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Bounce Blog: Learning about digital technology trends


Lovely to connect with a new space of thinkers... 'bounce' blogs are comments I've made in other forums, then shared. I discovered that I'm hopeless at blogging, I prefer to 'bounce' off others ideas, then reflect in response:

"The Big Disconnect" infographic by Mara Sofferin got me thinking (hopefully attached below...). 

I'm one of the lucky ones I guess, I abandoned the 'big smoke' of Auckland city for wild Westland, though most of my friends thought I was mad and perceived it as a 'step backward' - I guess they would, so much about society orients us from the countryside to the 'mecca' of city life. 

The longer we function in virtual spaces and places, the greater the need for grounding in physical natural spaces, this includes the inside of our own bodies. I'm also considering the important role my pets play in making sure I bridge natural and digital worlds daily. Technology has dissolved much of the geographic and professional isolation I experienced when I initially shifted to Hokitika. Yet the view out the lounge window of the Kowhai tree in the garden full of greedy jostling Tui, Kereru, and Korimako (bellbirds), and the Southern Alps out the kitchen window, and the sound of waves hitting the beach as I fall asleep at night, helps remind me to be balanced. Yes. I'm just gloating.

Human identity is changing fast - I inhabit my body, my mind, my 'soul', but I also inhabit space energetically and virtually. Maybe the connective and collaborative functions of inhabiting ideas virtually may bring a greater sense of understanding and feeling for 'connectedness', or, on the other side of the 'coin', disconnect us from physical experiences in the physical world. Or, the business behind the infographic, is pushing its business agenda... or maybe they've neutralised their agenda a little by teaming up with Canada's David Suzuki Foundation?

At any rate, maybe the 'take home' message for teachers is that we are working with a generation who only knows a world with ubiquitous digital technologies. 'They' don't know a world without computers and mobile phones. As we engage students with empowering technologies that put the world of information at their feet, we also need to make sure those same feet experience the texture of grass, the pull of the earth, and the world of nature.

So what are the 'big trends' from my perspective?

  • Digital 'openness' creating massive opportunities for individual and collective empowerment
  • Networked creative social production enabling knowledge to be built in new ways
  • Boundaries of formal and informal learning blurring and merging
  • Socio-cognitive digital/virtual environments for collaborative idea improvement
  • 3-D printing and designing industry growth
  • Continuing globalistion harnessing both diversity and commonalities 
  • Continuing and growing urgency related to climate/environmental issues
  • Flexible, proactive approaches to experiencing change 

(In response to reading and viewing info from sources: 

and of course...

  • Some sort of viral digital weapon that wipes out all digital data and electronic functionality on a global scale

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Comment by Hazel Owen on September 7, 2013 at 18:21

I don't know what I would do without the opportunities to run on the beach, tutu in the garden, walk through the reserve, cuddle the cat, ride horses through the forest, and plant trees on our section up north (to name but a few outdoor occupations). I love leaving the connectivity behind, but still have a sense of a virtual whanau there when I would like to share with friends and acquaintances, or when I would like to explore and think...what an amazing time in which to live. Although it is also fragile....

As Merryn and you point out, wildlife is suffering, ecosystems are under collapse, natural resources are being depleted, and wildernesses polluted. To (sort of - changed the verb tense) quote Charles Dickens:

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times, it is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness, it is the epoch of belief, it is the epoch of incredulity, it is the season of Light, it is the season of Darkness, it is the spring of hope, it is the winter of despair, we have everything before us, we have nothing before us....
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

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