Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - May 9 09
Media literacy is the process of accessing, analyzing, evaluating and creating messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres and forms. It uses an inquiry-based instructional model that encourages people to ask questions about what they watch, see, and read. (Source: Wikipedia)
Photo credit: Jason Rhode
Inside this Media Literacy Digest:
- Social-Networking Research a Higher Priority? - My concern with the growth of social networks relates to how they are incorporated into education.
- What Is Content Worth These Days? - Blogs, wikipedia, podcasts, open educational resources, and numerous other developments have shown that content - while valuable for learning - has limited economic value.
- New Realities in Higher Education - Ray Scroeder has started a new blog devoted to articles / news related to current challenges in higher education.
- New Technology Supporting Informal Learning - The classroom is a model that communicates what is known; the lab, in contrast, is a model that explores what is not yet known.
If you are passionate about technology improvements and the way they are opening new scenarios for both educators and learners, this weekly digest may help you to make sense of the disruptive changes that are right behind the corner.
eLearning Resources and News
learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends
by George Siemens
Should Computer Scientists Make Social-Networking Research a Higher Priority?
"Facebook and Wikipedia are just the beginning. The real power of social networks will be showcased by projects that unite far-flung participants to help track disease outbreaks, revolutionize neighborhood-watch programs, encourage energy conservation, and serve other civic and community goals...".
No doubt, social networks will grow in prominence. We're still at the early stages of exploring how networks influence social relationships. Different types social relationships arise when geography is not a factor.
Sites like Twitter can provide people with strong social connections to people they have not yet met face-to-face. I have better relationships with people in other countries, due to social technologies, than I do with some people who are located in the same building as I am.
My concern with the growth of social networks relates to how they are incorporated into education.
Social networks are imported - as are many technologies and related concepts - from outside fields. We are, sadly, not leading in research on learning as a networked phenomenon. Our language and concepts are imported from math, physics, and sociology. That in itself is not bad. But to truly begin to utilize networks for learning, we need to ask questions that address needs in our field.
How do learning networks differ from other networks? How does being connected influence how we develop our understanding of a subject? How can we utilize networks to improve quality of learning? How do social networks impact conceptual networks? and so on...
What Is Content Worth These Days?
In early 2000's, I was in a meeting with a group of senior academics, exploring knowledge management solutions for higher education (doesn't that sound like fun?).
One individual - a VP I believe - stood up and confidently stated "content is the most valuable thing colleges have. It's our strategic advantage". At the time the statement felt wrong, but I wasn't sure why. Since then, blogs, wikipedia, podcasts, open educational resources, and numerous other developments have shown that content - while valuable for learning - has limited economic value.
Encyclopedic Knowledge, Then vs. Now tracks Encarta and looks at how content as a value point has been eroded:
"Early in the project's history, a focus group of prospective customers was convened, and participants said they would happily pay $1,000 to $2,000 for a multimedia encyclopedia on CD-ROM."
New Realities in Higher Education
Last month, I started following a new blog by Ray: New Realities in Higher Education.
The site is devoted to articles / news related to current challenges in higher education - particularly on economic impact. It's a depressing read at times - consider proposed budget cuts in Florida - but it may cause administrators to recognize we are entering a new era where different rules apply.
It's time for higher education to make substantial changes.
New Technology Supporting Informal Learning
He makes a statement that is important for instructional designers to consider:
"Learning networks capture an essential element in learning today, the simple fact that we don't know what we want to teach."
The difficulty, of course, is that much of our current education model embodies the opposite view.
Through curriculum boards, advisory committees, and government initiated programs, education is cast as a method to teach what we know to be important.
What happens when we face complex problems that do not yet have an answer? We don't have to look very far down the corridors of higher education.
The classroom is a model that communicates what is known; the lab, in contrast, is a model that explores what is not yet known.
Learning in complex environments (or where existing knowledge is applied in new contexts) requires the educational enterprise to adopt exploratory approaches. From the classroom to the lab...
About the author
To learn more about George Siemens and to access extensive information and resources on elearning check out www.elearnspace.org. Explore also George Siemens connectivism site for resources on the changing nature of learning and check out his new book "Knowing Knowledge".
George Siemens -
Should Computer Scientists Make Social-Networking Research a Higher Priority? - Kwiqq
What Is Content Worth These Days? -Kirill Kurashov
New Realities in Higher Education - Ieva Geneviciene
New Technology Supporting Informal Learning - Iconocast
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
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