Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Soft & Hard Technologies...

This week in Change11 our host is Jon Dron (rhymes with Tron ;-) )and to topic is Soft technologies, hard technologies and everything in between. While reading the seed post I got a distinct mental image of Steve Job's voice reading Jon's initial post - it had a jobsian feel to it.

The article is an interesting epistemological view of technology; technology being very broad by definition since pedagogy is also taken to be a technology. I honestly don't know what to make of this week, just yet anyway. It was an interesting read, it did engage me mentally, but where to go from here?  I suppose the activity itself might be a good starting point...

So Jon asks us to ...

Provide at least one possible educational use for an unenhanced standard email client such as Thunderbird or Outlook Express that requires nothing more than that email client and its usual supporting infrastructure (network connection, operating system etc are fine, but no other distinct applications like web browsers, word processors, shared storage, listservs, schedulers or calendars). Provide this in a form that may be aggregated with grsshopper and shared with others on the MOOC.

The intention here is to focus on what phenomena are being orchestrated to what purpose in each case and (most importantly) how that orchestration occurs. The more complex, bizarre, interesting and ingenious the ways of using these better.
Honestly, it's been quite a while since I've used an email client (on the desktop) and even longer when I've used a web client that has been un-enhanced by rich text formatting, images, and HTML... hmmmmm...so, without putting way to much thought into this I will draw from my own past (and snail mail!)  Back in the good ol' days of slow interner (remember those?) I used to actually write to friends via snail mail (aaahhh, those were the days! the excitement of getting a letter in the mail!). In any case, when corresponding with a friend from England, we started a story by mail. No pre-conceived plot (I guess sort of like a never ending story), and each time we wrote, along with any news that accumulated we'd work on our epic masterpiece.

Wikis and Google Docs these days have taken over this collaborative creative writing exercise, but a plain text email client could be used in an English class to write a collaborative fiction. The idea is that you couldn't go back and edit other people's work, but you'd have to build on it.  I can see this in psychology or organizational behavior classes as well...

I do wonder how many people these days would go for this though, considering the "send this to 10 people and back to me if you really care about our friendship" BS type of emails that we get, would people really respond to such an exercise?
blog comments powered by Disqus