April 1st: Culture and medial blind spots

As Torsten Meyer and Christina Schwalbe state, the use of media, the form of education, and the notion of knowledge are shaping and being shaped by the culture they are part of.
As an introduction to the blind spot connected to the specific usage of a medium, take a look at  “Culture and Language”, “Culture and Knowledge”, beginning with a short clip about the Himba and their different coding system for colors.

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Findings with the Pirahã indians‘ language hint on similar effects on the perception of time, numbers or kinship. Continue reading

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Kaie on decidable and undecidable questions

  • Aspects in the texts of Schwalbe and Meyer that would be interesting to discuss

From the text by Meyer, Torsten: “Education within a New Medium”

On page 266, Meyer writes: “If we imagine the relation of »media« and »education « in this way, if we do not speak of »the media« anymore as something on the outside (from which one might stay away, which one simply does not switch on, for example) but try to speak of that »medium« which, given the lack of alternatives, necessarily seems to be the whole for us, just as water is for the fish, then this becomes a true educational challenge.“ I think it is a very good point: when studying, one cannot be “outside“, no matter if it is art or media or whatsoever.  It is essential, when studying that from the point of „mathematics“ and „education“, mathematics is never outside, it is always inside in school system. How come media seems to be outside, even though it is part of our daily life?

Also interesting questions to discuss (and that I don’t know how to answer) where proposed by Meyer on last chapter: „Concretizing Questions“ (page 270):

1. Against this background, in what way must socialization, education, and knowledge, more exactly also ways of teaching/learning and the measurement of performance, be thought in new ways?

2. How workable is the concept of knowledge society as a background for designing the field of education?

From the text by Schwalbe, Christina: “Change of Media, Change of Scholarship, Change of University: Transition from the Graphosphere to a Digital Mediosphere”

In her “Collective Intelligence?“ on page 184 Schwalbe brings out the same point that Meyer asked: “In contrast to the classification and ordering of knowledge in a typographic culture, which was subsequent to the processes of production and publication, the newly evolving ordering structures need to be part of the process of knowledge production due to the rapid and dynamic character of the medium.“ so, what are those evolving ordering structures?

In this information over-load, I think that people are more conscious about, what kind of information they “consume”.  The amount of sufficient information is little, and I think that people have become more aware and alert not to trust everything…In some ways it is back to the basics: don’t trust anybody. Anybody=information overload.

Another kind of information-overload or “everything is accessible” and “anyone can be anybody” was a workshop in Ptarmigan, in Tallinn (ptarmigan.ee):

Fake It Til You Make It is a workshop/working group for those curious individuals looking to broaden their experience and skill-set. Each session of FITYMI will be on a different subject which could fall under areas of expertise such as construction, making, baking, electronics, mechanics, cooking, jewelry, physics, plants, and whatever else can be imagined. It is the purpose of the workshop to learn new things for the sake of learning and it is for this reason that participants will only discover the subject of each session upon arriving to the workshop. During each meeting there is a short talk about the subject and how to accomplish the objective of the FITYMI session followed by participants choosing how to proceed (experimenting with materials, accomplishing a project, discussion and/or playing) with food available at some point during the workshop.

  • A symbolic representation

First one that came to my mind is Google, which comes from the world goggle. Now, goggles are the symbol of search and infinite knowledge: “You put your goggles on and dive into the information ocean”.

Another symbolic representation comes from artist Chris Jordan:

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Where he shows an arresting view of what Western culture looks like. His supersized images picture some almost unimaginable statistics — like the astonishing number of paper cups we use every single day.

  • A networked, digital medium differ from other radio, print and TV by the information amount.

Digital medium has a bottomless hole in which there is information, which is endless. Radio, print and TV chooses the amount and style of information that they present. In a digital medium, the user itself chooses.

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Mar 17th: A Society in (Educational) Turmoil

Maybe you already know the videos by Fisch & McLeod or by RSA Animate on Ken Robinson; they are both also prime examples for different visualisation techniques for different content.

It seems that something has changed, that something needs to be changed.

Continue reading

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Heinz von Foerster: Decidable and undeciable questions

In the last post, “Working on tasks and material in a personalised way”, I described a way to work with media and topics: Try to find a connection to something relevant, something that interests you. Think about this connection, write a short text, post some photos, link a video; explain this connection to the rest of the course.

Snippet: The german word “Alternativlos” (“there is no alternative”, in Great Britain known as TINA) was chosen as un-word of the year 2011 by a leading german newspaper. Politicians’ justification for a majority of drastic fiscal decisions were based on the claim that there were no alternatives to choose from. From Heinz von Foerster’s POV, german politicians saw only decidable questions.
If so, democracy would be obsolete.
This is a recurring figure of speech in politics.

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Margaret Thatcher (1980), “Speech at the conservatives’ party conference in Brighton”

„Moral truth is the same in every culture, in every time, and in every place. […] We are in a conflict between good and evil, and America will call evil by its name.“
– George W. Bush (2002), “Remarks by President Bush at 2002 Graduation Exercise of the United States Military AcademyContinue reading

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My proposal: How to work with material and tasks

Working on tasks and material in a personalised way

The six big text chunks of “Starting Points” were meant as an introductory overview and  thematically ordered contextualisation of Pedagogical Media Theory.
Well, these are just starting points. They need connections.

Picture: Eli Pariser and Heinz von Foerster both explaining the medial pre-processing of world views. This course’s main category of work (mine and yours) is to create bridges between two distinct topics you would like to connect (as seen here), erect guideposts to the bridges, and explain the new paths to the rest of us.

My plan was to sent every week (or every two weeks – thanks, Noora) a mail/blogpost around with a small selection of tasks, texts and/or media, referencing some aspect of the “Starting Points”, either for you to answer as-is, or preferably to find related, personally relevant aspects and work on them. Continue reading

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Course: Mode of collaboration

For a quick poll some proposals – what form do you prefer this course to be?
Please comment!

(A) Courseware: Best for combining study with high RL workload and tight RL schedules.
– asynchronous communications only, preferably to resolve technical problems or to receive evaluation of solved tasks
– referencing other students’ posts or communication with other students is optional
– tasks and projects to be tackled individually

(B) Clubhouse: Best for regular RL schedules with moderate communicative load.
– mostly asynchronous communications, some synchronous sessions for clarification and brainstorming
– regularly given tasks tackled individually, but welcoming referencing and commenting on each others ideas
– projects tackled in groups or individually, according to preferences of language and interests.

(C) Classroom: Best for connecting to other students, getting new ideas and orientations.
– regularly given tasks tackled in small groups or in cooperation by all students
– regular synchronous communications like text- audio- or video-chat, with collaborative working spaces like shared documents or mindmaps
– tasks and projects to be discussed, then tackled in small groups or the whole course.

(D) I’d like it ot be like a…
Feel free to propose something different or a mix of the above.

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Protected: Dramatis Personae

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This mindmap will seem a bit convoluted, don’t let this take you from browsing. If you have connections, new stuff, add it (you have received the password by mail).

  • Blue dots: Basic texts
  • Cyan dots: Supplemental texts
  • Green dots: Videos
  • Yellow dots: Images
  • Red dots: Games
  • Violet: Game descriptions

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