Week two commentary – the first 2 videos #edcmooc

#edcmooc Week two commentary – the first 2 videos how is education being visualised here? what is being learned and taught? what is the nature of communication in these future worlds? are these utopian or a dystopian visions to you? In what way(s)?

In the video called A Day Made of Glass we see a futuristic world where glass interfaces are positioned all over, in schools in place of blackboards, in natural forest parks in front of natural scenery, in surgeon`s operating theatres etc and of course there is the ubiquitous transportable thin clear tablet that both children and professionals have with them everywhere. Information can at a flick of the finger across the screen, be transferred from the portable tablets to other portable tablets and also to the larger permanently positioned glass screens, making collaboration and knowledge sharing possible..as exposited in the neurosurgeons` scenes, where photographic slices of a patient`s brain are exported onto  a holographic image above the patient – visible from either side, as if it were displayed on a thin glass sheet.

Education promotes  playful exploration of virtual images, texts, searches in databases where the search queries are photographs of images of for example a wild animal`s footprint on the dirt track of a forest path. There is a seamless connection between imagery, portable handheld devices and databases attached to larger stationery glass screens that reqct to touch to present and to intake information.

Images are particularly prevalent in this world of knowledge sharing – creating often entertaining templates around real objects. Imagery, texts and the quick finding and sharing of these artefacts is what seems to occupy everyone more than anything else..very convenient for sharing knowledge and finding facts and for creating virtual atmospheric environments of a pleasurable coloured and patterned ambience..but not so good for enabling space to just be without any virtual presence.

I think that to be able to find and share knowledge in such expedient and entertaining ways is indeed very good but there should be place for peace of mind and soulful reflection without it always having to involve a separate digital artefact. That aspect of the ubiquitous and possibly all monitoring presence of digital input and output screens, tablets, cameras is unnerving.

……………………….

In the second video called Bridging Our Future we see a similar exposition of a future classroom with children accessing pictures from a database that the teacher is also accessing to display on the larger teaching screen. Their task is to design and build a model prototype bridge. The teacher is able to see on his tablet how each pupil interacts with the media available to the children and what they download and points are given to pupils for accessing various media tasks it seems with different levels of difficulty. Also, the children are given the chance to interact with real engineers who are on the ground at the site of a real bridge. Here a real life problem of designing co ponents to support the design seems to be one of the tasks. Children design ideas by drawing them straight into their tablets and they then are able to send those components to the cadcam machine that makes them. Everything..from communication with peers, real life engineers, communication to cadcam devices is all linked up and enabled from each child`s tablet. Again there is a very quick and seamless interaction between actors in a network and there is likewise an availability of software that can be used to easily transform design idea to concrete prototypes. This is all very good for clarifying ideas, for sharing ideas and for realising them, quickly, efficiently and also for asynchronous working.

It promotes the interdependence of experts in creating a design and the need for communication between those experts. It teaches children how to collaborate. This way of working also  enables the exposition of ideas in various drawing board phases so reflection is enabled. What I don`t necessarily favour is the interaction of the teacher or of the system to grade pupils according to their choices. It presupposes a defined valuation of choices – as if all choices could be understood only finitely – what if there are some creative minds whose way of working and thinking is quite lateral and who need to work in a completely different fashion- their mid way choices and ponderings might not align to any predefined system recognition and accurate evaluation of what they are doing.

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A composite semblance of perspectives on big data, privacy, metaphors #edcmooc

#edcmooc Week 2 commentary- a composite semblance of perspectives on big data, privacy, metaphors

With inspiration from

-the video “Sight”

  -the text Johnston, R (2009) Salvation or destruction: metaphors of the internet. First Monday, 14(4). http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2370/2158

-the article called The Private InformationFacebook Makes Public. http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57612001-285/the-private-information-facebook-now-makes-public/

– a quick glance at The Digital Agenda for Europe http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/futurium/en/content/envisioning-internet-futures

In “Sight” there are definitely dark undertones of a person who is an expert manipulator, his toolbox being his internet access, availed through his workplace, to databases of girls he dates and indeed if we don`t pick up on the underlying malevelance in his persona, there are clues such as the Jekyll and Hyde poster on his wall. The wall of apps or trophies for successful dates speaks for itself and is what the girl in the story reacts to. Don`t completely get how he is able through a simple voice command of “wait” to put the girl into some kind of hypnotic trance.

The story does successfully depict how information on someone can be misused to manipulate them – getting them to react to you they way you would want. Very disconcerting. The use of data by third parties ( the gentleman here in this story is a third party user of private data) is something that at present does not have clear regulations as it is such a comprehensive area..big data..and it is an area I feel that does require policy guidelines for use,  deterrants and prosecutions for abuse.

One of the challenges for future society according to Digital Agenda Europe (http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/futurium/en/content/envisioning-internet-futures)

is “Ensuring an appropriate balance between trust and privacy in social interactions, as well as the appropriate balance between right to privacy and right of organisations and states to secure their physical space”

Likewise these challenges are also listed:

“5) The risk of bypassing fundamental rules thanks to our increased capability to gather personal data, including thoughts and opinions. 6) The need to look after individuals in a world of big data

So it seems that the temptation for utilising and ultimately monetising big data is there. What is not there at present are definite clear guidelines on a policy level for what should be allowed and what should not. In fact It is apparent to me that 3rd party vendors buy and sell lists of leads for marketing -accumulated from sources that are not divulged.

Also, Facebook does seem to have policies in place written in small print that gives them the right to use your private photos. And here is evidence that companies are lurking on the sidelines and able to retrieve information from Facebook profiles for use in generating data on individuals:

“Of particular concern to privacy advocates is the ability of third-party app developers to access your friends list. Last August, CNN’s Katie Lobosco reported that at least one financial-lending company uses your Facebook friends list to help determine your creditworthiness.”

Also-

” Facebook users are installing apps from developers who help themselves to the users’ private information without offering a clear mechanism for retrieving the data. Users have no way of knowing what the information includes or how it will be used, let alone whether it is accurate” (From http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57612001-285/the-private-information-facebook-now-makes-public/)

In extrapolation of this trend, whereby we can glean that information about private users is being taken without permission, where one cannot easily stop nor complain about this and where in fact the systems present a seeming show of transparency (details are in small print or rather hidden in a convoluted series of directions for how one could stop application developers from taking private data..this involves contacting developers directly, and in many cases no contact information is given) – this is not transparency nor accountability but rather hidden license for stealing, and license for placing the blame on the user for not reacting before any use of data took place.

Such a licentious display of disregard for the privacy of users` data is hidden behind rhetoric that has an officious sounding charm- in fact one could argue that the whole officious sounding rhetoric on sites that display such sentences as:

” Our company complies to the Safe Harbor Framework.” is a deliberate good looking, courteous and professional sounding ploy to rob you of your private data.

For if you do a little research you will find that this can essentially mean nothing as companies who comply to this organisation that does indeed stand as a watchdog for improper use of private data, are self certifying!

Companies are self certifying!

And to make things even harder on the individual user, if one does have a complaint requiring dispute resolution, one would discover in a great number of cases that many companies have ‘no dispute resolution options and  instead refer customers to the American Arbitration Association, which charges complainants from $120 to $1,200 per hour, with a minimum of 4 hours, on top of a $950 administration fee.’ http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57612001-285/the-private-information-facebook-now-makes-public/

To get back to the rhetoric that has that officious charm- I would say it is a metaphor that carries with it promises ( false ones) of professionalism, accountability, transparency. We are inclined to be taken in by its countenance.

We can read in the text entitled Salvation or Destruction that

` The Internet represents a wide-spread technology with confusion surrounding the mechanisms, ethics, privacy, etc. associated with this technology. Thus looking at the way journalists, politicians, corporations, and others describe this technology provides us insight into its envisioned potential and uses. Recognizing and reflecting upon these Internet metaphors, and the ways they could potentially shape culture, should be an important practice for researchers.’

Indeed and I would say that media literacy and critical thinking skills are an imperative for this generation.

For

‘Metaphors …. do not have to be automatically accepted. “[M]etaphors are contestable, and there are real political and cognitive issues at stake.”’

But this is also true-

‘As Internet usage and access expands, these metaphors become more ingrained. These metaphors become a stable part of a culture’s discourse, and those using the metaphors often do so unconsciously. When invoking metaphors related to the Internet, people choose to invoke common metaphors or create new metaphors entirely depending upon their experiences. “Thus, it is important to continue to monitor the metaphors at work to understand exactly what work it is that they are doing.”[9]

Indeed.

Week one Commentary on technological determinism and various other determinisms and considerations of ownership and control @edcmooc

Week one Commentary on technological determinism and various other determinisms and   considerations of ownership and control.

We were asked to home in on questions of ownership and control with regards to how the internet technology/ technology  is controlling/ being controlled.

It seems that to answer that question, that a non reductionalist methodology  ( a multi-determinations  methodology) should be used to analyse such technologies, as Dahlberg argues in Technological Determinism and Dahlberg, L (2004). Internet Research Tracings: Towards Non-Reductionist Methodology.

He explains “a multi-determinations or mutual constitution analysis recognizes that each so-called determining factor is itself embedded within and constituted by a system of inter-linked constitutive processes”

And gives an example –

“So, for example, research into Internet-democracy practices would want to explore the democratic possibilities afforded by the technical aspects of the medium, user motivations and intentions, and the social structuring of online communications and identities”

I am very much in agreement and think that habits of mind among users/ larger society are impacted by and can be in fact to a great degree be constructed by media texts ( and indeed other artefacts that create understandings of what is allowed/ what is not allowed in systems)   I believe it is true that  systems –  their social, cultural normalities act on us directly on a neurological level – impacting how we make meanings. The affordances of their technologies impact our freedoms negatively or positively.

And so the medium and not only the content impact users understandings, their concepts of agency – the democratic possibilities that are afforded or not afforded to us.

As a starting point to systems that we perceive around us, I’d like to start with Uses determination-

Uses determination: technology is shaped and takes meaning from how individuals and groups choose to use it.  This is certainly the case in the way social media is being used by users all over the globe – as soon as a new need is spotted by developers, vupti a new application emerges to meet that need. Communiteis of developers are developing many apps in an open source collaborative spirit to meets these needs that are emerging and then quickly becoming addressed by many different apps springing up randomly in these communities.

I’d like to see large centralized systems linked to governmental policies and such have the same spirit –responsiveness to real user needs. Here is a real life scenario that I know of. Here in Denmark if certain bills are not paid such as tv license or parking tickets then the large centralised tax machinery kicks into works by deducting the owed amount from one’s wages. I know of a case where accumulated parking tickets caused that to happen to someone and then when the bills and their respective fees for not paying on time were deducted, the system kept on deducting the same amount from that person’s wages until the person realised, phoned the tax people up – but,  oh no still nothing could be done, the machinery was still to deduct a large chunk from the next wages although it had no right to do so.  A manual override was impossible!!!  What’s more no one was to blame, everyone  “doing their best”, “trying to figure it out,”

The system had been programmed to per default to keep on and of course it would be stopped,,but only after the tax personnel had figured out how to stop it.

Really an example of control being put into the hands of systems. Ownership was not to be found..noone specific was accountable.

A case of lack of transparency and low accountability by governmental systems is something to be stopped in its tracks, yet is already here. This is social (determined by political and economic structures of society )and technological determinism (‘produces new realities’, new ways of communicating, learning and living, and its effects can be unpredictable – a new reality certainly produced here in terms of wages being controlled and taxed unjustly by an almost autonomous technological system ) gone wild.

And here I found a very apt citation in Dahlberg’s text:

“Postman links the notion of technological autonomy closely with the notion that ‘a method for doing something becomes the reason for doing it’

And

‘The Frankenstein Syndrome: One creates a machine for a particular and limited purpose. But once the machine is built, we discover, always to our surprise – that it has ideas of its own; that it is quite capable not only of changing our habits but… of changing our habits of mind’

Certainly, how we react to systems, is in part channeled by systems and their minions- “oh no one can take responsibility, after all we are just trying our best, trying to figure it out, will have to employ a different system to look at a different database, you will receive notification”

And although western liberalism does support  autonomous individuals as capable of directing and governing their own behavior, we can perhaps conclude that  western systems do not always do that.  Both of the educational nature and of the governmental nature.

And regarding systems and their nature to control

I’d agree that” their impacts are determined by the manner in which human agency exploits them in a specific setting” and indeed on the training of the personnel given the responsibility of managing them.

I’d like to take a look at 4 future scenarios outlined by the European Commission that paint possible digtial futures for us all in Europe.   The report “ Envisioning Digital Europe 2030” analyses current and future challenges in ICT for governance and policy modeling. It presents scenarios of future possible implementation models in 2030.

The possible opportunities and risks are identified for each model and a picture is painted of possible resulting implications for citizens, business and public services. ( The report is available hter: http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC61593.pdf)

Very quickly, this report outlines these 4 distinct scenarios of life in 2030

Scenario 1 / OPEN GOVERNANCE: characterised by high openness and transparency and high integration in policy intelligence

 

Scenario 2 / LEVIATHAN GOVERNANCE: characterised by low openness and transparency and high integration in policy intelligence


Scenario 3 / PRIVATISED GOVERNANCE:
characterised by low openness and transparency and low integration in policy


Scenario 4 /SELF-SERVICE GOVERNANCE
: characterised by high openness and transparency and low integration in policy

Put briefly, these scenarios range from a governmental system that is responsive to user needs and allows for change according to those needs. That is Scenario 1 / OPEN GOVERNANCE: characterised by high openness and transparency and high integration in policy intelligence

 

On the bleak side far to the other extreme we have of course   a society that is run entirely by information systems – systems that restrict by predefined and pre-calculated algorithms, our choices, hailing that they optimise our performance from the cradle to the grave.  That would be Scenario 3 / PRIVATISED GOVERNANCE: characterised by low openness and transparency and low integration in policy.

And sort of mid way another  scenario is painted- one in which we have the rather horrific extreme of  living in a society where we delegate our right of initiative to an ‘enlightened oligarchy’ whose job it will be to manage public information and services on our behalf.

We would be well to already now  take an active part in decision making and demand that the data and facilities we need to interact with government and policy makers will be made available to us. Control I believe should be firmly paced in the hands of the user, to delegate their own authority – and in line with Dahlberg’s  recommendations I believe that an emphasis upon the social impact of technology must be part of any communications research.

I think in fact that it is one of the most important things to watch as its determinations can be very far reaching. It is important to keep tabs on the direct social inputs in the development of specific technological systems as well as  the role of wider power relations and social structures that are firmly reinforced by such systems.

Apropos the uses and effects of technologies. I’d say these are predetermined by the aforementioned social inputs in the designing of such systems.

I’d very much agree with this:

“Users do not simply manipulate the material world at will. Rather, there is a mutual shaping process between social contexts, technology, and users. The various choices stemming from the social settings involved in the process of innovation and deployment become embodied within technologies such that technology can be regarded as congealed social relations – a frozen assemblage of the practices, assumptions, beliefs, language, and other factors involved in its design and manufacture… . [this] suggests that the social relations which are built into the technology have consequences for subsequent usage” from (Woolgar, 1996, pp. 89-90)

Talking about the congealed social relations of the future—well we see it here in the Envisaging Digital Europe Reoprt:

“A new participative model

will emerge in which feedback loops and cocreation

are fully integrated into the policy

and decision making cycle of the EU and its

Member States. User-enabling ICT applications

and integrated mass-collaboration systems

will enhance cooperation within government

agencies and interaction with stakeholders,

making processes more user-centric and costeffective,

bringing high public value to endusers.

Public services will be performed by

decentralised agencies in close cooperation with

private actors and social movements, directly

involving citizens. This will lead to the creation

of a strong civil society that will coexist and

support the representative model, giving birth to

new types of partnerships and alliances between

citizens, private companies and government. This

will lead to networked governance systems where

stakeholders cooperate via well established policy

intelligence mechanisms and ICT applications,

based on shared principles and values.”

So it is the shared principles and values we wil lahve to watch.

We can read on:

“The

transition to a ‘mobile society without mobiles’

will have started; here, social networking and

augmented reality applications will be part of

everyday life and will improve personal autonomy

and quality of life. Virtual offices will become the

norm and media-streaming and broadcasting

functionalities will expand the number of usages

and users of mobile services, giving rise to a more

efficient Internet of Services. Business and social

life will be structured in a way that quality of life

will increase in parallel with performance and

productivity”… learning and education will be based

on how people as inter-dependent and interconnected

social beings construct their identities… All groups in society will have web access

and will have mastered enough ICT skills to

make best use of ICT-enabled applications

for governance and policy modelling. Senior

citizens will participate actively in society and

will be able to maintain and call upon extensive

social networks. Migrants and ethnic minorities

will be well integrated in society, also thanks

to the widespread and effective adoption of

user-enabling technologies. These will connect

them to their home countries, supporting their

development and reinforcing their cultural ties

and ‘cultural proximity’ without isolating them

from their host countries in separate virtual

representations of their cultures. ICT-enabled

applications will enhance social cohesion by

improving personalised local service delivery and

will increase people’s freedom. They will create

opportunities for local economic development,

allow citizens greater participation in the

governance process, and ensure that minority

groups are represented in local institutional

settings.”

So we hear the words personal autonomy, quality of life, performance and productivity and there are implications of independence, interdependence,promises of realising one’s  identity through  a social construction of identities? There are possibilities for endless inclusion and collaboration in policy making and in improving social cohesion by building stronger ties to home countries for diasporas everywhere.

Would these promises not also have a flip side- I thoink the social construction of identities sounds too much like a possibility of bringing about a socialistic, collectivism which really isn’t sovereignty of the individual. I think that and improvement in building stronger ties to home countries for diaspora should be allowed but with reservation as leading political activists could easily use it for importing extremist political agendas from non democratic countries. Likewise, the promise that all groups in society will be able to participate actively is not in itself a self fulfilling promise- not without there being a shift in education to availing citizens/ young people of technologies in such a way that they learn of their freedoms and learn to use technologies for participation in democratic processes.

This is not happening at present. There is an “educational divide” that separates the savvy from the not so savvy mew media users. This brings the hope of certain promises into the arena of education, where 21st Century learning promises are not being fully honoured by educational institutions which do not as yet fully understand the concept of learning with technologies.

To become an actor within any system one must learn how to use it not only to get by, but to be able to  percieve one’s degree of autonomy within that system – whether one can construct an identity in liking and in alignment to oneself, whether one can percieve of digital montioring and surveillance trends that perhaps one doesn’t agree with and of course one needs to be aware of mechanisms for engagement in all areas of interest.

Not to be aware of these freedoms would be folly and would perhaps leave the development of systems to an enlightened oligarchy or a surveillance society in which large corporations interests are honoured first. Would we even see it coming? That is why I see the importance of enlightening students ( through 21st Century Learning ) of their freedoms within systems and of building competencies in them to be able to both navigate and critically asses any systems they may find their identities embedded within.

First week: 2nd and 3rd Youtube film..Inbox and Thursday @edcmooc

Image
 
Thursday..
The little bird definitely has agency in this, roaming freely about and cheekily getting into places its not meant to be. 
It is living out its little life according to its natural instincts and its understanding of the world, 
not realising that it is in great danger every time it traverses the man made world of antenna and trucks and building 
shafts filled with technology.
It stays alive against all odds and is quite happy in fact as it curiously explores the town in search of food. 
Much to the consternation of office workers the little bird manages to shut down the whole  electric circuit of an office building by pulling out a bit of wire from the network circuitry. This puts the whole building`s personnel into a frenzy as a spanner has been thrown into their in the works..thrown into very expensive works in fact, that will no doubt, cause undue stress and unforeseen man hours.
We also see office workers with nothing to do, meaninglessly spinning abput in their office chairs, bored and  vacant for ideas, whilst the little bird outside is busily and very purposefully  building a nest for its babies out of the bits of wire it had pulled from the inner computer network circuitry. A contrast of purpose, meaning, agency, boldness is seen on the one side – all of these characteristics displayed by the little bird, whilst boredom, meaninglessness (with the loss of the technology), lack of agency and complacent passivity is observable among humans.
It seems that the humans have lost contact to their inner raison detre..their sense of purpose and identity are now 
firmly anchored in digital technological routines for work, entertainment, communication, discovery and ultimately direction.
 
We can learn a lot from this.
 The little bird reminds me of  the Artful Dodger from Oliver, whose little cheeky demeanour, just like the Artful Dodger,  is at once endearing, life reinforcing, pulling you in to memories of childhood affirmations of self. One cannot come closer to reality and self realisation -worlds apart from a  generation of humans who have forgotten the magic of exploration and play in the real world.
 
Inbox..
Communication that is facilitated by technology only functions as well as its affordances allow.
 When that communication is no longer afforded successfully as here when the technology breaks down completely, 
other ways of communication are sought–here the characters fall back on searching in the real world for one another. 
The lesson learnt is that one can become entirely dependent on technology or on a single technology. 
We are also reminded of our natural selves and our more natural real life habitats. 
This reminder is something of a shock – an almost unnatural method taken into use in a naturally technology 
dominated world.That fact cannot be good – that we should be reminded, 
no forced to dealing with one another in natural settings, using natural ways of communication.
 It is a reminder to us of the necessity for face to face interaction even though we may use technology to 
communicate a whole lot of the time. I think a technology immersed world with no natural interactions is 
indeed a dystopia-  one that robs us of our sense of innate humanity, which is essentially a very hard thing to put one’e finger on, but I think it is safe to assume that that humanity contains elements of autonomy, dignity, identity of self, affirmations of self and others especially in natural environments and indeed a sense of meaning and purpose. Technology can take away our sense of autonomy if we are ruled by it, it can rob us of our identities if we become part of a groupthink society where
political correctness is socially engineered ( we cannot deny the possibility of this happening)  into advertising,  media, pop music. It can also even rob us of our innate sense of meaning and purpose by replacing it with some sort of finite, living for the moment reaction to circumstance, that is devoid of any
greater meta reflection in the scheme of things– this is easily done if our minds are incessantly bombarded by and preoccupied with flippant media produced audio and video bytes.
 
That said, I believe technology can be used for good and only of course if it is perceived to be a tool under man’s will and not something that takes over – becoming all preoccupying on its terms. 

 

My response to the 1st Video: Bendito 3, on EDCMOOC #edcmooc

1st YouTube Inbox – Short Film called Bendito 3
This film is an ideal film for displaying technological dterminism and its negative connotations.

In answer to the questions posed for this resource:

1) The ecological implications are such that the technologies destroy the environment as they are non degradable and
therefore form a refuse heap that is an eyesore and a danger to the environment.

2)The social implications are far fetching- the newest technologies are to figure at the centre of society, to be worshiped and to be taken into use without any further thought or critique.
Choice is not given the people who are part of this community, in the sense that the routine of finding new technologies and replacing the old is deeply ingrained into their way of life as if it were the circle of life itself – birth, life and death. . The technological artefacts take on a divine presence it would seem, and are placed on a platform to be worshiped and stared at with awe.
Thus made worthy of worship, these objects are then brought into centre of the community`s life.
They become in fact the very purpose for that life. The technologies are considered as all knowing, inerrant, indeed
The technologies in themselves seem to be imbued with an almost malevolent essence or presence. They beguile with visual and audio entertainment and with their weird alien like constructional designs.
It is as if a sentient being or civilisation has constructed the technologies. But I think that the assembly of people present deifying each technology have made up their minds that each one is i fact of itself a sentient being capable of giving direction.
The characteristics of the crowd are such that there is a group think collective consciousness – they follow and obey unwittingly, they respond to each new technological invention that is given them as if it is god come down to them, they never break out of their circle of being bewitched, of worshipping and then discarding the old deity for the next new thing= deity.
Theirs is a life of complete slavery to this. There is no display of agency or free thinking.

3) My take on this
If we take this little tale and put it in the light of technological determinism, which is an orientation that sees technologies as causal agents and that they have a pivotal role in social change, we can of course concur that that is exactly what these technologies are doing – they are greatly impacting this particular society of individuals, dumbfounding them ( the people) to the point of elevating a box of gadgets with lights and sound to the position of a deity to be worshipped.
Technologies in this clip are indeed portrayed as instruments of dominance that impact or determine use, bringing trivialities ( here shown as the chaotic but entertaining audiovisual clips on the tv screen of the technologies ) to a world that becomes beguiled by it, to the expense of reflection, engagement and depth.
Regarding education, it seems that one can legitimately argue the above point, if this is the technology philosophy of choice, however there are other tech ology philosophies – uses determinism and social determinism.
One could argue, if we decide not to adhere to this negative connotation put forward by technological determinism, that technology can do a lot of good…bringing together people into a community such as here on this course and facilitating communication, metareflection and the building of an online community of practice.
I believe either tangent is possible.. as a person involved in creating e-learning environments or at least facilitating e-learning through existing environments, one must be aware of what is being facilitated ( is there freedom, space, encouragement to learn and communicate and build community in a free and autonomous manner) and what is being setup that might hinder and affect the social structures negatively – in that a certain meaning is being inscribed or a certain chain of limited choices are availed to students, impacting upon their choices ( only the ones given!)and robbing them of their autonomy.

A Day Of Broken Glass – A Life So Fragile #edcmooc

A very thought provoking glimpse into a possible digital future

The MOOCs Explorer

Picture this..

I wake up in the morning and stretch out on the bed, suddenly realizing that the bed has turned cold and hard. Gingerly, I run my hand over the surface and I realize there is no mattress, and with a jolt I come half-awake, and sit  upright on the bed, take a careful look around, and then look down again on the bed… it’s glass !! Can you imagine ? A bed made of the highest quality Anti-Microbial Glass that money can buy ! If I am to believe the print on the edge of the glass, it’s Multi-purpose, anti-bacterial, Anti-viral, Anti-fungal, Anti-Disease… What else ?? I ask myself ? Anti Rest, Anti-Sleep ??? The list of the anti- qualities is endless. Wow !

As I step down from the bed, I hear a crunching sound and pull my foot back in panic. What did I step on…

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