Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media: An Opinionated Digest by George Siemens - Feb. 9 08

Making Sense of New Technologies and Media is a weekly digest, curated by education, technology and media expert George Siemens and focused on analyzing, reporting and providing thoughtful insight into the use and intelligent application of such new technologies to our everyday lives

Photo credit: James Thew

In this week digest:

a) A new tool to visualize how you interact with your network promises to help you understand your networking tendencies.

b) An analysis of browser popularity reveals that Firefox is eating away at Internet Explorer's market share.

c) The How-To video craze enables you to be the teacher and impart your specialized wisdom to millions of viewers world wide.

d) Lack of evidence backing the current idea of an 'education crisis.'

e) Save and memorize web pages and sites you want to go back to at a later time.

f) Resources on social networks

g) Michael Wesch and the future of learning.




Sense-Making of Technology and Media: a George Siemens Weekly Digest

by George Siemens

Technology for Measuring Social Interactions

Photo credit: Touchgraph

Will Thalheimer suggests that we need to explore learning applications of technologies that measure social interactions (see this article), with a particular focus on helping learners understand their "networking tendencies".

I recall development of a visualization tool in Moodle (allowing educators to visualize how learners comment on each others posts). I have no idea what happened with that. Touchgraph shows relationships between documents / people in Google or Facebook.

A tool that visualizes our physical interactions with other people would add an additional dimension to some of the analysis available based on online interactions.

Browser Wars

Photo credit: Waz

Seb Schmoller links to an analysis of the popularity of Firefox, Internet Explorer, and other browsers.

Firefox continues to make gains at IE's expense.

Everyone Can Be a Teacher

Photo credit: David

Everyone possesses some type of expertise that is worthy of communication or instruction. Barriers can be somewhat high when an individual decides to teach others.

What society often defines as "important curriculum" is found in formal environments and under the guidance of school boards and educators.

Today, however, everyone can be a teacher, even in rather mundane subjects or in teaching "micro skills".

Howcast is a great example. Here, you will learn important skills like how to dance without embarrassing your to fake an appreciation of to hold a baby.

Crisis, What Crisis?

Photo credit: Thomasz Trojanowski

Peter Tittenberger asks for evidence of a crisis in education as presented or alluded to in many conferences and papers:

"Maybe the arguments are right and we need a revolution in education - but the arguments aren't coming from many instructors, educational administrators, governments, and most tellingly not from students or their parents".



On a given day, I have about 30 tabs open in my browser for resources I want to view when I have time. It's a bit of a pain and can slow computer performance.

Enter Instapaper - install a simple button in your browser and save it to a website (your personal "paper") for later reading.

What would be cool, as David Weinberger mentions, is the ability to make your own personal reading list public.

The Decade (Century?) of Networks

Photo credit: Google

The hype of network approaches to information creation, sharing, communication, and web search continues to grow (and so it should).

Perhaps the most substantive shift in our generation and upcoming decade (century?) is the move toward networked thinking. Once we start talking networks, a whole new mode of thinking emerges; one where cause-effect are slightly uncoupled and emergence and complexity theory play a greater role.

Networks - which are required in today's information abundant and complex world - have the potential to reorganize much of society and education in particular.

A few resources I've recently encountered on networks:

Social search based on personal networks

"The public web is made up of linked pages that represent both documents and people. Google Search helps make this information more accessible and useful. If you take away the documents, you're left with the connections between people.

Information about the public connections between people is really useful -- as a user, you might want to see who else you're connected to, and as a developer of social applications, you can provide better features for your users if you know who their public friends are.

There hasn't been a good way to access this information. The Social Graph API now makes information about the public connections between people on the Web..." (Source: Google's social graph API)

ELI Conversation: Michael Wesch and George Siemens

Photo credit: Michael Wesch

I recently had the pleasure of being involved in an interview / conversation with Michael Wesch on the future of learning.

The podcast runs about 30 minutes and covers the information cycle, social collaboration, roles of educators, and so on.


Originally written by George Siemens and published as weekly email digest on eLearning Resources and News. First published on February 8th 2008.


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
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posted by Patricia Mayo on Saturday, February 9 2008, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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