Saturday, 18 April 2015

Relevance and Visuals


For my book review, I'm looking at Gee and Haye's "Language and Learning in the Digital Age" (2011) and one of the things I'm looking at, is whether the book has longevity.  Anything with "digital" in the title published more than 3 nanoseconds ago, begs the question of whether it will have legs. So I've been playing around with looking at the evolution of the web, the "big" things that happened since 2011, like Minecraft (literally a game changer in the gaming world), things like Wikileaks, Web 2.0/3.0, digital storytelling etc. 

But what is most interesting is how this type of thing can be represented visually.  Because of course what defines the "digital" age from the "oral" or "literate" age, is the use of visual.  Ironically of course, the book did not have one single graphic. Not one.

Here are a few cool things I found, the first from The evolution of the Web (unfortunately stops at 2012 - darn, that's when things start to get even more interesting, please visit the link as it is one cool interactive graphic), and from Proquest.

Source: screenshot of: http://www.evolutionoftheweb.com/

Why was a Proquest search so interesting?  Well, they have this little graph on the side which you can use to refine your search according to time. I wanted to compare the book's emphasis on WoW (World of Warcraft) and The Sims (the game, not the sports team - refining searches help!) with Minecraft and Wikileaks and Web 2.0.

This is what I got:
World of Warcraft

The  Sims

Minecraft

Wikileaks


Web 2.0
And this is what the web does to you ... 2016 ... had to investigate further!

The 2016 in the Web 2.0 graph is an epic fail on the part of International Journal of Informaiton and Education technology who are taking the future a little too seriously!

I also had a look at something I was playing around with a lot a while ago, but I've not for a while: Topsy.com. In this day and age, looking at what is trending in twitter is problably more relevant than what's being written about by journalists and researchers.  Here are some shots:







Ok so the point is, in writing a book, about the digital age, and impacts on education and society, it is so incredibly easy to miss something that is happening right under your nose as you focus deeply on something else. And that's the problem with specific examples.  I still need to see how I write about this. Because I am aware that these are the themes of now, or even the fact that I'm writing about them may mean that they're already passé. How do we ensure relevance, generalisability, scalability, and longevity? Or are those the criteria of the past?