Media Education: New Technologies And Media By George Siemens

George Siemens pics

In this Media education, George Siemens, give you some of new information about new media, and technologies and how these directly impact your daily lives. Here, the summary:

  • Measurement Of Openness In Education Systems
  • Innovation & Mobiles
  • Openness Isn’t So Open Anymore
  • Google, Rome, Empire
  • Spreading Ideas And Innovation
  • #movemeon
  • IRRODL: New issue

Measurement Of Openness In Education Systems

I’m not a fan of measurement – largely because it forces technique and structure onto systems often better served by acknowledgment interdependence between entities. But, we need a way to measure openness in universities. Why? Largely to raise awareness of the multi-faceted nature of openness.

Being open involves more than posting a few courses online. A metric has a way of drawing attention to concepts that can be analyzed and understood in policy meetings. Plus, seeing your university rated below your competitors can be very motivating for administrators.

George Siemens pics
Gorge Siemens

So, to this end, I recommend the formation of something like Measurement of Openness in Education Systems (MOES). This should include:

Strategic statement of openness and commitment to funding open projects
Systemic integration of openness – i.e. openness is part of the curriculum development process, not as an

  • after market add on
  • Open course content
  • Open publication (journals)
  • Data collection transparency (learners know what the university collects)
  • Data control – the learner is able to change her profile information
  • Data ownership – the learner owns and is able to export his work to open formats
  • Academic press publications (for download and in open formats such as epub)
  • What else should be considered for a metric of openness?

Innovation & Mobiles

How do organizations plan and develop value points? Value network analysis provides insight into how systemic structure influences innovation potential. Consider the iphone vs. Google phone value propositions: “The good side of networks is that they can make it easier for ideas to spread.

The problem with networks is that to get people to actually adopt your new idea, you often have to get them to break links within their existing network, and this can be very difficult. That is why it is important to understand how to build a position within the value network.”

Understanding innovation and value in the mobile space is important for technology and media organizations. Mobiles far outnumber PCs/laptops in number and in the manner in which they are integrated into daily habits. Google has moved aggressively into mobiles. The author of this insightful analysis builds on the value network analysis of Google and Apple:

Apple don’t want to destroy the telcos; they just want to use them as a conduit to sell their user experience. Google, however, are another matter. Google is an advertising corporation. Their whole business model is predicated on breaking down barriers to access — barriers which stop the public from accessing rich internet content plastered with Google’s ads. Google want the mobile communications industry to switch to Version 2, pure bandwidth competition. In fact, they’d be happiest if the mobile networks would go away, get out of the users’ faces and hand out free data terminals with unlimited free bandwidth. More bandwidth, more web browsing, more adverts served, more revenue for Google.

Microsoft has been strangely absent from mobiles. I remember reading in early 2000 that Microsoft was shifting its focus to mobiles. Since that time, they’ve been quite ineffective. Who actually uses Windows Mobile? I find it odd that a company with the resources and intelligence of Microsoft is unable to develop a strategy for competing in the mobile market place.

Openness Isn’t So Open Anymore

I’ve posted a rant/whine on the current state of thinking in openness: Openness isn’t so open anymore

Google, Rome, Empire

History is worth studying (duh). But I fear that even when we do study it, humanity is wired in such a manner as to relive its errors. Ironically, the lessons of history seem to have more merit when they are history. War, political action, and human rights movements offer historians a podium from which to declare how events from one, two, or even three thousand years ago can provide guidance to today’s most prominent concerns. Those voices are too often ignore. “Now” has a level of arrogance attached to it. It’s different. It’s our generation. It’s “now”.

In an analogy-pushing article – Google, Rome, and Empire – the author argues that similarities exist between Romes development of roads and what Google is trying to do with Chrome OS (read the comments in the article – they challenge many of the assertions made by the author).

I’m less interested in the specific declarations of how Chrome OS may or may not serve as the internet’s infrastructure in the future, than I am in the value of applying history’s lesson to the digital world. Is the internet a “new world”? Or is it simply an overhyped  extension of the physical world? Do different rules apply? Is it “conquered” according to the military strategies of centuries past?

Spreading Ideas And Innovation

While in Brisbane a few weeks ago, I met Tim Kastelle. In addition to his faculty role at Queensland University, he’s an active blogger/twitter/social media-er. His focus is on innovation and leadership – important topics for the education system as a whole. In a recent post, he visits the work of Duncan Watts on how ideas spread: “I think that the best response to this is actually to approach innovation algorithmically. What this basically means is that the way to innovate is to generate a lot of ideas, figure out ways to try them out cheaply and quickly, and then scale-up the ones that seem most promising.” (reminds me of Meyer and Davis’ “seed, select, amplify” model in It’s Alive).


A network of individuals knows more than a single individual. That’s somewhat obvious. Sure, “wisdom of the crowds” (wikipedia) can quickly become “idiocy of the crowds” (YouTube comments)…and experts do know more than novices (though a network of experts knows more than an individual expert).

This is evident in the education field. Education employs more people than almost any other sector – 1 in 16 jobs in the US. Which means expertise is widely distributed and capturing great ideas about teaching practices can provide much value. Looking for a simple way to aggregate these ideas? Doug Belshaw used a simple Twitter hashtag approach, moving  idea to artifact in about one month. A .pdf of the project is available here.

IRRODL: New issue

I’ve heard the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning described as the most cited journal in the educational technology field. It helps that it’s an open journal. Openness, after all, increases the prospect of impact and influence as barriers of interaction are reduced. According to editor Terry Anderson, 2009 marked IRRODL’s 10th year…and the year with the greatest number of issues (6 in total). The final issue was just released. Congrats on a great year for IRRODL! Article written by George Siemens for elearnspace 

Source:  George Siemens newsletter eLearning Resources and News.

About The Author

George Siemens is a theorist on learning in a digitally-based society. He is the author of the article Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age and the book Knowing Knowledge – an exploration of the impact of the changed context and characteristics of knowledge.


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