Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media: An Opinionated Digest by George Siemens - Apr. 26 08
New media technologies increasingly shape the way we work, think, interact, communicate. Understanding, dissecting, questioning and working with them is inevitable for those who seriously want to get greater knowledge and control over their use and potential.
Photo credit: Thomasz Trojanowski and Andrea Danti - mashed up by Robin Good
George Siemens, who is an educational technologies researcher and scholar, takes you every week into this short but fascinating journey into stories, resources and ideas to help you make better sense of new technologies and media and their potential roles in our future.
Connectivism in Practice for Instructional Designers
I delivered my last presentation to the iDesign group at University of Alaska Fairbanks this morning (I have a remote presentation on the role Google in educational settings tomorrow, and then I'm presentation-free until the CNIE conference next week).
The presentation: Connectivism in Practice for Instructional Design. The concepts were generally well received and attended to with good discussion. Toward the end of the session, I presented a model for learning resource development that was viewed as being too complex. I've presented this model before (and used it for evaluating organizational communication within a university context several years ago). For some reason, it hasn't had much traction. Perhaps the feedback from this group explains why!
Writing, Technology, and Teens
From observation, I think my children write more today than I did when I was their age. Kids are constantly texting, instant messaging, using MS Word (or Google Docs), interacting with text in game environments, etc.
The quality of writing concerns many people, but the idea of thinking in text and expression of concepts via text is certainly not lost on this group of learners. As the report indicates, learners don't see their social use of text as writing and they recognize the importance of writing and would like to receive higher quality formal instruction on the subject.
...and, as a compliment to the importance of writing, I find this to be a good document on the value of reading: What Reading Does for the Mind (.pdf).
Marshall McLuhan's comments are frequently drawn on to explain technical developments and social impact of the internet. CBC has an archive of 18 clips (9 audio, 9 video) of McLuhan expressing commentary on media, books, the "tribal drum" of humanity, and learning. Well worth spending time reflecting on how many of our discussions today on learning were echoed many decades ago (via Howard R. Engel).
Hey, look, who would have known we would get science 2.0? We are in an egotistical era where we think we're only up to version 2.0 in science. What was Aristotle - Beta? Oh wait, I know, Copernicus was .5, Bacon was .7, and Newton was 1.0. Einstein was 1.5. How fortuitous that I exist in the official 2.0 era of science.
Sarcasm aside - the article does provide a short look at how scientific research is becoming more open and more collaborative. It's just the "2.0'izing of everything" that causes me to briefly rant about once a month.
A Few Presentations
I'm almost done posting presentations I've done over the last few days :). I delivered an online session to the Emerge conference early this morning on Technology and Community as Identity.
I'm currently in Fairbanks, Alaska...and this morning, I delivered a presentation to a group of designers on the Big Picture: Future of Education. While I'm pleased to have received the invite to return to Fairbanks, I feel a bit conflicted in that Chris Lott (situated in Fairbanks) is every bit as capable of synthesizing and expressing key trends in society and technology (though he would do so with a more poetic/artistic flare).
Struggling With Growing Pains
This article - Struggling with growing pains - is not note worthy for what it says (we've been saying/hearing similar things in edublogs for over 5 years), but rather for the mainstream appeal of the article.
We're seeing conflicting messages, which are signs of a system in transition: messages range from "it's all been done before, we've seen this with video in classrooms" to "this is completely new and will revolutionize education".
From the article:
"Some professors and schools are redesigning their courses to take advantage of the Web's interactive and visual possibilities, adopting some bleeding-edge technologies such as game-like simulations and digital avatars to make online courses more exciting and more effective than traditional classrooms."
On Saturday, I delivered a presentation to Educamp 2008 on "A new future or status quo: directions in education". A recording of the session is available. It was an early morning session, which I'm using as an excuse for misdirecting a few of the questions.
Stephen Downes presentation at Educamp2008
John Seely Brown
Originally written by George Siemens and published as weekly email digest on eLearning Resources and News. First published on April 25th 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".George Siemens -
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