This diagram is a variant on a slide I have used in numerous presentations over the last few years and interestingly I think it’s still as relevant in the current “web 2.0 meme” discourse, although I might have a go at extending it to explore more explicitly some of the pros and cons specifically relevant to social networking… informality, privacy, openness are words that immediately spring to mind. The pros and cons of technology
Below is a transcript of the text that normally goes along with this slide.. What’s fascinating about technology is the way in which whatever aspect of it you look at there are pros and cons… So yes the internet now means we have access to vast quantities of materials, but there are increasingly real issues about information overload and issues about assess, and about assuring the quality and authenticity of materials. The wealth of new tools for communication offer opportunities for new forms of dialogue and collaboration but bring with them associated issues of a need for new forms of literacy skills. The internet provides the potential for new forms of community, but often learners are confused and feel isolated in these virtual environments. Some students relish the opportunity to communicate online, others don’t and prefer face to face interaction, lurking in online discussion forums. Also communication is different online, a slight joke in a face to face setting can be viewed very differently online, causing offense. The internet offers us instant access to information. Which means events unfold immediately as they happen. However this can result in a rather surface approach to what is happening as the Iraq war or September the 11th demonstrated, we watched the events unfold online but somehow they did not seem real – it’s like watching a movie. Finally there are the potential for new forms of virtual representation, such as medical simulations, virtual worlds and the ability to adopt personal avatars. However this can result in a feeling of a lack of reality not knowing what is real and what is fake. I recently felt this very strongly when I was being shown around the Nursing school’s Virtual Interactive Practice suite [This was at Southampton University in ca. 2005] which is a mock hospital ward with interactive computer dummies where you can simulate heart attacks, etc. I was for a moment confused by which were the dummies and who were the students!
Would welcome people’s thoughts and comments on this!!