Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Oct 03 09

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In this issue of Media Literacy Digest, open education advocate George Siemens, explores and reports on new fascinating stories and insights converging around communication technologies and their impact on learning, work and society.

Photo credit: Michele Piacquadio

Inside this Media Literacy Digest:


eLearning Resources and News

learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends

by George Siemens


Heading To Athabasca University


I have accepted a position with Athabasca University and, as a result, will be leaving my current position at University of Manitoba. It was a tough decision.

I have enjoyed working at U of M - particularly with Peter Tittenberger, Director of Learning Technologies Centre, one of the most creative / innovative leaders I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

When presented with an opportunity to work with Terry Anderson, Jon Dron, Rory McGreal, Griff Richards, and others (I do not think I will be working directly with Debra Hoven, but will enjoy the conversations, I am sure!), the prospect of fertile soil for innovation and discussion is too great to resist!

I will post more about position details and work tasks soon, but at this stage, my work will be positioned with the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute and the broader university community in developing a virtual media lab.

It appears I will be able to continue

In addition to planning a November 1 start date at Athabasca, I have a somewhat hectic speaking schedule for the rest of fall (Portugal, Vancouver, Norway, Barcelona, Toronto, New Zealand).

I believe we are at an exciting time in higher education, where new technologies, new pedagogies, and even new institutional structures, will converge to produce an unprecedented period of innovation in learning and learning sciences.

Change, at personal, professional, and organizational levels is today's educational zeitgeist.


Social Learning Presentations


Jane Hart shares her social media presentations via slideshare playlist (you can select various presentations on the right-hand side of the embedded slideshare "player").

A total of 18 presentations are available, addressing a variety of technologies, concepts, and frameworks for social learning. Some level of narration would be a helpful addition, but overall, a good resource to introduce technologically-mediated social learning.


Narrowing Gap - Face-To-Face and Online


With location-aware software and mobile devices... and the immediacy of Twitter / Facebook, the gap between physical and virtual is shrinking.

As Tony Karrer notes, in addressing online / face-to-face conferences:

"What is interesting here is that it used to be that you could count on your in-person audience to be singletasking (is that a word?) and paying attention. Now, they are going to be multitasking just like your online audience."

Perhaps I spend too much time online, but I would like to do with the physical world (and conversations) what I do online:

  • tag,
  • sort,
  • annotate,
  • organize,
  • archive (the internet of things?).

Overlaying a data layer on the physical world - such as walking through a historical district and being able to see buildings on your mobile device as they looked 100 years ago - contributes to physical / virtual blurring.

I will take it a step further: The biggest challenge facing technologists today is to provide a seamless method of integrating our online selves and our physical selves. I would argue the two separate selves should not even exist - they will converge into one entity.


Universities and Research


In an idea reminiscent of Swanson's concept of undiscovered public knowledge, Techcrunch is suggesting corporations turn to universities for a wealth of innovative ideas.

Most research in universities is not commercialized. For that matter, most likely cannot be commercialized due to specialized nature of inquiry.

However, according to TC, entrepreneurs should explore the "motherlode of innovation hidden in the huge stacks of patents and discoveries backlogged at our universities and research labs".

Universities are attempting to take control of commercializing their own research.Specialized departments have been set up in larger universities to facilitate this task (and, in many cases, revenues from commercialization activities are growing as a percentage of overall funding).

By design, however, higher education is not equipped to function at the speed (or for that matter, the priorities) of business.

I am concerned that a revenue generation focus will cause universities to lose focus of the broader (philosophic / social / exploratory) they play in societies.

Do all aspects of society - health care, education, even government - need to converge on a corporate/business model? If so, where will we find the important counter balance to ensure one model does not come to dominate completely?


Introduction To Emerging Technologies: Open Course


In about two weeks, Dave Cormier and I will begin our open online course on Introduction to Emerging Technologies, Africa. The course will be offered in both English and French.

If you would like to be kept informed about the course (as a participant or observer), please join the Google Group.

Originally written by George Siemens for elearnspace and first published on October 2nd, 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:
Heading To Athabasca University - Bellestock
Social Learning Presentations - Yanik Chauvin
Narrowing Gap - Face-To-Face and Online - Sergey Peterman
Universities and Research - Yuri Arcurs
Introduction To Emerging Technologies: Open Course - Anyka

George Siemens -
Reference: Elearnspace [ Read more ]
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posted by on Saturday, October 3 2009, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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