Blog #6 – Transliteracy, Horizon, and Google – Christina A. Pascucci

Re-Definition and Re-Re-Definition of Transliteracy
Brad Czerniak

1.  In the first reading, Brad Czerniak defines transliteracy and discusses other elements within the topic, such as language, visual language, interface language, platforms and tools, and then offered a re-definition to transliteracy.

Next, the NMC Horizon Project Short List:  2012 Higher Education Edition discussed a variety of new digital media becoming available, the amount of time it would take to implement such technologies, and the relevance and use they could have (or are already having) in the academic setting, such as Cloud Computing, Mobile Apps, and Social Reading to name a few.  It was interesting to read about these different technologies and how they can impact higher education.

The last reading, 2012 Update from the CEO of Google, Larry Page, was another interesting read and talked about how Google should be a simple experience that allows users to do what they want and need without unnecessary frustrations.  Google’s concept has been to make their products work well together to best benefit the user, such as through sharing, which is the main idea behind Google+, which created a “social layer across all [their] products so users connect with the people who matter to them” (Larry Page).

2./3.  In regards to the discussion of Google+ from CEO Larry Page, this program is allowing people to be leaders in the digital world by literally having followers, such as some users having already acquired over a million followers.  In addition to the numerous people who have embraced Google+, there is a lot of depth to the information flowing between users and they are becoming very engaged in the process of sharing through this medium.  Google+ is a leader as a new form of communication for people to engage in and it is allowing users to lead discussions and information sharing on a variety of topics as selected by the users.  It also allows for convergence because of the variety of types of information that can be shared via this method.  As the CEO mentioned, Google users can recommend search results and videos they enjoyed to other users for example.  Users can also share their own ideas with people in their circles and beyond if they would like.

The main concept that I took from the Horizon Project Short List was that new technology will allow for new ways of learning, which is great because different people take in information in different ways (different learning styles).  Perhaps the use of different technology can make learning an easier or less frustrating process for some students.  Augments reality could allow students the opportunity to see what they are learning about from a teacher’s/professor’s lecture and the information they are reading in a book; plus, they could see it from all angles (3D).  Game-based learning can help students learn through application because it provides for simulations and role-playing; students then have to figure out how to react in different situations and come up with creative problem solving.  Gesture-based computing also allows for different types of learning and this would appeal to kinetic learners who learn best by doing.  Many of these media mentioned can also contribute to teambuilding and group work within the classroom.  The key trends mentioned made a lot of sense and I touched upon some of them in my above elaboration, such as collaborative learning, interactive learning, and studying/working in different time and space.

Challenges exist within current technology, such as not meeting the demand for personalized learning which I would say is very relevant to those with various learning and/or developmental disabilities.  As discussed in the significant challenges section of the Horizon Project Short List, “one-size-fits all teaching methods are neither effective nor acceptable for today’s diverse students.”  Development of new technology for education can “provide more learner choice and control and allow for differentiated instruction.”  As we move forward, technology can benefit many students who could have potentially given up on an education in the past because the methods were not conducive to their circumstances.

Blank T-Shirt Image retrieved at: http://www.myclubmylife.com/clubtech/Pages/bkpkt_items/T-shirt%20Outline.jpg. Quote from NMC Horizon Project Short List: 2012 Higher Education Edition (https://comm563.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/2012-horizon-he-shortlist.pdf). Image created/edited with GIMP.

4./5.  Can we talk about the technologies mentioned as needing 4-5 years for adoption within the Horizon Project Short List?  I found myself not understanding those as well as the others, especially the Internet of Things.

It was mentioned that there are institutional barriers that are challenging change to moving forward with new technologies within education.  And there are obviously some schools out there that are more innovative as far as moving forward with and experimenting with different technologies:  Besides having the money to do so, what are these schools doing to break through these barriers of resistance to change/comfort with status quo?

I looked up some information here; I did not find much, but I found this blog about what others thought about the idea of resistance to change on the part of teachers:  Resistance to Change and Teachers – “I just can’t learn technology because it’s too hard.”

I found this article called Columbia College Embraces Technology as well, which talks about some of the technology Columbia College has brought to their campus.  They are not specifically in the classroom, but they involve academics and students’ interactions with the institution.

 

Something that I find difficult, which I kept thinking while reading the second two readings (despite also recognizing all of the positive effects) is simply the idea that too much technology will make our lives too easy and that could hurt us.  What are the effects of this and how do we avoid technology hurting us by making us helpless without it?

Wall-E Clip – The Sad Future of Human Kind

6.   From the NMC Horizon Project Short List:  2012 Higher Education Edition, I thought about the ways that some of these new technologies could enhance distance education and group learning within higher education.  Mobile apps could allow students to share a variety of information with other students they may be working with and they can also be utilized for getting the information from their school that they need, such as schedules and grades or news in regards to academics, athletics, and events.  Social reading could allow students working in a group to share parts of readings that they have done with each other that they found particularly interesting, share notes they have made, and have discussions virtually (which would be helpful with distance education courses especially, since they do not meet in an actually classroom).  Something like this may have also been helpful in studying for the comprehensive exam, especially when members of our study group were not in the same place as the rest of the group.  Instead, we skype studied during Spring Break, which was helpful for our study group member out of state for the break.  Augmented reality sounds really neat as well.  It mentioned 3D images and visiting historic sites at different periods of time or visualizing car repairs as a couple examples, so it would probably be interesting to use in biology classes (especially high school) instead of performing actual dissections (or at least that is the thought that came to my mind).

I enjoyed learning more about Google+ through the 2012 Update from the CEO and it made me think of ways it could be beneficial to me in my career, especially as my current colleagues and I move on from Rider to other institutions within various Student Affairs positions.  I think utilizing Google+’s Circles to stay connected in a professional setting and then incorporating our future colleagues as well could serve a great purpose for professional development, brainstorming, and continued networking.  We can share articles, websites, and videos we find interesting and helpful in our work to continue to help each other out and support one another just like we do in our positions currently, despite the distance that will inevitably be between us soon.  (Graduating soon is bittersweet; it has been really starting to hit me that I will essentially be losing, as in proximity, people that have been such a big part of my life for the past two years, but I have learned that technology can be really beneficial here to help us stay connected and colleagues despite being at different institutions and potentially in very different areas of the country in just a few months.)

Image found at: http://cdn.baekdal.com/2011/googlecircles1.jpg and then edited with Inkscape.

The next-generation search topic in the Google CEO update was also interesting to me as someone who plans to continue my education beyond graduate school at some point.  Research can be somewhat difficult at times, but if Google were to better know me, my search results could become more useful to what I am actually looking for by cutting out information that is irrelevant.

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