideas of your own. What would be the top 10 things you would recommend in schools (any level)?

– you can include images and a voiceover if you do not want to appear on camera

– your vlog should be 5-10 minutes in length

– you must directly reference at least 4 of the videos in the playlist

– you may discuss all aspects of school, including curriculum, nuts-and-bolts (bells, time, organization), physical space / environment, etc.

Resources for the Vlog:

YouTube Playlist:

Some TOK 2013 Rethinking Education Vlogs (slightly different assignment):


My Teacher is an APP:

Defining the Designer Workspace (inspiration?):

Designing School Buildings for 21st century Learning:

Goodbye Knowledge Workers, Hello Insight Workers:

Demanding Google 20% Time at School:

Do We Need Teachers Anymore?”

Who Owns Knowledge?:

100 Blog Posts on the Future of Learning:

George Lucas and Edutopia: Hope for Ed:

Cool Copenhagen School:

Reinventing the High School Experience:

Project Dream School (video):

Beautiful Learning Spaces (TUMBLR)

Google Offices Around the World (inspiration)

Gallery: Google London


_____ I have written 1-2 paragraphs about 1 quote and have hyperlinked to at least 1 of my blog posts or other relevant resource.

_____ I have written a 1-2 thoughtful paragraphs about at least 1 of the knowledge questions and have directly referred to things/ people we’ve discussed in class or are in the resources provided in this packet.

_____  I have read “Knowing Knowledge” pdf and have commented at least twice in the Diigo stream (questions and thoughts)

_____ I have read “How the Internet is Changing What We Think We Know” in Diigo and have commented at least twice in the stream (questions and thoughts)

_____ I have written a commentary in paragraph or bulleted list form OR filmed a vlog in response to 1 of 3 themes, using the video playlists and articles to guide my questioning and commentary.

_____ I have written a commentary in paragraph or bulleted list form OR filmed a vlog in response to 1 of 3 themes, using the video playlists and articles to guide my questioning and commentary. (2nd one)

_____ I have written a commentary in paragraph or bulleted list form OR filmed a vlog in response to 1 of 3 themes, using the video playlists and articles to guide my questioning and commentary. (3rd one)

_____ I have produced a 5-10 minute vlog (uploaded to YouTube as public or unlisted  and embedded on WordPress) regarding my top 10 ideas to make school/education better. I have also directly referenced 4 of the videos in the corresponding playlist.

_____ I have created a post on my WordPress with all of the above elements, checked my hyperlinks, and linked my YouTUbe video(s) [also checked to see if they work]

_____ I have submitted the post by Friday, Dec. 14 at midnight.


One thought on “TOK MidTerm Packet

  1. Pingback: Leveraging for Legacy « Amy's MOOCs: Professional Digi-velopment

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