Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stem: Information Technology Revolution, World University

I teach a course in Second Life about the Information Technology Revolution, and we had the last class today. Aphilo Aarde is my avatar in 3-d virtual world of Second Life. An avatar seems like a 4 or 5 inch figure that represents people like you and me from anywhere in the world, in Second Life. Here are some key aspects of the IT revolution {thanks to Professor Manuel Castells}:

[15:49] Aphilo Aarde: A paradigm shift occurs due to the Information Technology Revolution
[15:50] Aphilo Aarde: which affects every aspect of socioeconomic life. Here are 5 key aspects:
[15:50] Aphilo Aarde: 1 INFORMATION GENERATION and PROCESSING is what this revolution is about.
[15:51] Aphilo Aarde: 2 It's PERVASIVE - it invades and influences every domain of socioeconomic activity.

Unique things have happened in the IT revolution; in most ways, it's been a series of accidents. For example, Tim Berners-Lee almost single-handedly started the World Wide Web:

[15:54] Aphilo Aarde: Berners-Lee wrote the protocols for http, html, url
[15:54] Aphilo Aarde: and posted these to a BBS (bulletin board system) in 1989
[15:55] Aphilo Aarde: and graduate students disseminated these through various networks.
[15:55] Aphilo Aarde: Tim Berners-Lee wrote these with Robert Cailliau
[15:55] Aphilo Aarde: Berners-Lee was British, living in Geneva, Switzerland, - and with these protocols and markup language, people could then begin to post information on the web. Http, html, and url led to the development of graphical user interface browsers (in the early 1990s)

[15:56] Aphilo Aarde: 3 It's characterized by NETWORKING - mentalities, companies, people - all network - and create synergies, based on these IT-related knowledge generation processes.
[15:57] Aphilo Aarde: 4 FLEXIBILITY is a key - the system is such that it reorganizes, and reprograms its components without disintegration.
[15:59] Aphilo Aarde: 5 It's INTEGRATING - The technological convergence that has occurred is an integrating system,
[16:01] Aphilo Aarde: and it's an open system, not closing, and it's bounded only by technological developments and innovations in ...

[16:04] Aphilo Aarde: Microelectronics
[16:04] Aphilo Aarde: Telecommunications
[16:04] Aphilo Aarde: Computing
[16:05] Aphilo Aarde: and in the genetic engineering revolution - which is also about information
[16:05] Aphilo Aarde: - the code of life

Here's another interesting, related innovation I'm working on:

[16:23] Aphilo Aarde: World University and School
[16:23] Aphilo Aarde: http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/World_University
[16:23] Aphilo Aarde: It's a kind of Wikipedia approach to a Global, Virtual, Open, Free-to-Students, Multilingual University {potentially Degree-Granting, with Great Universities as Key Players} and School, for the Developing World {OLPC countries to begin with} and Everyone
[16:24] Aphilo Aarde: Wikis allow for group knowledge production
[16:24] Aphilo Aarde: because they're editable web pages, based on a distributed network - the Internet
[16:24] Aphilo Aarde: Wikipedia has
[16:24] Aphilo Aarde: 11 million entries
[16:25] Aphilo Aarde: and is in 70 languages. The following help the 'group' shape it:
[16:26] Aphilo Aarde: a neutral point of view
[16:26] Aphilo Aarde: Wikipedia's talk tab
[16:26] Aphilo Aarde: Wikipedia's history tab
[16:26] Aphilo Aarde: Wikipedia's opportunity to revert to previous edits, and people - you or I - can edit most any part of a wiki page
[16:27] Aphilo Aarde: thus changing knowledge generation - and thus shaping knowledge that develops
[16:27] Aphilo Aarde: which changes the idea of knowledge itself
[16:27] Aphilo Aarde: into something flexible, and not static
[16:27] Aphilo Aarde: World University and School - http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/World_University
[16:28] Aphilo Aarde: I first began talking about World University and School on Berkman Island (I'm not on Harvard's faculty) in a class I taught
[16:28] Aphilo Aarde: in Second Life
[16:28] Aphilo Aarde: http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Subjects
[16:28] sundhi Joubert is Offline
[16:28] Aphilo Aarde: http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Courses
[16:30] Crazycatperson Sweetwater: i'm not sure maybe in econ [... in answer to a question I asked in class about what she might like to teach, if she posted a course to World University]
[16:31] Aphilo Aarde: http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Subjects

There's lots of opportunity for individuals here to post what they want to teach to this Wiki on the World Wide Web.

Teach what you want, and take the courses that you want.

Share ideas. Learn. Let's make it fun.

Enjoy . . .

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