Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Campus Session 1: Module 1 - 9th October

We had a brilliant session today with eager and willing contributions.  We spent the first 20 mins giving space to read an article referred to in the Professional Communication Technologies Reader and located under the Module Tab (Specific Links) in Libguides then everyone fed back the importance of the article they had read to the group.

The first article discussed was by Lankshear and the themes identified were discourse and how we communicate through it. The concept of literacy also arose. Both “discourse” and “literacy” were discussed further in the group. The discourse discussion was placed in the context that language gives meaning to professional groups. The discussion on literacy moved from ability to read and write to consider the necessity to master information literacy and media and communication literacy.

A question that Gruber posed about the Web 2.0 world is how much information is trustworthy and what is the truth of knowledge. Reich’s view of Web 2.0 was that it lowered the cost of participation and considers who uses it and how it is constantly developing.  Ullrich et al illuminated understanding of constructivism in that knowledge cannot be taught but is rather learned and assessed the contribution that Web 2.0 makes towards this approach to learning. O’Reilly’s distinctive contribution is that Web 2.0 is delivered as a service rather than a product. Themes of information literacy emerged in the Lorenzo article alongside issues of security and the implied risks from the ability to change information on Web 2.0 platforms. Bruns’ ideas on “produsage” emphasizes the collaborative sharing of information in order to support the knowledge management agenda.

This was a very useful exercise in that it got participants actively involved in reading the texts, making notes and reporting back. In the time available no-one actually had time to finish reading their article but yet, at the end of 20 mins, all were surprised by how much they had achieved. It was also useful to hear about the different authors and participants could identify particular articles which they would like to delve further into in order to help them complete Task 1b.

After all that reading we played a game. Everyone was given a card with a word written on it and were asked to provide a definition of the word so that everyone could guess what it was. This exercise was fun and useful in that we could ensure a common understanding of the meaning and use of these words. Try it yourself at home to come up with a definition for…

  • Web 2.0
  • Blog
  • Wiki
  • Plagiarism
  • Learning
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Convergence
  • Knowledge

We went off to consider “Communication” at a deeper level and we formed into three groups and three different kinds of communication were considered. These were:

  • 1 to 1
  • 1 to Many
  • Many to Many

The groups identified examples of each of the above and suggested particular advantages to each. The following was fed back…

1 to 1

Examples are phone calls, letters, e-mails, face to face meeting. Advantages suggested were that it was non-filtered, personal, intimate, more to the point and relevant.

1 to Many

Examples come from the broadcast media and include newspapers, radio, TV. The advantages are that it is a reliable resource, there is control therefore less confusion and that it’s for mass consumption (therefore efficient?)  Downsides were also considered such as influence of ownership of broadcast media and whether it is propaganda or censored.

Many to Many

Examples are social media such as Facebook, Conferences, Blogs and You tube. The advantages are that more questions can be asked, there is more energy and there is the opportunity to create through performance.

What can happen to a piece of communication in each of the above? 

Consider that such a piece is taking a stand from a position of A. In 1 to 1, there is the chance that the position could shift to B or even C. In 1 to Many, the position does not move from A. It has been broadcast and there it remains at position A. Such pieces can raise discussion etc. but the actual piece remains static. In Many to Many, the position can shift the entire alphabet from A to Z and back again over a period of time which links in with the “long tail” referred to by Ullrich et.al.

We concluded the session with each group doing a short presentation on


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