Society as a Human Product [...]

Is it society that forms the self or self that forms society. Berger and Luckmann suggest that,

Society is a human product. Society is an objective reality. Man is a social product. (Source)

Always Already Interpellated [...]

French Marxist Louis Althusser argued in his paper Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses that there is no beyond or outside within which we can exist. Instead, we are always already interpellated, called into existence.

Thus ideology hails or interpellates individuals as subjects. As ideology is eternal, I must now suppress the temporal form in which I have presented the functioning of ideology, and say: ideology has always-already interpellated individuals as subjects, which amounts to making it clear that individuals are always-already interpellated by ideology as subjects, which necessarily leads us to one last proposition: individuals are always-already subjects. Hence individuals are ‘abstract’ with respect to the subjects which they always already are. This proposition might seem paradoxical. (Source)

Coming from a different perspective, Michael Foucault discusses the challenges of identity in Archaeology of Knowledge where he states:

Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same: leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our papers are in order. At least spare us their morality when we write.


Society as a Human Product

Grassroots [...]

We all strive for authenticity outside of or beyond the system which we are trying to critique. Marten Koomen makes the point that we are all a part of the system whether we like it or not.

We all like to see ourselves as grassroots, we all like to think of ourselves as authentic, and more authentic than the systems in which we work. But as we form networks, connect with the powerful, engage with the corporations, the integrity of any grassroots claim diminishes.  Whether working in the Department, working for PISA, or working for the VCAA, when you’re in the system, when you are in an organised network, you are the system. And yes, the system has problems, and systems need to be fixed. (Source)

This is somewhat associated with the debate about Digital Identity vs. Digital Citizenship. I am also reminded of Althusser's remark that as subjects we are always already interpelated.

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Personal APIs [...]

There are many movements associated with reclaiming the web. Whether it be domain of one's own or the notion of POSSE. Another format is the use of API's to make calls and control information on the web. Kin Lane explains the various benefits of personal APIs:

As an individual, company, or institution you want as much control over your online existence as you possibly can. The lines you draw in the sand are important. It is critical that you stop from time to time and take assessment of the lines you've drawn (aka Google yourself). Get rid of old accounts. Clean up dead profiles. You should be also taking every opportunity that you can to make sure you draw lines within your domain, while also applying more thoughtfulness about the lines you draw in other people's domains.Source

This is interesting to consider where APIs sit in the discussion of Digital Identity vs. Digital Citizenship.

A Personal Data Dashboard [...]

One of the challenges with administrative applications and social media sites is the lack of control and awareness that users have about the collection of their data. One ideas that has been discussed to counter this is the idea of a personal dashboard where users are able to turn aspects on and off. This builds upon the ideas around Personal APIs.

A personal data dashboard of sorts where you could explore what providing access to certain data (or not) would cost you.  For example, if you do choose to prevent Twitter or Google from tracking your location, what do you give up?  In many ways, the dashboard would be a space where you could make informed decisions about what you decide to share.  We noted that something like this would have to be run by a third-party independent of the major social media silos in order to ensure that when Facebook or Google say they have locked down access to your information, that can be independently verified. (Source)

To support this concept, Bryan Mathers created a sketch.

Image

Digitizing the School Administration [...]

There is so much written about the digitalisation of education. However, it is often forgotten that much of this relies on an administrative foundation. Mal Lee and Roger Broadie capture this and emphasise the importance of such platforms to continually support the organisational vision.

Do your utmost to take charge of the school’s digitized administration and communication, and adopt solutions that advance the creation of the desired ecosystem and culture, understanding that at times the school will be obliged to use the mandated systems. Set the goal of providing your staff and clients with a digitized administration at least on par with the best SME offerings, that continually reduces their workload while simultaneously improving the intuitively, efficiency, effectiveness, economies and productivity. (Source)

One of the challenges is that many of these applications bring with them a particular way of working, a certain templated self. Jim Groom discusses the idea of the next generation LMS, which provides the means for informed digital consent in regards to data surveillance.


Three-Pronged Solution to Education [...]

Michael Niehoff provides an explanation for a three-pronged solution to improving education. This includes a focus on inquiry, career-readiness and the integration of technology.

We need to combine the best of project-based learning, career technical education and career readiness, and the best available digital tools and resources. I should be superintendent of the western world right? OK, until then, can we work towards collaboratively calling out the three areas driving it all. How complicated is this? It’s not. PBL, CTE/Career Readiness and Tech really do cover it all. Let’s do this. (Source)

It is interesting reading this alongside Eric Sheninger's discussion of capabilities verses skills. This all leaves me wondering about the prospect of Open Badges to support such changes.

The Garden and the Stream [...]

Michael Caulfield uses the metaphors of the garden and the stream to discuss the web. The garden is rhizomatic in nature without a centralised structure, whereas the stream brings everything together. As Caulfield explains,

The Garden is the web as topology. The web as space. It’s the integrative web, the iterative web, the web as an arrangement and rearrangement of things to one another. The Stream is a newer metaphor with old roots. We can think of the”event stream” of programming, the “lifestream” proposed by researchers in the 1990s. More recently, the term stream has been applied to the never ending parade of twitter, news alerts, and Facebook feeds. (Source)

Audrey Watters builds on this metaphor to compare LMS and Domain of One's Own.


Naming, Building, Breaking and Knowing the Web

Why ‘A Domain of One’s Own’ Matters

Re-Decentralised Web [...]

Fake news. Algorithmically created content. Siloed hubs. The challenge currently faced is being human. A part of all of this is the need for a decentralised web. As Doug Belshaw explains,

We need to re-decentralise the Web. I wrote a few years ago about the dangers of newsfeeds that are algorithmically-curated by advertising-fuelled multinational tech companies. What we need to do is quickly replace our reliance on the likes of Facebook and Twitter before politicians think that direct digital democracy through these platforms would be a good idea. (Source)

This is something that Michael Caulfield captures in his discussion of the garden and the stream.

Digital Identity vs. Digital Citizenship [...]

Bon Stewart reflects on the contradiction associated with digital identity and citizenship.

Digital identity, as a practice, operates counter to the collaboration and cooperation that need to be part of digital citizenship. (Source)

Although not quite the same, this reminds me of the contradiction that Gert Biesta touches upon in his notion of a good education.