Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Oct 10 09
If you are interested in finding out the key media trends, the events and the new communication technologies that are shaping your future, in this issue of Media Literacy Digest, open education advocate George Siemens, takes you to places, people and new resources to help you make greater sense of this fast changing panorama.
Photo credit: Ndul
Inside this Media Literacy Digest:
- Trends... - What worked pre-internet for managing information will not work today. Little surprise then that trend watching / recognition is quickly becoming a field of value for educators, business leaders, and governments.
- History and Evolution of Social Media - We are still early on the social media hype curve. Letting people connect effortlessly produces all kinds of interesting results. But the implications of easy connectivity are not fully understood.
- The Great Keynote Meltdown - It seems that a poor keynote presentation caused the audience to go into mild mob mode through the twitter back channel.
- Personal Learning Environments Conference -
The Personal Learning Environments and Networks Conference starts next week (Oct 13-16). The event is free to attend. The event has been organized by National Research Council of Canada PLE Project and the Learning Technologies Centre at University of Manitoba.
- Obesity, Politics, STDs Flow In Social Networks - I am interested in how networks influence learning. To date, this has received too little attention from researchers. Yes, I know, disease research generates more funds for universities
- Real Time Web and Google - Clive Thompson's argument that the real time web is leaving Google behind makes a few interesting points... but it is essentially wrong.
- Saudi Arabia: KAUST - Education is rapidly globalizing. Local views need to give way to international perspectives. For example, consider the new $12 billion Saudi Arabian KAUST
- Local Politicians Use Social Media To Connect With Voters - Something as simple as an online forum or blog - or even online consultation - is not unrealistic. Decision made in isolation and then dropped on others is no way to run an organization or a community.
- Social Network Statistics - We rely on government to provide some level of protection (in Canada we have fairly rigid rules for the type of individual data that can be shared). Even then, sites like Facebook can gain a fairly accurate "picture" of who individuals are simply by mining network associations.
- Finding Data - Let's say you have this idea for a visualization or application, or you are just curious about some trend. You can not find the data, and without the data, you can not even start.
eLearning Resources and News
learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends
by George Siemens
P. W. Anderson made the statement in the early 70's that "more is different". Or, as a slight variation, David Gelernter has stated: "30. If you have three pet dogs, give them names. If you have 10,000 head of cattle, do not bother."
When considering the pace of information flow today, it makes sense that we need
- new skills,
- new attitudes, and
- new tools to function.
What worked pre-internet for managing information will not work today. Little surprise then that trend watching / recognition is quickly becoming a field of value for
- business leaders, and
The curatorial and the visualization of emerging trends approach are first generation attempts at making sense of abundance. We need better tools that are somewhat tied to our context (i.e. search patterns, our interests, needs).
History and Evolution of Social Media
We are still early on the social media hype curve. Letting people connect effortlessly produces all kinds of interesting results. But the implications of easy connectivity are not fully understood.
- Should we have "tech free" zones in schools?
- How does etiquette change when conversation continually flows on microblogging services such as Twitter?
- What is appropriate to post on Facebook?
- What about mobile phone etiquette? Or, perhaps most importantly for educators,
- How should teaching and learning be structured in a networked world?
These questions are already being addressed by educators and researchers (journal special editions and even new journal launches are focusing on the social media aspect of teaching / learning).
A quick look back - to gain a sense of history - is always a good idea.
The history and evolution of social media takes a rapid stroll through various services and potential implications. While the article is not focused on education, it is a good overview of how we got to where we are.
Social networking site: Definition, history, and scholarship tackles a similar theme...
The Great Keynote Meltdown
The Great Keynote Meltdown traces a failed keynote presentation and the response of the audience: "Presentational etiquette is changing along with audience expectations. Twitter is there, and people are going to use it, for good or for bad".
It seems that a poor keynote presentation caused the audience to go into mild mob mode through the Twitter back channel. This type of critique often happens post-presentation (remember pre-realtime web? "I will not go to that conference again. Poor speakers, badly organized. It was a waste of time").
The prominence of mobile devices and microblogging services surfaces this type of feedback and amplifies it when conference attendees connect to each other. It is a reality both speakers and organizers need be aware of... and plan for.
What is a conference organizer / keynote presenter to do these days? Create and encourage the use of channels for surfacing criticism and feedback. Hiding failures is not really success.
Personal Learning Environments Conference
The Personal Learning Environments and Networks Conference starts next week (Oct 13-16). The event is free to attend. We will be posting summaries on The Daily, so you might want to sign up for the week to keep track of the conference.
Obesity, Politics, STDs Flow In Social Networks
Networks are the language of our era - explaining, among other things
- information flow,
- disease transfer,
- financial market failure, and
- political structures underlying public voting records.
A recently published text - Connected - addresses how networks influence our lives on a daily basis.
From a promotional article on the book: Obesity, politics, STDs flow in social networks
Examining years of research of their own and from others, the authors conclude that social networks, both offline and online, are crucial in understanding everything from voting patterns to the spread of disease.
People have profound influences on each other's behavior within three degrees of separation, the authors find. That means that your friends, your friends' friends, and your friends' friends' friends may all affect your eating habits, voting preferences, happiness, and more.
I am interested in how networks influence learning. To date, this has received too little attention from researchers.
Yes, I know, disease research generates more funds for universities. For that matter negatives like disease, obesity, and other challenges confronting humanity provide greater motivation than pursuing positives like learning and development. Maybe that is part of the research problem...
Real Time Web and Google
Controversial statements draw more attention (hence, why I am linking to this!), but what Thompson overlooks is that the web is expanding and fragmenting into specialized subsets... not that the core web is changing.
For example, an individual wanting to research Michael Jackson (as stated in Thompson's article), will not only be concerned with the events over the last few days, but over Jackson's lifetime.
We use the web for different purposes at different times.
Have you ever tried following a trending topic on Twitter? If you are tracking a hot topic, you will have 800 updates each time you refresh. It is a mess. It is like Yahoo in 1997: Topics by categories... but largely useless.
This trend-lover attitude (Ooh, look, it is new, that means it changes everything) is great for drawing attention... but rather useless for anything else.
A contextual, balanced, and nuanced understanding of search patterns and varying circumstance with varying needs is needed. But, it appears nuanced and balanced is now the new extreme.
Saudi Arabia: KAUST
Education can be somewhat insular.
A university campus is a community... a small city. For many students (if my experience can be generalized), understanding the local university environment is a big enough challenge in itself.
It is unrealistic to expect most members of society to be aware of the complexities of higher education in other provinces / states or even other countries.
Those who proclaim universities have a limited future need to redirect their focus to the enormous funds directed to universities and how national pride (and future identity) are reflected in "world class" universities.
Local Politicians Use Social Media To Connect With Voters
I live south of Winnipeg in a small community.
During my commute this morning, I noticed a section of our street "under construction". The street was closed off. I have no idea what they are doing. And why.
It occurred to me that I am no longer satisfied in "letting things happen to me". Perhaps I am influenced too much by participatory technologies, but I like to know what is happening my community.
- Who decided this road should be repaired?
- How long will it take?
- What other priorities were shelved as a result?
Not-knowing is not acceptable. Something as simple as an online forum or blog - or even online consultation - is not unrealistic. It takes five minutes to set up a blog. Decision made in isolation and then dropped on others is no way to run an organization or a community.
"Perhaps most significant to the evolving shift in local political communication is the sense that social media is starting to fill the void left by downsized news staffs or the complete absence of journalists in smaller communities."
We want information and we want to be involved. That is not asking too much, is it?
Social Network Statistics
The Internet knows us. Really. It does. It knows us at an aggregate level - consider the age / income / children / gender information on social network statistics. But, we are also known individually.
We rely on government to provide some level of protection (in Canada we have fairly rigid rules for the type of individual data that can be shared). Even then, sites like Facebook can gain a fairly accurate "picture" of who individuals are simply by mining network associations.
If I am predominantly friending people with certain religious or political views, I am signaling some level or probability as to my own views. But, it does not stop there.
Facebook has one of my favorite lines about data collection:
"Facebook may also collect information about you from other sources, such as
- instant messaging services, and
- other users of the Facebook service through the operation of the service (e.g., photo tags)
in order to provide you with more useful information and a more personalized experience."
As little as 10 years ago, the barrier to finding data was something like a pay wall (or that the data was in a physical form and you had to go to a library to access it).
Today, data abounds. It is readily accessible. Which is great if you are trying to visualize data and / or interactions. 30 Resources to Find the Data You Need:
"Let's say you have this idea for a visualization or application, or you are just curious about some trend. But you have a problem.
You can not find the data, and without the data, you can not even start. This is a guide and a list of sources for where you can find that data you're looking for. There is a lot out there."
Follow through to the comments - several additional resources listed there...
About George Siemens
George Siemens is the Associate Director in the Learning Technologies Centre at the University of Manitoba. George blogs at www.elearnspace.org 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.
George Siemens -
Trends... - Trendsmap
History and Evolution of Social Media -Dmitry Margolin
The Great Keynote Meltdown - Argus456
Personal Learning Environments Conference -Konstantin Chagin
Obesity, Politics, STDs Flow In Social Networks - CNN
Real Time Web and Google - Chris Lamphear
Real Time Web and Google - Wipeout44
Saudi Arabia: KAUST - University of Bradford
Local Politicians Use Social Media To Connect With Voters - Aliaksei Lakamkin
Social Network Statistics - Pablo631
Finding Data - Hypermania
Reference: Elearnspace [ Read more ]
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