Lifecasting – Reality 2.0

I had heard about lifecasting earlier this year. It’s getting more popular as this article in the LA Times shows. Strap a webcam to yourself a cast your life.

I never got into reality shows. And since I have a Second Life, my TV’s been in the shed out back. I can watch Desperate Housewives online.
I like these kinds of trends because at their core they redistribute discourses. The argument is of course that most peoples’ lives are not “entertaining,” and that there will always be a desire for “high quality” entertainment. From the industry’s point of view, that’s a point. From my point of view, TV on the whole is not high quality entertainment.
Looking at trends likes these is more about looking at life in 10-20 years. TV viewing is already the domain of primarily BabyBoomers.

Let’s wait and see.

The next 5billion users

on the internet. How’s it shaping up? Where’s it going? If connectivity and the social webare what’s been said they are, and as the podcast suggests, globalization has only just begun, the distance horizon might look very different. The web is presently dominated by American culture socially, technically and politically. Cornel West would argue that good innovations are adopted by other cultures, (his is a teleological argument), simply because they are good. Dominant groups’ technologies are dominant for a complex of reasons. According to his historical world, no culture remains untouched by others. Those with the capacity to adopt good innovations and adapt them to their needs, are often those which survive.
West doesn’t seem to think that domination/oppression is problematic.
Foucault’s argument begins with questioning West’s orientation to rendering history in terms of Darwinian and capitalist notions (turned truths) of progress. To disrupt these discourses and question these notions turned truths, has not only been Foucault’s project, but that of critical theorists over the last four decades.
I’m working out Foucault’s ideas; they seem to make sense. They seem to be the subtext or the essence of conversations I come across.

This podcast was aired in June, 2006.

Open verses free — in the web

To participate in freedom (here ‘open’) requires a tremendous amount of effort and thought. The trend George is observing below isn’t surprising. Prioritizing ease of use is expected, as is a general confusion in distinguishing between freedom and choice. I’m speaking about the larger society, but I don’t think it’s irrelevant. In general people choose free/no cost more often than not. Or so it seems. I’m always astonished at the effort invested into getting something for nothing. I’m not sure it’s possible to mainstream the ideology and practice of open source.

Tim Berners Lee Keynote at 3GSM
The reason that I could just design the Web by myself and set it running on a couple of computers without asking anyone, was that the Internet in turn had been designed to be used for anything, constraining its users as little as possible. So this is one of the qualities of an open platform: it is built to enable, not to control, and it does not try to second guess the things which will be built using it.Over the last year, I’ve noticed a big shift in attention and focus on the ideology of open source software (and, if trends hold as they have in other apsects of education) and the parallels in education content. Many educators are proclaiming the value of openness…but are increasingly using closed tools. Content tools with great functionality and ease of use…but which are closed in format. Openness and free are being confused (or, perhaps for many educators, is not something that is important).

Who’s doing all the editing in Wikipedia?

This Nature article says “right now there are around 6.4 million articles on Wikipedia, generated by over 250 million edits from 5.8 million contributors.
About a month ago I began noticing that Wikipedia was the 1st hit on many Google searches. And I’m reading a printed book, a 2006, 2nd edition, which references Wikipedia. Something’s happening over there, participatory culture, the social web…somethin’

Courses vs. Content

What is an online course? What is an online education?

When it was launched in 2002, MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW) was emphatically declared to be a limited online offering. “OCW is not about online degree programs. It isn’t even about online courses for which students can audit or enroll,” wrote Phillip D. Long. It was intended to be nothing more than “the content that supports an MIT education.”

The understated message in an initiative such as OCW is that an MIT education is not equivalent to the resources that support the education, that it consists essentially of the contact with the professors and the community that develops among the students.

We talk about learning in terms of design and environments more than in terms of lesson plans and classrooms. The mix of course, content, people and place seem to be shifting dramatically. This has to do with how technology expands complexity, the ways information is co-created and disseminated via Web 2.0, how Web 3.0 (SL) releases us from the dichotomy of real/virtual, and how underneath all this the nature of information and knowledge is changing.

Crud versus participatory culture

I think I blogged about this paper on participatory culture earlier. And I just commented on a discussion about crud and not crud. From an equity, social justice standpoint, yes I want everyone to participate, create, feel empowered. And I’m concerned about the gap in participation.
But from a philosophical, political and educative point of reference, it seems to be just another episode in the American Dream show of celebrity and spectacle. Anyone who has achieved anything has had to buy into the notion of quality, of good, better, best and crud. Dewey, Delpit, Socrates all advance both participation and expertise.
I don’t have a problem with crud, as long as I’m allowed to call it that without being ostracized as an elitist. I’m certain there were artists as brilliant as Picasso at the time, who..well…didn’t get a break. I should be able to feel ethical about appreciating expertise, particularly because I do articulate an understanding of how sociocultural context allows certain kinds of expertise over others. Naming crud has to be a part of that discourse, otherwise I’ve abandoned it.

Pseudo-science taxonomies — digital natives and immigrants

I was glad to participate in this conversation with others who question the whole digital natives/immigrants, net geners “movement.” Of course many are off to the ELI annual meeting where this movement seems to generate its ideas.
Being relatively new to academic discourse from the inside, I’m wondering if this is the way it goes. There’s popular culture that may or may not be grounded in rigorous investigation, but nobody seems to mind. We all jump on the bandwagon, cause it’s there, the D.J.’s good and the celebrities show up.
As was pointed out in this conversation, where’s the discussion of class, SES, ethnicity and I’ll add gender? It’s painfully obvious, (to me anyway) that this talk is coming from predominantly white male voices. The circling conversations as well. I think I might have posted this white paper before,
Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, which gets at the issue from a different angle, defining and categorizing via activities and use.