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Fig 1. Your life? Remembered or forgotten?
Digitally record or better to delete?
It frustrates me to try to read two complementary books e in two different formats – the first is marketed in its traditional hardback edition with a designer cover and eye-grabbing introduction from Bill Gates, while the second, an eBook I find understated – as if it is ashamed to compete. They are a pair. Twins separated at birth. They argue from opposite sides of the digital coin, one in favour of digitizing everything under the sun, the other for circumspection and deletion. Perhaps there should be a face off at the Oxford Union Debating Society. My role here is to bring them together and in doing so provide a one word conclusion: selection.
‘Total Recall’ (Bell and Gemmel, 2009) with its film-reference title and sensationalist headline ‘how the e-memory revolution will change everything’ risks ostracizing a discerning academic readership in favour of sales reputation and coining a phrase or two. It’s hero Gordon Bell might be the protagonist in the movie. The is is shame is that at the heart of what is more biography than academic presentation there is the desire to be taken seriously – a second edition could fix this – there needs to be a sequel. My copy of Total Recall arrived via trans-Atlantic snail mail in hardback, with it’s zingy dust jacket – it feels like a real book. I’m no bibliophile but I wonder if the pages are uncut and this edition has been pulled from a reject pile. It was discounted Amazon and as I’m after the words contained in the book rather than the physical artifact its state ought not to be a concern. Though the fact that it is a physical book rather pegs it to a bygone era. Total recall refers to the idea of a photographic or ‘eidetic memory’ – this needs to be stated.
Fig. 2. DELETE
‘Delete’ (2009) Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is subtitled ‘The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age’ and sounds as if it was authored by a vampire from Transylvania. It is a foil to ‘Total Recall’ with Viktor the antagonist to ‘Flash Drive’ Gordon. Delete hasn’t been – its in its fourth printing, needless to say I got mine in seconds as a Kindle version. I only ever by a book if I have to. I am too used to the affordances of the eBook to skim, search, highlight and share – and to have it on multiple devices, the Kindle, iPad, laptop and smartphone.
The copyright notice in Total Recall on ‘the scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet’ is ironic because this is what Bell does with his life – he has scanned and uploaded his life (though access is totally private). A double irony as he elects for Web 1.0 but won’t join the Semantic Web 2.0 and share.
I have been an exponent of ‘exposure’ – the release of a substantial part of who you are for others to chew over.
The online diary.
The way forward stands between the two, selective extreme gathering, storing and retrieval of your personal archive, while discretely deleting the irrelevant, possibly illegal (copyright, plagiarised, libel) and otherwise potentially reputationally damaging to kith or kin. (How can these be avoided if you wear a device around your neck that takes a digital snap every few seconds?)
They could be landform and landfill.
- Infographic: Who Reads eBooks? (the-digital-reader.com)
- Enjoy Ron Shusett’s Interview with Craft Screenwriting! (lcoonline.wordpress.com)
- Tracker, scanner, detector, spy… (thehindu.com)
- Five Reasons Why You Should See Total Recall (binsidetv.net)
- Google Glass – Interactive Glasses (threekingsclub.wordpress.com)
‘What was once seen by many as being a mere gimmick with few applications outside of training, marketing/PR or sport and entertainment, is now becoming more mainstream with real opportunities for it to be used for educational purposes’. FitzGerald et al (2012)
‘One of the most compelling affordances of AR is its resonance with immediate surroundings and the way in which information can be overlaid on top of these surroundings, enabling us not only to learn about our environment but also giving us the tools to annotate it’. FitzGerald et al (2012)
‘Being able to augment one’s immediate surroundings with electronic data or information, in a variety of media formats that include not only visual/graphic media but also text, audio, video and haptic overlays’. FitzGerald et al (2012)
- Explicit intentions
‘Mobile AR brings in new aspects: most importantly, it fosters the mobility of the user; their geographical position; the physical place where learning can occur (and also a means to bridge these different places); it can also enable formal learning to connect with informal learning’. FitzGerald et al (2012)
- a portable experience
- which lends itself to both personal and shared interactions.
- Internet Access
- Accuracy (outside 10m)
- Loss of signal/bandwidth
- Cost of equipment
- Battery life
- Sunlight (or artificial light indoors)
- Durability (water, physical damage)
- Compromised learning to cope with the limitations of the device
- Device sharing or loss
- Appeal to students of using their devices (Lickin and Stanton Fraser, 2011)
- Personalised learning through kit and software tools
- Independent learning
- Encourages problem solving
- Collaboration through synchronised interaction
- Eyetap technology in Google Glass
- Exploitation of ‘dead time’ (Petit and Kukulska-Hulme, 2007)
‘Most noteworthy to teachers was how the technology-enhanced curriculum enacted students’ identities as problem solvers and knowledge builders rather than as compliant consumers of
information…”.’ (Squire, 2010)
What is clear is that we currently have the opportunity to provide immersive, compelling and engaging learning experiences through augmented reality, which are situated in real world contexts and can provide a unique and personal way of making sense of the world around us. FitzGerald et al (2012)
FitzGerald, Elizabeth; Adams, Anne; Ferguson, Rebecca; Gaved, Mark; Mor, Yishay and Thomas, Rhodri (2012). Augmented reality and mobile learning: the state of the art. In: 11th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn 2012), 16-18 October 2012, Helsinki, Finland (forthcoming).
Luckin, R. and Stanton Fraser, D. (2011). “Limitless or pointless? An evaluation of augmented reality technology in the school and home.” International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning 3(5): 510-524.
Pettit, J. and Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2007). “Going with the grain: mobile devices in practice.” Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 23(1): 17-33.
Squire, K. D. (2010). “From Information to Experience: Place-Based Augmented Reality Games as a Model for Learning in a Globally Networked Society.” Teachers College Record 112(10): 2565-2602.
- Augmented Reality with Wikitude (VIDEO) (devblog.blackberry.com)
- 5 Predictions on Mobile Learning (classroom-aid.com)
- Could augmented reality windows take boredom out of road trips? (dvice.com)
- A Short Explanation of Augmented Reality (freetech4teachers.com)
- Microsoft has its own Project Glass – augmented reality glasses/wearable computer combo (unwiredview.com)
- A new way to learn history (todayonline.com)
Why does the OU put the novice and expert together in the MAODE?
Although I praise this approach and after two years have been a beneficiary I wonder if the research points to the need for greater flexibility and mixing, more akin to several cohorts of students being able to move around, between their own tutor group, contributing to discussions with the newcomers while also being able to hobnob with the experts?
The learning theory that I am coming to understand does not favour a fixed approach. It isn’t simply a case of playing to the individual, though this is certainly very important as some people will favour being the teacher or the taught, or simply relish periods when they sit at the feet of the expert or stand up in front of newcomers. Rather it is apparent that people learn well within a peer group of like-minds, with people at a similar stage to themselves while having planned opportunities to hear and participate with ‘great minds’ while also from time to time contributing to the efforts and feeding off the enthusiasms of the ‘new minds’. Nothing is fixed, neither learning vicariously (Cox), or learning from the periphery to the centre (Seely Brown).
Stage one of my approach to reading these days is to highlight, even share quotes and notes on Twitter as I go through a book.
I then type up my notes and add further thoughts either by cutting and pasting from the aggregates notes in my Twitter feed (eBooks don’t allow you to cut and paste) or from handwritten notes I take on cards.
Then I share my notes here, tagged so that I can revisit and others can draw on my notes too or take the hint and read the chapter or book for themselves.
This too is but a stage – next step is to wrap up my developing thoughts, comments and other conversations and put a version of this entry into my external blog my mind bursts.
Sometimes an exchange here or elsewhere develops my thinking further – today I will be sitting down with a senior learning designer, one of five or six in the office of an international e-learning agency to talk learning theory and educational principles.
Regarding Quality Assurance – there should be no inconsistencies between:
- Teaching methods
- Learning environment
- Assessment procedures
So align assumptions:
- Learning outcomes
- Suitable assessment
N.B. Each outcome requires a different kind of theoretical perspective and a different pedagogical approach. L757
(Easy to say in theory, not so easy to deliver in practice?)
Three clusters of broad perspectives:
Associationist: gradual building of patterns of associations and skill components. Therefore activity followed by feedback.
Simple tasks prerequisites to more complex.
Gagne (1985 and 1992)
- Instructional task analysis of discrimination, classifications and response sequences.
- Simpler tasks built step by step followed by coordination to the whole structure.
Instructional Systems Design
- Analyse the domain into a hierarchy of small units.
- Sequence the units so that a combination of units is not taught until its component units are grasped individually.
- Design an instructional approach for each unit in the sequence.
- Immediate feedback
- Individualization of instruction
Behaviourism: active learning by design. Immediate feedback on success, careful analysis of learning outcomes, alignment of learning objectives.
The Cognitive Perspective
- Concept Formation
Knowledge acquisition as the outcome of an interaction between new experiences and the structures for understanding that have already been created. Therefore building a framework for learning vs. learning as the strengthening of associations.
Piaget (1970) Constructivist Theory of Knowledge.
‘Conceptual development occurs through intellectual activity rather than by the absorption of information’. L819
Vygotsky (1928:1931) Importance of social interaction.
Interactions – that e-learning teams call ‘interactivities’.
The Situative Perspective
- Learning must be personally meaningful
- Authentic to the social context
(problem-based learning and cognitive apprenticeship). L862
The concept of community practice
Wenger (1998) identify as a learner derived from the community. (Aspires, defines, accredited).
Mayes et al (2001) learning through relating to others. E.g. Master Class
Social-anthropological belonging to the community. L882.
Beliefs, attitudes, common endeavour, also ‘activity systems’ Engestrom 1993
Identify, participate, individual relations. Dependent on: context, characteristics and strength of relationships in the group (Fowler and Mayes, 1999) L902
What was exotic in 2007 in common place today?
See Appendix 1 L912
Learning as a cycle through stages.
J F Vernon (2011) H809 assignments and end of module assessment. The concept of riding a thermal of gently rising circles.
Various references L923.
Fitts and Posner (1968)
Remelhart and Norman (1978)
Mayes and Fowler (1999)
If ‘as it proceeds from service to expert, the nature of learning changes profoundly and the pedagogy based on one stage will be inappropriate for another’. L923
Fowler and Mayes (1999)
Primary: preventing information
Secondary: active learning and feedback
Tertiary: dialogue and new learning.
Beetham, H and Sharpe, R. (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing and delivering e-learning.
Cole, M and Engestrom, Y (1993) A cultural-historical approach to distributed cognition. In G.Salmon (ed.) Distributed cognitions: Psychological and Educational Considerations, New York, CVP.
Cox, R. (2006) Vicarious Learning and Case-based Teaching of Clinical Reasoning Skills (2004–2006) [online], http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/ esrcinfocentre/ viewawardpage.aspx?awardnumber=RES-139-25-0127 [(last accessed 10 March 2011).
Gagne, R (1985) The conditions of learning. New York. Holt, Rhinehart and Wilson.
Jonassen, D.H. and Rohrer-Murphy, L (1999) ‘Activity theory as a framework for designing constructivist learning environments’. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47 (1) 61-80
I’m reading through this (again) two years after attending the Module 5, Amateur Swimming Association Level 3 Senior Club Coach workshop at the Commonwealth Pool, Manchester. The session was run by the former Ireland Olympic IM Swimmer Julie Douglas (now at Chelsea & Westminster SC I believe).
As well as the book and my notes (and copious notes, Julie was studying for a PhD so was more than able to supply references, several of which I’ve followed up and downloaded courtesy of my being an Open University student with access to an enormous digital catalogue) I am doing through the Level 3 Resources too.
Wonderful that there is overlap with personality types from the Open University MBA Module B822 ‘Creativity, Innovation & Change’ and from an educational perspective the Masters in Open & Distance Education (MAODE) that I have nearly completed.
- A universal property of human nature (though it doesn’t mean we are all equally good at it). Jonah Lehrer.
What is creativity?
A different kind of mental activity to sweating it out at the office, or the ‘ah ha’ moment in the shower. the epiphany.
Bob Dylan and his moment of insight (May 1965) when he least expected it (or wanted it), after a year long tour he took a break.
- The cortex sharing a secret with us. Jonah Lehrer.
Testament to unconscious ideas.
Value of collaboration, being surrounded by the right people, the big city, the ‘cluster’, such as Shakespeare moving to London (what was it about the 1580s and 1590s in London?).
Can we recreate another age of genius?
Grit. Single-mindedness. Persistance. Putting in the 10,000 hours.
Joanna Kavenna is a novelist.
Preparing for the ‘great out pouring’ then the potentially gruelling, striving.Defamiliarising yourself.
Robin Rimbaud – aka Scanner
Neurons firing, the heart beating. The social interactions that feed into this world.
Neuroscience confirms what we had always thought was necessary or going on, such as Coleridge going for walks (or Steve Jobs).
- Easily distracted.
A wall chart showing 22 projects. A morning, an afternoon and an evening session then quit.
Dr Rachel O’Reilly is a research fellow in the Chemistry Department at the University of Warwick.
A chemist. How to take a material and improve it. Problem solving for a company, the ‘audience’ we report back to, or funders, another ‘audience’.
And here’s a creative team to die for:
Steve Jobs and Pixar
Breaking out of the mindset
Preposterous process of ‘growing a baby’ and a new encounter breaks you out of your mindset and habit.
Childhood play and do i.e. ‘playfulness’ compared to the business-like ‘job’ at a desk (even at a keyboard).
If you are at all successful, you are then expected to reproduce what you did before and the habitual way you work becomes a habit. Andrew Marr. (And what publishers/the public expect and want).
A writer and a musician want to change their voice.
Being in the right place at the right time.
The ‘Semilweis knee-jerk reaction’.
[While doing some of this at Connect Wisdom]
Peak ages of creativity
- Poetry early 30, like Physicists.
- Novelists mid 40s
- Caused by ‘enculturation’.
- So always try new things, constantly risk reinvention.
- Painters peak late.
- Historian late.
Inestimable confluences of influences. The writer who is obsessed with reading other people’s works as well as writing.
- Jonah Lehrer: The Origins of Creative Insight & Why You Need Grit (swiss-miss.com)
- On Bob Dylan’s lyrics vs. Jonah Lehrer (shortformblog.com)
What makes a highly effective leader?
Initiative Strategic Vision A thirst for constructive criticism A self-depreciating sense of humour Play to strengths. But most important of all Emotional intelligence.
SELF-REGULATE VS Impulsive behaviour.
Self-regulation that frees us from being prisoners of our feelings (2006:126) Creating an environment of trust.
Motivated to achieve. Passion for the work itself Keep track of scores. Committed to the organisation
Thoughtfully considering the employees feelings. Coaching and feedback.
SOCIAL SKILLS and rapport
N.B. emotional intelligence can be taught.
REFERENCE Goleman, D (1998) What makes a leader? Harvard Business Review, November, 93-102
• Accepted practice
• Academic respectability
• Reward and tenure
‘Once the journal has been liberated from the printed format, a number of related assumptions begin to unravel and lead to more fundamental questions.’
22,000 peer reviewed journals from 9,900 publishers.
Questioning the scholarly communication process … Often the current model does not stand up to scrutiny.
McGuigan and Russell (2008) Deutsche Bank on how 7,000 people in academic publishing add value to justify 40% margins – they don’t.
Advantages of open access publishing Harnad (2005)
• Early advantage
• Arxiv advantage
• Quality bias
• Quality advantage
• Competitive advantage
• Usage advantage
• Citation advantage
• Time lag to publication
• Alternative publishing methods
Desire for greatest impact and widest dissemination (without compromising its quality or findings).
VS. Time to publication due to peer review and a print mentality that restricts number of items in a journal and how often it is published.
Creative commons keeps rights with the author.
Alternative methods for communication, publishing and debate which are more rewarding.
The traditional article begins to seem remote and dry in comparison.
Google knowledge web-based authoring.
New forms of representation and communication.
Shift from filtering on the way into filtering on the way out. Weinberger (2007)
As they are the product of public funding they should be out there.
We’re at a transition state, and Weller gives in ten years for the change to occur. I see it differently as one of the early aeronauts looking out across at English Channel wanting to cross as soon as the weather permits knowing that I may just make it, wait ten years and others will be looking to cross the Atlantic.
• To play your part as a member of the academic community
• To enjoy being able to improve the paper
• To enjoy seeing Newquay work ahead of publication
• To reciprocate the benefit when others review your postings.