I hasten to add, i was not coming out of HN at the time, just passing!
Watch and wonder!
Can anyone explain the mathematics of this to me or point me at something that explains it?
Note the Stephen Heppell comment beneath the video (unfortunately next to a couple of particularly ignorant comments from people with small intelligence and smaller humanity).
Thanks to David Warlick (and Stephen) for the link.
FOOTNOTE – I tried it myself and I now see how it works – brilliantly simple!
I doubt the bulk of the middle classes will care much, nor will they recognize that such segregation, ultimately, harms their children too.
For the authentic voice of the lumpen-bourgeoisie (a great phrase I heard recently from Laurie O’Donnell), see the comment in an earlier post from a middle class parent who had just bought her house within the catchment area of a ‘good’ school.
Thank you to Inge de Waard for the link, and for her engaging honesty with respect to bogus citations, a great post from Will Thalheimer that should make you stop and question next time you decide to repeat some slick, glib set of statistics on anything!
In the debate last year with David Weinberger, Andrew Keen said:
“A flattened media is a personalized, chaotic media without that essential epistemological anchor of truth. The impartiality of the authoritative, accountable expert is replaced by murkiness of the anonymous amateur.”
The key word in there, apart from the odd use of ‘epistemological’ and the questionable use of ‘truth’, is ‘replaced’. It is the key word because it is wrong.
In today’s Guardian, Alastair Campbell writes:
“It is an interesting paradox that while we have more media space than ever, complaint about the lack of healthy debate has never been louder, with fewer stories and issues being addressed in real depth in a way that engages large audiences; and, despite the explosion in outlets, very few days in which there is not a single homogenous theme or talking point dominating the vast output. With every front-page screaming headline that doesn’t quite deliver the big story, every exclusive that isn’t, every whooshing breaking news that isn’t really breaking news, every new twist in the McCann case that isn’t a new twist at all, the public gets a little wiser.”
Campbell is not speaking here about the new media, whether personalized and chaotic or not – he is referring clearly to the old media: to the press, TV and radio. I recognise more than a grain of truth in his description of the daily slew of news and ‘news’ that we seem to get from our authoritative, traditional media. I do not need to watch yet another ‘news report’ on Sky News or ITN from the absurd sideshow of parasites and paranoics that make up the Diana enquiry, for instance, to know that there are fewer and fewer traditional outlets that can truly claim to offer any real authority in their editorial policies.
What is certain, however, and despite what Keen says, is that the traditional, old media is by no means being replaced by new media – at least not yet! Rather, there seems to be a process of augmentation going on, with new media offering us sources of news, culture, art, discussion, philosophy – whatever – but sources that do not, with a few notable exceptions, define their output as being imbued with any faux sense of ‘authority’. Even more than in the past, we have to be able to discriminate, to separate the trivial and the prejudiced from the authentic and the thoughtful.
Perhaps, it is the issue of authenticity rather than authority that can distinguish much new media output from much old media output today. Kevin Anderson offers an example over at Strange Attractor. Looking at the American Primaries, where thoughtful and well-argued speeches by the likes of Barack Obama get lost in the soundbite and quickfire punditry that make up most political news reporting, non-traditional channels such as YouTube are offering voters the opportunity to by-pass the editorialising of the TV stations and to listen to whole speeches, whole debates.
The ‘authority’ of old media is not replaced by new media, but at least new media can offer an additional route to authenticity where it is required or sought.
Unlocking the promise of open educational resources…..
The central aim of the Cape Town Declaration is to develop:
“…..a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use.”
However, the impetus behind the Declaration goes much deeper and broader than this. If you read it and agree with it’s aims, you can sign the Declaration here.
The three core strategies are:
1. Educators and learners: First, we encourage educators and learners to actively participate in the emerging open education movement. Participating includes: creating, using, adapting and improving open educational resources; embracing educational practices built around collaboration, discovery and the creation of knowledge; and inviting peers and colleagues to get involved. Creating and using open resources should be considered integral to education and should be supported and rewarded accordingly.
2. Open educational resources: Second, we call on educators, authors, publishers and institutions to release their resources openly. These open educational resources should be freely shared through open licences which facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone. Resources should be published in formats that facilitate both use and editing, and that accommodate a diversity of technical platforms. Whenever possible, they should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet.
3. Open education policy: Third, governments, school boards, colleges and universities should make open education a high priority. Ideally, taxpayer-funded educational resources should be open educational resources. Accreditation and adoption processes should give preference to open educational resources. Educational resource repositories should actively include and highlight open educational resources within their collections.
The world’s funniest man (and, for me, Scotland’s greatest ambassador), Billy Connolly, says in a recent stage performance caught on DVD:
“I have never really understood comedy……I’m just happy to be here when it shows up.”
Funny thing is, that’s how I feel about education! All those people who think they know the answers in education, I’m sure, must just be asking the wrong questions.
Judy O’Connell alerted me to the publication of the 2008 Horizon Report, the highly fruitful joint venture between Educause and the new media consortium, part of the output from, “…a five-year qualitative research effort that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression within learning-focused organizations.”
The 2007 Report offered immense value for anyone involved in thinking about, and speaking about, such issues. My own talks and presentations during the last year were peppered with ideas, predictions and findings from it.
I’ve only had time so far to glance through the pages of the 2008 report, but already I want to go back and follow in detail the report’s thinking on topics such as: Grassroots Video, Collaboration Webs, Mobile Broadband, Data Mashups, Collective Intelligence and Social Operating Systems. Each of these is described in terms of a specific ‘time-to-adoption horizon’, from just one year ahead up to a 4-to-5 year horizon.
The concept of the Social Operating System is one that is especially interesting in the light of recent and ongoing discussions about the benefits or otherwise of social technologies, social networking, learning networks and social networking sites to education. Taking recent developments such as Xobni, an Outlook extension that gathers and presents information available about your email contacts (read ‘xobni’ backwards!), and a proof of concept from Yahoo, called Yahoo Life!, the report looks to the potential for increasing levels of trust and depth of knowledge about your social (learning?) networks, and the implications of all of this for teaching and learning. As the report notes:
“Social operating systems will also address the issue of trust in virtual collaborations. It is not difficult to envision applications that will help fill in the spaces of our knowledge about a person we encounter in an online collaborative space or virtual world, displaying at a glance the contacts we have in common (including how deep those connections actually are), recent writing or other work the person has done, and other online locations where the person is active.”
Maybe such developments will cause the inherent shallowness (in every sense) of sites such as Facebook to founder beneath arrays of self-organizing communities built around complex interests and connections revealed and matched and meshed on the fly by the social operating system. Are Google’s OpenSocial APIs a step towards this?
I will certainly enjoy getting my teeth more deeply into this latest report.
Technorati Tags: 2008 horizon report, educause, new media consortium, nmc, grassroots video, collaboration webs, mobile broadband, data mashups, collective intelligence, social operating systems, xobni, yahoo life!, opensocial, facebook