e-Learning is still learning, but it’s learning that moves around very differently than ever before

We’re finishing the 2nd week on course e-Learning & Digital Culture.

Talking about the issue ‘Looking to the future’, we walked trough reality and imagination. IT are here, between us, but what are they good for?

Reading, listening to & watching course’s resources, I kept in mind several things:

  • About Johnston, R (2009) Salvation or destruction: metaphors of the internet. First Monday, 14, “we only understand reality through metaphor”. It’s a fact that poetry leads to the last frontier. A classical and outstanding example: Baudelaire’s Correspondances. Rien ne va plus: you can replace Nature by Technology and all our present discussions in the last two weeks are going to be resumed in a sonnet. Utopian and dystopian points of view melts each other like perfumes in Baudelaire’s verses, goodness and meanness, illusions and fears. Sure, we know world trough metaphors, metaphors brings us from the old to the new, but at the end, when something is really new, are metaphors still valid and useful? Digital culture seems to be disruptive. Electronic documents are not as paper because of their own nature. A wiki is like a living palimpsest, but the magnificence of a wiki would be misunderstood by a philologist without knowledge about the nature of a wiki. So, we have to conclude that metaphors sometime help, but sometimes the left us on the edge of a mystery, moreover where they live we stop discovering that is very important when something is new.
  • Concerning Annalee Newitz’s speech on what science fiction tells us about the future of social media, she offers materials for Fear & Hope dividing them into 4 aspects: are we building smart or stupid intelligence? Are we living the Privacy apocalypse? Are our minds being controlled? Is technology feeding social revolutions? Anyway, technology is in our lives even since we try to fade it away: you can’t stop the signal. Thus, either we are successful in living together or we become a remain of the past.
  • I borrowed this post title form the article The social story of the mp3, because I think that reflects exactly our present point: we are talking always of knowledge transmission in a large sense, but we have new tools and we don’t know how making them learning tools. We know about learning, but nowadays learning moves around very different than ever before. To move around is the key word. Like many other things, learning became liquid and went away from the traditional institutions: schools, high schools, universities… We have to learn in the same way we live. Maybe putting the brain in our fingertips? Other bringing brain in our fingertips? Our world changed, so did we?
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