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by Stephen Downes
November 24, 2009

Henry Jenkins Finds a New Audience in Hollywood
I'm presenting my Lolcats paper again, which addresses a metric for 21st century literacies (or whatever you want to call them), this time this evening in Alec Couros's open online class. While the (previously published) topic for my talk was "The Future of Education," I think it fits well with the content of the course to present this future as the development of these literacies. So I found this post today that links to the same video Couros links to, which is useful.

Here's where I want to go this evening. As before, I want to talk about these new literacies as languages (hence the title, "speaking in lolcats"). But when I look at presentations like the Jenkins video (and especially media literacy as it related to mass media) it seems to me that what we are being told is "which languages we need to learn" rather than "how to learn languages". So when we see the (pseudo-)list of literacies, "performance, simulation, appropriation, multitasking, distributed cognition, collective intelligence, judgment, transmedia navigation, networking, negotiation," we are being given a list of "what" without really a comprehensive treatment of "how". This is because they are being presented as (separate) skills instead of (an underlying) language. I want to cross those skills in a matrix against the elements of a (21st century) language.

The session is tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and the Elluminate room is available here.
Christine Cupaiuolo, Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, November 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Scholarly Communications will Transform via Cybermetrics
The proposition asserted in the title of this post is unquestionably true (so you can probably plan on retiring your citation indices). The question is, how? "These [cyber-]metrics will change the role of academic journals, too, taking from them much of the authority they have traditionally held as arbiters of quality.... We will see open data becoming increasingly important as an asset in the knowledge commons. As researchers optimize their results by drawing upon publicly available data sets, cybermetrics will be there to meter usage of that data.... Print-based metrics will be rapidly transcended by a richer, deeper set of measurements that will help broaden the concepts, genres, and uses of all our intellectual work." Gideon Burton, Academic Evolution, November 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Supercool School
Honestly, the name 'Supercool School' rings all the wrong bells for me (symbolizing trendy, immature, fly-by-night, etc., rather than educational, stable and mature) but I still feel I ought to pass along the information as I got it. Bjoern Lasse Herrmann writes, by email, "Supercool School allows individuals and organizations to build their next generation online school. Think Ning meets Webex for learning. The aim is to do for education what blogging has done for publishing - democratize and decentralize it! The backend allows users to create, customize and administer their school and the front end lets users create profiles, browse through classes, create class requests and participate in live online classrooms." There's also a blog with a lot more information. Various Authors, Website, November 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

What is that Groups and Networks argument all about?
Frances Bell has been a commentator and critic of my characterization of networks for the last couple of years, and here she weighs in with a discussion and xtranormal video ("a good-humoured parody of conversations about Groups and Networks that took place on CCK08 and elsewhere" that can also be seen at YouTube). Her criticism, in a nutshell, is that "ascribing the attributes of autonomy, diversity, openness and emergent knowledge to networks and suggesting that groups foster the opposites of these is adopting a normative stance," while "pragmatic teachers will adopt group and network organizational forms at will to suit the circumstances in which they and their learners find themselves." Frances Bell, Weblog, November 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

There Ought to be a Law
This discussion paper released by the New Brunswick Ombudsman's Office comes at the same time as an analysis of websites by (most news outlets just parrot this press release) and the launch of federal legislation countering child pornography. There are, of course, already laws against child pornography in Canada, and arrests are actually fairly routine. That said, this discussion paper, the Cybertips report, and the federal legislation, are all aimed at increasing requirements for ISPs to report and block the content. This report also recommends limiting online advertising to children, and prohibiting the collection of personal information from children. Bernard Richard, Workinng Group of Canadian Privacy Commissioners and Child and Youth Advocates, November 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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