Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Nov 8 08

Sponsored Links

Pretty soon mobile devices will be used to stream live and on-demand, recorded training courses, engaging learners on the move even in the absence of traditional face-to-face approaches. But, would you attend a course via your mobile phone?

Photo credit: lumigopereira

Easy of access to high-speed networks is indeed empowering individuals, while forcing elearning designers and content producers to think more thoroughly at how to best engage the learner when his surrounding environment (public places, bus, underground station, etc.) becomes so potentially noisy and distracting.

In all cases, what emerges clearly is the individual's shrinking reliance on traditional brick-and-mortar institutions in favor of new and emerging virtual ones.

In this edition of the Media Literacy digest, George Siemens keeps exploring the development of different technologies and their potential impact on teaching and learning. His focus is on tools that increase learner control over content, interaction, and on the creation of learning networks with peers and experts outside of classrooms.

Intro by Daniele Bazzano


eLearning Resources and News

learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends

by George Siemens


Emerging Technologies Course


Final week to register for the first course in University of Manitoba's is offering a Certificate in Emerging Technologies for Learning: Introduction to Emerging Technologies (starts November 17). I'm co-facilitating the course with Dave I'm looking forward to a great course!

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."


Creating Knowledge: Network Structure and Innovation


When organizations begin planning new ways for employees to share knowledge, the focus is often misplaced on the explicit act of sharing knowledge itself.

We cannot meaningfully "force" people to share. At best, we can create situations / conditions / ecologies in which exchange of ideas will occur. Or, more succinctly:

"Promoting knowledge sharing is a matter of :

  1. creating the relational conditions that facilitate interpersonal transfers, and
  2. creating the structural conditions that facilitate diffusion."


Designing Mobile Learning


According to the Oxford Internet Institute, the use of smart phones (i.e. mobile phones used for multiple activities: browsing, maps, music, video, etc.) is doubling every two years (.pdf).

Designers and educators are recognizing that it's no longer appropriate to think only of laptop / desktop browsing to access learning materials.

Major LMS vendors - such as Desire2Learn (see here) are developing mobile functionality with their platforms. As is generally the case, consideration of the medium and its unique attributes is important.

Designing Mobile Learning emphasizes this point from the learners perspective:

"Before embarking on creation of a mobile accessible course you will want to understand how the learner's experience changes when they view your course through a mobile device.

Mobile devices are typically used in a very distraction-filled environment. Learners may be on a bus, on a train, at the store, eating lunch, or at work. The mobile device screen is very small. This limits what the learner can see and can make it difficult to read a large amount of content, view graphics, or see moving graphics." (via Workplace Learning Today)


My First Keynote

ZaidLearn has been an active blogger, focusing on open learning and open tools. Great to see he is giving (has given) his first keynote address to a Malaysian conference.

As Stephen Downes states, it's great to see people achieving genuine success in the pursuit of new tools / approaches in education. Congrats Zaid!

(On a side note, I'm looking forward to my first visit to Malaysia in December as an extension of a presentation in Singapore. Wonderful things happening around the world in educational technology).


Analyzing The Obvious: Technological and Social Connections

I've been enjoying the delightful Australian weather and hospitality for the past week.

Today, I presented at Learning Technologies 2008. My slides - Analyzing the Obvious: Technological and Social Connections have been posted.

Richard Feynman, the legendary physicist and educator, used to state a concept most students first encounter in physics: everything is made of atoms. The key to understanding learning is similar: connections, and the patterns they create, are the foundation.


Understanding The Real Structure Within Your Organization


Strategy is enacted not by mandate, but by how resources are allocated.

Bill Ives suggests leaders need to understand the actual structure of organizations. Organizational structure and information flow is often not what appears in formal policies and org charts.

While organizations may not be very adaptive, people are... and people will find ways to address challenges and concerns based on context and need. Unfortunately, planning is future-focused, rather than reality-focused.


I'm Leaving


Formal education faces some of the most profound changes in its history. Social learning theory, technology, and learner empowerment / engagement are only a few of the change pressures facing education. Times of change, however, reveal our character (wasn't it Warren Buffet who said something to the effect of "you only find out who is swimming naked when the tied goes out"?).

After decades of changes in educational philosophy, divisions are becoming more evident.

I'm Leaving is an article that should raise the blood pressure of any educator. The author reveals a disdain for learners and calls for a return to high ideals and expectations of education (can't we be learner focused and still adhere to high ideals??). The comments further reveal strong divisions.

Some educators agree that learners have "become soft" with a growing sense of entitlement. Others suggest the real problem is with the professor.


The Future of Universities


How are universities likely to be impacted by current technological trends? Two publications seek to address this question:

The Tower and the Cloud:

The emergence of the networked information economy is unleashing two powerful forces.

  1. On one hand, easy access to high-speed networks is empowering individuals. People can now discover and consume information resources and services globally from their homes. Further, new social computing approaches are inviting people to share in the creation and edification of information on the Internet.

    Empowerment of the individual - or consumerization - is reducing the individual's reliance on traditional brick-and-mortar institutions in favor of new and emerging virtual ones.

  2. Second, ubiquitous access to high-speed networks along with network standards, open standards and content, and techniques for virtualizing hardware, software, and services is making it possible to leverage scale economies in unprecedented ways.

The Future of Higher Education:

Technological innovation, long a hallmark of academic research, may now be changing the very way that universities teach and students learn. For academic institutions, charged with equipping graduates to compete in today's knowledge economy, the possibilities are great.

Distance education, sophisticated learning-management systems and the opportunity to collaborate with research partners from around the world are just some of the transformational benefits that universities are embracing.

Both publications are technology-centric. I can understand that emphasis, after all, technology is changing the rest of the world, surely it will soon make a more significant impact in education.

A view of educational change pressures needs to be more broad. Economic, societal, population trends, rise of education levels in emerging countries, may all apply as much influence in altering education as technology.


New Issue of IRRODL


Terry Anderson just announced a new issue of IRRODL focusing on a timely range of issues: transactional distance education theory, student blogging, connectivism, etc. I found the process reengineering article particularly interesting. It's a bit too narrowly focused for my liking, but starts on a path that will continue to gain explorers; namely - how do we change education? How do we change our systems to account for trends?

Originally written by George Siemens for elearnspace and first published on November 7th 2008 in his newsletter 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".

Photo credits:
Emerging Technologies Course - Microsoft
Creating Knowledge: Network Structure and Innovation - Leonardo Da Vinci
Designing Mobile Learning - Feng Yu
Understanding The Real Structure Within Your Organization - Stephen Coburn
I'm Leaving - ronen
The Future of Universities - adistock
New Issue of IRRODL - IRRODL

George Siemens -
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
Readers' Comments    
blog comments powered by Disqus
posted by Daniele Bazzano on Saturday, November 8 2008, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

Search this site for more with 








    Curated by

    New media explorer
    Communication designer


    POP Newsletter

    Robin Good's Newsletter for Professional Online Publishers  



    Real Time Web Analytics