Some probable impacts of convergence

Take some time after the introductory lecture to look at these examples in more detail. Again this will stand you in good stead for the tasks required for the module following week 1.

Hans Rosling Data Visualisation:

A brief Exercise before we watch: Look at the pairs of countries below and choose which countries in the pair has the highest child mortality rate:

  • Sri Lanka or Turkey
  • Poland or South Korea
  • Malaysia or Russia
  • Pakistan or Vietnam
  • Thailand or South Africa

One of the interesting things that this shows is that we all hold a particular view of the world in our heads and very often this view of the world is not based on firm evidence but on prejudice. What other views might we hold that are similarly based on prejudice.

Hans Rosling has given several very influential lectures at Ted.com on the new ways in which complex data sets can be made understandable and can be interrogated without a degree in statistics. He has been engaged in taking publically funded data from the United Nations that began to be collected in the early 1960’s and has made it available on the web free and there for anyone to examine.

One of his early lectures at Ted demonstrates the software and its abilities.

The software has been developed over the last few years and Google has bought the software and is funding Rosling to develop it further. You can find some of these devlopments at Gapminder.org

How does this project demonstrate Convergence?

Good Design and Happiness:

Another talk from Ted.com, I recommend that you take a look at some of the lectures, is a discussion by well known designer Stefan Sagmeister in which he showed good design that made him happy.

Design and Artworks engaged with political questions. Stans Cafe is an interesting Theatre group that deals with political issues of wide concern.

Challenges to traditional Educational Institutions:

There is much debate amongst academics and educators at the moment about the probable impacts on educational institutions of the proliferation of new collaborative and social networking tools.

An anthropologist in the US has recently made an interesting video on youtube with his students that questions some of the often unquestioned aspects of current university education and how it is organised. The Video

Another educator who now works for the Getty Foundation gave a recent lecture at the Royal Society for Arts in London on the current problems within education and how it might not be serving children and youn people very well. Ken Robinson gave this talk earlier in June 2008.

Teemu Arina talks about the excitment found in informal learning that technology is encouraging to appear outside of traditional educational establishments.

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