Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Aug 8 09
In this weekly media literacy digest, educational technologies expert George Siemens takes you to breaking news and stories that directly affect media, education and society as a whole.
Photo credit: Darko Novakovic
Inside this Media Literacy Digest:
- Future Knowledge Ecosystems: The Next Twenty Years of Technology-Led Economic Development - A report concerned with the future of "self-contained research parks".
- Dumb Money or Dumb Coverage? - Stephen Downes critiques a Newsweek article on the subject of improving (reforming) schools.
- Future of Campus Bookstores - A few thoughts on the future of campus bookstores.
- For Canadian Gov't: Consultation = You Listen - George Siemens was on CJOB (a Winnipeg radio station) for a 2 hour discussion on copyright.
- Developing An Enterprise Social Computing Strategy - The Intel report provides a practical overview of how large organizations can tackle challenges of collaboration and sharing.
- Critical Thinking - ...how to approach content as a mode of thought, rather than as fragmented bits of information.
- Learning With Technology - During the recent ED-MEDIA conference in Hawaii, Greg Walker and crew from Leeward Community College conducted a series of interviews with attendees.
eLearning Resources and News
learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends
by George Siemens
Future Knowledge Ecosystems: The Next Twenty Years of Technology-Led Economic Development
Future Knowledge Ecosystems: The Next Twenty Years of Technology-Led Economic Development is a frustrating read. It's concerned with the future of "self-contained research parks". Most research universities have adopted this model.
However, as the Future Knowledge Ecosystems report states, times are changing. How will future research parks respond to "fourteen emerging trends" (trends such as: group economy, knowledge ecosystems, hybrid sensemaking, etc).
The frustrating part? The report reveals how difficult it is to conceive new models driven by new technological affordances. So we end with three scenarios:
- incremental evolution,
- research clouds,
- and rapid decline of research parks.
At least the focus on scenario thinking acknowledges the uncertainty of anticipating the future. However, the topics under consideration - research and innovation - can (and likely will) emerge as completely different entities than what is being utilized for extrapolation.
Knowledge (I still prefer the term information - to me, knowledge requires a person in a state of knowing) is fluid.
Given the inherent uncertainty, it is best to view knowledge through the lens of complex adaptive systems, not through 5+ year plans. This report is an extrapolation of how current trends might impact research parks.
What is really needed is a creative considerations of what research parks (and universities for that matter) could be if they were seen as active, reciprocally-impacting agents in an environment: shaping and responding to emergence, rather than trying to predict the future.
Dumb Money or Dumb Coverage?
Creating successful schools entail far more than simply focusing on single elements.
Schools cannot be separated from the societies in which they function. Numerous factors must be considered:
- teacher compensation,
- and economics.
This post juxtaposes views of fixing the system by better method (Newsweek's emphasis on smaller class size, teacher pay) vs fixing the system by emphasis on better societies (Stephen's assertion).
Future of Campus Bookstores
I've posted a few thoughts on the future of campus bookstores.
Short view: it's not a bright future and, whatever it is, it won't be defined by status quo.
For Canadian Gov't: Consultation = You Listen
This past Tuesday, I was on CJOB (a Winnipeg radio station) for a 2 hour discussion on copyright.
The host - Richard Cloutier - initiated the show in reaction to the Copyright Consultations being held by the Canadian government (they even have a Twitter account set up). I tried to invite myself to the Winnipeg consultation. It was then that I discovered that consultation = you listen.
It's encouraging to see the government initiate consultations. But it's disappointing that they have done so in a very closed manner. Yes, you can post your thoughts to the site. However, I would hardly call that a consultation. What's that called again? Oh, wait, I know: it's essentially email.
In some instances, closed roundtables make sense - but in this case, they are posting transcripts and recordings. Why not just make it an open forum? Let people attend, ask questions. I deem this feeble. And a really poor attempt at consultation. Why not a more accurate term like "You listen while we Talk Copyright"?
Developing An Enterprise Social Computing Strategy
The report doesn't reveal anything astonishingly new, but does provide a practical overview of how large organizations can tackle challenges of collaboration and sharing.
It's interesting to observe how organizations balance a critical tension point in adopting emerging technology: what to foster / encourage vs. what to control.
A corporate technology infrastructure is not so much a system to control what is permissible as it is an infrastructure that needs to be co-created with end users.
Open source software has developed largely because people are seen as participants in software creation rather than as end users.
By studying the theory of critical thinking and tenaciously applying it to classroom practice, I began to see more clearly how to approach content as a mode of thought, rather than as fragmented bits of information.
I began to see the intimate connection between thinking and learning, to see how to intervene in thinking deliberately and constructively to deepen one's understanding, and to interface the content of my subject with the values and motivations of students.
The article goes on to provide a four-stage process to thinking critically.
When learners have greater control, they also require greater command of critical thinking skills. Why? Well, if I'm taking a course under the direction of an instructor, I will hopefully be able to learn from the instructor modeling these skills.
A course is a sanitized version of messy and chaotic information that comprises a field. Learners (hopefully) encounter only the most established and trusted information during a course.
Once a learner steps outside of the course, she'll inevitably encounter false and biased information. And, I think, it's somewhat natural to begin connecting with learners who share our own beliefs and views.
As a result, self-directed learners may cluster around shared beliefs and ideals. But it is in the friction of differing views that serendipity exists. Admittedly, this might not happen in a classroom either, but a good instructor will at least highlight points of tension in a subject area.
When I learn on my own, diversity needs to become an explicit pursuit.
Learning With Technology
More conferences should create short videos of attendees and speakers.
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 -
Future Knowledge Ecosystems: The Next Twenty Years of Technology-Led Economic Development - Andrea Danti
Future of Campus Bookstores - adekvat
For Canadian Gov't: Consultation = You Listen - Kevin Britland
Developing An Enterprise Social Computing Strategy - Intel Corporation
Critical Thinking - Mitar Gavric
Learning With Technology - argus456
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
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