Archive for October, 2010

At Least They’re Doing Something

October 7, 2010 1 comment

I thought that the Clay Shirky presentation from The Web 2.0 Expo 2008  was full of beneficial information and insightful scholarly learning. There were a few themes that I picked up on throughout the presentation. The first was that he kept referencing back to the sitcom. Yes, they may be entertaining, but what is really gotten out of it? That is the question that was raised numerous times. I was unaware that we watch 200 Billion hours of television yearly (Shirky, 2008). Imagine if even 1/10 of that was spent on scholarly learning… Where might we be technologically today? This really made me think about myself as both a learner and a social networker. Since I have such a knack for exercise science and personal training, when I do assignments such as the KPE wiki, it really doesn’t feel like work. This is research I enjoy and at the same time it is research I can share. I find myself looking at YouTube videos of various exercises with new variations I have never seen before. I am learning and at the same time I am getting pleasure out of it. However, if I spent that same time watching a sitcom, what might I be getting out of it? Most likely an interpretation of a life lesson I already knew.

Shirky also kept saying “at least they’re doing something” (Shirky, 2008). I think this is one of the most important aspects of technological learning. Something like social networking through the use of Facebook can be very useful. Kids who can master its use may not be using it as a learning tool, but by mastering the use of this very application, they are in fact learning. This can be translated to the use of other networking systems that can be used to further their professional development. This brings me to the example Shirky used at the beginning of his presentation: A man in Brazil created a wiki map for crime. This gives any person that witnesses a crime, whether reported or not, the ability to let others know where it happened (Shirky, 2008). This man could be saving lives indirectly. This is a great thing! The aspect of “starting from scratch” (Shirky, 2008) is great. Imagine if instead, this man created an online map that could not be edited and just included the crime he knew of. By allowing others to edit the map, it gives a greater representation of the crime areas in Brazil, keeping more people safe.

Shirky mentioned the topic of the “media triathlon” (Shirky, 2008)  that is consuming, producing, and sharing. When I used to do research I generally found a piece of information online and used it for a paper and maybe told my close friends about it. But now I find myself tweeting it, blogging about it, or adding it to my wiki. I additionally find myself doing this outside of class even when it is not required, It’s simple, I get enjoyment out of it. How do you guys go about finding your research and then sharing your findings? Also, Have you noticed a change in how you go about your consuming, producing, and sharing process since taking this class?

Shirky, C. (2008) Where Do People Find the Time? Retrieved from

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