Friday, 21 January 2011

Dale Spender on distractions...the cybary


Dale of course embraced the idea of distraction as part of computer use. Check out the bean bags and laptops...has anyone actually used them? Could be uncomfortable...
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The cultural consequences of the internet have not yet been acknowledged, Spender feels, and she is preaching them with messianic zeal. The worldwide web changes the whole nature of education. It means looking rather than reading, it means making connections (or playing) rather than studying a finished text, it means being able to access information at any time you want rather than attending lectures at particular places and at certain times. "Print literacy is about following an argument. It's about middle-class values - postpone the gratification until you get to the end. There's no ending online. There's no closure, no linear basis. It's about bringing it in, checking it out, constantly evaluating," says Spender.
To help teachers cope with the very different demands of digital literacy, Spender has developed an online professional development course for educators. The course will be interactive and will train teachers who can then go on to teach others. She has also persuaded the University of Queensland, where she is a professor, to replace its library with a "cybrary", complete with 500 computers and beanbags instead of desks.
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The University of Queensland Library is still the top link on Google for cybrary by the way, and before you ask, yes , there are some others....

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