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Tag Archive - web2.0

Get Savvy with Interactive (Rich) Media.

Rich Media is different from typical media in the sense that it has some point of interactivity. (To be honest, I’m not sure if Rich or Interactive is the preferred nomenclature.) Advertisers are all over this. The web is increasingly splattered with flashy little ad widgets inducing you to click on them.

Teachers like to rant about the failing attention spans of young people. Never mind that they’ve been doing that since the classroom was invented, instead lets pay attention to the fact that teachers can now upgrade the delivery of their material.

The pedagogy behind this lies on three central tenants – chunking, inquiry-based learning, safe self-remediation. Material can be broken down into bites manageable by our 8 minute attention spans. Students can explore information as they develop questions. And, students capable of monitoring their understanding can interact with the material more to be sure they do understand it without revealing to their peers that they needed a little extra help.

Teachers: not so savvy with Rich Media. Of course, this will change over time. Online services are popping up to get this show on the road. Of the services available, I recommend Omnisio to make interactive media out of your PowerPoints and Apture to make it out of your texts. These are basic start points to get you on the road to interactive media.

Omnisio allows you to chunk a video with slides and allows both the author and users to make comment bubbles on the fly. Your video, in addition to supporting the jumping from one slide to another, will now become an interactive discussion.

Apture allows hyperlinks in online text to become an interactive, inquiry-based learning object. Links pop up embedded content, from simple text to rich media in itself. Students browsing your articles or blog can jump from perusal to in depth understanding just by following the click trail.

In general, there is a scale of interactivity and the simple ability to fast forward, rewind, speed up and slow down is a huge advantage to the static continuum of information delivery in the classroom. Of course, technology can also offer more sophisticated ways to monitor understanding and get richer and more interactive. But if I was trying to set you off on a path to building a Massively Multiplayer Onling Role Playing Game you’d probably not start.

RSS, Information and Education

The Newspaper is all but dead.  The responsibility of reading just one major metropolitan newspaper is long over.  Instead, the internet is teeming with publishers of both text and multimedia.  The immediate future is syndication over the internet, with individuals seeking out and customizing their own multimedia news sources, sharing them with friends and family, and publishing them over the internet.  Educators need to be actively involved in coaching young people to seek good information, keep themselves informed, and share and publish information online as a form of dialog between them, their friends, and the rest of society.

Netvibes, Pageflakes, and Google Reader are competing neck and neck to offer a top browser-based product that performs the best at RSS (Really Simple Syndication, an alternate form of viewing the material that has tags that other programs can understand and import) aggregation, organization, sharing, and publication.   They are the tools of choice for blog readers – the task of a blog reader is to stay abreast of enormous numbers of blogs.  It’s a job that’s as much filtering out poor sources, choosing relevant articles, and pushing good articles on others as it is reading.  It’s no relaxed reading the paper.

Oddly enough, the death of newspapers was part suicide.  They became less able to create new and original content through good (expensive) journalism by treating that practice as what stood between them and maximum profits.  Meanwhile, they got more adept and rehashing whatever came through the wire.  Now, there’s an ocean of news out there but not a drop to drink save a few bastions of integrity.

Enter blogosphere.

Fortunately, a lot of bloggers are in the thick of industries or locations newsworthy, and they put out content for free as a mode of self-expression or community building.  Watchdog organizations and activists can now publish instantaneously and at little cost.  In a way, we’re just getting rid of the middle man.

Unfortunately, the blogosphere is not full of skilled writers trained in the scruples of effective and moral journalism.  That middle man, the journalist, was the filter.  People trusted that the local paper of any decent sized town would inform them of all relevant information at the local, state, national, and perhaps even global level.  The responsibility was to read one paper.   Filtering done for you.

Now that every day citizens in their jobs and their locations and their activities are becoming both the content producers and the content filters, there’s more responsibility for intelligent information processing than ever.  Educators have to take more responsibility for teaching the student ways to cope with infinite information, ways to discern the quality of information, and ways to interpret and use that information.

Here Comes Everybody: Gin, Television, and Social Surplus repost

Ok folks, I’m rarely going to use any reader-capital to repost.  But I really like this speech.

Gin, Television, and Social Surplus