Bryan Alexander Webinar; Learners and their Learning Process
AAEEBL is very lucky to have Bryan Alexander for our first webinar of 2016. He is a consultant to the world on how to understand technology and its effects on learning and education. One of the creators of the MOOC idea — the interactive, social form of MOOC — he is a strong contributor to innovations in education and also a wonderfully engaging speaker.
His topic is “Learners and Their Learning Process.” He will talk for 20 minutes and then will open the webinar to discussion (audience uses chat; Bryan responds in voice) for the last 30 minutes of the Webinar. Trent Batson will serve as moderator.
The webinar is free but you must register to attend.
is it possible that the Iranian government realized the evolution of social media and his respective obsolescence and this is why they freed him prematurely?
Blogs were gold and bloggers were rock stars back in 2008 when I was arrested.
The hyperlink was a way to abandon centralisation – all the links, lines and hierarchies – and replace them with something more distributed, a system of nodes and networks. Since I got out of jail, though, I’ve realised how much the hyperlink has been devalued, almost made obsolete.
Nearly every social network now treats a link as just the same as it treats any other object – the same as a photo, or a piece of text. You’re encouraged to post one single hyperlink and expose it to a quasi-democratic process of liking and plussing and hearting. But links are not objects, they are relations between objects. This objectivisation has stripped hyperlinks of their immense powers.
At the same time, these social networks tend to treat native text and pictures – things that are directly posted to them – with a lot more respect. One photographer friend explained to me how the images he uploads directly to Facebook receive many more likes than when he uploads them elsewhere and shares the link on Facebook.
Some networks, like Twitter, treat hyperlinks a little better. Others are far more paranoid. Instagram – owned by Facebook – doesn’t allow its audiences to leave whatsoever. You can put up a web address alongside your photos, but it won’t go anywhere. Lots of people start their daily online routine in these cul-de-sacs of social media, and their journeys end there. Many don’t even realise they are using the internet’s infrastructure when they like an Instagram photograph or leave a comment on a friend’s Facebook video. It’s just an app.
A most brilliant paragraph by some ordinary-looking person can be left outside the stream, while the silly ramblings of a celebrity gain instant internet presence. And not only do the algorithms behind the stream equate newness and popularity with importance, they also tend to show us more of what we have already liked. These services carefully scan our behaviour and delicately tailor our news feeds with posts, pictures and videos that they think we would most likely want to see.
Today the stream is digital media’s dominant form of organising information. It’s in every social network and mobile application.
The centralisation of information also worries me because it makes it easier for things to disappear.
But the scariest outcome of the centralisation of information in the age of social networks is something else: it is making us all much less powerful in relation to governments and corporations. Surveillance is increasingly imposed on civilised lives, and it gets worse as time goes by. The only way to stay outside of this vast apparatus of surveillance might be to go into a cave and sleep, even if you can’t make it 300 years.
Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it—namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.
Twain, M. (2006). The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Chapter 2.
Project Syria, a virtual reality experience built by a team of students at USC.
“I sometimes call virtual reality an empathy generator,” she says. “It’s astonishing to me. People all of a sudden connect to the characters in a way that they don’t when they’ve read about it in the newspaper or watched it on TV.”
What Peña’s doing — using virtual reality in combination with reporting — is part of a wider landscape of video games being created to explore the news. And they’re called, appropriately enough, “newsgames.”
“There’s an argument to be made that games are perfect at getting at the systemic problems and challenges in the world,” says Ian Bogost, a professor at Georgia Tech.
Take a game that he helped make called Oil God. In the game, the player controls an oil-rich region, waging wars and inciting coupes. The player learns that oil prices are contingent on all sorts of factors rarely mentioned in a story about the price of a gallon of gas.
creating games to bring awareness to social issues for over a decade. The game to create the biggest waves was arguably MTV’s “Darfur is Dying” released online in 2006, in which players took up the role of a family displaced by conflict in Darfur.
Sessoms, D. (2008). DIGITAL STORYTELLING: Training Pre-service Teachers to Use Digital Storytelling Across the Curriculum. In K. McFerrin, R. Weber, R. Carlsen & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (pp. 958-960). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). http://www.editlib.org/p/27300/
Yuksel, P., Robin, B. & McNeil, S. (2011). Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling all around the World. In M. Koehler & P. Mishra (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2011 (pp. 1264-1271). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). http://www.editlib.org/p/36461/
Ohler, J. (2008). Digital storytelling in the classroom : new media pathways to literacy, learning, and creativity /. Corwin Press.
Rudnicki, A., Cozart, A., Ganesh, A., Markello, C., Marsh, S., McNeil, S., Mullins, H., Odle Smith, D. & Robin, B. (2006). The Buzz Continues…The Diffusion of Digital Storytelling across disciplines and colleges at the University of Houston. In C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2006 (pp. 717-723). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). http://www.editlib.org/p/22130/
Digital Storytelling and Communication Studies | Mass Communication:
Tharp, K., & Hills, L. (2004). Digital Storytelling: Culture, Media and Community. In: Marshall, S., Taylor, W., & Yu, X. H. (Eds). Using Community Informatics to Transform Regions. Idea Group Inc (IGI).
Bored students is the least of it – the bullet point-ization of information is making us stupid and irresponsible
The genesis story runs like this: from the late 1950s corporations began to realise that, rather than going to the trouble of developing new products they hoped would meet a need, they could use marketeers to create the perception of need, then develop products to meet it (a shift brilliantly dramatised in the TV series Mad Men). To do this, different departments had to be able to speak to each other, to sell ideas internally. So while there had always been meetings, now there were meetings about meetings and – hey presto! – the modern world was born.
The presentational precursor to PowerPoint was the overhead projector, which is why PP screens are still called “slides”. The program owes most to Whitfield Diffie, one of the time lords of online cryptography, but it was quickly snapped up by Microsoft. Its coding/marketing roots are intrinsic to its cognitive style, being relentlessly linear and encouraging short, affirmative, jargonesque assertions: arguments that are resolved, untroubled by shades of grey.
It’s no coincidence that the two most famous PowerPoint presentations are: a) the one presented to Nasa managers by engineers, explaining with unarguable illogic why damaged tiles on the space shuttle Columbia were probably nothing to fret about; and b) General Colin Powell’s equally fuzzy pitch for war with Iraq. Now, blaming PowerPoint for Iraq would be a bit like blaming Darwin for Donald Trump, but the program made scrutiny of the case harder. Not for nothing did Brigadier General McMaster, of the US military, subsequently liken the proliferation of PP presentation in the military to an “internal threat”, saying: “It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control. Some problems are not bullet-izable.”