Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Jan 31 09

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Content-restriction concerns about Wikipedia, social connectivity, the benefit of video lectures in academic environments, are just some of the interesting topics covered inside this week edition of George Siemens' Media Literacy Digest.

Photo credit: Teemu Arina

In this issue:

  • Educational technologies and media expert George Siemens highlights the recent news that Wikipedia is considering to apply some restriction to its content, in order to prevent sudden and misleading changes.
  • Since content production on the Web is now as easy as snapping your fingers, the real concern is gradually shifting towards how to create and communicate effectively credibility and trustworthiness. Are you sure what you learn comes from trusted, reliable sources?
  • The ability to develop a greater analytical approach to news consumption will likely become a vital asset for anyone needing to know rather than being entertained.

If you are curious about where the future is headed, open to ask more unchallenged questions, and ready to look at new discoveries and disruptive changes taking place at the crossroad between personal learning, business and media, this digest is a good place to start.
Here all the details:

Intro by Robin Good


eLearning Resources and News

learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends

by George Siemens


Lessons From the Art of Storyboarding


I've made a commitment to improving my ability to communicate with images. As a result, I've been more aware of visual communication strategies.

Presentation Zen offers comments (and links to a video) on Lessons from the art of storyboarding:

Storyboarding as we know it may have been pioneered by film makers and animators, but we can use many of the same concepts in the development of other forms of storytelling including keynote presentations or short-form presentations such as those made popular at TED.

The storyboard process allows you to flush out themes and look for patterns as you apply your creativity toward presenting your content.


How Far Have We Come?


I've been collecting links and resources on early views of technology and the internet. News recordings from 1980s seem rather comical. And yet... consider what the next 25 years might bring.

Here are two short clips of people grappling with what the internet might become.


Rethinking the Value of College


When higher education is viewed as being primarily about getting a job, reports of this nature understandably arise:

"Today's economic downturn has blindsided a generation of young people around the globe brought up to believe that a college degree guaranteed them financial prosperity. Whether in the US, China, or in countries in between, graduates from even marquee-name schools are feeling the crunch, prompting many rightly to rethink the value of their education".

Later in the article, the author turns the focus of college to something more in line with my thinking:

"College is not intended to be a trade school. Its purpose is to develop the skills necessary to be lifelong learners who are capable of finding new information, evaluating it, and applying it to the real world".
Of course, if you have a degree and are looking for work, saying "I feel good about my capacity to handle information and can clearly see my contribution to the history of ideas" feels rather hollow.


Academic Earth


In the spirit of "aggregation is content creation", Academic Earth provides what it calls "thousands of lectures from the world's top scholars".

Aside from being useful learning resources for individuals, I'd like to know how many universities are using lecture videos from other scholars / universities. I haven't come across research to date that discusses how open educational resources are being used. Yes, we get information like "MIT's OCW gets X number of million hits per month".

I'm interested in whether or not universities are using open resources produced by other universities.


The End of Solitude


The End of Solitude is an interesting essay. It induces, in me at least, that odd mixture of "yes! that's it!" and "no, not at all".

In periods of solitude and reflection, the world seems more real to me than it does in periods hustle, distraction, and busyness.

I partly agree with the author that:

"we live exclusively in relation to others, and what disappears from our lives is solitude. Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration, but it is also taking away our ability to be alone."
But it is over-stated.

I admit I start twitching slightly when I have lost an internet connection for a while. My uneasiness with being disconnected is not due to social reasons. A large part of my thinking happens in conjunction with the internet - I'm constantly searching citations, sources, articles, resources I've tagged, and more. My connectivity is not only socially to other people, but intellectually to the work of others (much like reading a book is an intellectual connection to an author).

The concept of how the self relates to the crowd and how much time we allot for reflecting and creative thinking is important. I see that as related more to personal habits than technology.


Technology and Ideology


I view technology as being imbued with ideology. Technology is not neutral. A learning management system reflects a certain view on the part of designers. Second Life does as well. Social bookmarking tools also. (see the trend?).

Technology is frequently thought of as "whatever has happened in the last several decades" (or, as Alan Kay says "Technology is anything that wasn't around when you were born"). Obviously, technology includes books, paper, pencils, even institutions. Which is why I found this discussion on the campus interesting:

  1. First proposition: the campus, like the computer, is a technology, an instructional technology.
  2. Second proposition: there are many students for whom the lecture hall and notetaking is a poor instructional technology, and who do not learn much in the conventional classroom
  3. Third proposition: the campus is a very expensive instructional technology.


Wikipedia - Tightening Editing


It is not much of a surprise that Wikipedia deals with consistent concerns about accuracy.

Openness does not change humanity, but it does reveal its breadth. Those who have a penchant for destruction find openness as appealing as those who have a desire for creating something of value.

To combat accuracy concerns, Wikipedia is considering restrictions on editing. Perhaps the complexity and challenges of one encyclopedia that incorporates all information could be overcome by smaller individual wikis under the care of networks and communities that have a vested interest.

There is no reason why things need to be under one banner and one website. I almost always access Wikipedia through Google. The value is in the search, not the location.

Originally written by George Siemens for elearnspace and first published on January 30th 2009 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:
Lessons From the Art of Storyboarding - Lola Moreno and Ramon Rosanas
How Far Have We Come? - petrol
Rethinking the Value of College - Marc Dietrich
The End of Solitude - Anatoly Vartanov
Technology and Ideology -Yuri Arcurs

George Siemens -
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
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posted by Daniele Bazzano on Saturday, January 31 2009, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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