Notes from the hangout of 11th March 2013

Obviously the points were raised by a particular student. I am responding as if they are of interest to most/all.

  • It was remiss of me not to thank David for trimming the pdf of the Pireddu reading. THANK YOU!
  • Word count - will fix and will broadcast via L@G. Also to find and publish the criterion sheets1.
  • The dates of the readings in the first module. A few prejudices at play here. I am firmly of the view that there is much to be gained by looking at where things come from2. There is a strong pattern of repetition in the engagement of formal schooling with computing technologies. As I've suggested, the only really interesting shift has been from schools as computer-rich sites to now being, relatively speaking computer-poor.
  • In terms of battles with the readings. It is OK not to get something. Post a question on the G+ community. It won't hurt! I'll do my best to reply helpfully.
  • Some discussion of education as a system that is slowly dying. I like Mitra's take. It is working perfectly well. The only problem is that the system was designed for the circumstances of 300 years ago. Does not solve the problem but at least, I think, make the problem a little more in focus.
  • How we think about the T word, T is for technology is important. There is a big difference between thinking about technology as stuff vs. thinking about it as a way of doing things, i.e. people plus stuff3.
  • Marc Prensky is interesting I think. Yes the digital native thing is way clumsy, crude etc. Much better accounts by others4. But, I think, Prensky's rise to fame or notoriety is instructive. It underlines the growing importance of having a Net presence. Yes. Even for students in Masters courses! :)
  • There was a brief mention of shifts in how we think because of the increased use of the Net. Nicholas Carr wrote a now famous essay about that. There is good evidence from neuroscience to suggest that the brain may very well adapt, an epigenetic adaption to the high use of the Net by some.
  • We visited again, the notion that education is the only field of human endeavour where we continue to talk about integrating technology into the classroom.
  • We had some discussion about the culture of trust that operates, at least for geekdom, i.e. it echoes that quote about the folk at IDEO I am fond of.
  • This lead to some chat about the amazing stuff that had been produced, largely for free, like Wikipedia and so on. I wanted to suggest that for every opinion, there is an equal and opposite one you can find now, a kind of Newton's Law of the Net. Jaron Lanier is one who is concerned about some aspects of people's creative output being free.
  • One of the counters to Lanier is that some folk actually do gain from a strong Net presence. I cited the case of the thesis whisperer, Inger Mewburn who landed a university appointment as a consequence of her online work.
  • Finally, a few advertisements: the Google+ commmunity is a good place to share, help and think through some of your ideas/concerns. L@G will be used to broadcast stuff and do the formal course stuff. This Wiki will be a place where you will add a little bit, as per the assignments and I'll keep writing reflections, doing my public learning log and filling in resources as we go. And, last but not at least, try using twitter to search for some very recent resources, opinions, research. I am using the hashtag #edn7131 to tweet any stuff I come across that may be of interest.
  • Last but not least. If it is too hard to find stuff in the Wiki, try the search function5 or try the recent changes link6.