…has already started and I’m still doing week4.

This week I was under pressure at work so the studies had to wait. This is a stress I can do without, especially as we are graded on our contributions to the forum and, despite being a written word, threads go stale quickly, and it’s no good being the last one to post.

The first activity was reading Salomon‘s ideas about forms of representation – how the media is the message – firstly noting our own preferences for learning media, and then our opinions on media for teaching. The idea was to draw on experience and note down a variety of examples. Download it here. salomon Actually, he makes the point that different media get processed in different ways and we have attitudes to them based on previous experience of them. We also use them flexibly depending on why we are using them, so the media does affect the message. However, for me, he fails to prove that these differences must affect learning. There’s simply too many ingredients in the pot to say it will be one soup or another. It does lead me to think that every media can be exploited and that thought must be given to his ideas when designing a task based on a certain media.

After this, we read about Marshall McLuhan‘s ideas from the 1970’s during the rise of TV, based on the “medium is the message”. Here is an extract :

Audience Participation and The Instant Replay

People suddenly want to be involved in more dynamic patterns.

Packaged material whether it’s in the advertising world or in the educational world is no longer acceptable.

The consumer status has been greatly downgraded.

We live in a world in which the consumer habits have been yield instead the producer involvement and so the TV audience acts now as a producer.

Had you ever thought of the instant replay in football as creating a totally new form of audience participation in the dynamics of the game?

In an instant replay, in effect you say: ‘let us stop this action, halt it, arrest, hold it.’ Then you say now, what has just happen[ed] in this game had this effect. Let us see how we achieve this effect. Let us replay that action and observe how this particular effect was attained.

Now, this is the attitude of every artist to every artistic production. He says in effect ‘hold that action I want to capture it in another medium’.

Now in the case of a playback, you are in the presence of the artistic process. An artist always says how could I get that effect? I must go back and replay it.

So what has happened to football since the replay is that the public now demands that the game be changed so that they can see the process by which the effects are attained.

The games are even halted until the replays are completed on TV. It isn’t just halted for the ads but for the replays, and sometimes they have to wait until the replay is completed.

The public sometimes bring their own TV sets to watch the replays during the game and they use the sets in the stadium, in the lobbies and so on eagerly during the game too.

Participation as Process

Now this is a new form of participation in the game as process.

In our time, the public has demanded access to the artistic process in every field including school.

The learning process is now something in which children expect to participate not just as consumers, but as producers and they get this from TV.

TV is in a paramount way a medium of processes. It reveals processes as never before. Not just products. So that you’ll only have to watch the more effective forms of advertising to see that the ad is never presented as a product, but always as a process; a participation. This is what Sesame Street has shown, made by Madison Avenue experts. It shows the entire learning process in action and in the best advertising style.

After reading this , we were asked to post in the forum about the ideas relating to participation, and compare how broadcast media differs from the internet in these terms. Obviously, the internet allows far more participation to the point where the individual creates (Blogs, social networking, etc) for other individuals to consume (like, share) and create themselves (add comments, blog about a blog).

Next up was, yep, more reading. This time it was time to consider what web2.0 is, assuming it is something. We read Tim O’Reilly’s ideas  o reilly web2.0 which, to be blunt, only made it seem like a made up buzzword that he’s struggling to define. It really reads like an attempt at corporate consultancy more than anything else. However, it made me think about what the web really is; and basically it’s users; organisations and individuals feeding off each other.

Moving swiftly on,  we came to anthropologist Michael Wesch’s ideas, first in his video, the Machine Is Us/Ing Us, and then a talk he gave about it. This was the first time I really felt like I was on a Tech-Enh. Learning course.  m wesch  . It’s so good, it’s going in my TMA01, which is up next week.