Data Deluge (ICT overload).

overload

Have you ever felt like the person in the picture above?

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Could the image above represent our future student’s heads as they experience ‘Data deluge’?  Could this ICT overload jeopardise connectiveness in the classroom?  These are questions I had not considered until doing this course where I feel ‘data deluge’.

Is it possible that our students are not  connecting ?  It would be easy to answer no to this question.  I mean as long as they have access to ICT and have the knowledge to use it (even if not to its full potential) there is no way they are not connecting right?  Well according to George Siemens, Founder and President of Complexive Systems Inc., this is entirely possible.  Siemens believes the vital challenge that society faces  including  teachers and in particular students is ‘data deluge’. What is data deluge?  The web definition of ‘data deluge’ is as follows, the information explosion is the rapid increase in the amount of published information or data and the effects of this abundance. As the amount of available data grows, the problem of managing the information becomes more difficult, which can lead to information overload. …

Statistics show that we are generating huge amounts of data every day: analyst firm IDC has calculated that between 2005 to 2020 the scale of all the digital data created, replicated, and consumed in a single year will grow by a factor of 300: from 130 exabytes to 40,000 exabytes, or 40 trillion gigabytes (Ranger, 2014).  Looked at another way, the amount of data we generate effectively doubles each year (Ranger, 2014).  Could this vast amount of information cause us to miss or overlook the  foreshadowing points of information and therefore fail to bring connections together for students as Siemens suggests?  In addition could Siemens be right in his  belief that our focus on education should be to collapse to the point of connection?

Siemens states that networks are a high level of abstraction and they are a patterned structure.  He believes we need to reduce the process of the educational system down to connectiveness because it gives us control.  Individual connection teacher to student, student to student promotes this.  Siemens goes on to say that the value of understanding how an interaction for example an interaction between student and teacher results in a conceptual advancement for either is a key factor in connectiveness.  If Seimens is correct the network is incidental it is the connection that is critical.

Take a look at the following you tube clip to discover how Seimens and Downes disrupted the  notion of what it means to be a teacher and what it means to be a learner in the purpose of challenging the assumptions of place based views of education.  Their aim was for students to experience what information overload means.  It is interesting to hear about some of the difficulties they experienced in this process.

Hopefully when we step into the world of teaching we will be able to pull the fragments back together for the benefit of our future students 🙂  As Siemens states education is the first ‘whipping post’ for everything that goes wrong in the societal structure.  Brace yourself as you will be in the firing line on many occasions.  Arm yourself with more than a need of a sense of being able to influence, instead collapse your teaching methods to the point of connectiveness and perhaps help create individuals who move on to become better citizens.

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