lørdag den 23. februar 2013

Final assignment #edcmooc

Thanks to the team from Edinburgh University the past few weeks have been quite a voyage back and forward in time. It has been fascinating to see so many bids on the future and the related thoughts about dystopia, utopia, metaphors and humanity. A little shocking to realize how far we already are in this technological evolution. And both ironic and appropriate that we ends our mooc with the release of the Google glasses. I wanna have 30 pairs of them for my class asap. 
The iPad's dead. Let's go google glassing.
Source: http://www.ideasevolved.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/google_project_glass_clippy-e1333627980481-580x424.jpg
Thanks to my fellow mooc'ers I have been able to dive into a wide and varied field of interesting discussions and thoughtful posts about anything presented by the Edinburgh team and about anything else this could relate to. I have not yet had the time to see everything, but I know where to find it, and I will continue this study after the official final. A grateful Thank You for all your posts and comments. During this course I've evolved a digitale self. Funny to see it happen as you read about it :) I've never participated in such a lively and inspiring, worldwide network before. It's been a pleasure and I'm going to miss it.

Some notes describing my thoughts about "digital technology and learning in the future":
  • For me learning, now and in the future, is a result of our minds interpretation of our physical and mental experiences. And our possibilities to change our experiences almost like we want to , increase with the further evolution of digital possibilities.
  • Technology will be able to make learning accessible for more people by removing the factors that otherwise stops them from participating in the learning processes. Not only by artificial cyborg body parts, but by minimizing the barriers for the mind as well by letting the technology act like a filter (like in persuasive technology), gamification (eg Sight) or simulation (eg World Builder)

    As always in history people around the globe will not have equal acces to get in possession of the new technologies. Unless the global politics change radically and quick, this will make an even deeper inequality between populations and end up in very different thinkings about being human (eg Steve Fuller and
    Transhumanist Declaration)

    Being a teacher for kids in the public school in the Denmark, I think my frames for teaching will be dramatic changed over the next 25 years. I do not believe it will make teachers dispensable, but it sure will change our role / roles. Already now this is the reality as the students gets so much information from so many medias and  sources.
  • Technology can place the teaching subject in a context where it is more fun/ real/ motivating to dive into and easier to understand (eg A day made of glass)
  • Despite the technology, the human interacting between teacher and students will still be of significant importance. The feeling of belonging in a social group with people you're somehow related to, makes the learning proces more interesting and valuable for everybody. My own experience here is, that building this relationship only online is more demanding for the students ( Succes in a MOOC) and not everybody will be able to do this. And I don’t find this model useful for all kinds of learning. For instance kids will need the closer irl contact with their teacher / mediator /guide.
  • For me the utopia of digital learning is, when learning is the way to a deeper understanding of the real world. Learning will always need to have connections to the non-digital world. And a big part of learning will still be happening without the digital technologies. But the digital part will provide teachers and students with tools, simulations and independence (of time and space) that will stretch learning way beyond the boundaries of today.

I've had some fun and been playing around with some of these thoughts. The result is this video from a future me:

mandag den 11. februar 2013

Week 2. Somehow we are living in the future right now. Somehow not.

Friday in the end of EDC week 1,  I was on my way. Two hours in the train between Bruxelles and London. I knew I otherwise would have difficulties catching up with the EDC stuff for the entire week 2, so I had downloaded all the movies and articles. In that way I did not depend of internet acces.

Sitting in the train watching the videos, I felt quite familiar with the future worlds described there. I mean, in the videos they had a more advanced design for their screens (even my daugther said "Hey that´s a cool iPad) and some better 3D, but I didn´t see anything that surprised me.

I use my passbook on the iPhone to keep my e-tickets. The first thing I do when I arrive to my hotel room (or at home) is to get online. Doctors and many other groups coorporate and collaborate online. Games have got more and more realistic and make you feel you´re inside the game and not in front of a screen. In 2011 the british The Gadget Show builded an ultimate Battlefield simulator and got it tested by a war veteran, who found it very realistic and close to the real life experience. The Full version of the show can be seen on  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg8Bh5iI2WY

So I felt, that if this was the future, then I am living in the future right now. Arriving to the Cumberland Hotel certainly kept me in this feeling. I was being welcomed by a big glass screen when I entered their white, light, clean and "futuristic" lobby.

Source: http://www.guoman.com/en/hotels/united_kingdom/london/the_cumberland/index.html

Next to reception I saw this big poster: 

So here we are. Welcome to the digitale life. I love it :)

The reason for me to be in London that weekend was the BETT show. It´s a huge arrangement with workshops, talks and fairs. All about how technology can power learning. It was great. So many possibilities in so many levels. If you have any possibility to go there next year, you should.

Off course I couldn´t help wearing the EDC MOOC glasses and look out for dystopian and utopian metaphors. Quite fun and interesting thing to do there :)   And of course I could see a lot of utopian ideas, I mean that´s like the purpose of BETT, I guess. 

But underneath a lot of it, was the thoughts of control. How can you control what the students do with the internet? How to lock the students to the parts of information which you want them to see and keep them away from the rest? 
In the train I have had time to read the first 30 pages of Little Brother. And in my daily work as a teacher I feel this abnorm need of control as well. I do not agree with it, but it´s like the mostly used metaphors in discussions about technology and schools are about possibilities to cheat and then of course "The dangers of the internet". 
These metaphors have resulted in an industry of control of the  teachers and students behavior on the web. A control in such a level, that every week, during normal class work, we are stopped by the filters. So pretty often the search for information is a part of the homework. 

I do realize this is even worse for us as an international school, as the filters have to stop any combination of letters, that could form a dirty or "dangerous" word in any of our 8 languages. That´s a lot. And for some (security?)reasons many social networks are blocked as well. So sometimes it's a little difficult to work with all the possibilities of the technology, because everything has to be seen in the light of the potential danger. 

This brought me to make this little cartoon as my artefact for the second EDC MOOC week. I named it: Dystopian metaphores and their influence on teachers possibilities.

Credits for the pics in the movie:
Pile of sand http://abovegroundpoolfinder.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Mason-sand-for-pool-floor-base.jpg
Light bulb: http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/light_bulb.png
Shovel: http://simage1.sportsmansguide.com/adimgs/l/2/226406_ts.jpg
Pupils in class: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/3a10000/3a16000/3a16900/3a16955r.jpg
Forbidden sign 1: http://www.sxc.hu/pic/m/b/br/brokenarts/200982_sign_3_forbidden_access.jpg
Forbidden sign 2: http://www.photosinbox.com/download/red-forbidden-sign.jpg