Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Monday, 15 June 2009
Thinking about the history of Higher education it is possible to see a tension between encouraging what we might loosely call ‘free thought’ and enforcing academic conformity. I suspect but cannot easily demonstrate that this tension is not new, but is probably as old as Higher Education itself.
I think it is possible to argue that Web 2 (using the term broadly) tips the balance of academic power towards ‘free thought’. On H800 we have encountered a variety of tools and articles which support this, from this I am selecting two. My first is Wikipedia and Baker’s article in the Guardian. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/apr/10/wikipedia.internet) . Obviously we now have access to information which was perhaps available before, but was certainly not so easy to access. However Wikipedia is not just opening up access to knowledge, it is passing control of ‘knowledge’ from the many to the few. Web 2 is changing the way knowledge is stored and safeguarded. Wikipedia offers the chance for each and every one of us to add our bit to the commonwealth of what we know. More to come…
Saturday, 6 June 2009
H800 Week 17 Activity 1a
Week 17 1a video
We look at this video
This is a video with which I am very familiar, I used it as a student on E891 (educational research) to challenge the consensus view on what research was.
The suggestion is that you try listening to the video without the sound:
It had never occurred to me to mess with the medium: though as someone who believes there is a useful message in ‘The medium in the MassAge’ it should have occurred to me. It would have been interesting to start with just the sound track and see what response that evoked (but then that is the musician in me).
The messages for me in this video are:
1. The ‘traditional distributive’ approach to HE (and by implication economics) in particular is something less than perfect
2. That these students are in a time of change (but they are ethnographers I think a interesting group of people who think carefully about evidence and behaviour)
3. That technology does have an impact, some students study times seem very short compared to the hours I put in a just computerised era. (I was not a ‘hardworking’ student)
4. Technologies might be used to address some of the real world problems but we have seen other technologies as being the saving of the world before.
With the sound off the message for me is about anachronistic approaches to learning. The hall is empty, stripped of any feeling, sad lonely isolated damp like the main hall in a great old castle (see above). Imagine if you can what this space would have been like packed with a mass of smelly, raucous humanity with all the injustices and glories, the victories and defeats, joys and pathos that comprised Medieval Society. SO different to the Heritage sanitised, empty soulless space neatly presented on for you to view.
I can remember the first time I got to university the thrill of sitting in a large lecture hall and listening to some very distant (quite eminent) professor…profess. Then as now I can fall asleep almost anywhere and did so at about 40 minutes, 2/3 of the way through the opening remarks. SO even full of life the lecture hall (now replaced by the podcast?) was dead in the water.
When we come to the student messages to whom do they think they are speaking…’the establishment’? If so who are the people who make up this group (some sort of special tribe?) or is the group created by the on looking students themselves, their own social construction. Or is this addressed to the world…if so it means the connected world since this video demands an internet connection.
The messages seem to say this is my life and I do not like it much, but it is better than the lives of many (many of whom will not see the message). That this is how I live and it is not always so good.
Then in the final ‘chapter’ technology shows how the rescue of the students and the world (by implication) can be made, but this is irritatingly contrasted with a 19th century quote from Josiah Bumstead. Of course all the students were doing was writing on their own ‘chalkboards’ and then using video to display to a worldwide audience.