Already by end of week 1 of the MOOC, “E-learning and Digital Cultures”. Three aspects seem very important to me:
1. The dynamism and contributions from participants. Prior to the start of the MOOC, community participants vividly was involved in different spaces: Facebbok, Twitter, Diigo, Google+, Whish list, Google Docs with course map. People from around the world faced and share your interests, expectations, attempts to organize, synchronous dialogue proposals via Twitter chat, group organization to read, Quad blog (finally I published!). And this spaces continues alive… and fresh, and useful. Appealing to the collective intelligence to build, also brief advice from various angles in the synchronous session.
2. The proposal to reflect on Utopias (desirable for social welfare, dreams) and dystopias (undesirability, which would lead to discomfort) related to the uses and practices mediated by technological tools, digital media technologies. Probing the imagination of the participants, from videos, exercise analyzing situations and be aware of technological determinism (in multiple senses), which we usually refer without giving much consideration.
3. Technological determinism, lenses we use many times without realizing it when talking about education, learning and virtuality. In referring to the “technology” in general and as a thing, with some autonomy (one is understood, does things … makes us do things). I agree more with the non-neutrality: the artifact and digital media have characteristics and ideological implications in its design, operation and practices, in a socio cultural context. Loved Postman’s contribution to speak of them as metaphors for conceptualizing reality, to shape information, to frame, highlight… Also, like Jensen named as affordances, certain practices facilitate and constrain others. Key questions: What practices are developed in what social context? What uses of technology, for what purpose, who develops, what gives power? This reading of Chandler gives elements for a critical look at our language and how to position ourselves to the phenomena of learning, education, virtual, network and digital media.
And it is an open question, to complete: what utopias and dystopias is possible to identify when we talk about e-learning? I only point this:
- Utopia: The network and the cyberspace allow us all to learn throughout life (and will conduct us to its benefits). This way of present the utopia has itself a deterministic component (the technological imperative and a trend to progress).
- Dystopia: “The society of ignorance”, the internet and its practices difficult or impact negatively at learning (non neutral and fatalistic point of view). Can we analyze this utopias and dystopias and find aspects of true or data about practices and phenomena that we can observe?
What else can we add to the list? How to build a look that escape or be critical to detect variants of technological determinism in speeches, methodologies and practices (in counseling, working with teachers in a process of and about e-learning, in my own learning in the network)?
I´ll see you on the forum spaces!
(I hope my English will improve in every post!)