Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media: An Opinionated Digest by George Siemens - Apr. 05 08
Understanding new media and communication technologies by sharing, networking and engaging in meaningful conversations is what this weekly digest, curated by connectivism guru George Siemens is all about.
Photo credit: KTSDesign
Being connected, learning from others and understanding how different modes of interaction with content and people can deeply influence the way we think, act and learn are just some of the many issues that George Siemens brings to this study people today.
As always, I invite you to take a break from the breakneck pace of today's pressures and to read with curiosity into some of these precious information gems.
Seven Habits of Highly Connected People
A short article on the art of being connected: Seven Habits of Highly Connected People. A few points made in the article resonated with with: the importance of reading/commenting on the work of others, rather than simply producing content...and the importance of finding places online where we can "add value rather than to pursue a particular goal or objective".
Have Three Hours?
If you have a few extra hours, I recommend you explore these three technology learning related podcasts:
Brain Lamb: Mashups Un-Artist (links to audio file) - This was a presentation Brian delivered in Second Life...I didn't see the session, but from listening to the audio, I got a sense of Brian Lamb as Bob Geldof in The Wall.
D'Arcy Norman - discusses images/pictures/flickrs, but of greatest personal interest, his description of eduglu project (at about the half-way mark)...one that has potential for much impact.
China's Higher Ed Explosion
Needless to say (which is why I will), it's an exciting time to be in education. The promise of change is in the air, driven by technology, social change, and (perhaps most significantly) economic and political power shifts to countries like China, India, and Brazil...and regions like Africa and the Middle East. A small sample of the enormity of the change - China's Higher Ed Explosion:
"In pure bulk, the numbers behind China's expansion are startling.
Between 1999, shortly after the country's leaders decided to focus on expanding access to and improving the quality of higher education as tools to propel the former Third World economy into the leading ranks of the world's powers, and 2005, the number of undergraduate and graduate students earning degrees from China's colleges and universities quadrupled, rising to 3.1 million from 830,000. Enrollments grew even faster over that period, with the number of new entering students growing to nearly 5 million in 2005."
Changes within educational technology are complex and uncertain in how they may ultimately impact the institutions of teaching and learning. But (as I've stated many times), we are not without guides in determining potential paths and directions.
We have the experience of other industries that felt one of their primary products was content and discourse around content: newspapers, TV news, magazines, music, and movie industries. While we can't directly apply all the lessons of those fields to education, we can certainly gain insight from how different modes of interacting with content and with others may influence education.
Mark Glaser provides a quick overview of changes in media and how communication tools have shifted control/power...and the impact on reduced circulation of newspapers and advertising (advertising follows energy and eyeballs, making it a good indicator of macro trends in media habits of consumers).
Neuroscience and Misplaced Trust...
We often unnecessarily esteem (or fear) what we do not know. Sometimes it's related to race or culture...and other times to ideas and concepts. For many people, philosophy holds such a distinction. When someone is identified as a philosopher, assumptions are formed as to the depth of their thought and thereby authority to speak knowingly on certain subjects. Sometimes it's warranted. Other times it is not. We see a similar trend with neuroscience today.
Two fairly recent arguments present the challenge: Seeing is believing: The effect of brain images on judgments of scientific reasoning:
"...part of the fascination, and the credibility, of brain imaging research lies in the persuasive power of the actual brain images themselves. We argue that brain images are influential because they provide a physical basis for abstract cognitive processes, appealing to people's affinity for reductionistic explanations of cognitive phenomena."
...and The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations : "Even irrelevant neuroscience information in an explanation of a psychological phenomenon may interfere with people's abilities to critically consider the underlying logic of this explanation."
Does this explain the willingness for many people to accept the crockus as a part of the brain?
Giving Up On Work Email
I've been following Luis Suarez's battle with email (he's trying to move completely away from email). He links to this simple graphic of the differences between wikis and email. Email is still a primary communication tool for me. New tools - blogs, wikis, twitter, facebook, etc. - to date have been largely supplemental. I haven't let go of email in any significant way. Maybe I'm a communication tool pack rat.
(update: just saw Stephen had linked to the same image a few days ago...
Disruptive Mobile Learning
I had the pleasure this morning of introducing, and being involved in, a presentation on Disruptive Mobile Learning by Mike Sharples. I was quite impressed with the quality of mobile learning activities currently being conducted in schools. The session has been archived and can be seen here.
A few interesting links from the session:
"Pervasive technologies are used to digitally augment a woodland in a contextually relevant way, enhancing the 'usual' physical experience available to children exploring the outdoor world."(try reading that to non-ed tech folks)
Originally written by George Siemens and published as weekly email digest on eLearning Resources and News. First published on April 3rd 2008.
To learn more about George Siemens and to access extensive information and resources on elearning check out www.elearnspace.org. Explore also George Siemens connectivism site for resources on the changing nature of learning and check out his new book "Knowing Knowledge".
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