Friday, April 29, 2005

Low IQ 2day, m8? It's the technology, stupid

Apparently 'psychologists have found that tapping away on a mobile phone or computer keypad or checking them for electronic messages temporarily knocks up to 10 points off the user's IQ.'

This groundbreaking research was conducted through 'clinical trials' so it must be right.
If there are any reformed dopeheads out there, get rid of that new mobile phone and get back on the bong - choof is much better for the brain than txting.

'This rate of decline in intelligence compares unfavourably with the four-point drop in IQ associated with smoking marijuana, according to British researchers, who have labelled the fleeting phenomenon of enhanced stupidity as "infomania".'

read the article here


Monday, April 25, 2005

Google and the MEMEX machine?

This annoucement from Google might bring us one step closer to Vannevar Bush's MEMEX machine. It is now possible to store years of search activity and cross reference these to other similar searches (performed by you or someone else). This will, of course, be used to 'customise' the 'search experience' making it more useful (and 'pleasurable' one might say!)

Of course the conspirators will love this - there are all the usual ill-at-ease arguments about surveilence and data gathering - but it doesn't really surprise, perhaps only that it has taken Google this long to release it. I'm sure they've had this tracking ability for a long time.

I'm going to do some searching.


A Hundred Cellphones Bloom, and Chinese Take to the Streets

Interesting article at New York Times (you may need to register to read it). It's always nice to see 'smart mobs' getting around governments and self-oprganising or protest and collective action.

I wonder how this will go in a place like China (or Australia or America?) It's not too difficult to imagine a situation where these kinds of communication devices (mobile phones, blogs, txt, IM etc.) become tools of the state as well as tools for the subversion of state directives. My feeling though is that 'the people' will always be a couple of steps ahead in terms of new 'social practices' for new technologies. Although the conspirator in me says that this is just what the military and other ideological state apparatus' want us to think so that they can continue developing and monitoring our every move!

Anyway ... click on if you're brave enough.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

everyday literacies

I've spent the last couple of days hacking my way through Colin Lankshear and Michelle Knobel's IFTE 2003 keynote paper, (Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2004) 'Planning Pedagogy for i-mode: From flogging to blogging via wi-fi'. English in Australia, No. 139, February, pp. 78-102.)

As the page count shows this is a large paper and not a lunchtime read. It's not heavy in content, just long. In fact content wise it's very interesting and I found it really generative in terms of my own notetaking and thinking (thanks guys!). Perhaps I will post some of my notes and summaries to this blog? Not sure it that will be very interesting - perhaps just some wry observations, but I would need some wry observations first!

There arguments about online rating systems are interesing. As is Colin and Michelle's take on Chris Bigum's work on his 'Knowledge Producing Schools' project.

The lovely Keri Facer has just got a crap load of money for a similar project over at NESTA Furturelab. Keep an eye on that one.

Spent the rest of the day stuffing envelopes for some other researchers mailing out a big survey to just about every school in Victoria (that sounds like a lot doesn't it? can't be right).

Need to get more productive!

Monday, April 18, 2005

back to our home under the mountain ...

All day my mind has been with my colleagues. This morning they woke earlier than me, shaking off that downy sleep that only holidays and weekends entertain, prepared themselves (this is a statement that may will never understand) more quickly than I can these days, fought through traffic and young people milling around lockerbays, doorways and on the edges of courtyards, thought through plans and counterplans, perhaps wondered 'why?' a number of times, tuned in to reminders to check for correct socks during morning rollcall/homegroup, smiled at some forlorn looking young man lost in a new school - and all before classes began.

I miss them. I miss being with them and I miss being one of them.

I wonder if they miss me? I know a couple do, and that's enough for anyone.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Camera phones in the classroom

Camera phones yadayadayada, but an interesting development vis-a-vis the classroom. Of course these are almost ubiquitous amongst young people of school age.

I remember the first time a student brought a digital camera with movie function into the classroom and recorded my teaching. He was a nice guy and I was having a good day (I think) so the footage didn't end up on 'Today Tonight' or some other beatup news and 'current affairs' show. He didn't ask me if he could do it, and he later showed it to a colleague (a close one) who thought it was kind of funny.