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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Doing different things 


Strange house...
I examined a thesis the other week in which the candidate (who was looking at innovations in e-learning) made the distinction between doing things differently and doing different things. I find this a very helpful way of looking at new technology. In a sense it’s value free. As I see it, that means that sometimes we do the same (old) thing, but we end up using new kit, new software or whatever. Like phoning my mum on my mobile rather than on the landline. It doesn’t change much, she still can’t hear what I’m saying, and I for my part need to be extremely patient! But then blogging really means doing different things - and as I’m still learning, using blogs educationally is another thing altogether.

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Comments:
oh yes nice distinction. Very clever .. doing things differently - that is what loads of the new stuff is. But every now and then you realise that doing stuff differently sometimes amounts to doing different things. e.g. keeping an online diary.

And I think that the subtlety of these differences sometimes makes it looks like you are stating the blindingly obvious... when in fact you are pointing out something subtle.

I cannot give you an example of this in case it is perjury.
 
I spose 'doing things differently' equates with old wine in new bottles whereas 'doing different things' would be new ethos stuff. But I like the fluidity that you imply - so what may start off as a re-constituted print literacy practice ends up like something else.

That's what's implied when we use 'mail' and 'posting' or 'chat' - describing something new in familiar terms. Perhpas there are always traces of old practices in new practices....
 
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