Daily Bookmarks 08/12/2008

  • Businesses and organizations may worry about social media and Web 2.0 tools in terms of privacy and confidentiality, but their fears are largely unfounded. If people are going to share your secrets, they have plenty of other ways to do so besides social media–and those other ways are likely more effective.

    tags: web2.0, orgculture, privacy

    • Social media is actually a really poor method for talking about things I shouldn’t be discussing because through search and the very nature of social networks, it makes it extremely unlikely that I can keep this activity a secret for very long.
    • Consider what would happen, though, if we turned to social media for the majority of our interactions within an organization. If we’re posting questions and answers on a blog or wiki, using social networks to interact and share information, as a learning professional I can monitor those channels to see where additional learning interventions might be appropriate.Not as a punishment, mind you, but as a sort of ongoing just-in-time learning needs analysis and opportunity for coaching. If a lot of questions suddenly start popping up on the network, that’s a pretty good sign that as a learning professional I may need to do something.
  • This article approaches accessibility for Deaf users as a cultural difference and not just a disability. If sign language is your first language, then English (or something else) is a second language. Written English doesn’t automatically correspond to sign language. Rather than simply captioning or providing transcripts, this author proposes more sign language translations. Nice idea, but I’m not sure that’s practical for most projects–it’s hard enough to convince people to spend time and money on captions and transcripts (even though they obviously should).

    tags: accessibility, webdesign

  • The authors argue that Net Gen students are used to hyperlinked, nonlinear content, so they don’t necessarily approach learning with the same kind of linear approach most of their professors do. The premise here focuses on how this affects writing, organizing information, and sense-making. They argue that multimedia projects can demonstrate the same depth of thinking as a traditional linear text. Registration required.

    tags: netgeneration, learning, writing, education, highered, flickr, digitalliteracy

    • As a result, while N-Gens interact with the world through multimedia, online social networking, and routine multitasking, their professors tend to approach learning linearly, one task at a time, and as an individual activity that is centered largely around printed text (Hartman, Dzubian, and Brophy-Ellison 2007).
    • However, these digital texts do not necessarily lack style, coherence, or organization; they simply present meaning in ways unfamiliar to the instructor. For example, a collection of images on Flickr with authorial comments and tags certainly does not resemble the traditional essay, but the time spent on such a project, the motivation for undertaking it, and its ability to communicate meaning can certainly be equal to the investment and motivation required by the traditional essay—and the photos may actually provide more meaningful communication for their intended audience.
    • Texts that do not look like books or essays and that are structured in unfamiliar ways may leave educators with the perception that the authors of these texts lack necessary literacy skills. Are these students missing something, or are they coming to us with skills as researchers, readers, writers, and critical thinkers that have been developed in a context that faculty members may not understand and appreciate? The striking differences between the linear, print-based texts of instructors and the interactive, fluctuating, hyperlinked texts of the N-Gen student may keep instructors from fully appreciating the thought processes behind these texts. Learning how to teach the wired student requires a two-pronged effort: to understand how N-Gen student understand and process texts and to create a pedagogy that leverages the learning skills of this type of learner.

2 thoughts on “Daily Bookmarks 08/12/2008

  1. Kia ora Christy!

    The more I live, the more I get the impression that people in general do not think like we think they should. ‘Logical thinkers’ are not common, no more than is ‘common sense’. There is also a tendency for people to feel they have got a hold of ‘the new concept’ by relating what they think they see to what they already know.

    In an environment of ignorance this means they remain ignorant but think they are enlightened. This is especially prevalent among the ‘educated’ for they don’t want to seem ignorant or stupid. They nod their heads in agreement, while attempting to get their heads round something they can’t understand. I see it all the time.

    So the up-shot of this is that things such as wikis, blogs, web-pages, and even twitter and social bookmarking, are all lumped into the one basket by a few (or not so few) in our educated society, who feel they should know about all these things – but they do not.

    This extends to managers, and is unfortunately extremely prevalent in that strata. I recently experienced the ignorance of a manager (not my boss:-) who thought a web-page was a blog and sent an email around a company of half a thousand saying so. Another occasion I can relate is where a manager understood that a wiki was a blog and touted this as fact in training.

    This happens especially with the things that have names that are latched on to by some as the buzzwords, but they know little about them.

    If these people don’t know the difference between a canoe and a submarine, or a sail-boat and a sea-plane, or a paratrooper and a sail-glider, we’re in trouble in this war of digitalia.

    Ka kite
    from Middle-earth

  2. I’m not sure what is more aggravating to me personally–the people who “remain ignorant but think they are enlightened,” as you put it, or the ones who remain ignorant and are proud of it. It’s one thing for people to not know what they don’t know, like the manager who was convinced blogs and wikis were the same thing. But I also see people who see a lack of technological literacy almost as a badge of honor. It’s as if they brag about the fact that they haven’t gotten bamboozled by these new-fangled tools.

    I suppose every generation has had this as technology advanced. My dad majored in chemical engineering in college, but minored in computer science. At the time, the university didn’t have a major in comp sci, so that was as much as he could do. But the head of the Chem E department heckled him for doing comp sci, saying computers was a fad and no one would be using them in 10 years. Almost 40 years later, gee, I think we’re still using them.

    The rate of technological change is so much faster now though. I’m not sure that we have the same luxury of patience that previous generations could afford. People who really don’t understand this, especially the ones who refuse to learn, are going to get left behind. I don’t think people have to know everything about every new tool, but they need to be able to do some of this just to be a functioning professional.

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