How to remain productive…and stay on top of your emails

Scott Hanselman has written a post, shared by the wonderful Glen Davis, with a wealth of ideas around how to manage your email…and your ever growing to do list. One of the key things for me were the the “Four Ds” that Hanselman uses (from David Allen’s Getting Things Done manual):

  • Do It
  • Drop it
  • Delegate it
  • Defer it

The ‘drop it’ one looked particularly useful, and Hanselman encourages the practice of ‘dropping the ball’. He writes that “though this sounds irresponsible, this will lead you to feel better about yourself as you’ll be better able to focus in on your work rather that juggle responsibilities”. In the post he offers some suggestions around how best to drop the ball without miffing the people with whom you work!

Glen notes that Hanselman’s post “summarises quite well some of the key strategies for getting on top of email and being productive”. He then goes on to say that “Of course reading this email, and then reading the following post will destroy your productivity goals for the next 15 minutes!”

Hanselman’s post in full can be found at “Complete List of Productivity Tips“.

Image: ‘No Strings‘ . http://www.flickr.com/photos/21981149@N04/3336227189. ;Found on flickrcc.net.

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While blended learning** has been around for a while now, it is often the benefits*** that are focussed on rather than some of the issues (including an increased workload for facilitators, technological problems, and poor communication – Garrison & Vaughan, 2007) that providers of blended learning need to be aware of up front, and how these might be addressed to maximise the benefits for learners.

The Blended Learning Synchronous Learning project aimed to “identify, characterise, and evaluate technology-enhanced ways of bringing together on-campus and geographically dispersed students and engaging them in media-rich synchronous collaborative learning experiences” (source). As a result of the project, 7 case studies have been developed that “provide a better understanding of the issues that impact on the effectiveness of blended synchronous learning, which in turn can be used to enhance the practice of educators” (source), while also providing “practical guidelines for staff” (source).

The case studies

I’d highly recommend dipping into these case studies if you are already involved in facilitating blended learning, or are thinking about it:

Footnotes

** Heinze and Proctor (2004) define blended learning as “learning that is facilitated by the effective combination of different modes of delivery, models of teaching and styles of learning, and founded on transparent communication amongst all parties involved with a course” (p. 21)

*** Garrison and Vaughan (2007) go on to identify a variety of benefits for learners including:

  • increased student use of course resources outside face-to-face sessions;
  • opportunities to apply skills, concepts, and theories in authentic contexts;
  • opportunities for self-directed learning;
  • integration of online and in-class learning; variety of assignment / assessment types and formats;
  • flexible access to interactive tools and resources that meet a range of learner needs; and
  • further peer to peer interaction and critical dialogue. (Adapted from Garrison, & Vaughan, 2007, p. 35)

References

  • Garrison, R., & Vaughan, N. (2007). Blended learning and course redesign in higher education: Assessing the Role of Teaching Presence from the Learner Perspective. Retrieved May 12, 2007, from http://www.ucalgary.ca/
  • Heinze, A., & Proctor, C. (2004). Reflections on the use of blended learning. Paper presented at the Education in a Changing Environment, University of Salford, UK. Retrieved June 10 2005, from the Salford University Web site: http://www.edu.salford.ac.uk/her/proceedings/papers/ah_04.rtf.

Image

 

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Work getting you down? Giving too much? Try some of these strategies

Finding balance between life and work is an ongoing challenge for most people. Today’s webinar (facilitated by Dave Burton, Heather Eccles, and Vicki Hagenaars) was designed to provide some tools and practical suggestions for thinking about how we can work toward achieving some sort of balance.

The model is designed to shift us from inspiration to reality, and rise to the challenges that will help us fulfil the things you are inspired to do.

Map of Meaning: A model

The key model discussed was the Map of Meaning (originally developed by Marjolein Lips-Wiersma, Lani Morris, and Patricia Greenhough). The tool was unpacked during the session and stories shared that opened discussion to help us find ways to recognise and value how we balance the demands of life and work – from reality to inspiration. Some of the key areas of behaviour were:

  • Developing the Inner Self – Developing oneself and one’s resources.
  • Unity with Others – Building and maintaining relationships. Dave suggests that there is less and less time at work to ‘chew the fat’, to build relationships.
  • Expressing Full Potential – Promoting or representing oneself, taking oneself to market. One element of this is “exercising one’s mark and putting it on the table so that others can hear it and respond to it. For example, a head of department needs to be aware of what you have done”.
  • Service to Others – Delivering the goods. This one has “much more of an action to it. Doing what one says one will do. It’s rather more practical and involves doing the things and getting the results”.
The top two are more about being, and the bottom two are more about doing.
Several participants indicated that “I don’t find it easy to promote myself. I am much more a team player”, and “I don’t promote myself to any great extent either so I can sympathise and empathise!”. This led to a discussion about the discomfort many people feel ‘putting themselves out there’ and promoting ourselves, but the positive outcomes that can come about when you take the plunge are well worth facing this discomfort. Gaylene indicated that she finds it easier to talk about her strengths when they are framed within the notion of what other folk think about you. Heather suggested that ” I find another less scary way to promote yourself is to suggest what you think – and ask for feedback – as a learner”. Lorraine observed that “Relational trust is huge. This is one of the barriers students have with anyone in our community”. Another interesting question was posed ” Also, what spaces do schools create for staff to shine. We have this ideas that often the answers are in the room – but do we give staff a platform for their voice?”.How do we know when we have done enough to stop? Our jobs are about serving others, so actually getting to a guilt-free spot about doing some of these other things can be challenging. There was a lively discussion and sharing about the impact on health when expectations at work are seen as unreasonable. There was mention of “running myself ragged”, “overdoing it”, feeling replaceable and disposable by employers. One of the strategies that was mentioned was shifting the stress and feelings about these types of things allows you to be more comfortable with yourself, and promote what you are capable of. This serves self and community, and also increases confidence.

One participant shared that “I put in way too many hours into my job. I don’t really find a lot of time to fit other things in and I find my job all-consuming”. Dave said that “I know from my own experience that getting locked into any of the quadrants is a recipe for burn-out. So, it’s not so much ‘can I afford to spend time in the other quadrants’, rather it’s a case that ‘can I afford not to’?”. Another strategy that Dave mentioned was thinking about other things that inspire you outside of work…”it’s having those inspirations that motivates you and brings more of the balance”. Sometimes you need to focus away from goals, and go back to inspirations.

Vicki’s experiences

Vicki shared some of her experiences as well as some great images to illustrate some of the points she made. For example, she showed a lovely photo of herself that was taken before she went to her first eFellow session, and how it feels as though it was “a huge risk”, and in some ways “not deserving of some of the accolades that are already starting to come”. Vicki emphasised that looking after herself holistically is also hugely important, and she described some of the strategies that she has undertaken since starting to think about the map of meaning. These include going to the gym, spending time outside, and with her family. Some of the health benefits have been huge as the stress levels have reduced, and the family feel as though they aren’t encroaching on work time.

Heather experiences

Heather described that the personal and professional are inextricable, and since using the map of meaning she has felt energised, excited, and keen to go to work. Recently she has also had a baby, which has re-defined her life, and she is trying to build a relationship with her new son and “with other new mums”. In another sense she is feeling disconnected from her professional community, so she is using social media extensively to help maintain these relationships. Heather talked about the first time she ‘took herself to market’. She was petrified beforehand, but the Iginite session she gave went well, and she got great feedback, which was a taste of some of the positives of putting yourself out there.

Cultural dimensions of self-promotion

Madeline asked “is there a cultural dimension that impacts self-promotion??”, and Heather responded “Good point Madeline – I’m thinking of Pasifika communities where the collaborative is huge and the individual not valued as much”, and Rosey suggested that “I guess it depends on the individual. For some people, the cultural aspects are very important”.
This was a super presentation with some incredibly valuable opportunity to reflect, share and recognise that there are many other folk experiencing the same sense of struggling to find balance. If you missed out on it, please follow up via the recording below.

Questions to consider

You are invited to consider the same questions that were posed during the question:

  1. How’s the relationship between what really moves you?
  2. What’s your self-development strategy and how is it going?
  3. How often are you able to have meaningful, perhaps challenging, conversations with your peers?
  4. To what extent do others understand what you’re really on about?
  5. What sense of being useful in the world (or your part of it) do you have?
  6. Do you get a chance to pause and reflect on how you are going?
  7. Who gets first call on your time; you or those around you?

Missed the session?

If you missed the session you can always access the recording, here:

And you can watch a video about the map of meaning here:

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Engaging learners and mediating complex learning

A French-speaking Canadian volunteer helps two...Brian Edmiston (from Ohio State University) offered a session at the Te Toi Tupu hui in Hamilton. Brian is a professor of drama in education. He has a focus on both the practical and the scholarly and looks into how we can build engagement at the same time as mediating complex learning. As such, he is studying ways of enhancing learning with active and dramatic approaches – across disciplines. In particular, he aims to encourage higher order thinking and increasing leaners’ understanding of complex ideas.

Brian has his roots in Ireland, and now has his home in America. As such, he has a bi-cultural view of the world, and has a good understanding of the differences between
dialogue and monologue. In monologue, people and the institutions that give them authority, seem to treat other people as objects that can be used and discarded. Shutting down dialogue because of a sense of superiority is negative. Dialogue, in contrast creates conditions where people can recognise the conditions for people to reach out to one another.

Edmiston, says that “challenging authority is something that children need to learn to do, when it’s the “right thing to do”. Dialogue doesn’t necessarily mean the use of the spoken or written work, but rather it is something that can happen even where there is no shared ‘language’, but there is shared human experiences. Teachers need to make sure that the conditions exist for dialogue, and Edmiston suggests that this transformation of learning spaces “needs to be honoured and valued; it’s never on a test”.

The physical space is a fundamental aspect of this process, whereby desks can create barriers. On the other hand, sitting in a circle without physical barriers can open up the opportunity for dialogue and equal contributions – where everyone wants to learn. “In too many classrooms students are bored to death” because they aren’t engaged and don’t feel empowered to contribute, and do not feel included.

Jack and Jill (nursery rhyme)

Responsiveness to immediate needs is also essential. If a learner has had a traumatic experience, or who has been involved in family commitments, then acknowledging this and giving the person the space is as important as providing opportunities for equal engagement.

Edmiston’s second value is “We’re all in this together”. Shared stories are an important part of learning and dialogue, especially if there is a “big problem” to be solved. It can lead to deep engagement. However, something needs to happen – there needs to be something to solve – “a big problem that we’re going to dialogue about”.  For example, some of the problems in Shakespeare’s Macbeth – “should you do what your wife tells you?”, “what do you do if your friend kills someone”.

One of the points Edmiston made was that “we must want our students to achieve friendship”. He referred to Maxine Greene’s words:

Our classrooms ought to be nurturing and thoughtful and just all at once; they ought to pulsate with multiple conceptions of what it is to be human and alive. They ought to resound with the voices of articulate young people in dialogues always incomplete because there is always more to be discovered and more to be said. We must want our students to achieve friendship [and citizenship] as each one stirs to wide-awakeness, to imaginative action, and to renewed consciousness of possibility. (Releasing the Imagination, by Maxine Greene, Ph.D.).

Many of our learners are articulate, but are not much interested in dialogue apart from with their friends. So, shared stories, with problems that students care about, and can dialogue about, can help mediate complex learning. It’s about understanding that people can be caught in difficult situations where blurry lines and double binds are the norm.

Edmiston closed by saying that “all we can do is try to understand each other, and try to do our best” – “in dialoguing problems…where no-one is excluded, this gives me hope that vital and transforming events can take place”.

Images

  • A French-speaking Canadian volunteer helps two Haitian students with their English. The volunteer was in Haiti with the volunteer group EDV to help recovery efforts after the earthquake in early June 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Jack and Jill (nursery rhyme) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Potential to be harmful? Keeping the conversations open about innovation and impact on health

For every sizeable innovation there are detractors and advocates. Think, for example, the television in the late 1950s, 60s and 70s. When it initially became available and affordable for many people, was going to open up education for the world (think Open University programmes from the UK, and the City Colleges of Chicago in the US). On the other hand, detractors felt it was undermining literacy skills, amongst other things. Newton Minow, in 1961, called television “a vast wasteland” (you can hear an extract from his speech here).

Hindsight now indicates that TV has not revolutionised the face of education, and people still read books.

The thing is – to have balance, we need both sides, and all the opinions in between – to ensure they are robust discussions about innovations that may, potentially, be game-changers, or harmful. We also need folks to keep re-assessing and re-visiting these discussions – to challenge what can otherwise become assumptions. The danger is that we can blindly assume that what science is apparently indicating is reliable; take for instance, Hormone Replacement Therapy. What initially appears to be a no-brainer positive, can sometimes turn out to be way less cut and dried, and on the other hand, what can appear to be negative, turn out to have some previously un-thought of benefits).

Bearing all of this in mind, this is what I suspect has been happening in the case of wifi. Which brings me to Wifi and tinfoil hats: An evidential approach (a post that was brought to my attention by Glen Davis). Recently, at Te Horo school, on the Kapiti Coast in New Zealand, wifi was recently turned off. It is all somewhat complex, with a number of sides to the story. The end result, though, is that the wifi has been switched off and I am left wondering, to what end?

Paul Matthews, the author of the post, indicates that intensity of EMFs was the key to the debate, and refers to Jonathan Brewer’sInside Telecommunications blog that includes the following table:

Type of Radiation

Power Level

Potential to be Harmful (heat can be felt)

200W/kg

Maximum Permitted in New Zealand

4.00W/kg

Highest Radiation Cell Phones (Avg of 20)

1.43W/kg

50 Watt Cell Phone Transmitter at 10m distance

0.365W/kg

Lowest Radiation Cell Phones (Avg of 20)

0.32W/kg

Wi-Fi Device Average between 0.5 and 2m distance

0.0057W/kg

Matthews goes on to say that if you go by this table, “wifi would have to be 35,000x as strong as its current average to be potentially harmful to humans” (source). He also refers to the World Health Organisation’s EMF Project, which has concluded after a review of over 25,000 scientific articles and research projects” that “Despite extensive research, to date there is no evidence to conclude that exposure to low level electromagnetic fields is harmful to human health” (source).

In addition, “the US National Cancer Institute[state that] there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer” (source). In other words, “Following very comprehensive and ongoing research, there is absolutely no evidence of a link between exposure to wifi transmission and adverse health effects” [emphasis in the original] (source).

So – should everyone be turning off their wifi? It appears not. Extensive research to date is not indicating any cause for alarm. As, the author of the post says, “Hopefully other communities around New Zealand will consider the science first and foremost” (source). However, that’s not to say ‘case closed’. Rather, let’s keep the conversations and the research current and open.

Would be great to read your comments and reactions.

Image: ‘Surfing the web‘, http://www.flickr.com/photos/44302262@N08/5426170352. Found on flickrcc.net

 

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While he has gone, his life lives on: Nelson Mandela

I would like to acknowledge the loss of Madiba – Nelson Mandela. There have been many tributes to his life, and I encourage you to dip into some of them. He was also a great advocate for, and supporter of, education for all, saying that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

Nelson Mandela was a fundamental influence to my thinking and beliefs about racial equality, leadership, and standing up for what you believe – even when you may need to pay the ultimate price. He remains an inspiration.

While he is no longer with us in person, his power, his influence – and what he achieved – will live on.

You may want to watch this speech that Nelson Mandela gave at Harvard in 1998. The audio quality is poor, but the speech itself is a testament to the unswerving commitment, as well as the great sense of humour, Madiba had. Highly recommended. 

Image: Nelson Mandela Day at ProjectArt, Harlem. cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Africa Renewal: http://flickr.com/photos/africa-renewal/7599667424/

 

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Efficiency vs engagement: Student attitudes to using mobile devices in their learning

The infographic below was developed by the Australia-based organisation, Open Colleges. The things that caught my attention were some of the statistics, which, while fairly meaningless on their own, do present an attitudinal ‘picture’.

  • 59% of students said that they would like to bring in their own mobile devices to enhance learning
  • 86% of students believe they study more efficiently with access to mobile technologies
  • 77% of teachers believe that access to technology boosts student motivation
  • 76% of teachers feel it enhances the material that is being learned

It was interesting that the students didn’t report increased levels of engagement or motivation, but rather focussed on efficiency and organisation, which raised some questions for me around ‘how’ students were being encouraged to learn in these tech enabled spaces.

The infographic also reports on the results of a study whereby when teachers integrated digital games into lessons, students raised their average test scores from 79.1% to 91.5%.

The picture sketched here is one of increased engagement and motivation…although some of the bigger questions around, for instance, community involvement and culturally responsive design are not mentioned, and the development of blended learning sessions and approaches is only alluded to (e.g. there is a brief mention of Problem Based Learning).

It would be good to hear what your reactions was, overall, to the infographic, but also what else you feel is missing.

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Should children ‘cold turkey’ from their mobile devices? The Facebook generation

Do we really need children to go ‘cold turkey’ from their mobile devices? Is there a requirement for ‘book camps’ with printed materials only? Is there a middle ground for the Internet generation? Or do we need to re-think many of our biases about how we feel learning is ‘done best’?

As I listened to the following podcast (What does the Facebook generation need to learn? - MP3 - from 2011) some of the points of view expressed felt to me like fear, that was underpinned by a sense of nostalgia.

Some aspects of learning and life  have fundamentally changed since some of the world became ‘connected’.

Siemens (2004) identifies behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism as the three theories of learning most often used to inform the design and creation of learning experiences. These theories, however, “were developed in a time when learning was not impacted through technology” [emphasis not in the original] (Para. 1). Instead, Siemens argues, we need to think about the flow of information in our current knowledge economy as the flow of oil through an oil pipe in an industrial economy – the difference though is that “the pipe is more important than the content within the pipe. Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today‟ (2004).

As you might have guessed from the name connectivism is based on the idea that all learning starts with a connection. The connection can be neural, conceptual, and/or social (Siemens, 2008), and learning is held to be “the ability to construct and traverse connections” (Downes, 2007). In other words, a learner makes sense of existing knowledge and reinterprets it in a way that fits within their existing knowledge framework, and in the process connects, disconnects, and reconnects “knowledge fragments through knowledge creation” (Littlejohn, 2011, Para. 3). To help facilitate connections and information sharing while encouraging life-long learning in the individual as well as the group, learning occurs within learning ecologies, communities and networks (Siemens, 2003).

Framed within connectivism, formal education systems appear flawed, because they are “trying to achieve a task (learning) with a tool (teaching) in an artificial knowledge construct (course) (Siemens, 2005, Para. 1).

So – return to the debate – I really don’t feel it’s about whether we should be denying young learners access to mobile devices. Rather it is a two-pronged momentum that is required; the first is a focus on encouraging learners to critically think about how they are using their device, building their relationships, and how they are constructing their understandings. And the second is to take a long hard look at the underlying biases that are informing the opinions of the folks in charge of making education policies, and shaping learning experiences on a day-to-day basis.

Your thoughts?

The debate panel included:

Chair: Dr Anthony Seldon, Master, Wellington College

Panel to include: Dr Sarah Churchwell, Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Culture, University of East Anglia; Professor Niall Ferguson, Harvard University, LSE, Author, ‘Civilization’ and Columnist, Newsweek; Harvey Goldsmith, Chairman, Ignite; Jenni Russell, Commentator, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and London Evening Standard

References:



Image: Young girl with smart phone. cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by “PictureYouth”: http://flickr.com/photos/45688888@N08/5915484733/

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We want our kids to want to go to school: Iwi and whānau speak

Image of a koru

Melanie Riwai-Couch opened the Te Toi Tupu hui by talking a little bit about the work she is doing with iwi. A lot of the things she is looking it is around iwi and whānau ‘voice’.

Melanie is from a bicultural marriage at a time when it was unusual, and when her parents split, her father brought her up. Growing up with strong Māori roots gave her an interesting perspective on life. She lives and works in Ngāi Tahu, but does not claim Ngāa Tahu in her ancestry. There is a whole other world when it comes to iwi.

Melanie also teaches at the kura, and she discovered all of these things that didn’t work for me. The students tried really hard, but there were a lot of things that kept tripping them up. For example, the letter ‘i’ – is it always a capital letter? So why doesn’t me, he, and she have a capital letter too. It was a way to peel back the cultural layers of the spelling traditions, and the cultural shaping that underpins them.

She went to the community partners to see if she could find student teachers who would come into the kura and to sit with the children while they read. The initiative resulted in several hundred hours of extra reading for the students – and this, Melanie feels, has helped students create a love of reading. There was a sustained shift of at least 1 to 1.5 stanine (PAT), and up to 4 to 5 stanines. This led to Melanie to ask the question, “In what ways are iwi and schools working together to improve Māori student achievement”.

Go on creatingStudents also grow in confidence (“I’ll probably succeed in a lot of stuff like getting a degree at University” – Māia, Year 8), and are happy to speak to pretty much anyone. Parents also say “success for them is to be standing strong and confident and humble in anything and everything they chose to do and to be able to make mistakes and learn from them”. And an Iwi education representative said that “it’s that whole person” that is key, and another that “Maori student success is when student are grounded in who they are and where they come from whilst achieving success in whatever field they choose no matter where in the world they are” (Iwi Education Representative). Potential is not something that is based in the future, but it is something that students are ‘being’ and realising.

Three case studies (Ngā Puna Korero) have informed her thinking to date. The sort of thing that is emerging are the importance of sustaining high trust relationships, and this means that, in part, it’s working with iwi in the way that iwi want to be worked with. In part this means working within communities of practice that tend to be more responsive to the needs of the participants. One of the students said “people with two languages like us are gifted, bi-lingual and bi-literate. We are talented and clever” (Ruamano, Year 10).

Not all iwi receive money from the ministry for education. The purpose of Iwi Education Project funding is “to build iwi capability to engage in and contribute to the education system and the education of their whānau and hapu. This appropriation is primarily used to produce iwi education strategies, reo strategies and implementation plans; and to deliver iwi education project” (Ministry of Education, 2013, p. 1). However, there are tensions between expectations and responsibility – i.e. whose responsibility is it to implement some aspects of an initiative. The 5 iwi with the main schools include Ngai Tahu (579), Ngati Whatua (397), and Ngati Maniapoto (144). The amount of funding, compared with the geographical area or the schools they work with, however, was not scaled to the funding received…ranging from $40,000 per school to $193 per school that they work with. Resourcing is therefore an issue.

The best way to influence the impact schools is, Melanie proposes, through working with organisations such as Te Toi Tupu. Ideally, it is a case of contacting and working with all stakeholders…something that isn’t possible if resourcing isn’t sufficient.

At the end of the day, however, a student has succeeded when students have the confidence and skills to come back to work with iwi. It’s about young children building a sense of where they are from, who they are ‘from’, what they are doing now (as a whole, culturally shaped person), and also where they are heading next.

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The politics of technology….

An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bra...

A lot of things went through my mind as I read Denis McGrath’s post, Are Hi-tech solutions contingent on Lo-tech solutions? Many of these thoughts were loosely related wonderings (so please be patient ;-p).

Denis starts from the “premise that all artifacts we use – are man made, therefore they are in essence human developed technologies”. Although he doesn’t state that man-made = tangible objects, this got me thinking, especially as later he mentions human speech as a technology. Can something that is (certainly prior to writing) intangible therefore be considered an artifact? If ‘no’, can it therefore be considered a technology? It is certainly a tool, though.

So, I did a bit of digging around (as you do). The Free Dictionary defines artifact in four different ways” “An object produced or shaped by human craft”, “Something viewed as a product of human conception or agency rather than an inherent element”, “A structure or feature not normally present but visible as a result of an external agent or action”, and “An inaccurate observation, effect, or result, especially…in scientific investigation or from experimental error”.

These definitions (while not all relevant to the context), I feel help illustrate the complex interplay of technologies as artifacts that are objects shaped by human craft, and as intangibles that are a product of human conception or agency. This wider take on artifacts perhaps helps to provide an insight into what happens when we use technologies, compared with consideration of the technology itself. As such, social networks, online communities of practice etc, can all be considered artifacts.

When the notion of artifacts as both tangible and intangible does come into play, there are further considerations including the concept that:

technical things have political qualities. At issue is the claim that the machines, structures, and systems of modern material culture can be accurately judged not only for their contributions to efficiency and productivity and their positive and negative environmental side effects, but also for the ways in which they can embody specific forms of power and authority (p. 121, Winner, 1986).

The examples Winner uses illustrate how intended consequences, are frequently underpinned by unintended aspects related to control, as well as political and social effects. As an example, consider the uptake and adaptation of the original design of MOOCs (that has its roots in Connectivism)  by large universities and businesses. It might indeed be extrapolated that

specific features in the design or arrangement of a … system [are providing] … a convenient means of establishing patterns of power and authority in a given setting (p. 134, Winner, 1986).

While this in itself remains a controversial suggestion, I do feel that it may offer insights into how and why technologies have (or haven’t) been adopted by formal education systems and institutions, and in turn why wide scale adoption has been patchy and fraught with issues.

Thoughts?

Reference

Winner, L. (1986). Do artifacts have politics. In L. Winter (Ed.), The whale and the reactor: a search for limits in an age of high technology (pp. 19-39). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Image

Neolithic artifacts. CC licenced. Wikipedia. http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:N%C3%A9olithique_0001.jpg

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