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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Sep 26 09

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In this weekly Media Literacy Digest, open education and connectivism advocate George Siemens, takes you to news and stories on emergent media, technology and learning that can help you make greater sense of the revolutionary changes taking place all around you.

Photo credit: delion

Inside this Media Literacy Digest:


eLearning Resources and News

learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends

by George Siemens




Google has been busy this week: Chrome Frame is a service that runs Chrome directly in Internet Explorer. The announcement provides more detail. It is Google's way of letting Microsoft know that inefficiencies can be bypassed.

I am a bit negative on Microsoft these days. I am teaching a course using Sharepoint (an Old English term meaning "hell"). It is horrendous.

Please, if you like the people or customers you work with, never, ever, make them use Sharepoint.

Microsoft understands systems / process. But not end users.

Next, Google announces Sidewiki.

Sidewiki lets users post comments on web pages through the Google Toolbar. This is not new - StumbleUpon and Diigo offer similar services. But Google has scope, reach, and the ability to integrate the service quickly into the online habits of users.

But, the more Google innovates (meaning - wants to assist in my online interaction and data creation / consumption) the more concerned I become. Others feel the same way.

And, in case you are wondering how Google got to the point of owning everything online, the summary of their acquisitions is a good starting point.


What I Think Connectivism Is...


Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2009 is in full swing.

The value of a distributed course is found in these points of failure.

If one tool goes down, other options exist. In this instance, I want to draw attention to a somewhat interesting conversation thread on Moodle: What I think connectivism is...


Trends and Issues In Open and Distance Learning In Africa


Dave Cormier and I are offering a bi-lingual (French / English) open online course on emerging technologies for learning starting Oct. 12.

The course is part of a grant from OSIWA and a collaboration between Association of African Universities and University of Manitoba. I will post more information on this in the next week or so. The course is directed to African learners, but others are welcome to participate.

With that course on my mind, I was quite please to see the most recent edition of IRRODL focused on Trends and Issues in Open and Distance Learning in Africa.


Networked Learning 2010 Preconference Online Hot Seats


Networked Learning 2010 conference is hosting a series of online "hot seats" over the next few months. These online sessions are free to attend, but registration is required. Details and schedule can be found here.

I am looking forward to Caroline Haythornthwaite's discussion next week (Sept 28) - she has done fascinating work around evaluating language use (noun-phrase analysis in online communities as well as media use in strong / weak tie formation).

Stephen Downes and I are scheduled at the end of October. Sessions continue into early 2010.


Corporate Learning: Trends and Implications


I am pleased to announce our third annual LearnTrends online (and free) conference on corporate learning, to be held November 17-19, 2009.

Tony Karrer has more detailed information on his site:

"The theme / focus this year is on Convergence in Workplace Learning.

We will bring together people who look at different aspects of learning and knowledge work to understand better what is going on in those areas and how we should be thinking about this holistically."

This year, we are going to focus more on highlighting examples of innovative projects, products and companies.

If you would like to submit an entity to be considered for innovation, please see Tony's post.


Scaling Mt. Idiocy


I am a strong proponent in advocating for universities to change. But, universities are systems. You cannot alter one aspect without creating a ripple effect of unintended consequences.

As I read another article about another business leader declaring the obsolescence of universities (a Latin phrase meaning "to scale Mt. Idiocy"), I started thinking about how absurd this language would sound if we applied it to other large institutions.

Let's try banks:

  • "Banks are obsolete because they were founded in an industrial era mindset" (they were not, but neither was teaching, so misinformation works here too)
  • "Banks are too bloated. They cannot survive. They need to completely change in order to meet the needs of today's world"
  • "Now that we have the internet, people will not need banks anymore" (do not worry if it does not make sense... As Meister Mt Scaler Tapscott has proven, accuracy can be subverted by sensationalism).
  • "People no longer need money, they will just share everything online"

...and the list could go on.

Try it - pick your own favorite industry. You too can play the game!


Speed of Memes


Messages spread much quicker than they used to... but satire still reigns supreme as a means of creating artifacts for sharing cultural humour.

Yo Kanye, I'mma let you have one of the best memes of all time discusses how changes in cultural memes are influenced by collective "knowing what to do":

What is most remarkable about this is the speed with which it happened.

We are used to seeing a meme bubble up from the Web's danker crevices, spreading from site to site over a period of months until it hits a tipping point and becomes unavoidable.

But once Kanye West opened his trap and bequeathed a pop-culture moment upon us, it was as if everyone sprang to meme action stations.

We have had the drills; we know what to do.

This might be pushing the lesson here a bit, but early broadcasters needed to figure out what worked or did not with audiences.

TV is largely stableThe odd moment of a new trend - such as reality TV - quickly sets in play predictable duplication.

Perhaps, what we are seeing with memes and sharing on sites like YouTube is that the mass of amateurs are similarly developing a tool kit of shared artistic (?) responses to novel events.

Originally written by George Siemens for elearnspace and first published on September 24th, 2009 in his newsletter eLearning Resources and News.

About George Siemens


George Siemens is the Associate Director in the Learning Technologies Centre at the University of Manitoba. George blogs at where he shares his vision on the educational landscape and the impact that media technologies have on the educational system. George Siemens is also the author of Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age and the book "Knowing Knowledge" where he develops a learning theory called connectivism which uses a network as the central metaphor for learning and focuses on knowledge as a way to making connections.

Photo credits:
Google - Zonkio
What I Think Connectivism Is... - Yurok Aleksandrovich
Trends and Issues In Open and Distance Learning In Africa - adama01
Networked Learning 2010 Preconference Online Hot Seats - Chris Lamphear
Corporate Learning: Trends and Implications - elearningtech
Scaling Mt. Idiocy - Ralf Kraft
Speed of Memes - yellow2j

George Siemens -
Reference: Elearnspace [ Read more ]
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posted by on Saturday, September 26 2009, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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