#Edcmooc Day 1

CD with shell
Shiny things

So, I have finally started! Just read through all the course information and had a moment of rising panic as the Tweets rolled round to the left of the page as I tried to concentrate!  Read that one person is going to use Tum,blr to collate all his thoughts, somebody else has created a pearltree (first distraction – had to find out what a pearltree was!), then noticed that lots of people have created a special blog just for the course.  Is that what I should do? How am I going to collate all the resources?  Is one supposed to?  I have no idea how to go about all of this but have decided that there is no right or wrong way and am about to take the plunge.

I will carry on blogging here, after all “E-Learning and Digital Cultures” is a part of my Learning Journey.  I will put the resources here and try to address some of the questions here too as well as Tweeting and Google +.  I have decided to sideline FB – too many other distractions and I need to focus!  So, video No 1 – Bendito Machine III

What is this film suggesting are the ecological and social implications of an obsession or fixation on technology? Do the film’s characters have any choice in relation to their technologies? What are the characteristics of various technologies as portrayed in this film?

I guess in a “throwaway” society where companies plan the release of new models of technological gadgets then market them so aggressively to a very specific target audience, the ecological impact on our fragile earth is significant.  How much rubbish with dangerous chemicals leeching out can the world absorb?  We have a garage littered with old technology – television, cassette players, cameras, record players,  computers, and none of them are more than twenty years old.  Already binned either because they no longer work, or more likely because something newer, smaller and shinier came along.  Humans have always vied to have the latest and the brightest new thing – it is not a new phenomenen.  But technology is developing at a phenomenal rate and advertising plays on our weakness for “oneupmanship”, to go one better than the Joneses.  It has become an obsession and I think that as in the film, we end up having no choice.  We see acquiring the next new gadget as the way to happiness, to instant gratification, to being successful….   (oops tea is ready – better continue later!)

But can we build some sort of sustainability of practice?  If we look at Roger’s bell curve of adoption, there are the innovators and early adopters, the folk that grasp the new shiny things, experiment with them, develop ways of using them, share ideas and practice and then move on.  Which leaves the next wave of people – the majority who wait for new technologies to be tried and tested before adopting them and maybe adapting the ways they can be used.   Again, I don’t think this is anythig that diverges from historical social behaviour.  We are all different, some people are predisposed to taking risks, others to more thoughtful behaviour and yet more who are risk averse.  The rate at this development is taking place now is different?  Or is it?

Ray Kurzweil talks about exponential growth – the rate of adopting new technologies is doubling every decade.  Biological and technological evolution are inextricably linked,  adoption and interaction of new technologies  create a capability that enables the next stage of development.

History suggests that our society can cope with change, it can cope with obsession, but can it cope at the rate change is happening now?  Parents have always complained about their children asking for the latest technology “because all my friends have it”!  They still do, and they always will because, as I have already said, it is part of human nature.  They also always say “Ooh, it was never like this in our day!  Life was much simpler…” and that too is true and they will continue to say it in the future.

I ma starting to ramble so it is probably time to stop….not sure if I have answered the questions!

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