November 17, 2007

Some weekend reading to avoid

Reading Sometimes you just wish you had spent your time doing something more worthwhile. Allow me to save an hour or two of yours by recommending you do not read Futurelab's "Literature Review: Languages, Technology and Learning", written by James Milton at the Centre for Applied Language Studies at the University of Wales in Swansea.

The literature review might be accurate, but it's clear the author hasn't been in many languages classrooms where emerging web-based technologies have been used effectively.

Some of my favourite quotes, just from one page (p.24 if you want to bathe in this stuff):

"There are problems with control of access... It is nearly impossible to stop youngsters exchanging personal details with each other... My own education authority took this problem so seriously they have banned internet access in all primary schools."

"Passive monitoring software is urgently required here to identify bogus users in these [chat] environments."

"In the current stage of technology I think the possibilities of internet usage in language teaching are vastly overrated."

Going on the first and second excerpts, it seems clear that Dr Jim has never really considered the role of media literacy, and his literature review appears to have missed out a rather chunky set of tomes on the matter.

Yet another example in this past month of why media literacy not only needs some serious thought, but also some serious awareness-lifting in even the most lofty circles of innovation.

Pic: Abandon's lab


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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is a teacher, speaker and investor, regarded as one of Europe’s foremost experts in digital media for public services.

His company, NoTosh Limited, invests in tech startups and film on behalf of public and private investors, works with those companies to build their creative businesses, and takes the lessons learnt from the way these people work back into schools and universities across the world.

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