Cognitive Surplus or the Lonely Shallows

Is the Internet Making Us Stupid?
W. Gardner Campbell, Director, Academy for Teaching and Learning, Baylor University, Bruce Maas, Chief Information Officer, Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Right blogging on the fly in case lose it all again.

This is a counterpoint session where two opposing views are argued. They each introduced each other disparagingly eg CIO = Condemn Information Oppressively – how we laughed (sorry Andrew!)

Two key texts discussed – Nicholas Carr The Shallows – dangers of the internet! Notion of cognitive surplus from Clay Shirky

Higher ed has been the most stable organisation there is  but that is now changing. Bedrock of last 1000 years is shifting and we can’t control it. We are in crisis.  But crisis enables us to rethink what we are doing.

“Comedy” polarisation to highlight some important issues.  Never been to a presentation before where the speaker has cantered into the audience to give out flowers!

Campbell: There are times wikipedia looks to me like the most effectively assessed learning environment on earth.Have to lead meaningful digital lives ourselves [modelling the way theme again]. Sometimes buys term papers to see what students could be buying and how to change his own assignments so not “cookie cutter” style.  Takes more time to create non cookie cutter assessments but need to do it.

Technology takes off not when our students learn to use the web but when they learn to weave the web themselves. But problems in Schools where web is locked down. Then laptops are just glorified notebooks. Don’t teach digital identity properly and so this is where parents modelling the way is crucial- make children aspire to be on the web  not hidden.

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