Wednesday, October 05, 2011

What I learn from technology - Distributed agency #Change11

I started responding to Jeffrey Keefers post at Silence and Voice that was prompted by Alison Littlejohn's paper for #changes 11 and would have said in response to the conversation occurring turning Alison's response on its head: can individual learning ever really exist? Things have to intersect dont they for new things to occur? But in such intersections, what other collateral realities are being done?

My pre-identified area interest in #change11 is to learn of the non-human actors, having committed to being an ANT groupie, and so following my own learning agenda- but having been touched y a collective learning forum of this mooc - i go off like Alice down another bunny hole...

Media literacies suggest the need for understanding that media has influence (McLuhan, Meyrowitz), and in education, teaching and learning understanding CCTs is to understand that they are more than tools (Turkle, Bigum and Rowan, Lanksheare, Bennet, Nespor)

Knowing what a techy does or can do lets me respond with more or less trust in the process.
Knowing of computer generated images means i make a judgement call on the veracity of what is projected. If i dont know how the techy has influence i dont make this call.
Manipulating the influence of the techy i can 'trick' others into believing things more or less. Used to be i could produce a word processed doc and my boss would be in awe- such days have passed :) But formality can appear persuasive.
In watching the Blair witch project, reality is conveyed by deliberately downplaying the polished product.
And so i would argue yes the technologies demand new knowledge, for they shape us.

The meme as discussed by Susan Blackmore suggests a cultural evolution has occurred, and the meme of technology is that it requires humans to breed....that which is imitated, and spread, a meme not an idea but that which is copied, imitated and altered as it transfers from person to person, why do they spread? because such meme ideas are selfish information that will spread if it can. So what is in the environment that makes breeding of new ideas more and less possible.
Is getting a new replicator dangerous- to carry an idea, getting a new carrier of knowledge is dangerous? Does google or other network engines shape what i have access to? yes.)

In teaching and learning, and in health, if i seriously take a web 2.0 approach, then i need to consider the influence of working in a participatory culture, wont that shift my expectation of not only what i learn...but how? Would it not also influence what assessments might be involved if assessment drives learning?

Is it dangerous to a planet to be so technologically shaped? Arguably it has done some horrid things to education. Globalised learning that can deny the import of local content. Testing of knowledge by MCQ tests because the machine can mark this. Teaching by ppt because it can be disseminated to the masses...
That my colleague can be made redundant because i can be teleconferenced out to four sites concurrently...

And for my own studies, what happens when the techy shapes the counselling, well it also shapes the roles as well as identities of those in the network. Passive actors are shown as much more active than commonly construed. If agency is seen as a distributed activity, how then also might this lead to altered conceptions of empowerment and of emancipation; to altered conceptualisations of what it is to learn collectively...

I dont have time for witty ness right now, nor for tidying up the blog today, this one's just another rough scribble
I have a conf paper that demands my attention, a deadline to meet.

1 comment:

  1. Hennessy has a series of studies on the cultural influence of online learning that support your thoughts here. There is also a school of sociotechnological learning theory that answers many of the questions you pose. This is an area that I am having my students work through in a computer mediated communication course and they are having a difficult time conceptualizing this.