This weeks MOOC topic is technobiophillia. What does this long, silly word mean? Sue Thomas, the featured MOOC speaker on the subject describes it as “innate attraction to life and lifelike processes as they appear in technology’. And what does that definition mean? My interpretation of it is the cohabitation of nature, and things that occur outside with our technological devices. The marriage between something completely organic and something man made. The big question is why? why do we use terms derived in nature to describe occurrences in technology. My guess is the human instinct to want to make comfortable associations to things that are unknown in order to interpret them better. For example, in explaining the concept of a digital cloud, using the analogy of an actual, wireless, weightless cloud is a perfect because even those who can’t understand the concept of a folder that doesn’t physically exist, comparing it to a cloud that doesn’t have weight or mass or a definite shape but exists aids the comprehension process greatly. My personal instance of technobiophillia is my iphone background which is the view from the top of a mountain that I hiked in the Adirondacks, why is it my background? Because I feel like I can own a bit of it’s beauty and remember what it was like to be there. My own personal mountain.
During this weeks class, we watched a MOOC talk video regarding digital storytelling. The main speaker, Bryan Alexander spoke about facets and ideas of digital storytelling I didn’t think were relevant to the topic. A few of the topics covered were what is a story, what is not a story and how stories are integrated in the digital age. From the talk, it was surmised that almost anything can be a story, Even a rock. Of the things mentioned one thing in particular that surprised me was that a video game can be considered a form of digital storytelling. Another thing that I thought was interesting, was the question of how the non technologically inclined generation will adjust to the influx of digital media. Something that I personally am also interested in seeing. Something else I’m curious about that was mentionedis which forms of media will stand the test of time and which will fall by the wayside to their younger counterparts.
This weeks blog post centers around the concept of digital storytelling. What is digital storytelling? Digital storytelling is collaboratively using different forms of media such as text, video, pictures or voice recordings, and tying them together cohesively to say something. As of the present, digital storytelling is of utmost significance due to websites such as tumblr, wordpress, weebly, twitter and more, that allow users to share this content with ease. One of the links available to us on the MOOC website was to a Flickr group called “Tell a Story in Five Frames” which allowed users to upload five pictures to show a story-like progression. Some posts moved me, such as one showing a progression eggs turning into caterpillars and then into moths or another showing the creative process of an artist that ended with his finished painting, other posts seemed like an outlet for pictures of cats. All in all, the website gave users the opportunity to share a piece of themselves with ease and I really liked that. Last weeks blog post gave me a chance to be cynical on the sharing of information online, but this weeks post gave me the chance to think about the positives of creative outlets online. I was so interested in this group that I went ahead and joined it, and hope to soon be sharing my stories in five frames. This weeks MOOC topic is my topic for the final project so i’m looking forward to incorporating pieces of it in class this week.
For this weeks assignment, I was asked to read up on the relationship of metaliteracy and the news and respond based on this quote; “The democratization of social media allows for more participation and interaction related to the news than ever.” I believe that there are strong pros to the participation between social media and news. One positive thing is how easy it makes communication between people who live in completely different worlds. The video posted by the ECPA on our MOOC page is a perfect example of this. The man who is in space can receive questions from those on earth via social media and respond to them with video. Not only is this very cool, but it also contributes to education, which is valuable. Another benefit to news and social media integration is that it makes news completely accessible and available to people, even when they don’t want it. Young people all over the country can be completely oblivious to the going ons around them, but completely devoted to their social media accounts, so by logging into their accounts and viewing the information posted by their peers, they are inadvertently receiving information on current events. There are also cons to the aforementioned relationship. One con is the possible illegitimacy of the news. Information posted on social media accounts is not regulated, so anyone can take a piece of data and extrapolate and exploit it until it is something completely different. I feel a loose connection exists between this idea, and the idea expressed by the Tragedy of Commons link on our MOOC page. If we compared a piece of information to a communal patch of land and social media users to farmers, if every ‘farmer’ takes a piece of the ‘land’, the land that’s left over is barren and unusable, i.e the information left over is misconstrued and untrustworthy. Another con of the marriage between news and social media is the dying out of traditional news systems like newspapers and broadcasting that offer high quality, well published news. These lengthy articles and well scripted shows are being replaced by 120 character tweets summarizing entire events into scraps of information, which I feel hurts us all intellectually. The lumping in of news and social media is a double edged sword that we all must dance around.
On the first day of UNL 205x, I was confronted with a term that I’ve never encountered, Metaliteracy. Throughout our first class, I still struggled with the definition of the word, but now that I’ve grasped the idea, I can properly express it’s meaning, in relation to my own life.
Metaliteracy is a collaboration of information and the internet. It is the ability to gather and use knowledge in the digital age. Being able to research a topic using different resources on the internet and applying the information to your needs in the real world is an example of being metaliterate. This course will help me in becoming more metaliterate, which in turn will give me the tools, to access the information I desire and incorporate into my real life as well as in my online life.