Open Thinkering


Tag: Martin Weller

Digital literacy, digital natives, and the continuum of ambiguity (#openpeerreview)

The cost of knowledge

I was going to do this earlier in 2012, but Alan Cann and Martin Weller beat me to it. And they’re researchers with track records. :-/

(As far as I understand it) Open Peer Review is a semi-structured process whereby people give you feedback on an article that you’re going to submit to an academic journal. I’m not a big fan of knowledge being locked-up in paid-for journals (hence the graphic above!)

I wrote an article with Steve Higgins, my thesis supervisor, entitled Digital literacy, digital natives, and the continuum of ambiguity but then didn’t really do anything with it. I’d like it to undergo a process of Open Peer Review.

Let me explain how you can help.

  1. Go to this Google Doc:
  2. Read the article
  3. Think a bit (no qualifications required!)
  4. Comment on the article – either a section or the whole thing
  5. Bask in the knowledge that you’ve helped an ‘early career researcher’

I’ll follow this up in a week’s time and see how it goes. 🙂

Image CC BY-NC-SA giulia.forsythe

Social media, backlash and the nature of reality.

I Am Uneasy

There is no such thing as reality. There are stories that we tell one another, narratives that gain more or less traction and memetic phrases which help organise our experiences. As soon as such stories become less useful in the way of belief we can (and should) jettison them for ones that work better and that help us make sense of such experiences. That’s the Pragmatic philosophy to which I subscribe.

During times of fiscal instability and uncertainty societies naturally gravitate towards conservatism. This is evident both in the financial conservatism of public sector cuts but also in social conservatism – right down to retro designs in advertising. The 24-hour news industry feeds and catalyses this.

One thing I’ve noticed recently is, as Martin Weller puts it, the beginnings of a ‘backlash’ against newer (and particularly social) technologies:

The signs are that this year will be one marked by something of a backlash against social media/ web 2.0/ any internet stuff. I don’t mean from the traditional media, who’ve always been suspicious, but from people who know what they’re talking about and have been advocates. In other words, increasingly ‘us lot’ will be declaring that this stuff is peripheral, uncool, over- rated, etc.

I’d go further than this. There are always those (who call themselves) ‘thought-leaders’ who aim to be disruptive or, at least, contrarian who are always looking for something that will get them attention. All it takes is for someone to say that they were wrong about technology xyz for a feeding-frenzy of “I told you so” to take place. One competing story amongst many starts to appear ‘legitimate’.

It would seem incomprehensible to my 16 year-old self that I have absolutely no idea who is currently Number 1 in the singles chart. Last Saturday was the first time this season that I’ve watched the football programme ‘Match of the Day’. When it comes down to it all, reality is the coherence-through-storytelling that we paint as a veneer upon shared experience. To my mind, social media is one of the best ways I know to engage in such narratives.

I shall not be participating in the backlash.

Image CC BY-NC-SA daveknapik