I think I’ll have more time to reflect and comment on my artefact and the experience of making it in a few days, but for now here it is.
Exploring rich media and social networking to create more innovative learning experiences…. 2 parts knowledge and inquiry, 2 parts plan, 2 parts sub and pop culture, 3 parts fun (including what the suits call execution).
In another assignment or response to the resources for this course we are asked to choose which of the perspectives below most resembles our views on the relationship between technology and pedagogy. We are asked to answer the question: Can you point to instances in society or in your own context where this stance is necessary or useful?
The Pedagogy must lead the technology or do we find the technology and use it as we see fit?
This sounds about as stuffy and patronizing as a grammarian berating you for ending a sentence with a preposition. But if I take the view at face value it really means that the needs of the students to achieve the stated learning objectives must drive the design and use of the technology. Online learning has really been through some experimental phases in the last ten or so years so it actually seems that stance #2 or the idea that “technology produces new realities” (or learning environments is the case. Let’s take the example of online forums and chat and their adoption as learning environment tools. Forums and chats were really developed more as a way for people online to carry on social conversations. One only needs to recall the days of the AOL chatrooms as places to meet like-minded folks. Developers of online learning courses adopted these tools as areas for discussing course topics and content. Later as the Internet became the spawning ground of many social sharing tools like YouTube, SlideShare, online communities, wikis, blogs and self expression tools like Glogster many tech savvy teachers saw the potential use for these tools as ways for students to develop expressive content in response to whatever they were learning. So it seems that both teachers and learners online were adopting the technologies as they existed rather that requiring that technologies be designed to meet their needs. Most of the time pedagogy and the need to educate formally was NOT requiring or driving the formation of these tools and widgets.
Technology is determined by the political & economic structure of society. Copyright is King. So What’s a Mashup Maker to Do?
The third position maintains that technology is determined by the political and economic structures of society. You could rephrase this in the argument that the market demand or the government may determine the development in one area of technology. One might argue on one hand that in a society where the government regulates application of technology via patents, is stifling innovation. On the other hand this same government could be protecting the interests of those who invest their resources in research and development of these technologies. I’m of the view that stringent control will only stifle open exchange that leads to more innovation. Great ideas and the next disruptive innovation will most likely be based on ideas or products that are already out there, and to plant the seeds for this innovation the ground needs to be fertile with exchange, exploration and application of existing technology. Some of the most innovative and creative works are often derivative of past works and content, as Kirby Ferguson so effectively points out in his video series, “Everything is a Remix.” As Ferguson illustrates film makers such as Quentin Tarentino often borrow and reinterpret classic movies that inspired them early on. Tarentino’s Kill Bill series references many of classic Asian Martial Arts films while the recently released Django Unchained re-imagines and brilliantly combines elements of both Spaghetti Westerns and 70’s Blaxsploitation. Both Kill Bill & Django Unchained are remixed products that are completely unique and do what film should do & they do it well: they entertain.
But the creative process that relies upon being able to reference, re-hash or remix older works may be under threat. As content has become more easily shared on the Internet and corporations learn that there’s a demand for this content some may see opportunities in mining for content that has potential. As the European powers staked out land for their colonies entertainment corporations will lay claim on classics in the public domain. Watch out Dickens fans. Currently some major music labels are claiming copyright on public domain songs. Lobbyists for the copyright industry continue to push for laws that extend copyright claims.
Online resources for public domain works that provide a rich source of educational resources such as Project Gutenberg may be at risk in the future, and so is the ability to use content on the Internet creatively to learn. Several years ago Internet sharing helped give birth to the Mashup which allowed many people including students to do some remixing of their own. If I were still teaching in a classroom, Mashups present the kind of learning opportunities that would excite me as an educator. They allow the student to really internalize the content and reinterpret it, which if I’m not mistaken prove that learning has occurred on the higher end of Bloom’s Taxonomy. It makes a lot of sense that in this Coursera class, we’re being asked to create a Digital Artifact as our final project. It’s a way of proving whether we got the major points of the class, but not in some old fashioned way like writing an essay. We’re embracing the new way of measuring learning: making our own content to express and demonstrate how we’ve internalized what we learned.
While intellectual property laws are meant to protect everyone who creates content, it seems that eventually the only parties that IP laws will benefit will be the companies that have the resources to bankroll the legal teams it takes to enforce and defend. I could be wrong, but it seems that these opportunities for engaging in creative learning experiences may be at risk.
Which position do I lean towards?
Perhaps the question isn’t worded correctly or at least to my liking. I don’t feel like I lean towards any of these positions. Seven years ago, I felt that the Internet and sharing and content creation technologies opened a wonderful playground for learners, the kind of playground that would get people to fall in love with learning. The tools and access to information and material allowed people to engage, learn and create their own content. But I have to admit I felt that we were living in the “Wild West” where possibilities were endless. It also seemed that my biggest wish as a child had been answered. From a very early age, I wanted an “Answer Genie.” This would be a genie that could answer any question that I had. The Internet seemed to provide me with something that’s just about as good, a philosopher’s stone. But this technology is changing me and everyone. As the economy and markets drive corporations to claim ownership of more, I can’t help but see them as this Leviathan that will sweep us away.
I can’t predict how things will develop. However, unless more people become more active producers of content instead of passive consumers of it, or if they realize the potential the Internet has as a learner’s gold mine, then we may not be able to take cues from anyone other than the companies that claim to own the content.
Kirby Ferguson Points Out: Nothing is Original
In part of this interview, Godin asserts that our school system is designed to develop factory workers and that we should be angry about this. How do we change schools? Or should we even try? It’s awfully hard to change institutions. You can make your best shot, but maybe it’s better to take on the challenge of building more innovative minds on a smaller scale.
I think there are things that parents can do outside of school and at home to help model innovative and collaborative behavior to their children.
1.) Try learning new things. Make taking a class or even a workshop part of your family activities. I remember my mother actually taking cooking classes, macrame, even public speaking. Both my brother and I were often dropped off at the community center to take a crafting or nature class during the summer months. We often looked forward to doing this.
2.) If you’re failing at household tasks… point it out. Not everyone is Martha Stewart perfect at the things they do. You don’t have to engage in huge creative projects. Build a small pond, arrange your picture frames, experiment with colors when you knit a mitten. If it doesn’t work out… it’s okay. I meet so many adults who are so afraid of doing things wrong they get so wrapped up in making things perfect. They’re not really paying attention to what they’re doing along the way or how they got there. This neurotic compunction to make things look just right seems like excessive self-flagellation to me. Modeling this neurosis for our children can stunt their willingness to experiment or try new things.
3.) Tinker, tinker, tinker. My father-in-law owns a machine shop so it isn’t surprising that he found a way to make his car run with propane during the Oil Crisis in the 70’s. It’s also not surprising that he now has two sons who aren’t afraid to creatively solve design problems or develop tools or products. My husband eschewed the customary IKEA setups when designing our kitchen and instead designed a the layout in 3D in Blender to fit our odd shaped pre 1950’s house. My brother-in-law designed a built a salt-water tank with specialized lighting that mimics sunlight in a reef setting specific to a part of a globe. Don’t ask how and why… he just did.
4.) Work with other adults on a project where you’re solving a creative problem. I remember people coming to my house as a child to work out problems with my dad. Whether it was building a deck or fixing the car. Working together to piece a quilt and even solve out the design with others is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate this ability to work with other adults to solve a creative problem.
Now I’m only providing a few suggestions here, but you probably get the picture. Children are keen to pick up on adult behaviors and when you’re modeling the type of ‘compliance’ Godin refers to or even fear of trying new things, there’s a good chance that they’ll be influenced by it.
This is a very interesting assessment of the exchange that goes on in Social Media like Twitter. I can see the incremental increase in relevance. I’ve been really learning about the value of Twitter over the past few weeks. The author, Rajesh Setty, notes that exchange on Twitter doesn’t really extend past the third level in this chart. This is engagement with others, not the engagement between oneself and the actual information you may find on Twitter. From this perspective, at least for me, Twitter actually does have a great deal of “Immediate and Future Relevance.”
I’m finding that Twitter not only connects me with more information relevant to my interests and my job, it also is helping me connect and learn about others through their blogs. I get an introduction to these folks via Twitter that I would never get from just a search for a different topic. Also, sometimes people’s skill with what I call the “Twit Wit” actually draws me to learn more about them and their blog. There is a certain “speedy Zen” about Twitter that I”m finding increasingly appealing. Even though Twitter is a bit limited when it comes to sharing and exchange, it’s a great doorway into the worlds of it’s many participants.
An internet video mashup is just a re-mix of of video and audio content which is shared on the web.
Future tense has a great brief podcast on the trends of video mashups (1/3/2008). Notably it features the idea that much of the re-mix of content from films and music may eligible for ‘fair use‘ law protection. This makes sense since re-mixing content to express a new or different interpretation doesn’t mean that people are using the content as it is for ones own gain. This is a potentially touchy topic because on one hand we want people to re-mix and re-interpret content because it facillitates change and progress; on the other hand, taking and using content from those who worked hard to create it doesn’t seem right if someone else profits from it. Though I doubt that anyone has made any money re-mixing Soprano episodes.
Though I wonder how many legal departments and copyright lawyers must have their wheels running on overdrive right now trying to figure out how to nip this movement in the bud. Is it too late to do that? Large numbers of teens have made re-mixing of content to their own interpretations a way of life. This is simply how they react to the content they see. I think it’s exciting… because you can interact with this content in ways that you could not in the past.*What does this mean for copyright law in the future?
Great article from the NY Times: “Innovative Minds Don’t Think Alike”
One of the key messages of this article is you need partner the experienced with the inexperienced and make sure that the newbies have a voice in any team. Looking back at history this may explain the stagnancy of bureaucratic governments and cultures. Ah ha…. but this may be hard for those who believe in a pecking order or the value of the experienced over the inquisitive. It must be terribly difficult to get this idea across to organizations or even professions that are structured hierarchically… Oh, well, they loose out.
Digital Natives want electronics….
Kaybee, FAO Schwartz and Toys R US have all declared bankrupcy (NL: That’s sad…having manipulative toys is a key part of childhood, not to mention developing hand-eye coordination and motorskills)
Information and knowledge are the thermonuclear weapons of our time.
Era of Baby Boomers and their technology
Need for War Stories in the Workplace (Knowledge Management)
Games, games, games
Multitasking and Absorbing all that information
Net-gen communication preferences
My thoughts….There’s a diy movement right now I think that there’s no coincidence that this is happening as technology is moving us more into a virtual world.
People want to make physical things.
More games examples
What the teacher should be today…
Mobile Learning Examples: