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On access to uncensored, openly authored information

Fig.1 Open Education and learning online – is it the flight path to intellectual emancipation?

We’re considering the nature of ‘openness’ in education as part of this new Master of Arts in Open and Distance Education (MAODE) module. This is increasingly about ease of access to information, all of it, uncensored.

Often for ease of access and to gain a qualification with a marketable value, information that is packaged in books, journals and lectures, though increasingly in ‘sexier’ interactive and multimedia forms with the related ‘scaffolding’ that comes with learning design and planning. The natural tendency is to consider the hectic last decade of the Internet at the expense of the history of openness in access to information and an education over the last century.

A hundred years ago all but the most privileged were in the dark: leaving school after an elementary education, with reliance on biased newspapers, magazines and part works.

Libraries, BBC radio and affordable paperbacks, secondary then tertiary education, cinema and TV have each had a role to play, as has the Open University.

Does enlightenment come with access?

What does it say of power of information and ideas where access is controlled, as in China? Does connectedness within openness lead to even greater coalescing of likeminds in cliques, reinforcing stereotypical biases rather than exposing them to valid alternative views? Nothing is straightforward when it comes to people – heterogeneous by design, homogenous by inclination.

H809 Tutor Marked Assignment QQs on scope, sense cam and blogging

Blogging

The idea of looking behind blogging came from the reading … but did I reference it???

i.e that innovations never occur in isolation, there was always something else beforehand.

The mistake we all make is to assume that innovations land on a pristine landscape and we react with typically human surprise at this new marvel that will either revolutionise or destroy everything. I need to remember where I read that!

Something on innovations … eeek.

It does matter though, with blogs there is clearly a history of

a) keeping a diary

b) citizen journalism in the form of leaflets and ‘letters to the editor’

c) authors keeping a writer’s journal and

b) scientists and explorers keeping a formal ‘log’.

That and human nature to write stuff down – well, at least 1% of the population do, which gives the other 99% something to read.

Life Logging

Sense Cam came out of the efforts of Gordon Bell, now 81, and for the last 10 years head of research at Microsoft.

He got it into his head to digitise everything and then wear a gadget around his neck to capture even more. This seems moronic and his own writing isn’t academic, more a memoir, but others, Microsoft and University of Southampton, have pressed on. The Sense Cam is a fag-packet sized device you hang around your neck – a camera with a light and sound sensor, then triggers the taking of a picture as you go about your daily business (could be awkward). At the end of the day these pictures are downloaded and software filters the stuff.

Southampton (WebSciences) have examples of this.

You can now buy a SenseCam made by Microsoft and various Microsoft Research Labs are trying them out. The hope is that in time such a device will help support those with dementia or any kind of memory fade … the evidence from Southampton illustrate Ebbinghaus’s ‘Forgetting Curve’ – how we forget stuff pretty fast over days/weeks against use of various methods, including a Sense Cam. It does appear, naturally, that looking back regularly at a set of carefully selected pictures (I think there has be human intervention for obvious reasons) the patient/student subject is far better able to recall, retain, and therefore I presume to restore and ‘fix’ memories better.

I am starting to wonder if a person is indicating for Alzheimer’s or some such that they might use such a device ?

Or the Google Glass device to do the same thing. If I were a first year medical student doing my disection I’d like to use a sense cam to personalise a record of the activity, for example.

If I go down the blogging route ‘is blogging a valid activity for student assessment’ is far too broad while ‘Can blogging by students of journalism writing in English in Hong Kong be used as a formal part of assessment’ might be doable. Off the top of my head here, but let’s say there are 4 to 6 colleges where such a course is offered in Hong Kong …

So what about a geographically defined study?

China might be problematic due to restrictions on use of the Internet (and its vast size). Perhaps Poland!? Somewhere where the numbers aren’t huge. Then again, doesn’t it depend on the methods and tools you use? I am struck by this stuff they call ‘Big Data’ where a cohort of 10,000 on an Open Course (this at Stanford using Coursera) can reveal the nuances of ‘poor teaching’ – where in the past 1 or 2 students made the same mistake it goes unnoticed, but when 2000 students make the very same mistake then there’s clearly something wrong with the course.

To use Diana Laurillard’s apt phrase ‘it depends’. (don’t ask me where or when she said it, if you know, please tell me so that I can reference it correctly).

 

Where in the world have I not been heard? And why not?

Fig. 1. Where My Mind Bursts is read – the last 90 days

Over a decade ago I blogged in Diaryland and responded to the constant feed of analytics to the point that 200+ views an hour was a reasonable goal, until ‘cheats’ who didn’t follow the rules we set as bloggers back then failed to publish either every day, or 1000 words an hour or whatever criteria we set.

Over a decade on consistency of theme is the key.

My consistent theme for the last three years, if not the last three decades, is learning and now e-learning.

E-learning and creativty are the themes that get me noticed.

Perhaps this is why I am yet to be read in Greenland?

Or is that never possible?

I thought that  China was a closed country for blogs like this until I found readers from China had started to register.

I have no stance, I just share stuff and offer a point of view.

Must I appeal to a community on Greenland or have a reader from Denmark?

Just a game of course.

What is far, far more revealing and relevant and the gaps of central Africa,  central Eurasia and Mongolia.

Kazakstan is an odd absence as I have written about entrepreneurs and people from the country I meet here, locally, from Kazakstan.

Zimbabwe is off my readership. There are plenty of people I know from Zimbabwe living here on England‘s South Coast. Who are they? Second or third generation Brits or Europeans who were getting nowhere and had a way ‘home’.

I’m not about to hop on a plane to Bolivia.

However, were I to blog my way around the world I dare so I could tick off every country on the planet,  just as a boy I pencilled in every county in England, then most of Wales and Scotland and in my teens and twenties covered ALL of France  (helped enormously being a part of an international TV agency team covering news in France and being commissioned to make a documentary on … every far flung corner of life in France).

A recurring thought, as 25 years ago I had suggested to a potential backer that I take a team off round the world to gather in tasty video footage of everywhere that mattered.

Of course, the where is of far less value than the who.

 

China-Britain Business Council – opportunities today

China Britain Business Council – Business Development Event – Free for IVCA Members (£40 for non-members)

The China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) would like IVCA Members to join us THIS EVENING for the Wuxi City Creative, Cultural, Media & Digital Event.

This is an excellent opportunity for you to meet key government officials in the creative and media industry. Wuxi City, and the surrounding area is home to many major players in the creative and media industry in China. Further to this there may be some good contacts made for you and the International Visual Communications Association which can hopefully lead to excellent business opportunities in the future.

The event is taking place in the  London Film Museum and will start at 4.00pm and finish at 7:30pm.

We would be grateful if you could attend, or even pass this information on to anybody in your company who would be interested in attending. Our delegation from Wuxi has specifically asked for members in the creative industry or people who are just have a general interest. It would be a pleasure to host the IVCA at this high-profile event.

For more information about the event please click here. Also, please give me a call if you wish to hear more about the event and if you would like to register.

Kind Regards,

Pravin Wadhwani
CBBC Events Team

China-Britain Business Council
Tel: +44 (0)207 802 2006
Email: pravin.wadhwani@cbbc.org

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