In this weekly Media Literacy Digest, open education and connectivism advocate George Siemens, brings to you a great set of news stories on emerging media, communication technologies and education-related trends. His goal is one of helping you make good sense of the many changes taking place around you and of how these directly impact your daily lives.
Photo credit: Ene
Inside this Media Literacy Digest:
learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends
by George Siemens
In terms of numbers, one in five internet users utilize Twitter (or similar status updating) service. From a quick read of the article, I do not see any mention of how often people actually update their status.
This "I am on Twitter" statement reminds me of blogs in early 2000. I would frequently hear someone say "oh, yeah, I blog". Not mentioned, however, was that one or two posts had been made and the site had since been largely abandoned. Not sure if Twitter has the same profile. The real question is not "are you on Twitter", but "are you consistently on Twitter".
In preparation for Networked Learning 2010, conference organizers have arranged several "hot seat" sessions. A hot seat is basically a week long (mostly asynchronous) discussion on a particular theme / topic.
Starting Oct 26, Stephen Downes and I are hosting a discussion on the impact of learning on networked technologies. Attendance is free for the online session, but you do need to register / create an account to contribute.
From slide 28, a quick look back over the last few years:
Later in the presentation (slide 32), Meeker forecasts the huge growth, and increased integration, of internet-connected devices.
A key assertion from previous surveys is validated: "They [students] consistently report that they prefer only a moderate amount of IT when it comes to their courses".
The main difference in this year's report is the inclusion of a new, but basic, chapter on mobile technologies.
One drawback - the ECAR survey continues to suffer from low response rate (see Appendix D), resulting in some concern about accepting generalizations made in the report.
However, it is the most complete report on IT use by students that I am aware of… and, since it has been around for five years, it will grow in value for longitudinal analysis (of undergraduate profiles, though it would be helpful to track development of learners use of IT during their time in university and beyond).
What is the value of real time search? It is largely about being aware of global patterns of interest - a sort of zeitgeist or attentional focus (some have called it consciousness, but that seems silly - knowing what many people are talking about is hardly "consciousness". Perhaps awareness is a better term):
Now that Google and Bing are getting the firehose, it could have a big impact on search results. For the search engines, the firehose is much more valuable than any single Tweet. They can index it and sift it, looking for patterns and spikes in keywords and shared links to get a better sense of what people across the Web are paying attention to at any given moment. This data can then be folded back into regular search results, even if the top result is not a Tweet.
Somewhat related, I just came across Cluuz - a people search tool. The results are fairly accurate - but the images displaying network connections are still a bit basic.
I have been thinking about what learning might / could / should look like in today's technological age. Thoughts are posted on my connectivism blog: Technologically externalized knowledge and learning.
I am looking forward to LearnTrends 2009 - an online conference that Tony Karrer, Jay Cross, and I are organizing. The official conference page has been posted. Fantastic lineup of speakers (great job Jay & Tony!!).
A reminder - the LearnTrends Innovation nominations close Oct 31.
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 develops 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.
George Siemens -
Twitter and Status Updating - Jimmac.Musichall
Networked Learning Hotseat - Mreco99
Economy and Internet Trends -Alexandr Shirokov
ECAR Annual Report of Undergraduate Tech Use - Flashon
Search: Twitter, Facebook, People - Jay Simmons
Technologically Externalized Knowledge and Learning - Connectivism
LearnTrends 2009 - LearnTrends