Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Nov 1 08

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"New technologies offer new opportunities for educators to increase learner engagement and improve the overall value of the learning experience." (Source: George Siemens)

George Siemens - Photo credit: Dean Shareski

Is your university or college using Facebook, wikis, podcasts, or other social media technologies to communicate, interact and engage with its students?

Educational technologies expert George Siemens, focuses once more on the relevance collaboration technologies have in shaping today learning. While collaborative tools and new media technologies provide great help in supporting teachers' work and in helping learners interact and share their personal discoveries, their use should not be driven toward envisaging them as a total replacement of existing educational approaches but rather as extensions of it.

What technology is supposed to do instead, is to serve as a walking stick to provide learners with the ability to collaborate, confront and exchange ideas to make a better and more complete sense of the world, even outside classrooms physical limits.

If you are passionate about learning, about understanding more of what new technologies and media are transforming, this weekly digest takes you to places, facts and resources that help you make greater sense of the increasing relevance and impact these tools are having on our educational landscape.

Intro by Daniele Bazzano


eLearning Resources and News

learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends

by George Siemens


Introduction to Emerging Technologies


A few weeks ago, I mentioned that University of Manitoba is offering a Certificate in Emerging Technologies for Learning.

The first course - introduction to emerging technologies - starts November 17. From the course description (.pdf):

"New technologies offer new opportunities for educators to increase learner engagement and improve the overall value of the learning experience.

The last five years have resulted in the introduction of numerous new tools and approaches: blogs, wikis, podcasts, social bookmarking, virtual worlds, and social networking services. This course will explore the development of different technologies and suggest their potential impact on teaching and learning. Focus will be placed on tools that increase learner control over content, interaction, and the formation of learning networks with peers and experts outside of classrooms."


Social Networks, The Next Educational Tool?


Social Networks, the Next Educational Tool?:

"At last year's Educause conference, in Seattle, educators pondered what to do about students' technology habits. Should they try to change them? Accept that they're here to stay? Try to co-opt them?

A lot can change in a year. Many colleges seem to have moved on from the question of whether to follow students' lead on technologies they prefer, from Web-based e-mail to Facebook to text messaging. Now, the dilemma they face is whether to adapt students' existing habits - of messaging each other, checking each other's profiles and browsing upcoming parties - to the educational realm."

The key concept I'm seeing in the use of technology in the service of education is that of enlargement.

New technologies are not meant to necessarily replace existing approaches; instead, they are enlarging the range of options for learners. We're not doing away with email. Or even learning management systems. We're adding blogs, wikis, social networking , virtual worlds, and numerous other technologies to current practices. And that's exactly how it should be.

It's difficult to predict which technologies will survive and which will fade. A spirit of perpetual experimentation is needed. Try many approaches. Stick with the ones that demonstrate some promise.


Microsoft Office Embraces The Browser


Microsoft doesn't really have an option: Microsoft Office embraces the browser.

I watch how my children use software. Multiple devices (ipods, laptop, desktop, mobile phones) access the same resources (gmail, google docs).

Microsoft still has a dominant position on the desktop. But the desktop is no longer our sole option for creating and sharing documents. When our computing and interaction with others is not device centric, our software can't be either.


Storytelling: Web 2.0 Style

Click above to enlarge image

Alan Levine and Bryan Alexander have published an important article: Web 2.0 Storytelling: Emergence of a New Genre (and a supporting wiki).

When new faculty or training professionals encounter read / write tools (blogs, wikis, video, podcasts, etc) the initial excitement usually turns to "oh, but how will I use this beyond posting blogs for students?". The focus of this articles is on using storytelling (my preference is for the term narrative) to assist faculty and students to better make use of technology that offers personal control.

What's Web 2.0 storytelling? It's "the telling of stories using Web 2.0 tools, technologies, and strategies".


Corporate Learning Trends & Innovations 08 Agenda


Like Jay Cross, I'm looking biased and forward to our upcoming online conference on corporate learning trends and innovations. Jay has compiled an agenda for a quick overview of topics and speakers. Should be a great event! Sign up here.


Free Learning Events


Curt Bonk lists a variety of free learning events during the month of November.

Online conferences and workshops are a great way to increase dialogue around key topics. Numerous for-fee online events exist - and I'm sure, will continue to exist. No-fee events are great opportunities to discuss/advance a concept and to bring together practitioners in emerging fields.


Connectivism Course (CCK08)


For those interested in the connectivism course, but haven't been directly following the flow of conversation, here are a few links of potential interest:


Rhizome Project, or, What Have They Done With Dave Cormier?


Earlier this year, I edited an issue of Innovate on the future of education. One of the most frequently cited articles from that issue is Dave Cormier's article on Rhizomatic Education. If the discussion in CCK08 is any indication, the rhizome metaphor resonates with people.

Today, I encountered this site - Rhizome Project - on the same theme. Surprisingly, no mention of Dave's work or article. It seems unlikely that they wouldn't have been aware of the article (it's one of the first several returns when searching rhizomatic on google). An oversight of the project leaders? Or just ignoring Dave's article and drawing credit for themselves? Participating in open environments requires acknowledgment as we build on the work of others.

Photo credits:
Introduction to Emerging Technologies - Jose Manuel Gelpi Diaz
Social Networks, The Next Educational Tool? - iMedExchange
Microsoft Office Embraces The Browser - BostonStrive
Storytelling: Web 2.0 Style - Bryan Alexander and Alan Levine
Corporate Learning Trends & Innovations 08 Agenda - Mike Rohde
Free Learning Events - Quavondo Nguyen
Connectivism Course (CCK08) - Ignite
Rhizome Project, or, What Have They Done With Dave Cormier? - Dave Cormier

Originally written by George Siemens for elearnspace and first published on October 31st 2008 as a weekly email digest on eLearning Resources and News.

About the author

To learn more about George Siemens and to access extensive information and resources on elearning check out Explore also George Siemens connectivism site for resources on the changing nature of learning and check out his new book "Knowing Knowledge".

George Siemens -
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
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posted by Daniele Bazzano on Saturday, November 1 2008, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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