Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media: An Opinionated Digest by George Siemens - Apr. 19 08
An endless list of great resources, links to great journalistic articles and to memorable quotes, are what transform this weekly digest of blog posts by George Siemens into a multidimensional lens through which you can gather yet another glimpse of the many changes taking place all around you.
Photo credit: Andrzej Solnica
Media, technology, news, learning... all intersect with each other in a million different ways. It is by looking at the intersections, at the crossovers, at the contamination points that one get best a glimpse of what is coming next.
Tools for Your Video Career
Online video is where blogs were about 7 or 8 years ago - on the threshold of large scale adoption for content creators due to ease of creation and sharing. Tools for your video career is a useful, though basic, resource on how to get started with creating, sharing, and streaming video.
The "New" News Process
The graphic in this short post - The "new" news process - captures part of the iterative, evolving, multi-faceted, and multi-contributor process of where we are going with education.
Journalism today has shifted from a broadcast model to an interactive model with reader input/feedback. I see no reason why we don't take a similar view of our educational resources.
Instead of having the educator present "read this" material to learners, a more desirable model would be for learners to interact/ critique/ update/ improve existing learning materials.
It will likely result in greater learner engagement (which in turn we generally conclude with result in "better" learning), but also the resource will be more valuable for future learners as it (the resource) is more current and reflective of multiple perspectives.
Is Knowledge Representation Becoming More Visual?
"Emeritus Professor Alfred Crosby suggested that visualisation and measurement were the two factors most responsible for the rapid development of all of modern science."
I'm not comfortable with the notion of "knowledge visualization" (information seems more appropriate), but there is little doubt that visualization plays an important role in how we make sense of abundance.
A visualization is, partly at least, a form of aggregation, bringing together many individual elements into a pattern.
In complex environments, we need to ramp up how we interact with information.
As information becomes more abundant, we need to interact with the patterns produced, not the individual elements.
Teaching at a Crossroads
John Connell explores Teaching at a crossroads "...in an age where technological development has changed the game in education, changed it to its core, the innately conservative nature of the formal institutions of education are recognizing such shifts only very slowly, and in some places hardly at all."
John's discussion of the notion of "pedagogy first" resonates with some thoughts I expressed recently on my connectivism blog. It's a discussion with many conflicting perspectives...but it's important that we consider different elements of teaching/ technology and theory/ practice, even though the process gets a bit bumpy at times ;).
Journalism Will Survive the Death of Its Institutions
I love this statement: Journalism Will Survive the Death of Its Institutions:
"When our central institutions blew up, people asked many of the same questions I hear among journalists today. Without these institutions, who will fund the mission? How will we attract the talent we need to make the transition? Just as journalism without newspapers seems inconceivable now, it seemed inconceivable to many then that innovation could continue without the might, resources, and sheer heft of the companies that formed the core of the high tech industry."
Perhaps we can say the same of education?
Shaping our Future: Toward a Pan-Canadian Elearning Research Agenda
I'm pleased (and for that matter, even excited) to announce an upcoming online conference - Shaping our Future: Toward a Pan-Canadian Elearning Research Agenda.
The conference will run for a period of three weeks, beginning May 12. While our focus is on the Canadian context, I think anyone involved in research and learning technologies will be able to benefit from the conference. Registration is available by clicking on the "login" button top right of the page. From the conference description: "Canada is one of the only countries in the developed world without a national strategic plan to research, develop and harness new technologies for teaching and learning. E-learning, in combination with other forms of delivery, affords potential to increase not only accessibility, but effectiveness and enjoyment of both formal and lifelong learning for Canadians of all ages."
Week 1 will kick off with a presentation by Terry Anderson, followed by discussion of Anderson and Buell's paper Towards a Pan-Canadian E-Learning Research Agenda (.pdf)
Week 2 will have 4-6 presentations (titles/abstracts will be posted soon).
Week 3 will be a wrap up discussion on next steps forward
It would appear that there are many more virtual worlds in existence than I was aware of... have a look at this list of 100+ virtual worlds (via Brett Bixler). A quick skim through the list reveals a heavy emphasis on the youth market. Wonder if they're more receptive than older populations?
Am I My Brother's Web 2.0 Gatekeeper?
This is a slightly confusing and conflicted article - Am I my brother's web 2.0 gatekeeper?
"The thing is, there has always been too much information. That is to say, there has always been a great deal of bad information, or badly presented information, along with the good and the well done. So there has always been a role for the person who had the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff and the temerity to consign the chaff to oblivion...My point is that there is no need, nor has there ever been one, for "gatekeepers." The information has been there, for anyone with the time and resolution to dig for it and learn to make sense of it."
I find myself agreeing with what the author is saying at stages - i.e. the importance of people (networks) to help make sense of the world . In other areas he ends up expressing points that I disagree with - such as the view that information has always been available. It may have been there, but barriers to access treat information as if it's not there for many members of society. I read a fair number of journal articles...but I don't link to them here. Unless you are a student of faculty member, you likely don't have access to many articles in academic journals.
So is the information there? Of course it is. But it can't be accessed by a large portion of society. And that's the problem. Wikipedia, for example, is too often viewed from the perspective of "is it valid/truthful".
That's not the real point. Wikipedia is accessible. It fits into the information habits of web users. Online, like it or not, access trumps authority. Educators need to understand that key distinction.
Three Doors...and Probability
You've likely seen the "three doors of choice" in cartoons, TV shows, and movies. In theory, the general view is (and I saw this recently in the movie 21) that if you have options of door A, B, and C, you have a 33% chance of getting it "right". Let's say you select door A. If one door (let's say door C) is then eliminated, the question becomes: should you change your choice?
On the surface, it would appear as if you are still dealing with the same percentages...but in reality, you have a better chance of getting the right door if you change your choice to door B, as it now has a greater possibility of being correct (door A still has 33% possibility (not 50% as would be assumed with the existence of only two doors), but the potential of door B being correct is now 66% as the probability of door C is subsumed into door B).
What's the point of this?
Well, according to an article in NY Times, many prominent experiments on cognitive dissonance don't account for the potentiality shift to the remaining unselected option...and as such, these well known experiments may not be as authoritative as is often thought.
Originally written by George Siemens and published as weekly email digest on eLearning Resources and News. First published on April 18th 2008.
To learn more about George Siemens and to access extensive information and resources on elearning check out www.elearnspace.org. Explore also George Siemens connectivism site for resources on the changing nature of learning and check out his new book "Knowing Knowledge".
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