Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Sep 20 08

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Understanding the concept of "information funnels" is critical to anyone passionately dedicated to become a successful independent web publisher. This is it.

Photo credit: Teemu Arina

I am indeed glad that George Siemens, who weekly authors these insightful digest, has himself chosen to point to the relevance of this very concept by highlighting the excellent mini-guide on info funnels authored by holistic-designer-philosopher Mikkel that I am very honored to host in its first web-only format on Master New Media.

As always, George highlights for you the starting points, the hot spots and the new emerging discussions and ideas, that in his view, create the "pulse" of our fast-changing media and technology-infused society.

Here many great take-off points for what I would call "explorative understanding":


eLearning Resources and News

learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends

by George Siemens


Information Overload


Robin Good has posted an article (by Mikkel) on information overload.

It's a challenge that most of us face on a daily basis. When we find a tool - such as RSS - that makes information easier to manage, we simply gorge ourselves again. We always live at the end of our attentional and informational schemes. New tools = more information.

This article suggests a few approaches for helping to stem the deluge. And after you've mastered those concepts, you should be able to take in even more new information :).


The End Of 'Command Control' Approaches To Knowledge Management?


The End of 'Command Control' Approaches to Knowledge Management? is a fairly short article tackling knowledge management from the field of law:

"For the KM purist attached to the command and control ethos, the idea of unregulated proliferation of content sounds like chaos. However, the success of Wikipedia, in creating one of the world's leading reference tools, shows how much trust around content can be established even on the internet."

Yes, I know, Wikipedia is not perfect. The flaws it does have, however, pale in comparison to what it reveals about the ability for people to collaboratively contribute to the creation of an information resource. Could any one person create a resource like Wikipedia? No. Could Wikipedia be centrally mandated and created with command/control structures? Possibly. But to date that hasn't happened.

Most of the creative works in the public (online) sphere have not been mandated and controlled. They've "grown" if you will. Complex systems, after all, can't be planned and structured. When given sufficient flexibility, however, the natural iterative/feedback process (i.e. response to emerging conditions) of complex systems is the basis of innovation.


Visualizing Financial Markets


Visualization of data helps to provide new insight (patterns). Few organizations do it better than NYTimes. Consider their recent visualization of the current financial sector.


Teens, Video Games and Civics


Pew Internet has released research on Teens, Video Games, and Civics (.pdf). It runs 70+ pages and largely says what most parents/teachers already know: kids like video games.

The break down of games played is interesting. Not surprisingly, racing/puzzle/sports/action games are the most popular. Other games and virtual worlds - such as WoW and Second Life - are not as common. Which is interesting. At most conferences, when someone says "games" or "virtual worlds" the natural thought is WoW or Second Life.

I have no doubt about the academic value of games and simulations. I'm still undecided on the degree to which games popular for recreation can be morphed into games for learning...


Social Web: All About The Small Stuff


The web, especially in the last five years, has lowered the barriers for individuals to create and share content.

A secondary, but likely more profound trend, is the ability for individuals to share roughly everything. It's been called lifecasting (any new term first needs 'casting' somehow attached to it). At the heart of the process is the ability to share what you're doing, where you're doing it, and to capture the process in audio, video, and text. The transparency is actually a bit blinding.

Google, never one to overlook opportunities to become the central influence online, is fully aware of this trend:

"Fortunately, as the web becomes more social, I won't have to spend as much energy thinking about what's "interesting enough" to share with a certain group. The people who care about me and that I allow will increasingly be able to tune in to the parts of my life that interest them...

In the coming decade, the web will become as effortlessly social as chatting with your family or roommates at home is today. Social features will be embedded and around and through all variety of spaces and places on the web. Sometimes you'll go to a place because you want to see your friends, and sometimes the place you're in will get better because you can bring your friends there.

It will make it easier to strike up new relationships, new communities, new expressions of what your life is about. The web will connect people to the small moments that in many ways matter most."

Why does that cause me anxiety?


New Battle Ground Of Ethics


As we come to understand more about the human brain, we quickly discover that we bump up against many of our views of free will, personal agency, privacy, and more. What is the outcome of this? Well, for starters, we are seeing misapplication of technology - i.e. using technology to do what it simply cannot do.

Consider this astonishing article - India's use of brain scans in courts dismays critics:

"The new technology is, to its critics, Orwellian. Others view it as a silver bullet against terrorism that could render waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods obsolete. Some scientists predict the end of lying as we know it."

On first read, the concept seems beyond credible. And yet, I recall years ago in a faculty meeting where significant funds were required to support LMS deployment. The decision makers didn't understand what was being approved. The danger here is not technology in itself, but when people extend technology beyond what it is intended to reasonably do.


Interview With Dave Cormier: Rhizomatic Education


Dave Cormier's article in Innovate on Rhizomatic Education drew a fair bit of attention. I had the opportunity to chat with him today to explore in more detail his view of knowledge and education. The recording is available here.




It's been a busy week in our Connectivism and Connective Knowledge Course. I'll reference course developments once a week here, so readers that are not interested don't end up being overwhelmed. I've posted a short summary on my reactions to week one.

Photo credits:
Information Overload - Mikkel
The End Of 'Command Control' Approaches To Knowledge Management? - Ljupco Smokovski
Visualizing Financial Markets - pablo631
Teens, Video Games and Civics - Leah-Anne Thompson
Social Web: All About The Small Stuff - Eddypedro
New Battle Ground Of Ethics - Ron Chapple Studios
Interview With Dave Cormier: Rhizomatic Education - Dave Cormier
CCKo8 - Edukacja-Online

Originally written by George Siemens for elearnspace and first published on September 19th 2008 as weekly email digest on eLearning Resources and News.

About the author

To learn more about George Siemens and to access extensive information and resources on elearning check out Explore also George Siemens connectivism site for resources on the changing nature of learning and check out his new book "Knowing Knowledge".

George Siemens -
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
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posted by Daniele Bazzano on Saturday, September 20 2008, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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