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In Defense of Messiness: David Weinberger and the iPad Summit - EdTech Researcher - Education Week
[via: http://willrichardson.com/post/67746828029/the-limitations-of-the-ipad ]

"We were very lucky today to have David Weinberger give the opening address at our iPad Summit in Boston yesterday. We've started a tradition at the iPad Summit that our opening keynote speaker should know, basically, nothing about teaching with iPads. We don't want to lead our conversation with technology, we want to lead with big ideas about how the world is changing and how we can prepare people for that changing world.

Dave spoke drawing on research from his most recent book, Too Big To Know: How the Facts are not the Facts, Experts are not Experts, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room.

It's hard to summarize a set of complex ideas, but at the core of Dave's argument is the idea that our framing of "knowledge," the metaphysics of knowledge (pause: yes, we start our iPad Summit with discussions of the metaphysics of knowledge), is deeply intertwined with the technology we have used for centuries to collect and organize knowledge: the book. So we think of things that are known as those that are agreed upon and fixed--placed on a page that cannot be changed; we think of them as stopping places--places for chapters to end; we think of them as bounded--literally bounded in the pages of a book; we think of them as organized in a single taxonomy--because each library has to choose a single place for the physical location of each book. The limitations of atoms constrained our metaphysics of knowledge.

We then encoded knowledge into bits, and we began to discover a new metaphysics of knowledge. Knowledge is not bound, but networked. It is not agreed, but debated. It is not ordered, but messy.

A changing shape of knowledge demands that we look seriously at changes in educational practice. For many educators at the iPad Summit, the messiness that David sees as generative the emerging shape of knowledge reflects the messiness that they see in their classrooms. As Holly Clark said in her presentation, "I used to want my administrators to drop in when my students were quiet, orderly, and working alone. See we're learning! Now I want them to drop in when we are active, engaged, collaborative, loud, messy, and chaotic. See, we're learning!"

These linkages are exactly what we hope can happen when we start our conversations about teaching with technology by leading with our ambitions for our students rather than leading with the affordances of a device.

I want to engage David a little further on one point. When I invited David to speak, he said "I can come, but I have some real issues with iPads in education." We talked about it some, and I said, "Great, those sound like serious concerns. Air them. Help us confront them."

David warned us again this morning "I have one curmudgeonly old man slide against iPads," and Tom Daccord (EdTechTeacher co-founder) and I both said "Great." The iPad Summit is not an Apple fanboygirl event. At the very beginning, Apple's staff, people like Paul Facteau, were very clear that iPads were never meant to be computer replacements--that some things were much better done on laptops or computes. Any educator using a technology in their classroom should be having an open conversation about the limitations of their tools.

Tom then gave some opening remarks where he said something to the effect of "The iPad is not a repository of apps, but a portable, media creation device." If you talk to most EdTechTeacher staff, we'll tell you that with an iPad, you get a camera, microphone, connection to the Internet, scratchpad, and keyboard--and a few useful apps that let you use those things. (Apparently, there are all kinds of people madly trying to shove "content" on the iPad, but we're not that interested. For the most part, they've done a terrible job.)

Dave took the podium and said in his introductory remarks, "There is one slide that I already regret." He followed up with this blog post, No More Magic Knowledge [http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/2013/11/14/2b2k-no-more-magic-knowledge/ ]:
I gave a talk at the EdTechTeacher iPad Summit this morning, and felt compelled to throw in an Angry Old Man slide about why iPads annoy me, especially as education devices. Here's my List of Grievances:
• Apple censors apps
• iPads are designed for consumers. [This is false for these educators, however. They are using iPad apps to enable creativity.]
• They are closed systems and thus lock users in
• Apps generally don't link out
That last point was the one that meant the most in the context of the talk, since I was stressing the social obligation we all have to add to the Commons of ideas, data, knowledge, arguments, discussion, etc.
I was sorry I brought the whole thing up, though. None of the points I raised is new, and this particular audience is using iPads in creative ways, to engage students, to let them explore in depth, to create, and to make learning mobile.

I, for one, was not sorry that Dave brought these issues up. There are real issues with our ability as educators to add to the Commons through iPads. It's hard to share what you are doing inside a walled garden. In fact, one of the central motivations for the iPad Summit is to bring educators together to share their ideas and to encourage them to take that extra step to share their practice with the wider world; it pains me to think of all of the wheels being reinvented in the zillions of schools that have bought iPads. We're going to have to hack the garden walls of the iPad to bring our ideas together to the Common.

The issue of the "closedness" of iPads is also critical. Dave went on to say that one limitation of the iPad is that you can't view source from a browser. (It's not strictly true, but it's a nuisance of a hack--see here or here.) From Dave again:

"Even though very few of us ever do peek beneath the hood -- why would we? -- the fact that we know there's an openable hood changes things. It tells us that what we see on screen, no matter how slick, is the product of human hands. And that is the first lesson I'd like students to learn about knowledge: it often looks like something that's handed to us finished and perfect, but it's always something that we built together. And it's all the cooler because of that."

I'd go further than you can't view source: there is no command line. You can't get under the hood of the operating system, either. You can't unscrew the back. Now don't get wrong, when you want to make a video, I'm very happy to declare that you won't need to update your codecs in order to get things to compress properly. Simplicity is good in some circumstances. But we are captive to the slickness that Dave describes. Let's talk about that.

A quick tangent: Educators come up to me all the time with concerns that students can't word process on an iPad--I have pretty much zero concern about this. Kids can write papers using Swype on a smartphone with a cracked glass. Just because old people can't type on digitized keyboards doesn't mean kids can't (and you probably haven't been teaching them touch-typing anyway).

I'm not concerned that kids can't learn to write English on an iPad, I'm concerned they can't learn to write Python. If you believe that learning to code is a vital skill for young people, then the iPad is not the device for you. The block programming languages basically don't work. There is no Terminal or Putty or iPython Notebook. To teach kids to code, they need a real computer. (If someone has a robust counter-argument to that assertion, I'm all ears.) We should be very, very clear that if we are putting all of our financial eggs in the iPad basket, there are real opportunities that we are foreclosing.

Some of the issues that Dave raises we can hack around. Some we can't. The iPad Summit, all technology-based professional development, needs to be a place where we talk about what technology can't do, along with what it can.

Dave's keynote about the power of open systems reminds us that knowledge is networked and messy. Our classrooms, and the technologies we use to support learning in our classrooms, should be the same. To the extent that the technologies we choose are closed and overly-neat, we should be talking about that.

Many thanks again to Dave for a provocative morning, and many thanks to the attendees of the iPad Summit for joining in and enriching the conversation."
justinreich  ipad  2013  ipadsummit  davidweinberger  messiness  learning  contructionism  howthingswork  edtech  computers  computing  coding  python  scratch  knowledge  fluidity  flux  tools  open  closed  walledgardens  cv  teaching  pedagogy  curriculum  tomdaccord  apple  ios  closedness  viewsource  web  internet  commons  paulfacteau  schools  education  mutability  plasticity 
november 2013 by robertogreco
I have plenty of friends in and from California,... - more than 95 theses
"I have plenty of friends in and from California, but I don’t think California is fundamentally a friendly place. It’s open – it’s easy to become part of the community (inasmuch as there is a community), much easier than in New England or, I suspect, the South – but that’s not the same thing as friendly.

Now New York, my hometown, that’s a friendly place. And open – it’s relatively easy to join the community, and there is a community. We’re certainly not polite – we’re frankly rude – but we’re open and friendly.

Four dichotomies:

Open versus Closed: how easy is it to join the community?

Friendly versus Cold: is the community mutually supportive and warm to outsiders, or the opposite?

Tolerant versus Conformist: does the community expect everyone to be the same, or can you fly your freak flag with relative impunity?

Polite versus Rude: does the community enforce codes of deference, courtesy and respect, or is socially abrasive behavior the norm?

I would call New York Open, Friendly (more friendly than people think), Tolerant (but not as tolerant as people think) and Rude. I am not as familiar with the South, but from my experience and from what I hear, I’d call it Closed, Friendly, Tolerant and Polite. California I’d call Open, Cold, Tolerant and Rude."

—"Noah Millman, commenting at Rod Dreher’s place. I like this system very much, though I would add that you need to think not just in terms of regions but in terms of urban/rural divides within regions." [Alan Jacobs]

[This is the comment quoted: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/new-england-grouchtopia/comment-page-1/#comment-381483 ]

[This is the article: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/new-england-grouchtopia/ ]
via:lukeneff  california  newengland  rural  urban  openness  open  closed  friendly  courtesy  respect  rudeness  politeness  tolerance  noahmillman  johnirving 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Musing about 2011 and an un-national generation – confused of calcutta
"The internet, Web, Cloud, these are essentially disruptive global constructs for many of us. The atoms that serve as infrastructure for these global constructs are physically located in specific countries; the laws & regulations that govern the industries disrupted by these constructs are themselves usually national in structure; the firms doing the disrupting are quasi-stateless in character, trying…to be “global”; emerging & future generations have worldviews that are becoming more & more AmazonBay, discarding the national middle for edges of global & hyperlocal.

We are all so steeped in national structures for every aspect of this: the law, governance model, access & delivery technologies, ways of doing business — that we’re missing the point.

Everything is becoming more stateless, more global. We don’t know how to deal with it. So we’re all trying very hard to put genies back in bottles, pave cowpaths, turn back waves, all with the same result.

Abject failure."
postnational  global  globalization  globalism  nationalism  national  business  law  culture  mobility  cv  jprangaswami  digital  analog  thirdculture  un-national  generations  internet  web  cloud  government  wikileaks  taxes  regulation  fundraising  residency  identity  statelessness  open  closed  trade  copyright  regional  local  hyperlocal  williamstafford  poetry  borders 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either) - Boing Boing
"If you want to live in the creative universe where anyone with a cool idea can make it and give it to you to run on your hardware, the iPad isn't for you.
corydoctorow  freedom  hardware  opinion  publishing  journalism  ipad  consumption  comics  closed  business  boingboing  apple  drm  culture  ebooks  internet  technology  open  media 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Stowe Boyd - /message - Why Closed Works: Moving Past Steampunk Thinking About The Future Of Computing
"I know there are a lot of techies out there that idealize a hypothetical future that's a kind of steampunk mixture: amazing new functionality -- like full augmented reality, digital currencies, and crowdsourced sousveillance -- but somehow all strapped to the back of operating environments they are comfortable with, like Linux and the desktop-oriented user experiences of the '90s. Sorry, folks. No steam-powered rockets to Mars in this episode.
ux  ui  touch  ipad  stoweboyd  closed  open  steampunk 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Tinkerer’s Sunset [dive into mark]
"Once upon a time, Apple made the machines that made me who I am. I became who I am by tinkering. Now it seems they’re doing everything in their power to stop my kids from finding that sense of wonder. Apple has declared war on the tinkerers of the world. With every software update, the previous generation of “jailbreaks” stop working, and people have to find new ways to break into their own computers. There won’t ever be a MacsBug for the iPad. There won’t be a ResEdit, or a Copy ][+ sector editor, or an iPad Peeks & Pokes Chart. And that’s a real loss. Maybe not to you, but to somebody who doesn’t even know it yet."
ipad  apple  iphone  closed  tinkering  programming  coding  learning  children  computers  development  computer  drm  hacking  hacks  hardware  handheld  freedom  future  software  hackers  appleii  hack  computing  trends  2010  teaching 
january 2010 by robertogreco
if:book: and now we have an ipad
"It's simple – it's fantastically simple, and it will probably work. But I can't help but think of how Stephenson metaphorically equates the closed system of Windows 95 to a car with the hood welded shut: you can't get inside it. Apple's managed this on a scale that late 90s Microsoft could only dream of. I wonder as well what this means for our understanding of technology: maybe technology's become something we let others understand for us."
apple  ipad  closed  open  understanding  technology  tablet 
january 2010 by robertogreco
On the iPad and Networked Books | varnelis.net
"Not only that, I had hoped that iWork might be rewritten as a set of tools that would allow easy construction of media-rich books for the iPad, but that didn’t happen. So much for the Netlab’s next book being on the iPad (a crazy thought I had).
ipad  kazysvarnelis  networking  socialnetworks  closed  open  apple  coursesmart  extbooks  books  newmedia  future  iwork  contentcreation 
january 2010 by robertogreco
rc3.org - Is the iPad the harbinger of doom for personal computing?
"What bothers me is that in terms of openness, the iPad is the same as the iPhone, but in terms of form factor, the iPad is essentially a general purpose computer. So it strikes me as a sort of Trojan horse that acculturates users to closed platforms as a viable alternative to open platforms, and not just when it comes to phones … The question we must ask ourselves as computer users is whether the tradeoff in freedom we make to enjoy Apple’s superior user experience is worth it. … If Apple is really successful, it’s likely that other companies will be more emboldened to forsake openness as well. … The other question that arises for me is whether, in the the long term, the computer you hold in your hand really matters. … A future where applications and data in the cloud are more our own than the computers on our desks seems bizarre, but I can see things playing out that way."
via:preoccupations  ipad  apple  open  cloudcomputing  cloud  decentralization  mac  freedom  computers  applications  iphone  creativity  computing  hardware  technology  future  closed  ios 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Open the Future: Making the Visible Invisible
"an augmented reality world that really takes off will out of necessity be one that offers freedom of use closer to that of the Internet than of the iPhone...An AR world dominated by closed, controlled systems will be safe, but have a limited impact...instead of just blocking advertisers, I wanted to block out the people who annoyed me...The flip side of "show me everything I want to know about the world" is "don't show me anything I don't want to know."
future  futurism  metaverse  visualization  augmentedreality  open  closed  iphone  innovation  jamaiscascio  adblocking  filtering  spam  via:blackbeltjones  interface  ubicomp  attention  gps  maps  ar 
august 2008 by robertogreco

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