Paradoxically Wesch's video works precisely because of the integration
of form and content . . . possibly one of the best uses of animated
text and moving images in the service of a new kind of expository
essay. If you simply read the text in an RSS reader it wouldn't have
anywhere near the impact it does. Although Wesch's essay depends on the
unity of form and content, he is certainly right about the increasing
trend on the web to decontextualize content by making it independent of
form. If Mcluhan was right about the medium being a crucial part of the
message, then, if we are looking at content in different forms are we
getting the same message? If not, what does this mean for social
discourse going forward?
I'm guilty of passing it along with a gee-gosh look on my blog face without much substance in terms of what to do with it. You? Just about anyone-that-is-anyone has been doing cannonballs into the blogging wave pool the last few weeks, tripping over themselves to share the "Machine is Us/ing Us" video by anthropologist Michael Wesch. Very few, however, are offering much in the way of commentary. Me, included.
Are we deer in the headlights? Are we waiting for the "oh, yeah, me, too" idea-dance to start? Are we merely skipping rocks on the surface of the pond?
Or are we serious about the 'why' we're putting sticks into the viral fire party on this one? (Not suggesting it lacks merit; only that we step up to the plate a bit more in the process)
Me, I love it. I get it. Ok. I think I get it. But I love it. And I'm trying to figure out how to work it into future conferences and meetings and consulting roles. But it might help to have a few more chewy bits like "if:book" offered if we're going to continue this viral stone skipping.
One of the benefits of being part of the 9 Rules network comes in the talented and idea-bending colleagues that share the same affiliation that you may not have known otherwise. Stewart Malder, just such a guy, happens to be the only other 'Education' blog in the network currently, so it makes sense we'd eventually begin to talk more regulary. When you go to his site, you'll notice it has a certain design panache that I lack, that his Brown University affiliation is top-drawer, and that he's really pushing the envelope on the integration of wiki into the larger realm of education. The #2 pencil of School 2.0, so to speak.
Pleased to hear that he's recently published a great resource,Using Wiki in Education, an on-line book that has the honor of being the very first wiki-based book that was created entirely while using wiki as the publishing tool.Contains 10 case studies written by teachers who are passionate about the way they are using wiki to not only engage today's students. Even better, how they are transforming the very idea of their courses at their very foundations. Clearly, Stewart is living his intellectual mantra in real time. The case studies look at a wide swath of learning environments: research facilities, small colleges, high school courses, on-line/distance learning, and large research universities. Needless to say, this education wiki salad bar has a little bit of everything...and plenty of indicators of where it seems to be all headed:
Setting information free...but also making the very info we seek collaborative, editable in real time, and frankly dynamic. Mmmm, I wonder why I love what he's doing?!
Want to learn more? First, go to the Using Wiki in Education link. Explore around a bit. Check out the first 2 chapters and the early intro elements -- each is free and immediately yours to engage. Want to dive into the entire thing? The cost for downloading your own full copy of the text -- including all the case studies -- is $19. Not only can you read the entire text and support Stewart's innovative work, but you can also use each chapter as an independent PDF...and also help edit chapter 10.
Now wouldn't that be a brilliant idea for a teacher or group of teachers one summer. Create a wiki textbook -- you choose the subject. Have their students edit and engage in real time based on what was created by the teachers. Invite some experts to chime in and add chapters of their own. Have the students edit and engage there, too. And then have the -- lightbulb going off yet??? -- write their own wiki chapters as well, with -- drum roll here -- the teachers and experts editing and engaging there.
Mmm. Possible? Why don't you ask Stewart how he'd do it!
Hopefully you'll receive the same degree of positive attention with this article as you did recently with the Edutopia piece, "The New Face of Learning" (which I continue to rank up there with the absolute must-reads in this edu-day-and-age).
I particularly love your focus on the Internet = Imagination formula!
“The new Internet isn’t about technology anymore,” Richardson told the teachers, librarians, tech coordinators, and administrators from across North America, each sitting in front of a monitor in a computer lab at Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts. Gone, he said, are the days when Web publishing involved manipulating HTML code and other complicated technical processes. New software is mostly “open source,” meaning it’s available online for free. “Instead, it’s about your imagination,” Richardson said, “about thinking, quite literally, ‘out of the box’ of the traditional classroom.”