Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Aug 29 09
In this weekly Media Literacy Digest, media expert George Siemens shares pointers and resources to help you make sense of how new media technologies are changing the world around you.
Photo credit: D'Arcy Norman
Inside this Media Literacy digest:
- How Do Organizations Respond To Emerging Technologies? - Businesses, schools, and universities are having difficulty responding to emerging technologies.
- Radicalization Of Educational Reform - David Wiley is concerned that the radicals are taking over discussions of educational reform.
- Virtual Private Cloud - Amazon has announced a new service - Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
- Even Revolutionaries Conserve - The concept revolutionaries as conservators is reflected in many aspects of society.
- State Of Learning Management Systems In Higher Education - Michael Feldstein links to a thorough review of learning management systems in higher education: presentation (WebEx) and slides (.pdf).
- "Good" Peer Review - In the field of emerging technologies, too many reviewers are not current and as a consequence should not be reviewing papers.
- Letting Networks Do What They Do Well - It is a simple process: collect list of organizations, sort list by location and industry similarity, and port into network analysis tool.
- Multitasking - It is difficult to accept research evidence in the face of personal observation
eLearning Resources and News
learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends
by George Siemens
How Do Organizations Respond To Emerging Technologies?
Businesses, schools, and universities are having difficulty responding to emerging technologies. The newspaper industry, for example, is not having an easy time adjusting to the internet.
If you are looking for a case study in how one organization responded to potentially disruptive change, have a look at NPR - at a tipping point? It is rare for an organization to be foresighted enough to not only recognize substantial changes, but to plan a focused, strategic, organization-level response.
"How do large organizations make the changes that they have to? How do they do this when the New is often the opposite of what they are and what they do today?
I think that the answer for NPR and Public radio is that they overcame the huge natural resistance by investing in a shared and deep exploration of what confronted them. What they have done since has come from the genuine emergence of ideas and of a language that they created for themselves."
Radicalization of Educational Reform
Virtual Private Cloud
"Minus all the acronyms, that (allowing IT to connect to an isolated set of AWS resources to a data center using a VPN connection) means that Amazon has created a hybrid cloud that can work securely for the enterprise, balancing the need for encryption with the low cost and scaling power that the cloud provides."
Personal learning environments (PLEs) are subject to criticism about data and identity being splattered all over the internet. In contrast, a learning management system is centralized and structured, under the control of the organization.
I wonder how well some of the data and security concerns now being expressed about PLEs could be managed by services like Amazon's VPC. At minimum, increased privacy would address concerns expressed in enterprise use of cloud services.
A related post criticizing Google's lethargy in cloud services suggests Amazon may be a greater competitor than Google currently acknowledges...
Even Revolutionaries Conserve
Humberto Maturana has stated "even revolutionaries conserve... All systems only exist as long as there is conservation of that which defines them".
The concept revolutionaries as conservators is reflected in many aspects of society. Sometimes it is revealed in the establishment of structures similar to those that a movement sought to replace (i.e. Soviet Union). Sometimes it is revealed in politics (where a revolutionary, change-promoting candidate becomes more of a traditionalist once elected).
The system that we participate in will soon make us what the system is.
An individual elected to public office, by virtue of participating in the political system will over time, to varying degrees, become a politician.
Let's look at another example: Wikipedia.
For last five years, Wikipedia has been the darling of amateur production, the image of everything that is right with humanity. Wikipedia has announced changes to how it handles edits of articles of living people.
The new feature, called "flagged revisions", will require that an experienced volunteer editor for Wikipedia sign off on any change made by the public before it can go live. Until the change is approved - or in Wikispeak, flagged - it will sit invisibly on Wikipedia's servers, and visitors will be directed to the earlier version.
Wikipedia is being shaped by the field of information it is trying to disrupt.
As Wikipedia continues to resemble less of what it was and more of the information validation processes currently in use in traditional resources (like Britannica), it is simply undergoing the process of becoming the system it exists within.
State of Learning Management Systems In Higher Education
The presentation starts with a bit of background noise and annoying "beeps" each time someone logs in (come on WebEx, it is irritating). As the presentation progresses, the background noise is reduced.
The presentation includes the best diagram I have seen on LMS development, market share and current state:
"Good" Peer Review
After a rather negative experience due to a poorly managed peer review process with an article I submitted to a journal, I decided to post a few thoughts on what good peer review "should do" for authors, reviewers, and editors:
"In the field of emerging technologies, too many reviewers are not current and as a consequence should not be reviewing papers.
If a person has not blogged, taught using Second Life, experimented with Twitter or is not aware of the development of open educational resources, social learning theory or personal learning environments and learning management systems, then they have no business conducting a review.
Keep in mind, peer review is about subjecting your work to experts in the field. Because the emerging technology field is young, many reviewers are simply not competent to be conducting the breadth of reviews that they conduct."
Letting Networks Do What They Do Well
- Collect list of organizations,
- sort list by location and industry similarity
- and port into network analysis tool (Valdis has his own, I have used netminer in the past for social network analysis).
The result: A list of potential relationships for mutual (in this case economic) value. Now, let's take this same idea and apply to learning.
We leave a trail of interests and identity when we blog, tweet, Facebook, Flickr and podcast. If we had a base profile (could FriendFeed do this?) that could be compared reasonably well with other people, we could create a list of potential learning relationships.
To create a list of potential learning relationship is a simple, easily implementable idea. And, I say with reasonable confidence, it is a model that we will need to rely on more in the future as the learning process continues to be reduced to more fragmented content and social interactions.
People do not need to explicitly seek others out - Mr. Tweet does this reasonably well for Twitter contacts.
The main idea: Use existing network structures to foster new learning connections. Why not adopt this more broadly in the service of learning and education?
The one consistent defense I hear when I suggest that multitasking does not exist (i.e. that learners do not actually multitask... they rapidly task switch, leaving observers with the impression they are managing multiple tools/attention streams) is some variation of "how do you explain my daughter (or son, grandchild) who is able to text, watch TV, and work on the computer at the same time?".
It is difficult to accept research evidence in the face of personal observation.
"Heavy media multitaskers performed worse on a test of task-switching ability, likely due to reduced ability to filter out interference from the irrelevant task set".
BBC provides more commentary.
About George Siemens
George Siemens is the Associate Director in the Learning Technologies Centre at the University of Manitoba. George blogs at www.elearnspace.org where he shares his vision on the educational landscape and the impact that media technologies have on the educational system. George Siemens is also the author of Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age and the book "Knowing Knowledge" where he developes a learning theory called connectivism which uses a network as the central metaphor for learning and focuses on knowledge as a way to making connections.
How Do Organizations Respond To Emerging Technologies? - Yuri Arcurs
Radicalization Of Educational Reform - Edie Layland
Virtual Private Cloud - The Olive Press
Virtual Private Cloud - Nobosh
Even Revolutionaries Conserve - Tyler Olson
State Of Learning Management Systems In Higher Education - Elearnspace
"Good" Peer Review - Sapsiwai
Letting Networks Do What They Do Well - Sergio Hayashi
Multitasking - Andres Rodriguez
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