Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Most memorable to date...

The Internet connection is still dodgy, to quote my auzzie mates, and so I type this from my tiny screened itouch. I will love my upas screen once it arrives ( seen three at the conference so far). Today I enjoyed the google for education sessions, although light on the depth but most enjoyed the THINK global 2 part presentation on their mobile and global grade 9 to 12 curriculum. Will post more later... The Aussie girls just arrived for dinner... Think needs it's own post anyway;)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

renewing my appreciation for Canadian broad bandwidth

So I started my morning with an 8am registration, for the conference, and a breakfast of fresh fruit. We shuffled into our presentation rooms, with the first session being a 2.5 hour workshop entitled "Going global and mobile – Developing media for global learning".
As things go it was very "newbie" centric, and the tools were not what I could present to our faculty at BCIT, if I expected them to embrace the tools "ease of use". Most ironic was the session title, and my growing frustration over our lack of wireless connectivity. My mobile devices where running low on battery and there was only one plug in the room (already in use). So my first session... to summarize, on global and mobile learning, had no access to its resources, had no ability to keep the mobile devices running, and the tools presented where not "easy" to use. Its time to hit the pool and restart this conference with the keynote (in the afternooon).
I am always reminded, when I go to these types of conferences, that we are spoiled in North America with our connection speed and reliability, and I am asking new questions about how to go mobile and global, when the rest of the world just is not so fortunate.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Digital Economy � Homepage

As I have recently documented, I have been thinking more about digitization of data (going back to my roots so to speak), and trying to come to a place where I can feel comfortable researching over the next few years. Then, during a work meeting, I find myself dicussing how we (Canada) have provincial focus but not really any national education focus. Maybe this recent "digital economy" consultation process will meet somewhere in the educational middle ground;)

Digital Economy � Homepage

Friday, May 7, 2010

reinstating android blogger *fingers crossed*

k, so i think since i am reinstating blogger, i should really reinstate mobile posts. i hope this time it posts to the correct blog!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm back on the doctoral train, and it will be making lots of stops

I am going to start using this space again to answer lots of school related questions that will crop up over the next few months. Lets see where this takes us;)

In conversation with Dr. C I was asked to consider game changers, and the iPad, over the weekend, and so that's just what I did! I mostly reflected on what I thought about the term "game changer", and how I have experiences the changing communications "game".

My end product:
Is the iPad a game changer or simply the tool used to play the game that has been gradually changing for at least the last 20 years? I think that the iPad is best associated to that tool that will effectively display, and allow you to interact with, the significant changes that have occurred in our approaches to communication.

I participated in the evolution of the printing industry. I started my career in the early 1990’s when film reigned supreme. I shot pasted up pages on huge horizontal cameras that spanned two rooms lengths. That film, in complete darkness, would be moved through a series of chemical baths that would wash away the non exposed areas to give me clear mylar spaces that light could shine through. I would take them, splice many of them together so that each future page of Wired magazine would start as one very large 24 inch by 36 inch piece of film, and four versions of this same set of pages would also be produce along side. It would go through many more processes, thanks to the invention of the printing press (and the elimination of early type setting forms of print production), to produce Wired magazine for the average media consumer.

I participated in the evolution of print as a result of the game changer that was the desktop computer, and the graphic user interface. This step produced such applications as Pagemaker and Illustrator almost immediately, and was soon followed by Photoshop. The invention of the digital scanner quickly led to the demise of the horizontal camera, the light table, and many other, at the time, game-changing technology’s in the printing industry. The way that we dealt with what would be printed, and distributed, changed forever as a result of making computer technology accessible, and the ability to digitize pretty much any 2 dimensional object/item. We moved quickly away from digitizing printed material and film, and evolved our hardware so that it could capture digital data directly.

Since then I have seen so many game changers outdone by the next step in media and communications evolution. The industrial printing press that exists today, if your company can afford it, requires almost no human intervention, and has no analog processes remaining, just digital data, a set of applications and hardware, and the ability to transfer data from one terminal to another. The game changing printing press that we all connect to communications historical revolution no longer exists, and we didn’t even notice it being phased out because we were all surfing the information super highway.

Every so often in history, a new technology rewrites the rules of the game. Like gunpowder, the printing press, or even the atomic bomb, such revolutionary technologies are game-changers not merely because of their capabilities, but rather because of the ripple effects they have on everything from our wars to our politics. They force us to ask tough social, military, business, political, ethical, and legal questions.

The cameraman still needs to take photos, and the graphic artist still has artistic license over the look and the feel of the page layout but even if it is determined that the item is still worth producing in a “hard-copy” format, it is certain to be found, and able to be consumed online as well on any of a dozen different devices. I was at the forefront of this evolutionary change and experienced the change in power that occurred first hand, and appreciate my simple, cheap, high quality home printer more than most as a result. I understand the magnitude of what it took to make that happen.

The release of the iPad will seriously impacted magazine distribution, with companies like Bonnier, makers of Popular Science, redesigning their magazines for digital delivery on a device able to do justice to its display “to-scale”, thanks to the display size of the iPad mobile device.

This photo, “making popular science+, image 7”
is copyright (c) 2009 Apple Inc.

As a result of the success of Popular Science+, Bonnier will be rolling out hundreds of magazines to the iPad and other devices. Should the iPad be attributed to the evolution of magazine distribution or should that credit go to the ability to digitize our communications, and the ability of those with forethought to “go with the flow” of this change in the communications game?

The only thing that solidifies evolutionary change in my mind, and game-changers, is efficiency and effect. So how does this effect my current industry, and teaching and learning? Of the three communication revolutions in human history (emergence of writing, invention of printing, and convergence of telecommunication, computers and digitization) that I see continuously referenced by scholars, the convergence of telecommunication, computers and digitization is where I feel institutions of higher learning, stumbling blinding through the process of integrating into the practice of teaching and learning.

A revolution effects a change in the societal power structure… writing undermined the power monopoly of the elders, who preserved in oral form the accumulated knowledge of preliterate people… printing ended the information monopoly of the church, the clergy and the mandarins, depending on the social context. The invention of digitization may change the societal power structure in ways yet to be seen.

What would happen if, as formal learning institutions, we let go of our need to control student access to the world outside, while in our classrooms? What would happen if we no longer required textbooks to be purchased for our course? What would happen if we allowed our students to bring whatever device they wanted into the classroom to access whatever online/web based resource they wanted/needed to support their learning?

We would need to focus more intently on facilitating the achievement of the course outcomes and less on the containment of “variables” in the teaching process. We would need to decide where the responsibility resides for each of the elements required to participate in formal learning. What would happen if we, in formal learning environments, decided it was time to embrace the potential to change the game? We would need to change the rules we created, and kept pretty much the same for the last 100 years, to play the game.