The Carnival is online now at Silicon Valley Himalayan Expedition. Dorrian Porter has done an masterful job of reviewing this week’s best mobile blogging.
Twitter is hot! Helio is making phones with social networking features aimed at the young market. The New York Times says today, after describing yet another player in this youth-centric phenomenon: “Central to the technology of Kyte and similar services is the marriage of mobile phones and the Web.”
Sooooo . . . .: We have youth, social interconnecting, mobile phones and the Web. It is absolutely confounding that so far almost no one mentions education and learning as the obvious missing element in the mix. I think education is the other shoe waiting to be dropped into the new way student-aged people all over our planet are exchanging information and communicating with each other.
On that subject, in the article in the article quoted above there is a a point made at the end which is very important. It belies the popular suspicion that what the kids are doing with phones somehow takes them into a dangerous public venue full of dangerous people and bad information. Beginning with a story about a Mr. Zai who kept in touch by mobile while on safari, the conclusion of the New York Times article points out that mobile communication’s excels when it is private:
John Poisson, chief executive of Tiny Pictures, said the service was explicitly intended to be private because mobile social networking works best and will be most lucrative if users know the people they are sharing with. “Exhibitionism will exist as long as there is voyeurism,” he said. “But we are in the business of helping people stay in touch with the people who are close to them.”
Of course, there is such a thing as being too in touch. Mr. Zai was disconcerted by the instant feedback to his safari photos that popped up on his phone.
“Getting all kinds of communication in such a remote place is a bit confusing,” he said. “I kept responding, ‘I don’t really have the time to talk to you now. I have to make photos of these elephants.’ ”
Michael Mace has organized a terrific line up of blogging about mobile, hosted on his Mobile Opportunity this week.
In a New York Times front-page story today titled “Billionaires Start $60 Million Schools Effort” we learn that the founders of SunAmerica and Microsoft are pumping millions from their billions into the 2008 elections to advocate these three echoes of every campaign in memory and farther back than that:
The project will not endorse candidates — indeed, it is illegal to do so as a charitable group — but will instead focus on three main areas: a call for stronger, more consistent curriculum standards nationwide; lengthening the school day and year; and improving teacher quality through merit pay and other measures.
It not exaggerating in the least to say that the above 3-plank education platform would sound perfectly appropriate for the elections of 1988, or 1948, or 1908. Yet times have changed as the 21st century has arrived. New ideas for education are needed and can work if we make that happen. Here are two ideas for giving our kids a chance to learn with the communication/connectivity tools of their time: using the Internet’s open education resources and putting knowledge and learning collaboration in students’ hands via mobile devices.
This week’s Carnival is now online here at Mobile Marketing & Spam. The week’s best blogging about mobile phones — tech, biz, and more — awaits you there.
Writer Bruno Giussani’s blog LunchoverIP has an article this week here called “Don’t speak. Point!” – Three ingredients of the future of journalism. What Giussani has to say is an insightful look at the significant changes that the Internet is bringing to communication in general and journalism in particular.
The article points out confusion and discomfort that naturally are caused by change and the fact that no one can really predict where the we are going. The article is informative on what those changes are, and it is essentially optimistic. Giussani concludes with three things he predicts for the future of journalism.
I was struck when I read his three things for journalism that the same three could be said of education as it moves over the next few years through the intensifying digital transformation. Here are Giussani’s concluding paragraphs with “education” substituted for “journalism”:
What does all this say about the future of education? At least three things. First, educators will be around for a long time. Secondly, they need not fear what’s coming because it will be exciting and vastly expand their possibilities. But, thirdly, they will need to reinvent themselves as a skilled part of a crowd rather than as lecturers, to become more tolerant of ambiguity, to become fluent in both the tech innovations and the shifts in social dynamics that are driving the development of media.
There is a whole new media ecosystem growing around us. Its contours are still fuzzy, and will remain so for a long time. Its operating words will be social, hybridization, sharing, complementarity. If we do this right, the quality of learning will go up. And so will the quality of knowledge discourse. What else is education here for?
A New York Times story here today about the emergency treatment received by New Jersey Governor John Corzine reminded me of reactions my father and brother shared with me about the care Governor Wallace and President Reagan received in emergency rooms. Dad was an orthopaedic surgeon. He thought there was a good chance Governor Wallace would have not become a paraplegic if there had not been a “celebrity delay” before the doctors got underway to treat his spine. My brother, a with extensive family practice emergency room service, said it was President Reagan’s enormous good fortune to have his gunshot wounds treated in an emergency room used to a high volume of crime related trauma. My brother thought an orderly who spotted signs of internal bleeding and rushed Reagan into treatment—reacting to the wound instead of the identity of the patient—may have saved the President’s life.
As we build a virtual world of learning, we must not conceive it as an abandonment of the hands-on experiences that inevitably are learning at its most profound. If we can put more of the routine preparatory learning into computers that deliver it to learners through interaction with screens, we should thereby be able to increase the time and money to support learning through real practice. The Cooper University Hospital where Governor Corzine was taken could be a quintessential participatory learning environment. Apprentices, aides, young service people—these could enter sooner and find more time for participating in real situations for learning if the access to virtual knowledge were available from digital sources.
The Carnival is now online at Always On Real-Time Access — for which its initials AORTA are fraught with meaning. Check out the Carnival to see how AORTA describes our times.
At the meeting of the Hewlett Foundation Open Education Resources group in Houston last week, Jamie Boyle of Creative Commons announced CC Learn, a new major project that Creative Commons is undertaking. The official search description for the executive director now being sought is here. That description provides the thinking behind the decision to enter education as well as what the position entails.
The formation of CC Learn is very good news! I have great respect for lawyers and the importance of the role they play in the codification of the rules we humans need in order not to trample on each other’s rights and property. The legal minds that CC Learn will bring to education knowledge property will deal with a fundamental and overdue change.
The education establishment has not come to grips with the fact that the knowledge it is supposed to teach is no longer primarily in the academy: it has move into the virtual world. The intellectual property rules for that knowledge remain in the paper/print era of academy knowledge control. CC Learn will be a vehicle for change to the online knowledge commons that is the core of future learning. That change is very much needed and will be a win for content creators and a win for learners.
The MIT Shakespeare Project and other institutions bring Hamlet to the online ramparts as they “aim to provide free access to an evolving collection of texts, images, and film relevant to Hamlet’s first encounter with the Ghost. Literature