Zeitgeist

Tuning in to the zeitgeist is a full-time job and one that educators are uniquely situated to both understand and interpret. How many other professions have such an opportunity to analyse the march of generations and the cultural climate of the times while reflecting on the nature of knowledge and learning? How can an educator justify not engaging with the zeitgeist.

Google Zeitgeist may be of interest (on a number of levels considering the impact of Google on our culture). How can one not analyse the omiscience of a product like iPhone and what is happening right here right now and not come to the conclusion that the recent marketing of iPhone plans by Telstra, Vodafone and Optus symbolises what is wrong with our dinosaur media companies. Reading Mark Pesce’s analysis is a good starting point for understanding the failure of these providers to give consumers a fair deal and mobile access to the internet at a reasonable price. Maybe consumers can do something about this poor business model and network, excuse the pun, using social media tools. Check out FAUC to see what could arise and also what happened in Canada (at the end of this article). We all expect access anywhere anytime and schools must rise to this challenge too as increasingly students have no experience of a world not hyperconnected.

The beta virtual world Google Lively has been released and may also be of interest to educators. A good blog post from HeyJude will be of interest. Classrooms in virtual worlds offer much as can be seen here.

Oh, and did you notice the Google tip that would be of enormous benefit to students? If you want to search not only for your search term but also for its synonyms, place the tilde sign (~) immediately in front of your query in the search box, then hit the Enter key or click the Google search button.

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