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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Dec 27 08

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A look at the future of technology and trends in this issue of the Media Literacy digest.

Photo credit: Jay Cross

In this issue: George Siemens deals with changing paradigms in education, a new report about the Twittersphere, two interesting studies on the importance of video games in online learning, and a top ten of everything that's going to be hot in 2009.

What seems to be crucial for Dr. Siemens, is the access people have to educational resources.

Media trends and technology role in our lives are the bread and butter of this weekly digest. Here you can find education-related pointers and tools that may help you make greater sense of the deep changes that new technologies and media are bringing.

Intro by Daniele Bazzano


eLearning Resources and News

learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends

by George Siemens


Top 10 Forecasts for the Future


I'm not sure why future forecasts always require 10 items. Why not 6? or 11? Does selecting a nice round number like '10′ provide a glimpse into our assumptions that the future will exhibit some type of order?

The World Future Society has listed its top 10 trends for 2009 and beyond.

Some are fairly obvious (growth of electricity access, urbanization). Others are intriguing in terms of implications to education:

"Professional knowledge will become obsolete almost as quickly as it's acquired. An individual's professional knowledge is becoming outdated at a much faster rate than ever before"

and "Everything you say and do will be recorded by 2030".


The Pirate Hoax


The Pirate Hoax is generating strong reactions.

Basically, a professor asked his students to a series of fabricated resources posted on Blogs, Wikipedia, and YouTube, and promoted on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.

The project was discontinued once actual historians - colleagues of the professor who initiated the project - "bought into the hoax". Deliberating posting fabricated information has ethical dimensions. Not everyone is amused. Michael Feldstein sees the project as teaching vandalism, and in the process, calling into question sites like Wikipedia. I understand that perspective.

My own view is different. This project is not about Wikipedia or even the potential fallibility of user-generated content. This project highlights the importance for everyone, even so-called experts, to be constantly vigilant about all information sources. Everyone who encounters information online should be aware that it can be easily created by anyone. When gatekeepers such as journals and encyclopedias play a less important role in restricting information access, the openness creates a shift in where we determine information's value and authenticity. Information is now validated at the point of consumption, not creation.


Quest for Expertise


How long does it take to become an expert? Generally, a 10-year rule is applied. I've seen this referenced in numerous books and articles, most recently in Gladwell's new book Outliers. On a recent (long) trip, I had time to read both Outliers and Expertise and Expert Performance. The 10-year rule figures prominently in both, though the latter takes a research-focused approach.

As a follow up to those two books, I enjoyed reading Quest for Expertise (via Stephen Downes). The author of the post searches for the origin of the 10-year rule and in the process, presents numerous resources on expertise.

The topic of expertise will become more important to consider. The creation of sites like Wikipedia raises the profile of amateurs while also questioning the role experts play in "everyone creates, everyone participates" environments.


Trends with Games


Video games warrant far more attention than they receive in traditional media. The odd TV program or magazine article tries to address the significance of this field. But to understand gaming requires participation.

The days of N64 have yielded to online, immersive, multiplayer, and interactive (Wii) games, and high powered consoles. Games are not confined to consoles either. PSP, Nintendo DS, and Gameboy (a bit dated) offer constant play. It's very hard to overhype the gaming industry for size and growth. And it's not just young males either. Profiles of gamers are changing (average age: 32).

Two great resources to give you a sense of the scope of the field:

(Links via Trends Spotting)

Industries in Transition


I have the rather biased view that higher education will be subject to enormous change in the next decade. It won't just be change around the edges (new programs or new technology added to existing methods) like we've experienced in the past. It will be change that systemically redefines the enterprise of education.

With this perspective in mind, I find broad industry shifts like capital movement to eastern countries, global awareness of environmental issues, and the rise of participative culture intriguing.

In some instances - such as with newspapers and car manufacturers - the industry transitions have been forecast for decades. And yet, when change finally strikes, it leaves most people baffled. News You Can Lose analyzes the decline of the newspaper industry. There are lessons here for educators...


State of the Twittersphere?


While technology moves forward, buzzwords apparently do not. Technorati publishes an almost annual state of the blogosphere (btw - I hardly ever use Technorati - Google Alerts seems to suffice).

In the spirit of true creativity (?) we know have the state of the twittersphere.

Growth has been tremendous for Twitter. I haven't heard much about abandoned accounts - a key complaint about blogs. Twitter is just easier. It's highly social, it accommodates a range of strong and weak ties, and it doesn't require much effort to contribute. Plus, as a bonus, you don't have to strive for coherence.


Changing Shape of Universities?


In an effort to create a more articulate argument for why systemic changes are required in higher education, I've spent the last several months digging through resources, articles, and books.

Most resources are not publicly accessible. Articles require journal access, books usually don't allow direct links to chapters. It's difficult to share or engage with those resources when access is restricted.

I've been aware of Tony Bates' work for several years... and finally took the time to dig deeper into his articles / book chapters. Fortunately, he posts much of his work on his site. Thanks for making your work available, Tony!

Originally written by George Siemens for elearnspace and first published on December 24th 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:
Top 10 Forecasts for the Future - pablo631
The Pirate Hoax - Supertr
Quest for Expertise - Tom Grill
Trends with Games - Alexandr Stepanov
Industries in Transition - Vladimir Tarassov
State of the Twittersphere? - The World in the Satin Bag
Changing Shape of Universities? - petrol

George Siemens -
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
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posted by Daniele Bazzano on Saturday, December 27 2008, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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