This week, one of the tasks was to create an image that represents one of the themes in the course so far. My image is below. I used pixlr.com to merge the iPad border and picture together, and picfont.com to put the words on. This picture illustrates humans stuck inside the world of technology, as in the Matrix series. Which side of the looking glass are you on?
The second set of videos in this week's lesson are a much more distopian view of technology in the future. A Digital Tomorrow shows that we still have all the glitches and malfunctions of today's technology; however since it is much more integrated into their lives, it is seen as a bigger headache.
Sight just plain scares me. Completely biologically integrated technology - what if it breaks? How do you know what is real? Is any of it real? Is that a spoon? We are now truly under the programmer's control. It's Matrix and Tron all over again.
This week in the E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC, we look to the future in terms of technology driven utopia or distopia.
The first resource video is from Corning, Inc. called a Day Made of Glass 2. Every surface is interactive, digital and compatible. Sign me up, I'm in! In order for this world to happen, technology companies will need to become less proprietary (I'm talking to you Apple, Inc) and make apps and drivers and operating systems that are compatible with each other.
The second resource video showed students researching how to build a bridge, viewing plans, pictures, talking via the web with engineers - all good stuff. But I was concerned that the actual hands on building the model part of the learning experience would be left out. I wasn't disappointed as it did follow at the end.
These appear to be the Utopian views of the future, up next in the blog - distopia!
This week's topic in #edcmooc is about utopia or distopia created by technology. We were to watch a series of short videos on technology taking over the world, connecting people or allowing a distopia of disconnect. Movies that come to mind when thinking of this topic include the most recent Hunger Games and Divergent series. Thinking farther back, the Matrix series and Tron.
My son just finished a book in his class called City of Ember - where the "builders" provided an underground city with supplies and a generator as a safe haven for a select group of the population to start a new community when disaster struck in the world above. This essentially void of technology, save the generator, community knew nothing of even the simplest tools such as a match providing fire. Utopia or distopia....
I find myself personally agreeing with the Bendito Machine III video, where humans are essentially forced to accept the newest technology, bend to it's own whims, then bow to the next technology in line, while pushing that which you just worshipped yesterday out to pasture. Think about our progression from VHS to DVD to BluRay. From desktop to laptop to tablet to smartphone. Every operating system update, app update... Utopia or distopia caused by technology, or did we create this malay ourselves?
Today, my second MOOC starts, E-learning and Digital Cultures by the University of Edinburgh #edcmooc. First product of this course, my new blog. I've never tried to blog before, so here goes.
I've been teaching online courses for 10 years now, and I'm a tech junkie - I'll admit it. I'm always prowling for the newest gadgets, apps, and programs for myself and to engage my online students. Ask an online student what their number one complaint is with online courses and they'll tell you it's the lack of interaction, of feeling like they belong to a community like the F2F (face-to-face) classroom. That's a hard thing to simulate online, but I try.
To date, I've gamified courses using badges, added twitter feeds to courses, and used Polleverywhere in courses to try and facilitate interaction. I'm in this MOOC to broaden my own horizons and learn more ways to engage the students, plus I love TECH and social media! I said that already, didn't I? Here's to the next 4 weeks...
**The picture at the top of the post is a Wordle (a website that generates word clouds from text, giving greater prominence to words that appear more often. This shot is from the EDC MOOC news RSS feed today. **
"The tipping point occurs when learning replaces instruction, participation replaces presentation, and questions become more important than answers."