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Living with Technology #edcmooc

This Prezi on the relationship of people with technology is a digital artefact for the 2013 eLearning and Digital Cultures MOOC offered by the University of Edinburgh through Coursera.
by Shawn Urban on 2 March 2013

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Transcript of Living with Technology #edcmooc

Metaphor of the Rock: A Lesson for Digital Education Imagine: what would it be like if, from our beginnings, we never taught? If we never passed on our technology? Would we still be in trees ... with flat feet? Let us hear a story of people and technology, of natives, of immigrants, of residents and visitors, pioneers and exiles, vikings, education, and neighbourhoods, a metaphor really of the modern digital boom. This is a story of Homo faber (Chandler 2002) - the tool-maker and tool-user. Therefore, it is the story of us. It is a story of new technology. And it begins with a boy who noticed a rock. The Technological Pioneer: He or she who discovers or invents a new technology. What good is a rock? It can pound, pummell, smash, scrape. Progress is the curiosity-driven quest to learn, express, solve problems, share, pass-onto and join. It draws on imagination, innovation and discovery. The boy learns to shape the rock, so creating a spearhead with which to hunt. When the boy comes home as a man, he tells tales of his hunts, and teaches his sons the craft of flaking spearheads from rock. Technology: Anthropologically, the set of techniques and body of information that is passed from generation to generation (Pearson 1990). It is the legacy of wisdom, knowledge and skills of previous generations to new ones, but it is not restricted to this legacy. It includes the tools and resources of the old generations, and the teaching and learning of this knowledge, skill and technique. Education is the interaction of this teaching and learning. Someone pioneered each technology and led the way. Education began with apprenticeship and oral tradition. It began with noticing, and recognizing, the potential and danger of components of the environment. The culture of experiential education pervaded society. It was not all practical though. Aesthetic and myth are part of the language of experience and technology. The Technological Native (after Prensky 2001): He who is master of the technology she employs. The Technological Immigrant (after Prensky 2001): He who is unfamiliar with the technology she employs. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke (1961) I would suggest that advanced should be replaced with exotic or unfamiliar. The technology is advanced to the immigrant, but may not be to the native. Fukuyama (2002) said the fear of the unfamiliar technology is greater than the actual experience. The experience of the Immigrant is not then just ignorance but suspicion and questioning of confidence. The culture of the native can seduce the immigrant to follow. One of the hunter's sons follows in his father's footsteps. The Technological Resident: She who uses a technology for a prolonged or continuous period, in many cases to the point that he becomes a native of the technology. Created by Shawn Urban Prensky (2002) spoke of a physiological, and subsequently mental, difference between the native and the immigrant. However, as one digital 'native' - one of my students - told me: "there is no such thing as a [technological] native. We all have to learn from scratch. Some of us just take the time to do it".

The term, digital native, has undertones and nuances that force a divide between those familiar with a technology and those who are not (Daniel 2002). Digital [technological] resident is preferred, as it does not imply that immigrants cannot master the technology ... that it is beyond their nature.

Nor do all immigrants have the accents Prensky talks about. In fact, many of us 'immigrants' are more native than some of the 'natives'. Nor are all 'natives' (the younger generation) native. I know many kids who have never touched digital technology; in fact most teenagers know how to text, instant message, tweet and that's it (Kolowich 2011). As for the difference in mentality and ability to think, Carr (2008) discusses how these changes occur in digital immigrants as well. Symphony of Science - "Children of Africa" (The Story of Us) - Boswell (2011) Credits
Boswell (2011). Symphony of Science - "Children of Africa" (The Story of Us). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0vlrTVC2tQ.
Burvell (2013). Why We Need Digital Vikings #edcmooc. http://amysmooc.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/why-we-need-digital-vikings-edcmooc/
Carr (2008). Is Google making us stupid? http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/.
Chandler, D. (2002). Technological determinism. Web essay, Media and Communications Studies, University of Aberystwyth.
Clarke (1961). Profiles of The Future, (Clarke's third law). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke's_three_laws.
Dahlberg (2004). Internet Research Tracings: Towards Non-Reductionist Methodology. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 9/3.
Daniel (2002). Technology is the Answer: What was the Question? Speech from Higher Education in the Middle East and North Africa, Paris, Institut du Monde Arabe, 27-29 May 2002.
Fukuyama (2002). Sorry, but your soul just died. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/may/13/health.highereducation.
Goel (2013). EDCMOOC - My Digital Artefact: The Human Revolution. http://tarunagoel.blogspot.ca/2013/02/edcmooc-my-digital-artefact-human.html.
Kolowich (2011). Getting Lost In Information Literacy - What Students Don't Know. Inside Higher Ed. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/08/22/erial_study_of_student_research_habits_at_illinois_university_libraries_reveals_alarmingly_poor_information_literacy_and_skills.
Kolowich (2010). The Human Element. Inside Higher Ed. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/03/29/lms.
Mawby (2012). 7 - Fish and #Pencilchat. http://10minutes-tbdeu.posterous.com/7-fish-and-pencilchat.
Monke (2004). The Human Touch. EducationNext. http://educationnext.org/thehumantouch/.
Papert (1980). The Gears of My Childhood. http://www.papert.org/articles/GearsOfMyChildhood.html.
Pearson (1990). Introductory Anthropology. Personal Communication.
Prensky (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon, 9/5.
SFU Archaeology & Tla'amin First Nation. (2012). Different Types of Stone Tools. http://www.sliammonfirstnation.com/archaeology/typesstonetool.html.
The characters found in this Prezi were created by Shawn Urban using Bitstrips. Urban (2013). New Technology. http://bitstrips.com/r/6QMZ1#sthash.UMWCY7dH.dpuf.
The background music was composed by Shawn Urban using Soundation. Urban (2013). Living With Technology. http://soundation.com/user/shawn-urban/track/caveman. This digital artefact is my final requirement for the 2013 eLearning and Digital Cultures MOOC offered by the University of Edinburgh through Coursera. © Shawn Urban 27/02/13. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 The hunter's other two sons notice other technologies in the flake debris of spearhead construction. However, technology, because of its flexibility and openness, has a nack of opening niches or opportunities for new technologies (Chandler 2002, Carr 2008), new ways of thinking (Stearn 1968 in Chandler 2002) and new cultural realities (Dahlberg 2004). Though Chandler suggests we can choose to not use the realized technology, Carr goes so far as to suggest that technology forces this new thinking. One son notices a cutting tool in the debris, and learns how to make more for different tasks, so opening new technologies and changing the culture of the family. The Technological Viking: Amy Burvell (2013) describes the [technological viking], she who takes chances and follows an unfamiliar technology to suit his needs. This metaphor was inspired by #pencilchat, particularly this conversation found in Malyn Mawby's (2012) Fish and #Pencilchat post in 10Minutes. Papert (1980) describes how he sees things in terms of gears that mesh and interact in ways others don't see. This is how new technologies spawn from old ones; it is
not the technology but we who evolve (Goel 2013). We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us (Stearn 1968 in Chandler 2002). Newly discovered technology changes the way we do things, see things and think about things. The hunter's third son sees something else: coloured scratches on pieces of the debris. And, like Papert (1980), he envisions an entirely new technology. As this third son learns his craft, he discovers new ways of using it. He realizes he does not have to be present to communicate with others. The invisible technology of language (Postman 1971 in Chandler 2002) drives thinking and culture (Carr 2008). From the hands that Monke (2004) says are our first and most important teacher to oral education and experiential learning to written messages, how we communicate (both send and receive messages) determines how we learn and how we think. The new technology of painting shifts the culture of the painter's society. The Technological Visitor: He who uses technology for a short and discontinuous period, never using it enough to become a native of the technology. The Technological Neighbourhood: The sphere of influence of a technology; the sphere in which the technology is created, developed, used, taught and learned. Sometimes we use certain tools and technologies only when we require them. In this case, we are immigrants, but only for a short period. We might be referred to as visitors, as we do not use the technology long enough to master it. Nor are all technologies used at once. They are put away and returned to as needed. So in a sense, different technologies have unique neighbourhoods. Further, a native from one neighbourhood of technology can visit or immigrate into another, where they are visitors or immigrants, rather then natives or residents. If they use the new technology for a prolonged period, they can grow into a resident. While in the new neighbourhood we use the new technology for our own purposes, so opening up new opportunities for more technology. It is possible then to become a native in this further technology as well. Yet, we can also be left behind and lost, as neighbourhoods develop and change and we are busy elsewhere. The Technological Exile: He who falls behind in the development of a technology and cannot surmount, usually due to fear (Fukuyama 2002), the learning curve needed to use the technology. The concepts of digital native and digital immigrant are too narrow and limiting to be useful. They may describe a physiological difference between technology users and non-users, but I argue this difference is acquired and not ingrained (cf. Carr 2008). The digital resident and visitor, the pioneer and exile, the viking, and finally the digital neighbourhoods give a more complete picture and a better way for us to approach new technology and our students as we all develop in the digital age. As Kolowich (2010) mentions, we start with the learner. ... ... And create specialists. One final note, and that has to do with humanism. Throughout this metaphor, I have emphasized the interaction of technology and people, with emphasis on the affect of technology on people. I have also discussed the intersection of technology, language, learning and culture. In the end it is about us. Whether we view our interaction with and creation of technology and subsequent education in a utopian, dystopian or deterministic light, it comes down to us. Conversation on the
digital native, resident,
immigrant, visitor,
viking and neighbourhood.
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