Monday, November 3, 2014

Entry 25 IDT1415 Cousin 2005 Learning from Cyberspace

Key words and concepts...

Mantra 'Pedagogy must lead technology', the medium is the pedagogy, humans and tech separated and the latter is in the service of the former, statements like these have a luddite drift, block view of full potential of computer tech for educational purposes, Murphy et al 2001: all pedagogies necessarily involve technology, technologies work dynamically with pedagogies not for them, technologies are constitutive of our identities p119, computer technology has changed social practices, tech as enhancement tool, Burnett 1993:1 metaphors are potentially misleading, Deleuze and Guttari 1987 internet is a rhizome, 'to surf, after all, is to skim the surface' p125, their 6 principles of the rhizome: connectivity, heterogeneity, multiplicity, signifying rupture, cartography and decalcomania, VLEs transitional objects.

My reflections...

I found Cousin's argument very interesting and enlightening as I am a culprit myself for the constant recitation of the mantra much opposed by her. I realise that I was so focused on the chanting that I failed to see what makes very much sense to me now: 'technologies work dynamically with pedagogies not for them' p118 and how these have become 'constitutive of our identifies' to one extent or the other regardless of the generation divide, at least in my case. Nonetheless, I do not feel as guilty as technology is seen as an enhancement tool and as such my preaching has been characterised by a liturgy of Cousin's antagonised mantra and a litany of exhortations to enhance the learners' experience with a view that failure to do so would automatically sent the tool to the depths of Hades. 

Away from religious connotations, I could not agree more with Burnett's (1993:1 in Cousin 2005) warning that 'metaphors are potentially misleading as I believe this is the case of Prensky's natives and immigrants individuals. Deleuze and Guttari's (1987 in op.cit) rhizome theory is both visual, significant, realistic and immediately friendly, in my opinion, and this week's exercise to define our PLE gives an excellent example of how this rhizomatic concept is not only valid but axiomatic as we seem to have a natural predisposition to organising thoughts, ideas and concepts in this way. Cousin's observation that to surf the internet is to 'skim the surface' serves me as a warning and reminder that the ability to go deeper while being selective is an important skills to be exercised by ourselves and promoted amongst our students.


Learning from cyberspace in Land, R. and Bayne, S. (eds) Education in cyberspace. London, RoutledgeFalmer. pp. 117-129.

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