Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - July 11 09
Emerging technologies, the global economy and the Internet are changing what it means to be literate. As digital communications transform the quantity, range and speed of information and exchanges in our lives, increasingly, the ability to interpret and create media becomes a form of literacy as basic as reading and writing.
Photo credit: Alan Levine
Inside this Media Literacy Digest:
- Google Chrome Operating System - The Google and Microsoft competition is escalating: Google announces new operating system
- Web Squared - Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle's article Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On captures a small glimpse of the future
- Social and Networked Learning - In June, through LearnTrends, we hosted an event on Social and Networked Learning. Topics include: What is social networked learning? ROI, organizational challenges, and moving beyond networks.
- Does Anyone Still Use Second Life? - The answer, according to a recent report (which is a bit of a pain to get, but free), is a strong yes.
- Disruption and Scientific Publishing - Changing scientific publishing is only partially about technological disruption. It's mainly about common sense. If it comes from the public purse, it belongs to the public.
George Siemens' weekly Media Literacy Digest Media is published here on MasterNewMedia with the objective to help its readers become informed citizens who can actively and successfully communicate with society and the world.
eLearning Resources and News
learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends
by George Siemens
Google Chrome Operating System
The Google and Microsoft competition is escalating: Google announces new operating system.
The operating system is expected to run on netbooks shipping in 2010. Google already has Android for mobile phones, so the move to PC-based system is an obvious direct challenge to Microsoft.
With the exception of Bing, over the last several years, Microsoft has come across as a bumbling, clumsy organization trying to preserve a computing world that no longer exists. Consider Live. Or Mesh. Both initiatives were an attempt to innovate, but Microsoft is too tied to existing revenue models to be creative.
Google, on the other hand, is well ahead in its ability to conceive a new world of computing and interaction.
The announcement of Wave is a great example - a product that attempts to re-write interaction / collaboration based on today's technologies, not those created decades ago.
Google is exploring new territory. Microsoft is trying to defend what it has.
Of course, Google is also entering new territory with the OS initiative. Microsoft has decades of experience and established relationships with businesses and hardware manufacturers. The Microsoft ecosystem is strong and entrenched. Success is far from assured for Google.
Writing an OS for a netbook is a much simpler task than writing an OS that works on a broad range of PCs in numerous complex organizational settings.
- Redefining the OS:
"The new OS will focus entirely on the web: "The software architecture is simple - Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform." What that means is this. The browser is the platform. The browser is the UI."
- Google Blog:
"Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010.
Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve."
I prefer to stay away from pop-culture resources as a source of guidance for where we are heading in terms of technology, and more broadly, society.
I listened to a podcast (TWiT, episode #197) and was inundated with buzzwords (apparently it's still cool to say "Google Juice") and random nonsense.
I was surprised by the seriousness of the topic (future of university) and the shallowness of the approach (at one point Don Tapscott offered the nonsensical statement we often hear at conferences: universities haven't changed in 100 years!).
It's an important article that captures a small glimpse of the future. Yes, there is a bit of silliness in the article (the web as a baby, slowly growing up with each innovation) and the conclusion is completely unsatisfactory (the web is now the world and the world needs our help - an interesting hypothesis, but one that requires an entire article, not a throw away piece at the end of this article).
Nevertheless, it's a strong article. It captures trends, extrapolates to implications, and offers insight into where we are heading. Lots of great examples...
Social and Networked Learning
In June, through LearnTrends, we hosted an event on Social and Networked Learning.
Topics include: What is social networked learning? ROI, organizational challenges, and moving beyond networks.
Does Anyone Still Use Second Life?
Not only is Second Life thriving, its citizens spend more hours each week in world than those in other multi-player online games. The hype around SL has been more subdued in educational conferences this year.
Of course, with all new technology, it first needs to go through an insane hype cycle, be declared dead by a prominent theorist / writer, fade into obscurity (i.e. acknowledged by those who hyped it in the first place), and then quietly emerge as a viable tool.
Disruption and Scientific Publishing
Clayton Christensen is well known for his work on disruption. His discussion of disruption at a systems level - i.e. how a new technology is able to develop on the edges of an industry and eventually reshape an entire field - is simple and intuitive.
But last year, he co-authored wrote an aggravating little book called disrupting class (a lovely text of how great education could be if we could just get rid of the human element). Since then, my general fondness for Christensen has plummeted. I've been looking for critiques of his theory since, but haven't found anything particularly useful. I'll keep looking.
Micheal Nielsen applies Christensen's work to a variety of fields: construction, news, and scientific publishing. It's a thought provoking piece, but I don't share the author's vision for journals in the future (i.e. technology innovation organizations).
Scientific (or more broadly, academic) publishing is a surprising industry: it takes work generally paid for by the public (through government research initiatives), relies on peers within the field to review research and articles (done without fee), and then sells it back to the government (through university access to journals). If ever there was a field built on sand, this is it.
Changing scientific publishing is only partially about technological disruption. It's mainly about common sense. If it comes from the public purse, it belongs to the public.
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 -
Google Chrome Operating System - CNET
Web Squared - Dan Farber
Social and Networked Learning - badboo
Does Anyone Still Use Second Life? - Make:
Disruption and Scientific Publishing - piai
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
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