Nifty Word Cloudmkoole, · Categories: Mobile learning, Uncategorized
Made with NVivo 11 for Mac.
Made with NVivo 11 for Mac.
Hand, M., & Sandywell, B. (2002). E-Topia as Cosmopolis or Citadel: On the Democratizing and De-Democratizing Logics of the Internet, or, toward a Critique of the New Technological Fetishism. Theory, Culture & Society, 19(1-2), 197–225. doi:10.1177/026327640201900110
The main purpose of Hand and Sandywell’s (2002) article is to bring awareness to the social discourses that are used to paint a picture of technology as democratizing, progressive, and benign or, alternatively, as destructive, corporate-driven, and hegemonic tools. The authors suggest that these discourses are oversimplifications of much more complex phenomena. Whilst I agree with their position, I am left with some questions about their underlying epistemology. Particularly troublesome for me is their presentation of social constructionism and essentialism. First, I will examine their argument on technological determinism, then I will examine their epistemology.
Hand and Sandywell divide the positions into a utopian-dystopian dichotomy.
Global Citadel Theory
Electronic Panopticon of Cybernetic Capitalism
|Extreme form||Technological fetishism
Hand and Sandywell, define technological essentialism as a view of technology that is intrinsically utopian-ist and dystopian-ist. Essentialist views are based on notions that technology has some underlying “essence” or characteristics that determine their effects upon society. The authors suggest that when these notions surface solutions include grafting “the ‘social’ or ‘historical’ dimension onto the technology” (p. 206). They refer to this as a kind of social constructionism that “often results in a kind of ‘balance sheet’ perspective in which ‘technical’ factors are counter-balanced by ‘social factors’” (p. 206). They then call for a more radical socio-cultural perspective that emphasizes a human-machine dialectic. They observe that some historicism abstracts machines from their contexts, and that the development of technology is contingent and situated rather than linear. In addition, they note that some historicist models suggest that technology was intentionally constructed for specific purposes with clear stages of development. And, finally, they add that historicist accounts are themselves socially constructed (see Abbate, 1999) and that essentialist accounts are aimed at prediction—that is, deterministic.
The new, radical perspective that the authors offer takes a view of technology as relational, contingent, non-synchronic, discontinuous, and power-mediated. They are critical of simply positing the social construction of technology. Social constructionism, according to Hand and Sandywell, mechanically divides the world into separate categories such as technology, society, and nature.
My understanding of social constructionism, from the European philosophical perspective, is that terminology such as technology, society, and nature are constructs. But, social constructionists do not necessarily support the view that such dualisms exist in a “real” underlying reality. Rather, the nature of existence cannot be known for certain. In a social constructionist view, knowledge is relational, and language is an imperfect medium for discussing ideas, constructs, and perceptions. Critical realists, on the other hand, are more likely to take a position of the world as constituted by “real” objects that are perceived by “real” subjects—though perhaps these subjects view the objects in unique ways. Social constructionism does not necessarily relegate meaning construction to autonomous subjects of “society”, but to a dynamic relational and reflexive interaction between subjects and society that cannot necessarily separated into dualist typologies with essential characteristics.
The authors’ proposed solution would appear to fit nicely within a social-constructionist philosophical perspective quite commensurably. Their acknowledgement of Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as promoting their radical, new perspective supports my argument as social constructionists often draw upon ANT as a methodology for research. Notions of agency and socio-cultural appropriation also fit within social constructionist philosophy.
Finally, the authors propose moving towards a “deconstruction of technological essentialism” as an escape from dualism. Yet, then they propose that theorists take up a “detailed phenomenology of specific technologies” (p. 215). My limited understanding of phenomenology based on Husserl and Merleau-Ponty is a philosophical perspective and methodology aimed at discovering the “essence” of a phenomenon(-a). Hence, the authors are proposing an escape from essentialism by employing a methodology and philosophy that relies upon essentialism.
As I write this, I realize that there may be some misunderstanding of terminology. Social constructionism is understood differently in North America than it is in Europe. I take the European view of social constructionism as defined by Berger and Luckmann (1966), Burr (2003), and Hacking (2000). According to Hacking, “social constructionists teach that items we had thought were inevitable are social products” (p. 47). He defines social constructionism as:
Various sociological, historical, and philosophical projects that aim at displaying or analyzing actual, historically situated, social interactions or causal routes that led to, or were involved in, the coming into being or establishing of some present entity or fact (p. 48).
According to Berger and Luckmann (1966), reification is a significant process in social construction:
Reification is the apprehension of human phenomena as if they were things, that is, in non-human or possibly supra-human terms. Another way of saying this is that reification is the apprehension of the products of human activity as if they were something else than human products—such as facts of nature, results of cosmic laws, or manifestations of divine will. Reification implies that man is capable of forgetting his own authorship of the human world, and further, that the dialectic between man, the producer, and his products is lost to consciousness. The reified world is, by definition, a dehumanized world. It is experienced by man as a strange facticity, an opus alienum over which he has no control rather than as the opus proprium of his own productive activity . . . The objectivity of the social world means that it confronts man as something outside of himself. The decisive question is whether he still retains the awareness that, however, objectivated, the social world was made by men—and, therefore, can be remade by them.
To conclude, I agree in principle with Hand and Sandyman, but their representation of social constructionism is not in line with the definitions that I draw upon.
Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1966). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge (p. 219). Garden City, NY: Anchor Books (Random House, Inc.).
Burr, V. (2003). Social constructionism (Vol. 2nd). New York, NY: Routledge.
Hacking, I. (2000). The Social Construction of What? (p. 272). Boston, MA: Harvard University Press. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0674004124/ref=oss_product
I thought I would investigate “connectivism” further in preparation for this week’s topic. I found this paper by Rita Kop. She provides a good description of connectivism (perhaps others can indicate if this is a good definition because I am not an expert). But, she also outlines some possible issues with connectivist learning.
KOP, R.. The challenges to connectivist learning on open online networks: Learning experiences during a massive open online course. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, North America, 12, jan. 2011. Available at: <http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/882>. Date accessed: 21 Jan. 2013.
If you choose to read this article, consider some of these points:
[My reaction: I tend to like both models. I like exploring, but I also like to know if I’m barking up the right tree when I’m checking out a topic. What I mean by the “right tree” is the most efficient way to seek specific information, for example.]
[My reaction: I do not feel the need to be highly “visible”. I appreciate what others post, and I tend to view what is offered to me when it is convenient. I gain a sense of timing and direction from facilitators, so I appreciate some signposting along the way. But, I do not feel that I need them to comment on everything that I might post.]
[My reaction: I practically breathe computers, so I’m pretty comfortable in these environments. However, I am finding that this experience gives me new reasons to try tools that I previously hadn’t bothered to examine. I also appreciate seeing how others use these tools. Nonetheless, I am challenged to construct a way to organize all the information that is being posted into a sense-making system that works for me, personally.]
I am super interested hear how others view this article and their reactions to the above three challenges.
It has been a very long time since I last contributed to my own blog. As I look at my last entry, I was just about to defend my viva at Lancaster University. As it happens, I passed with revisions. Now, I am just awaiting some feedback and should submit my revisions shortly. Then, I can call myself “Dr”. With all the time passing, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. After four years of doctoral studies, it is wonderful to be able to participate and experiment with different technologies.
Anyways, I’ve decided to follow along with the etmooc for the next few weeks. Already I feel like I cannot keep up. There are hundreds of messages, and my Gmail account is filled to the brim and pouring over. This is one of the issues that I hope to assess in my attempt to participate.
So far, I am delighted with the introductions that the participants are posting and in the creative ways they are doing it. I have been inspired to develop some kind of personal introduction also. So, I decided to do a quick video. But, what do you say about yourself in a brief video? Well, I decided to comb through my pictures and put together a collage. Although it seems a bit self-indulgent, it put me in a great mood. It brought memories back. One of my favorite experiences was visiting a Middle Eastern town and being surrounded by children who were absolutely fascinated by my short, short hair.
Already, I find that the mooc is stretching my capacity. I’ve never uploaded a video to YouTube before simply because I have never had a reason. It is unbelievably easy. It is a fantastic repository which relieves me from having to manage my own server space. Anyways, this is what I have uploaded:
There are many different countries in this video. I’m curious how many of the #etmooc participants call these places home!
Having written up much of my data, it is now time to return to the other chapters I’ve already written. I need to examine them and complete the bits that I had decided to leave until I had had a solid look at my data. Today was to be a major writing day. But, that was not to be. Sigh.
I started the day rising at a reasonable hour after an horrendous, overnight thunderstorm that left many people in the neighboring city flooded out and shoveling hail off their lawns. Sleeping through the thunder and lightning was nearly impossible. Nonetheless, I completed my daily ablutions and set out to a favourite coffee house to peruse another students’ completed doctoral thesis. I was starting to visualize how the rest of my chapters would come together—yet I felt this wave of overwhelmedness (I’m not sure that’s an actual word, but it describes how I felt) wash over me.
Addressing this feeling, I went for a pedicure. Whilst waiting for the pedicure, I noticed this new shop with jeans from Brazil and Columbia. They’re supposed to be very curvy and “bum-lifting.” I had to try them on just to see what the hub-bub was all about. Yup. Nice products. So, I purchased what is probably the most expensive pair of jeans I’ve ever purchased. (I don’t regret it because I’m usually pretty thrifty.)
So, then, I decided to go for lunch and read. But, I noticed the local paper. Needless to say, I read that instead of my chapters. Then, I came home and took a nap—after all, procrastination is tough business.
And, now, here I am. I just wrote one sentence in my methodology chapter, and I switched to blogging. Next, I will turn on some music and have a sip of beer to see if that will loosen up my inner muse. I’ve just got to write something.
This is a joke about the pursuit of a post-graduate degree. I cannot take credit for it, I received an old copy of it from a former boss who had originally received it by email back in 1998!
Scene: It’s a fine, beautiful day in the forest. A rabbit is sitting outside his burrow, typing away on his lap top. Along comes a fox out for a walk.
Fox: What are you working on?
Rabbit: My thesis paper to graduate from University.
Fox: Hmmm. What is it about?
Rabbit: Oh, I’m writing about how rabbits eat foxes.
Fox: [After an incredulous pause.] That’s ridiculous! Any fool knows that rabbits don’t eat foxes.
Rabbit: Come with me, and I’ll show you!
They both disappear into the rabbit’s burrow. After a few minutes, gnawing on a fox bone, the rabbit returns to his lap top and resumes typing. Soon, a wolf comes along and stops to watch the hard-working rabbit. [Tippy-tap, tippy-tap, tippy-tippy-tap.]
Wolf: What’s that you’re writing?
Rabbit: I’m doing a thesis on how rabbits eat wolves.
Wolf: You don’t expect to get such garbage published, do you?
Rabbit: No problem. Do you want to see why?
The rabbit and the wolf go into the burrow. Again, the rabbit returns by himself. This time he is patting his stomach. He goes back to his typing. [Tippy-tap, tippy-tap, tippy-tippy-tap.] Finally, a bear comes along.
Bear: What are you doing?
Rabbit: I’m doing a thesis on how rabbits eat bears.
Bear: Well, that’s absurd.
Rabbit: Come into my home, and I’ll show you.
Scene: Inside the rabbit’s burrow. In one corner, there is a pile of fox bones. In another corner is a pile of wolf bones. On the other side of the room, a huge lion is belching and picking his teeth.
It doesn’t matter what you choose for a thesis topic.
It doesn’t matter what you use for your data.
It doesn’t even matter if your topic makes sense.
What matters is who you have for a thesis advisor!
My intent here is not to promote Apple or any other company, but simply to express my experience.
I have been steadfast about developing mobile learning resources for the lowest common denominator. I remain adamant that this should be the case. Access and openness is fundamental.
Anyways, I have not upgraded my smart phone for quite some time–four years to be exact. I have also kept a variety of other devices around for testing.
Alas, it was time to upgrade. Sitting with our university’s assistive technologist, I noted how she used her iPhone camera to enlarge the text of meeting agendas. And, I thought, “It’s time for me to take a better look at this technology.”
So, now I am the owner of a brand, new iPhone OS4. I haven’t tested Siri, yet. But, I’m absolutely in love with the device. The software and hardware is so highly integrated. Who would have thought that the camera’s flash could be used as a flashlight (with the installation of a simple app).
So, why the sashimi picture? Well, I just installed the free WordPress app to see how well it would support mobile blogging. I just happened to notice the picture button. My only complaint is that it did not help me reduced the size. Nonetheless, up it went.
A few days ago, I was talking to my mother. She had received an old photo taken shortly after WWII. She, and a group of other kids were sitting atop a German bunker left behind after the liberation by the allies. She asked me to go look at it. Normally, I would have whined and complained about having to get up, turn on my computer, wait for it to boot, connect to the Internet, log into my email, and finally retrieve the picture. But, using my mobile phone, I simply turned it on, clicked on the email icon, scrolled down, and there it was. In less than a minute, I said, “Which one are you?”
The convenience is amazing. The connectedness, for me, is overwhelming. What am I going to do for private time? 🙂
I was recently reading Derek Edwards’ (1997) book, Discourse and Cognition. In Chapter 3, Discourse and Reality, he spends some time describing the work of LaTour and Woolgar on the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK). And, as you might know, this work led to Actor Network Theory (ANT). Along the way, Edwards also mentions Gilbert and Mulkay (1984). The part that I wish to share has to do with empiricist repertoires and contingent repertoires and the humour that arises when the two are compared. The following is quoted from Edwards (1997, p. 59) but originates from Gilbert and Mulkay (1984, p. 177).
|What he wrote||What he meant|
|It has long been known that . . .||I haven’t bothered to look up the reference.|
|Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study . . .||The results on the others didn’t make sense and were ignored.|
|Accidentally strained during mounting . . .||Dropped on the floor.|
|Handled with extreme care throughout the experiment . . .||Not dropped on the floor.|
|Typical results are shown . . .||The best results are shown, i.e. those that fit the dogma.|
|Correct within an order of magnitude.||Wrong.|
|It is suggested that . . .It is believed that . . .It appears that . . .||I think.|
|It is generally believed that . . .||A couple of other guys think so too.|
|Fascinating work . . .||Work by a member of our group.|
|Of doubtful significance . . .||Work by someone else.|
It would be fun to come up with some of these for qualitative researchers. Thoughts?
Edwards, D. (1997). Discourse and Cognition (p. 368). London, UK: Sage Publications, Inc.
Gilbert, N., & Mulkay, M. (1984). Opening Pandora’s box: an analysis of scientists’ discourse (p. 212). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Publications, Presentations and Workshops
Koole, M., & Parchoma, G. (2012). Networked Learning and the Web of Identity. In S. Warburton & S. Hatzipanagos (Eds.), Digital identity and social media. London: Information Science Reference, an imprint of IGI Global. [Coming out in July]
Koole, M. (2009). Chapter 2: A Model for Framing Mobile Learning. In M. Ally (Ed.), Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training (pp. 25-47). Edmonton, Alberta: AU Press.
Stauffer, K., Lin, F., & Koole, M. (2010). Chapter 19: A Methodology for Developing Learning Objects for Web Course Delivery. In M. R. Syed (Ed.), Technologies Shaping Instruction and Distance Education: New Studies and Utilizations (pp. 280-289). IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-934-2.ch019
Papers in Refereed Journals
Koole, M., & Parchoma, G. (2012). The Ethical and Practical Implications of Systems Architecture on Identity in Networked Learning: A Constructionist Perspective. Interactive Learning Environments. [Coming out in May]
Fahy, P., Spencer, R., & Koole, M. (Awaiting review). The self-reported impact of graduate program completion on the careers and plans of master’s graduate: Second report in a series.
Koole, M., Letkemen McQuilkin, J., & Ally, M. (2010). Mobile Learning in Distance Education: Utility or Futility. Journal of Distance Education. URL: http:/
/ www.jofde.ca/ index.php/ jde/ article/ view/ 644/ 1107
Garrison, D., Cleveland-Innes, M., Koole, M, & Kappelman, J. (2006). Revisiting methodological issues in transcript analysis: Negotiated coding and reliability. The Internet and Higher Education, 9(1), 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2005.11.001
Koole, M. (2012). Ontological and epistemological threshold crossings of doctoral students in networked learning environments: “My ontolo- . . . what?” The 4th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference and 6th NAIRTL Annual Conference (June 27-29). Dublin, Ireland.
Koole, M. (2012). A Social Constructionist Approach to Phenomenographic Analysis of Identity Positioning in Networked Learning. The 8th International Conference on Networked Learning (April 2-4). Maastrict, Netherlands.
Koole, M., & Parchoma, G. (2011). The Web of Identity: Identity Formation in Online Learning. CIDER Sessions (online presentation). The Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research. URL: http:/
/ cider.athabascau.ca/ CIDERSessions/ Koole2/ sessiondetails
Koole, M. (2010). The web of identity: Selfhood and belonging in online learning networks. The 7th International Conference on Networked Learning (May 3-4). Aalbourg, Denmark. URL: http:/
Koole, M., de Waard, I., & Elsayed Meawad, F. (2010). Mobile Learning: Solutions & Challenges. CIDER Sessions (online presentation). The Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research. URL: http:/
/ cider.athabascau.ca/ CIDERSessions/ mkoole/ sessiondetails
Koole, M. (2010). Mobile learning: Do the benefits justify the cost and time? New Era Teaching and Learning (online presentation). Commonwealth of Learning. URL: http:/
/ www.bcedtech.ca/ moodle/ mod/ forum/ discuss.php?d=259
Ally, M., Cleveland-Innes, M., Koole, Marguerite, Kenny, R. F., & Park, C. (2009). Developing a Community of Inquiry in a Mobile Learning Context. Learning and Technology: A Capital Idea! (Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Annual Conference, Ottawa, Ontario) URL: http:/
/ www.cnie-rcie.ca/ ?q=node/ 115
Koole, M. (2009). Workshop: Go Mobile! Advantages, Issues, and Examples of Mobile Technologies in Distance Education. 8th Annual International MADLaT Conference (Winnipeg, Manitoba). URL: http:/
/ www.madlat.ca/ conference2009
Koole, M., & Ally, M. (2008). UMLAUT-M Understanding Mobile Learning at a University Through MobiGlam: Utility or Futility? MLearn: The bridge from text to context (October 6-10). Telford, UK.
Koole, M., Ally, M., Elsayed Meawad, F., & Letkeman McQuilkin, J. (2008). UMLAUT-M: Understanding Mobile Learning at Athabasca University through MobiGlam. Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Annual Conference (April 27-30). Banff, AB.
Koole, M., & Ally, M. (2006). Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME) Model: Revising the ABCs of Educational Practices. International Conference on Networking, International Conference on Systems and International Conference on Mobile Communications and Learning Technologies (ICN ICONS MCL’06) (pp. 216-216). Mauritius: IEEE. doi:10.1109/ICNICONSMCL.2006.103
Koole, M. (2006). Practical Issues in Mobile Education. Fourth IEEE International Workshop on Wireless, Mobile and Ubiquitous Technology in Education (WMTE’06) (pp. 142-146). Athens: IEEE. doi:10.1109/WMTE.2006.261363
Koole, M., & Ally, M. (2006). Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME) Model: Revising the ABCs of Educational Practices. The 1st International Conference on Interactive Computer Aided Learning (IMCL), April 19-22. Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Amman, Jordan.
Ally, M., & Koole, M. (2006). Workshop: Best practices for instructors and trainers who use mobile devices to deliver instruction to students. The 1st International Conference on Interactive Computer Aided Learning (IMCL), April 19-22. Amman, Jordan.
Koole, M. (2006). Mobile Devices in Distance Education: Compare, Consider and Collaborate. 5th World Conference on Mobile Learning (October 20-26). Banff, AB.
Koole, M., & McGreal, R. (2006). mLearning: What is it and where is it going? Innovations in Education: Challenges, Issues, and Solutions. (CADE/AMTEC Annual Conference) May 23-26. Montreal, QU.
Moisey, S., Hoven, D., Kenny, R., & Koole, Marguerite. (2009). E-portfolios – A Viable capstone activity for graduate programs. Learning and Technology: A Capital Idea! (Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Annual Conference, Ottawa, Ontario) URL: http:/
/ www.cnie-rcie.ca/ ?q=node/ 115
Hoven, D., & Koole, M. (2008). Integration of an e-Portfolio into a Master of Education program. Invited presentation for the Teaching and Learning Effectiveness Program. University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.
Koole, M. (2007). Reflecting, scaffolding and showcasing: Integrating an e-portfolio tool into a master’s program. ADETA: Distributed Learning in the 21st Century (October). Edmonton, AB
Technology & Learner Support
Spencer, R., & Koole, M. (2008). Value and uses of open source products in support of graduate student learning. MADLaT: E-Learning Comes Together (May 8-9). Winnipeg, MN.
Spencer, R., & Koole, M. (2008). Workshop: Moodle – An open source LMS. MADLaT: E-Learning Comes Together (May 8-9). Winnipeg, MN.
Wagenaar, C., & Koole, M. (2007). Podcasting in a blended learning environment: Alberta Children’s Services. ADETA: Distributed Learning in the 21st Century (October). Edmonton, AB.
Spencer, R., Moisey, S., & Koole, M. (2007). Moodle and the Master of Distance Education Program. Moodle Moot. Edmonton, AB.
Cleveland-Innes, M., Koole, M. & Kinsel, E. (2006, May). Teaching presence in online communities of inquiry: Learners, facilitators and learning. Paper presented at CADE/AMTEC Annual Conference Conference, Montreal, P.Q.
Cleveland-Innes, M., & Koole, M. (2005). Learner Support in Online Learning. Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning (August 3-5). Madison, WI.
Cleveland-Innes, M., & Koole, M. (2005). Workshop: Student Support Technology. Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning (August 3-5). Madison, WI.
Cleveland-Innes, M. & Koole, M. (2004). Role adjustment for students in online environments. Invited keynote address, Learner Services Forum 2004, Campus Saskatchewan. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.