Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Learning within the eCloud, the tipping point

Point Cloud DataLearning occurs not only in schools but every where at every time. The human mind is wired for learning it is a fundamental reason why we as a species have covered the earth for better or worse. Now for the first time in history the sum of human knowledge and a chronicle of our times is being poured into the Internet and converted into digital forms. This is not new news and has been occurring for sometime; however, I believe we are at a tipping point. This point is defined by how people consume, create and communicate information and form knowledge and in addition how they act when informed by this information and knowledge.

With the emergence of meta tagging, for example Diggo and Delicious, the reflexive process has started in earnest. Users both informed and ill-informed are giving thumbs up to things they like, for example youTube, leaving comments on Blog posts as well as news items. The Internet has become one of the largest, if not the largest discursive spaces ever available. Anyone who doubts this only needs to wonder why various authoritarian governments spend vast amounts of resources filtering, blocking, monitoring and in some cases attempting to shut down access and user created Internet content. However, with the emergence of social networking the net is now viral and rabid and a lot harder for these governments to control.

Point Cloud DataThe Internet and social networking is beginning to display its power to disrupt and push change when faced with institutional structures and power. This in conjunction with how people consume, create, communicate information and form knowledge via the Internet and social networking has created an environment that is reactive, reflexive and in a constant state of change. The real impacts, modifies the representations of the real within the Internet. In turn the simulation of the real is connected via global networks to the creators, transmitter and receivers of data and information. This constant to and fro increases until the hyper real emerges. But this hyper real does not need to be a dystopia it can be viewed as a hybrid, a cloud of data and information that coalesces into a discursive and semiotic space. The eCloud (educational Cloud) is one region of this space. The eCloud is fed and nourished by individuals and groups who follow their passion to know, understand and share information, to make new and update/modify existing knowledge and collectively push the boundaries of the cloud; and ultimately further human wisdom and understanding.