Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Apr 25 09

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In this week Media Literacy Digest: the social value of new media, the information cycle, a nice presentation tool, and the real help we get from technology as human beings.

Photo credit: Jason Rhode

While the information cycle (the process whereby information is produced, validated, shared and re-created in other forms) has more or less stayed the same, it's the way each process is carried out that has drastically changed across time.

Thanks to technology improvements, producing information is now a whole lot easier. Blogs, podcasts, videos allow everyone to create content with minimum effort. And to validate and share information there are plenty of social services to have others consume, re-distribute and even remix your stuff to add additional value.

What seems to be very important then, is not to focus on transient tools that produce information (as they will change frequently), but rather on the information process itself, which should be the real concern of those wanting to share knowledge and reform education paradigms.


eLearning Resources and News

learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends

by George Siemens


Social Learning and Emerging Technology


I've been exploring different technologies for presentations. I've tried PersonalBrain - I like the tool for brainstorming and personal information management. I haven't found it as useful for presentations.

More recently, I've been looking at Prezi. It's an interesting tool that does away with the slide focus of PowerPoint. And adds zooming eye candy.

Here's a presentation I delivered to OPSOA today: Social Learning and Emerging Technologies. Great tool - but I think that's due to it being new.

Once everyone is experimenting with Prezi, it will likely be just as annoying PowerPoint.


Five Questions: eLearn Magazine


Lisa Neal Gualtieri, of eLearn Magazine, asked me a series of questions learning models, basic skills, the current education system, etc.

The interview is now available online.

I emphasized the need for the design of organizations to reflect the ways in which information is created, shared, and re-created.


What Does It Mean to Be "a Human"?


Somewhere between technological advancement as a tool to augment human intelligence and pharmaceuticals to improve focus and alertness, we have to ask ourselves: what does it mean to be a human? Or do we classify all advancements as simply extending humanity?

We have, after all, expended much of our effort over the last 3000 years building tools to extend the physical limitations of the human body. Are we any less human when we use technology (and pharmaceuticals) to extend our mind? Can we view technology as a means to perfect the human mind?

Brain Gain paints a somewhat depressing picture of using cognitive enhancers in college and work.

Will the academic world eventually have it's own "baseball steroids" scandal? Or are the rules different when we apply enhancement to cognition instead of running / hitting / jumping / swimming?


New Criteria for New Media


What is the value of being active in new media?

If you're an educator or researcher, is there any value in having a presence on Twitter? In being an active blogger? Does a series of self-published articles have any merit (i.e. in contrast to traditional peer review)?

University of Maine is the first university I'm aware of that has started formal exploration on new criteria for new media:

Recognition and achievement in the field of new media must be measured by standards as high as but different from those in established artistic or scientific disciplines.

As the reports from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Modern Language Association, and the University of Maine recommend, promotion and tenure guidelines must be revised to encourage the creative and innovative use of technology if universities are to remain competitive in the 21st century.

The article does not provide an indication of whether it was approved / adopted... (via David Weinberger)


The (Changed) Information Cycle

Click above to enlarge image

The traditional information cycle looks like this:

  • Information is created through research and then disseminated through conferences, discussions with colleagues, etc.
  • Validation of the value and accuracy (both loaded terms) of the information is achieved through expert peer review.
  • If deemed to be of suitable quality, information is then published in journals, conference proceedings, and books.
  • And, if the information / research has longevity, it is re-created in later publications and used as a basis for advancing a field of knowledge.

Interestingly, the elements of the information cycle has not been substantially changed due to technology. The process, however, has been greatly altered.

  • Creation is now as simple as a podcast or blog post.
  • Dissemination and peer review occur through "crowd sourcing" methods such as digg links, ratings on Amazon, comments on Diigo...
  • and sharing resources occurs through online articles / open access journals / blogs / videos / podcasts / Second Life builds, etc.
  • Re-creation - when resources are licensing to permit it - occurs through mashups and repurposing content in various media and languages.

Information is now mutable, participatory, democratic, and rapidly re-created. It is here that we should be building a new model of education. Not on the "Web 2.0" tools that are at best and instantiation of these trends (and at worst deceptive in ignoring core changes while pursuing "shiny new objects").

Originally written by George Siemens for elearnspace and first published on April 24th 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:
Social Learning and Emerging Technology -Edwin Verin
Five Questions: eLearn Magazine - silense
What Does It Mean to Be "a Human"? - nataq
New Criteria for New Media - kingjon

George Siemens -
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
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posted by Daniele Bazzano on Saturday, April 25 2009, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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