Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Aug 1 09
George Siemens' Media Literacy Digest is back, like every week, to bring news, analysis and opinion on key changes and facts happening at the cross-road between technology, education, media and society. A quick guide to maintain perspective and a critical eye on the key changes taking place around us.
Photo credit: D'Arcy Norman
Inside this Media Literacy digest:
- Different Social Networks - ...much more is needed before networks move from understanding novelty of form to understanding implications of form.
- Science, Publishing, and Such - ...your research shouldn't be considered complete until the data and meta-data is put up on the web for other people to use.
- A Stroll Through Repositories of Days Gone By - The contrast in thinking during the learning object repository days vs. thinking on social information creation and management is remarkable.
- War Between Awareness and Memory - Patrick Lambe suggests that we face a war between awareness and memory
- The Internet of Things - We can do far more with information communication technologies than we are comfortable with. Privacy and security are big roadblocks to utilizing new opportunities generated by technology.
- The Brain's Interpreter - The enormous prospect of neuroscience influencing society, legal systems, and education raises the importance of people developing at least an acquaintance with developments the field.
- Digital Nomads - Space and physical presence are far less important for me than they were only five years ago.
- Machines Getting Smarter - ...a group of computer scientists is debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control.
In this weekly digest, educational technologies expert George Siemens takes you to places, facts and resources to make greater sense of the changes influencing education and society today.
eLearning Resources and News
learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends
by George Siemens
Different Social Networks
Network language has been integrated into society. This is partly due to the experience many people have now had with linking, connected, and sharing information through social media.
Simple network terms long tales, power laws, strong / weak ties, etc. are thrown around rather casually. Because living is fundamentally about networking and connecting, a sense of understanding exists in the use of terms, but I think they are often misunderstood. Or, they are used to bluntly.
Within education, I've been arguing for the development of more nuanced use of language in discussing learning networks.
Most conference attendees have by now seen the conference social map - a map that draws attention to how attendees are connected... but provides very limited value.
The question for me is not "how are people connected?" but rather "what are the implications of people being connected in a certain way?".
In a classroom, for example, I'd like to know how student interaction influences learning. Frequency of contact isn't that important to me. But the implication of an interaction is. But we have limited language (and very little discussion that I've seen to date) addressing a more nuanced view of networks.
Danah's post is a start in this regard... but much more is needed before networks move from understanding novelty of form to understanding implications of form.
Science, Publishing, and Such
Discussion of science and publishing in the digital age is growing in popularity. A surprising uniformity of need (open, shareable data), collaboration, and systemic change (incentives, publishing process, etc) is found in various conversations. This theme is similar to what one that has been developing more broadly in education for the last (almost) decade.
Elsevier announces the article of the future (now with 70% less fake journals!): "to redesign from scratch how to most effectively structure and present the content of a traditional scientific article in an online environment".
"science is already a wiki if you look at it a certain way. It's just a really, really inefficient one - the incremental edits are made in papers instead of wikispace, and significant effort is expended to recapitulate the existing knowledge in a paper in order to support the one-to-three new assertions made in any one paper."
"your research shouldn't be considered complete until the data and meta-data is put up on the web for other people to use, until the code is documented and released, and until the comments start coming in to your blog post announcing the paper."
A Stroll Through Repositories of Days Gone By
While it's obvious in hindsight, I was surprised at the many assumptions made in CLOE (and other repositories) that seemed to ignore how people work with information (creating, sharing, reusing).
Imagine filling out a form to post your object, waiting for peer review before inclusion in the repository, then filling out another form to use objects created by others. The process was antagonistic to affordances of technologies. I guess that's why so many repositories failed...
War Between Awareness and Memory
"there is evidence that faster, easier, access to current awareness broadens our absorption of the present and thins out our access to the past.
Simply put, too much of now means less and less memory".
I'm not very active on my Twitter account (maybe a few posts a day with many skipped days in between). I have found, though, that Twitter is far more about relationships than about content.
Twitter is about conversations that vaporize rather quickly.
When I access Twitter, I'm not too concerned about conversations that went on before ("before" defined as anything more than 5 minutes ago). I jump in to catch a bit of a stream, share a thought / link.
A relationship does exist between time on Twitter and how productive I feel: more time, less productive.
Twitter can help a person become aware of new technologies and information, but for depth of learning (reflection, thinking, writing - i.e. getting past "what it is" and moving to "what it means") Twitter is limited.
I know I've come across a certain topic before, and Google Reader provides something that is missing in almost all other search options: context.
The Internet of Things
We can do far more with information communication technologies than we are comfortable with.
Privacy and security are big roadblocks to utilizing new opportunities generated by technology. For example,
Google (now mainly Bing) knows what I've searched in the past. And, with GPS / maps, knows where I'm currently located. Tying my search history to my location to provide targeted advertising is not too far a leap.
The pieces are in place, but the connections have not been made.
The "internet of things" fits into the category of "potential but not actual" as well.
I suspect that social, not technological, concerns will prove to be the primary adoption barrier.
The Brain's Interpreter
Michael Gazzaniga in a short 15 minute interview discusses neuroscience and the law, future directions in brain research (i.e. the future prospect that others will know - through imaging, I guess - what we have encountered even if we deny it), weaknesses in current understandings, finding answers in complex systems sciences, split brains, etc.
The enormous prospect of neuroscience influencing society, legal systems, and education raises the importance of people developing at least an acquaintance with developments the field.
Space and physical presence are far less important for me than they were only five years ago.
With fairly reliable internet access, I can teach online and stay caught up with most work tasks while traveling or attending conferences. I don't need an office (though I would miss coffee conversations with colleagues).
When undergoing change, a system has an interesting mix of new attributes and hold-over mindsets that are no longer applicable. A physical space at an office fits into the latter category for many people.
They work - clad in shorts, T-shirts and sandals - wherever they find a wireless web connection to reach their colleagues via instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and occasionally by voice on their iPhones or Skype.
As digital nomads, experts say, they represent a natural evolution in teleworking.
The Internet let millions of wired people work from home; now, with widespread WiFi, many have cut the wires and left home (or the dreary office) to work where they please - and especially around other people, even total strangers.
Machines Getting Smarter
Society must periodically embrace outlandish fear in order to normalize and dissipate concern. Here's how it happens: someone forecasts something of great concern, society then adopts the point of fear as part of its narrative (i.e. 1984), and we eventually become immune (acclimated) to the idea even as it is unfolding.
I can recall hearing stories of "the machine is overtaking us" in early 1980's.
Scientists are also expressing concern:
Impressed and alarmed by advances in artificial intelligence, a group of computer scientists is debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control over computer-based systems that carry a growing share of society's workload, from waging war to chatting with customers on the phone.
Their concern is that further advances could create profound social disruptions and even have dangerous consequences.
Slightly related, I've collected a series of robot-related resources on delicious.
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 -
Different Social Networks - Devils Workshop
Science, Publishing, and Such - krishnac
War Between Awareness and Memory - Atalanta06
The Internet of Things - Violet Nabaztag
The Brain's Interpreter - orla
Digital Nomads - baby1
Machines Getting Smarter - wadaka
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
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