Sunday, August 5, 2018

Could Architecture

I find that many universities, as well as businesses and even government agencies, are beginning to integrate cloud computing platforms into their existing IT infrastructure. It seems that a cloud is a large-scale scaleable software framework where virtualized information is made deliverable to users on-demand [1-4]. In education we see that "instructors find third-party cloud computing services appealing because they offer access to technologies not currently supported by their institutions" [1]. We see constant growing support for cloud technologies such as social media sites in the classroom, but these softwares continue to let us down when it comes to protecting end-user data. There's enough pressure on students and learners to merge contexts and disrupt their own personal network construction [1] that adding more security concerns does not seem logical. Though these cloud platforms have security protocols in place, it's a numbers game. Students who begin to use social media and other cloud platforms for learning as well as socializing drastically increase the size of their digital footprint, and any learning done in these spaces is undermined by the risk the learner (user) puts himself or herself in by sharing even more data with Big Tech.




References

[1] Dennen, V. P. (2015). Technology transience and learner data: Shifting notions of privacy in online learning.Preview the document Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 16(2), 45-59.

[2] Foster, I., Zhao, Y., Raicu, I., & Lu, S. (2008, November). Cloud computing and grid computing 360-degree compared. In Grid Computing Environments Workshop, 2008. GCE'08 (pp. 1-10). IEEE.

[3] Buyya, R., Yeo, C. S., Venugopal, S., Broberg, J., & Brandic, I. (2009). Cloud computing and emerging IT platforms: Vision, hype, and reality for delivering computing as the 5th utility. Future Generation computer systems, 25(6), 599-616.

[4] Media, S.Y. S.-C. O. N. (2008). Twenty experts define cloud computing. SYS-CON Media Inc. Retrieved from http://cloudcomputing.sys-con.com/read/612375_p.htm

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Thoughts on Ethics

In a culture where peer pressure to be always tuned into social media, and to be transparent on social media is ever-growing, students are often faced with the need to link their social media accounts (personal lives) into their school lives. But this creates many more problems than it seems to solve in an educational context. Students may not have access to social media platforms either, and it should not be the school's place to tell students they are required to purchase expensive machines to access these tools from to complete homework "assignments."

This is where Dennen's work was very enlightening - it emphasized many other common concerns and hazards such as safety and significantly increased risk of identity theft, as well as informed readers that there are alternatives for students who do not find social media (or social media context collapse) necessary for a true learning experience.

Respect for other users and the protection of others rights is always stressed online, but has not been followed since social media came to our fingertips. With all the dangers that students face, some how made the active, reasonable choice to avoid these platforms. Social media is not now, nor should it ever be a mandatory part of life in the free world.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Week 5 Reflections and Looking Ahead

Week 5 was a tough one, but the Produsage assignment was definitely a favorite of mine, even if only through effort justification! I summoned up a lot of my old ideas from when I was an education major in my first few years as an undergrad, and all the haunting memories of late nights writing lesson plans, and how they flopped! Though unrelated, the Knowledge Sharing assignment was quite helpful as a springboard, as it helped me look at critical aspects of social media platforms that may or may not be useful in social and educational contexts. I'm liking that Web 2.0 tools (and Web 3.0 tools, and so on) have more of a meaning in my every day life. It's no longer all just blurred together as the Internet, or Internet of Things if I wanted to sound pretentious, like I had any idea what I was talking about.

Also, getting a sneak peek at the Draft was intriguing, and I am THRILLED to dive into the Ethics chapter next week, as this is a topic that the Authoring Team for "Digital Systems Management" has been working on for some time, so I'm excited to see it in an educational context, instead of from a pure IT Finance perspective. It'll also be good to get back into Networked, see how this class has changed my perspective on that text.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Project-Based Academic Learning

Web 2.0 tools and SaaS platforms, heck, even Web 3.0 tools and higher, are tools that will definitely find their way into the classroom in the near future. And there’s no bigger need for advanced connectivity than in group projects, the eternal headache of most students. However, education administrators are putting too much emphasis on learning theory and old statistics, and avoiding Web 2.0 learning because “Despite increasing interest in the use of social networking and GR possibilities in a Web 2.0 environment, a dearth of empirical evidence is available to render helpful insights about this relatively new innovation in education” (Kim, et al., 2011). According to Kim, et al., it’s been exactly a century since the inception of project-based learning (Kilpatrick, 1918), and for the last 10 years, every project, it seems, has been administered, executed, and assessed the same way. I’m excited that we’re moving away from always resorting to PowerPoints and bland 5-paragraph research and reflection papers. I think if we’ve seen a need for social media in the classroom, it’s been to bring the class out of the classroom, to the fingertips of students all around, where collaborative learning and learning through technology is front-stage for budding minds.

References
1. Kilpatrick, W.H. (1918). The project method: The use of the purposeful act in the educative process. New York, NY: Teachers College UP.

2. Paul Kim, Ji-Seong Hong, Curtis Bonk & Gloria Lim (2011): Effects of group reflection variations in project-based learning integrated in a Web 2.0 learning space, Interactive Learning Environments, 19:4, 333-349.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Afterthoughts on Week 4

I think that we still have some way to go before introducing social media into the classroom as a standard learning tool. It still seems that we as a society have not embraced social media as something more than a way to mingle (Manca, S., et al., 2016). 


Dennen's paper on instructional design acknowledges that there is some room to improve perception first, by writing, "the driving force behind social media adoption in educational settings should be the learning objectives and context, not external pressures" (Dennen). Social media can be supported by learning, but acceptance of this idea and the desire to include social media is not enough to support its success. Dennen's paper helps present some scenarios where different tools can theoretically be used successfully, such as how groups, hashtags, and videos can "enable communication and sharing among class members" (Dennen) in real time, as well stay connected with educators and influencers for continued learning. How else might social media influence education. Most notably, how might social media link us as a global society, bringing together cultures for unique learning experiences, and enabling disabled and disadvantaged learners to excel?


References


Dennen, V. P. (in press). Social media and instructional design. In R. A. Reiser & J. V. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends and issues in instructional design and technology. Pearson. 

Manca, S., & Ranieri, M. (2016). “Yes for sharing, no for teaching!”: Social Media in academic practices. The Internet and Higher Education29, 63-74.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Web n.0 (Second Attempt)

We are at a very unique point in modern technology's history. Most of us have had a good view of the evolution of Web technology from its early stages to now, as its exponential growth has us turning our heads every week to marvel at new innovations. What we're seeing as the Internet evolved from a plain-text database to the all-immersive, mobile lifeline it is today is that each iteration of the WWW has radicalized business, education, and socialization (Kambil, 2008; Benito-Osorio, et al., 2013). So far, we've seen five (5) unique "Webs" which I seek to breakdown into digestible little blurbs here, to help orient those of us who are interested in how the World Wide Web has evolved around us.

I remember bits and blurry pieces of life as an infant and small child in the late 90s. I remember my dad's Power Macintosh 5200 LC, that big, tacky, tan box that I attempted to play Myst on, admittedly only getting as far as the notes my dad had taken on previous play-throughs would take me. I don't remember if I ever used this machine to access the internet, a kid my age probably wouldn't have had the attention span for dial-up, but if I did, I would've likely found myself in a Web 2.0 environment already.

Web 0.0 was the time in the 70s and 80s, where researchers were still developing the internet, the network of networks. Web 1.0 was the first non-theoretical version of the internet, this was the "Read-Only" Web, as users could run queries for information, access that information, and read that information, but they couldn't add to it, or necessarily create content of their own (Berners-Lee, et al., 1992; Benito-Osorio, et al., 2013).

Then in 1999 Web 2.0 came along, and this is what young Ben would've been interacting with on that old Power Mac. This is the social web, where users were able to engage with existing content, as well as create their own across many platforms (O’Reilly, 2005; Benito-Osorio, et al., 2013). At first, it was simple blogs with programs such as LiveJournal and Blogger and eventually Myspace, and later, famously, YouTube and subsequent social media behemoths like Facebook and Twitter. 

We’re now firmly embedded in the age of mobile devices, so this as given rise to the next two phases of Web evolution, namely the web of contexts and the web of things (Internet of Things—IoT). Web 3.0, the web of contexts or the semantic web, is categorized by some key features such as online shopping, predictive searches, smart advertising (creepy data), and the antecedents of virtual reality and augmented reality (Zeldman, 2006; Benito-Osorio, et al., 2013).

Next, Web 4.0 is the truly mobile web, and the truly connected web, where otherwise non-connective devices become fused with the existing internet architecture to create smart devices, smart homes, smart cities, and one day a smart planet. This iteration of the web will contain better AI, refined face-voice-movement recognition, cinematic and immersive VR/AR (Kambil 20008; Benito-Osorio, et al., 2013). Web 4.0 will also be characterized as being “always on” and all the unease or relief that entails. 

“Web 5.0, the sensory and emotive Web, is designed to develop computers that interact with human beings” (Benito-Osorio, 2013). Additionally, Web 5.0 will demand a collective intelligence (something that the web has been encouraging since the inception of online communities), artificial brains, brainwave control, augmented reality implants, and other forms of human-technology convergence (Spivack, et al., 2008; Benito-Osorio, 2013).

So, what’s next in the Web n.0 lifecycle? Will Web 6.0 represent a new stage in transhuman evolution, where people aren’t even people anymore, but cyborgs? Will Web 7.0 mark a time when human reproduction ceases to exist, and all lifeforms are created by AI agents? Will Web 8.0 mark the beginning of life taking place completely inside a computer? I don’t know, but I often wonder if I’ll be alive long enough to find out. 


References and Works Consulted

Benito-Osorio, D., Peris-Ortiz, M., Armengot, C. R., & Colino, A. (2013). Web 5.0: the future of emotional competences in higher education. Global Business Perspectives, 1(3), 274-287.

Berners-Lee, T. J., Cailliau, R., & Groff, J.-F. (1992). The World-Wide Web. Electronic Networking, 2(1), 52–58.

Haraway, D. (2006). A cyborg manifesto. Science, technology, and socialistfeminism in the late twentieth century. In S. Stryker, & S. Whittle (Eds.), The transgender studies reader, 103-118.

Kambil, A. (2008). What is your Web 5.0 strategy? Journal of Business Strategy, 29(6), 56–58.

O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is Web 2.0—Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Available in: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html.

Spivack, N., Thorisson, K. R., & Wissner, J. M. (2008). U.S. Patent No. 7,433,876. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Stevens, A. M. (2016). Antecedents and Outcomes of Perceived Creepiness in Online Personalized Communications (Doctoral dissertation, Case Western Reserve University).

Zeldman, J. (2006). Web 3.0. A list apart, n° 210. Available in: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/web3point0.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Well, I had about 2,500 words on Web 2.0, but the page did not publish, so it's going to be a long time before I can rewrite all my posts.......Just another example of how unreliable technology really is, and why we shouldn't be dependent on it