Topic 1: Reflective Summary

The first topic introduced some relatively simple concepts ….’Visitors’, ‘Residents’, ‘Natives’ and ‘Immigrants’.

Having read everyone else’s posts and re-evaluated mine, I suspect we have all failed to challenge the utility of these labels. It was very easy for us to simply categorise ourselves as ‘Residents’ and ‘Natives’. Seeing such self-evidently accurate terms, weve fallen into the trap of accepting them and failing to challenge their nature.

The reality is there are a multitude of different ways of characterising people, for example; do they trust the web or don’t they, do they take the web with them (on their smartphones) or leave it behind them, do they contribute to knowledge (via Wikipedia etc) or just leave social markers, etc.

Before you develop labels you should define their purpose. For example, are you labelling people because you want to identify those you can sell something to, to identify those who need training, or to identify security risks. I haven’t read Prensky’s, White or Le Cornu’s work in detail but nothing I have seen so far defined what the purpose of the labels were.

At this point I’m looking at these simple labels and asking if they are of more than academic interest.

In any case, our blogs, like all collaborative platforms, enabled us to share our views. Andrew Ghiacy’s embedded YouTube video of a baby trying to interact with a magazine was the post that triggered the most inward debate for me, re: the extent to which we might become ‘trapped’ by a mind-set introduced by the web.

For me, the film The Matrix, is the logical extension of this fear.

An example of this is the world postulated by Isaac Asimov (twentieth century science fiction writer) in which people used ‘remote viewing’ to see each other; to actually physically meet anyone was regarded as repugnant. 

Who knows what paths the web will take and what labels we will ultimately need.

Word Count: 320

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