Monday, January 19, 2009

Web 2.0

I found some notes that are undated and un-contexted, but interesting. So I am posting them here that we might all be able to think about them and find them and I can delete them from my desktop.

Tinkering: Web 2.0 is digital tinkering. Kids don't just know how - they need instruction and practice. 

The teacher says: Tinkering is important for promoting certain kinds of thinking and certain interests; both engineers and computer scientists frequently cite it as important for children. But at some point people have to move past tinkering and be guided to a deeper understanding. Assuming that the "digital natives" will just figure it out on their own is as foolhardy as assuming that a 10-year-old who can take apart a toaster can therefore build a car.

Culture: We are culture-bound in how we think and in inventing the future. E.g. Indians (from India) would not have invented the desktop model because they don't use desks, they would have done bookshelves. [Really? Interesting.] At the lower level there are similarities in how humans think about things that are pervasive across cultures. The interface needs to merely not get in the way. Alan tried using the theory of instruction. 

The teacher says: OH. These must be notes from a lecture by Alan Kay and Andy Van Dam at the Engelbart thing. The first half resonates with me - this is why diversity in design teams is so important! The second half confounds me. What were they talking about?

Instant gratification: in the Bible, Esau sold his birthright for a cup of porridge. Americans may be doing that now. Romans: bread and circus.

The teacher says: I can't respond intelligently because I don't remember the context well enough to know why I found this striking. Partly because I think biblical references are cool, partly because I didn't remember that about Esau, and certainly for some other greater reason. But the lecture is online, so you can go listen and think for yourself!

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