Monday, June 30, 2008

Precarious assemblages

Technology still doesn't manage its own trajectory and the quality of supposed electronic magic continues to be strained.
I am reminded of symphony in the park one summer where there was a clash of titans; a ballet played out in Auckland's domain with two bulldozers performed as two prima ballerinas.
Such is my experience today as one educational electronic data management system clashes with another electronic management system.
And in addition, one of these systems refuses to play with my mac.
The human actor clashes are nearly as dramatic.
The actors (human as well as non-human) do not want to play with one another today.
it takes a lot of work to make this network work cooperatively.
Today the fragility of such a network is more evident.
Today, my own fragility in such a network feels more immediate.

I had not been so aware previously of the human frailty when playing with technology, but i was forewarned; I just didn't understand that part of the story performed in Aramis. While Latour discussed the death of the nonhuman and yet to come into being, Aramis, the human actors too are fragile.
Norbert as the Professor performing the Aramis research personally demonstrates the precarious and social nature of assemblages.
One can only do what one can only do, no more.

Dancing diggers

Sunday, June 29, 2008

technology does not have its own trajectory

Who killed Aramis; everyone and no-one.
She dies because of a lack of love; a lack of commitment.
She was not negotiated.
The gap between technology and the social just collapsed for me.
They are one; the one does not happen without the other.

In my data collecting of counselling changes with the advent of txt, I am noticing the expectation that txt will do it by itself, and it doesn't.
There is 'a collective drift of good intent'.
Yet service costs are vulnerable.
Support, like all support, inconsistent.
The innovation is ongoing- from mobile phone palmcorder to computer then through YORA...
Negotiations are partial and ongoing.(Arent they always?)
This fragility goes unnoticed.
How does the service adapt to suit the medium, how might the medium alter to suit the service.
Txt counselling; the wrapper or the present; all there is or nothing.
Adapt or perish.
Negotiating a middle ground.

How do I <3 u
let me no. the ways


Monday, June 16, 2008

Education and the fear of freedom

If education were to be for freedom, it would have to be altered in form.

In freeing the oppressed, there is a need to free the oppressors as well as the oppressed. Paulo Freire.

Looking at how change happens through Bruno Latour I am beginning to see some value in attending to freeing the oppressors. There is a need to part people from what is, to unpeel, to detach the current habits or other chains that bind or ruts entrenched. There has to be some problematization, motivating, assembling others, making a new 'network' evolve.

I used to have problems with freeing oppressors; werent they free enough! But a revolution in education is always just around the corner and doesnt quite get here. Even when a mini coup happens, there's always another oppressor to take the place. Making a new 'net' 'work' takes work. The new assemblage seem to want to replicate the channels of the old. fIt requires active work to have change sustained

My action plan:
1. Stop stroking oppressors.
Recognize behaviours I do that could be creating these people.
Misguided flattery sustains oppressive qualities; They believe when told they are good at what they do. Keep them humble, only praise whats worthy of praise and help to reshape what needs reshaping.
2. Humanize learning. It matters that education settings consider thinking, feeling and relating in form as well as in content.

I have one of those major opportunities right now. The sort that aye very uncomfortable and not asked for.
The changes mooted are large, but could end up just the same old same old.

Taking the premise of Biggs constructive alignment a step further, there is opportunity to bring on the revolution;
how does this process, this content, through to this assessment point, align with creating more rather than less of what it is to be human. Not only how might this create more rather than less thinking, but also what is taught of relating and what it is to be more fully human.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Constructivism; creativity and community

I was mulling over a colleagues experience of being told off for talking in an academic staff meeting.
Formal meeting, chaired, minuted. 30 odd people.
And it goes on for 4 hours, two short breaks.
We wouldn't do it to our students, but we do it to each other. Entrapment.
But thats beside the point. its the intellectual stifling thats important; talking constructs knowledge and to do this one at a time in a formal meeting loses the plot.
Formal meetings are not the best way to generate thinking.
I am tooo web 2.0 to shut up and wait. I'm also too human. I talk and I think at the same time.
And then i saw olweekly today and there's an advert for a course for credit or interest in constructivism, free for those with an interest and charge applied for those wanting credit. But i really have to stick to the phd or i will lose the plot.
And then there was also a link to Drapes takes which links to Charles Leadbetter and a great little youtube clip that got me thinking more about how innovation happens;
Its like building a birdsnest where everyone leaves their piece.
We think because 'we' are.
So how do academic institutions get it so wrong; habits of formality constrain creativity.
The idea of an academic community is wrong. There is too much baronial political history for freedom of thoughts to be expressed.
What would I rather? Anarchy?
Just maybe I'm still punk'd.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cyborg is growing on me

My dearest has threatened to weld me to my cell phone. Not to extend me, its to extend him. "Why isn't your cell phone on; i tried to ring you."
Does he really not see the subtext here?
I want you at my beck and call.

Its just as well he hasn't seen this one.
Cyborg; i might be happy to explore as a fantasy, maybe even a reality when i consider my serious deep seated psychological attachment to apple, my laptop. She and me have a pleasant symbiotic relationship.

But i am not ready for this, yet.
Seriously. Attached to one's cell phone.

How do i <3 thee?
Let me no.the ways
No way
Not eva

I've been punked; Harajuku babe bites back

Punk'd education; the alternate, raw and angry side, a bit black, seedy, downright dirty, with a sharp edge.

"It was then that it hit these people. Blackboard was never a learning tool."

The controlling influences of education may smooth a means to commodifying fodder fit for an unquestioning workplace; may make the bureaucracy of education run with or without the presence of learners; but i like to think there is something about learning's purpose being greater not less, freedom.
So its effing annoying when the platform is mistaken for the performance.
20th century punk meets 21stcentury harajuku.
A lot of attention to the manifestation but the substance is unsettling, a bit like the harajuku form of loligoth; a semblance/ assembling Victoriana meets goth meets punk meets paedophile dream.
There is edginess and it's disturbing, seductive, and beautiful:
They hang out to be seen, do their make-up, talk to friends, and get photographed. Any Sunday visit to the famous Harajuku “bridge” (it’s not an actual bridge) will show you more tourists snapping shots than actual GothLoli.
Performance on many levels.

Deeply disturbing, just like learning should be.
Thanks to Stephen Downes for todays provocation.