Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Jun 27 09
Media Literacy moves from recognising and comprehending information to the higher order critical thinking skills such as questioning, analysing and evaluating that information. (Source: OFcom)
Photo credit: Kristina D.C. Hoeppner
Inside this Media Literacy digest:
- Attention and Distraction - Educators and trainers face competition for attention from mobile devices and social networking services.
- Social Media: Trends and Implications For Learning - ...explore emerging technological and related research trends from a perspective of social and networked learning theory.
- Failing New Grading Approaches - A prof doesn't have the funds available to hire teaching assistants to help with grading, so he adopts a peer-review model.
- Language and Connectedness - Connections create words, language, and conceptual understanding, all formed by social connectedness and continually adaptations fostered by feedback and interactions.
- Opera Unite - Whenever a system is created - school models, corporations, or browsers - ideologies of the age are embedded.
- Social. Networks. Learning. Organizations - How should organizations "restructure" on network principles?
George Siemens' Media Literacy Digest takes you to places, facts and resources to help you make sense of the fascinating changes that new media technologies are bringing to the educational landscape.
eLearning Resources and News
learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends
by George Siemens
Attention and Distraction
Educators and trainers face competition for attention from mobile devices and social networking services. Of course, prior to the development of these technologies, we faced a similar challenge of attention - but day dreaming is far hard to detect than someone posting comments on Facebook or Twitter.
Designing Choreographies for the "New Economy of Attention" is an interesting discussion of attention and distraction.
You may not agree with their core argument - that we need to choreograph technologies that are under the control of learners (such as back channels) in a manner similar to how we organize more traditional classroom components - but the approach of blocking software and banning mobiles/laptops in classrooms is simply not sustainable.
Today's reality of connectedness is dramatically different from what existed even ten years ago. Banning is at best a short term solution that will isolate and agitate the very group education is expected to serve.
The battle for control of information and interaction has already been won by "the individual". Organizations, governments, and universities that have not yet recognized this may continue to limp along for a while... but their current stance is not tenable.
Laptops and wireless devices are increasingly present in academic settings. Rather than assuming that their presence "takes away" from an established order of attention, we are seeking to understand how they reconfigure that order in ways that might allow for new methods of engagement.
In practice, with the introduction of networked technologies into the traditional academic setting, the attention of individual audience members is redirected from a single stream of speech to the presence of other audience members interacting with a global network of ideas.
Social Media: Trends and Implications For Learning
I'm looking forward to this project I'm involved in with Dave Cormier: Social Media: Trends and Implications for Learning.
From the AACE site: We'll will explore emerging technological and related research trends from a perspective of social and networked learning theory.
Finding coherence in the midst of rapid changes is increasingly difficult. This monthly session will create a forum for educators to "gather, present, and discuss the future impact of today's trends."
The session is free and online - held on the second Tues of each month.
Failing New Grading Approaches
This confuses me. Basically, a prof doesn't have the funds available to hire teaching assistants to help with grading, so he adopts a peer-review model: learners grade each other.
In this instance, the union representing teaching assistants disapproved, filed a challenge, and the prof has now been ordered to discontinue the practice. I guess they now return to the previous method:
"Before Prof. Joordens introduced his peer-marking system, all the assignments in the class were written on multiple choice sheets and marked by a machine."
Students are the real losers in this process.
Language and Connectedness
Not only are we socially connected in our learning, but the concepts that form our understanding of a subject also reveal network attributes.
Understanding is a certain constellation (pattern) of connections between concepts.
At a more basic level, think of an alphabet - the richness of language is derived from a small number of distinct letter / characters. Variations and different connections form words.
Connections create words, language, and conceptual understanding, all formed by social connectedness and continually adaptations fostered by feedback and interactions.
"English is a network... being a literate person is not so much about what you know, but about how you know things are connected."
Periodically, new software appears that has the feeling of a game changer. I had this feeling when I first tried Yahoo Pipes (even though the service still remains somewhat obscure) and Wolfram Alpha.
Today, I installed Opera Unite and had was left with a sense of "wow, this could change how I interact and share information with others".
Whenever a system is created - school models, corporations, or browsers - ideologies of the age are embedded. As a result, when circumstances change, future generations struggle to overcome this ideological legacy.
Kuhn's notion of ordinary and extraordinary science partly reflects this struggle, but focuses on mindsets within a discipline rather than the system that is created to perpetuate those mindsets.
Occasionally, a glimpse of "something different" emerges. But, if it's too different from the current model, it likely fades quickly.
Most innovation in browsers - including Google Chrome - is tweaking an existing model. The ideological pull of "what a browser is" and "how we interact with each other and with information" places blinders on the innovation process.
Opera Unite is an experiment in rethinking the notion of a browser entirely. Opera Unite is described as "a web server on the web browser". I'm sure we'll hear of many technical limitations to the approach (including security concerns).
What I'm most interested in, however, is that Opera offers a different way to think about online activities - it calls into question the ideologies embedded in browsers developed decades ago.
Social. Networks. Learning. Organizations
From the session overview:
"Social learning and social networks continue to grow in prominence in corporations, organizations, and universities.
The impact of networks, however, remains somewhat misunderstood. How should organizations "restructure" on network principles? How can ROI be calculated? Are networks a superior method of organization learning and development?
How can professionals re-create wholeness of understanding in fragmentary conversations and information shared through social networks? What lessons can learning professionals apply from Facebook, Twitter, iPhone applications, and other software and technology trends?"
Information on times and URL for the live discussions will be posted at the events page linked above.
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 -
Attention and Distraction - soupstock
Social Media: Trends and Implications For Learning - godfer
Failing New Grading Approaches - Arizona State University
Language and Connectedness - photosoup
Opera Unite - Shout Me Loud
Social. Networks. Learning. Organizations - tombaky
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
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