A quote in Dash’s Rebuilding The Web We Lost article stood out to me from all of these readings/videos. He said, “We took it as a self-evident and obvious goal that people would even want to participate in this medium, instead of doing the hard work necessary to make it a welcoming and rewarding place for the rest of the world.” I think this speaks to how overwhelming the world of “the web” and all that comes with it really is. How rewarding is it to come to understand through this initiative about how much I still don’t know about the technology that exists and continues to emerge? Is it enough to get curious and engage? I am not sure about the answer(s) to that yet. What I do know is that there is still much to learn, but perhaps I will only want to participate when it is, as Dash said, made a more welcoming place.
Along those lines, I watched 60 Minutes Sunday night, and they did a piece on “data brokers” – companies who collect, analyze, and then package some of our most sensitive personal information and sell it as a commodity. Hearing about this was pretty frightening, and I thought about the connection to how the internet can ultimately be not only unrewarding, but, dare I say, dangerous? Even writing a post puts out personal information. But, I know that in the case of our domains, we want to have them in order to have more control over what is put out on the web for others to use, and perhaps in that way, gain more control over what these data companies “broker”.
When we met this past Tuesday to talk about the readings, it made me think about preparing elementary school teachers who will be teaching their students to try and make sense of what has been called in research on literacy, “New Literacies”. My students will need to be teaching their students how to “read” in a whole new way. No longer is it words on the page. One assignment I added this past year to one of my language and literacy courses to address this issue is for my students to evaluate e-books. In an article I read last summer, it talked about the “seductive detail effects” of e-books for students – that is, they are more interested in playing with the different options that come with the e-books and miss the meaning of the book altogether. Therefore, we have to start teaching elementary-age students how to read these e-books, or at the very least, know what the “seductive details” are when students choose to read them. It is becoming a complex issue in teaching elementary school students how to read – to ensure they are understanding the content they are reading, and not just stuck in the “data deluge”.
I thought the readings this week would provide me with much to say, but alas, still not much to share. Though I think it is more about my not being used to blogging, not because of the readings themselves. The only thing that struck me was the piece by Weller who talks about Boyer’s definitions of scholarship. His ideas of scholarship are ones that the field of education often looks to, particularly the notion of application – how what we research applies to the wider world – in education, it is the classroom, teachers and students.
I have been struggling with what to write in a post because once it is out there, it is out there. So, Martha suggested writing about not wanting to write, which I am doing. However, this week, in reading about how to build a personal learning network, I have been thinking about how worthwhile that could be and decided to write a bit about that. I did some searching on interesting blogs, not necessarily work-related, but personal-interest related, and I came across the Laughing Squid. Glad I did! I also decided to follow a work-related twitter account called “Ed Surge”, that I found in a link from an article we needed to read for this coming week. So, I feel that I am beginning to build a personal learning network, though very slowly.
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