What we should expect from technology

Biology, culture, technology. Initially, our ancestry had only gestures and facial expressions, until the ability evolved to communicate ideas through articulate speech. The advent of spoken language marks the beginning of our cultural evolution, which turned out to progress a lot faster than our biological evolution ever could. Even more stunning than cultural evolution’s pace is its relentless acceleration. We invented script about 5,000 years ago, and moveable-type print in the 15th century. We created the first integrated circuits only in the 1960s, and modern information technology seems to breed new generations of smartphones every year, while apps are already updated monthly.


Read also: How we make progress

The origin of good ideas

Posted in Innovation, Technology | Tagged ,

The effects of new technology on children

Clearly, there is a great concern about this subject and with good reason as it appears that many children and young people are over-using new technology at the expense of real-life experiences that involve face-to-face interaction with others, creative play, and physical activity. According to research three of five children aged twelve years or under have online accounts and are using social media on a daily basis. The links between the growing problems of childhood obesity, mental health issues, and impoverished family life to name a few modern-day ills are easy to make so when my discussion with Ian Dale began with his question “How damaging are these products to children’s educational development?” I wasn’t surprised. I answered by cautioning against the temptation to take too polarised and negative a stance saying that new technology was almost certainly a feature of today’s world and along with the drawbacks came many benefits so it wasn’t a question of either/or but and/both and that what children needed was to learn how to manage the potential overload and over-use and to be critical and discerning users. They also needed to be protected against and supported with the possible exposure to harmful material and cyberbullying.


Posted in Children, ICT, Technology | Tagged , ,

Different Types of Collaborative Problem-Solving Processes in an Online Environment

The purpose of this study was to investigate the types of problem-solving behaviors and their effects on solution quality in an online collaborative learning context. A total of 12 preservice teachers enrolled in a computer education course participated in the study. Students in pairs, randomly assigned by the instructor, carried out a problem-solving task and then changed partners for subsequent tasks. The problem-solving processes of 25 pairings of students were analyzed. Data on their problem-solving behaviors, the quality of their solutions, and their domain knowledge were collected. Results revealed that students who demonstrated more solution-oriented behaviors led others to better solutions while collaborating. In contrast, students who had difficulty in understanding problems demonstrated more problem-oriented behaviors. The solution-oriented students also gained better domain knowledge at the end, compared with the problem-oriented ones. The effects of the student’s interactions during the problem-solving process were discussed.


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Internet Memes and Society: Social, Cultural, and Political Contexts

This book provides a solid, encompassing definition of Internet memes, exploring both the common features of memes around the globe and their particular regional traits. It identifies and explains the roles that these viral texts play in Internet communication: cultural, social and political implications; significance for self-representation and identity formation; promotion of alternative opinion or trending interpretation; and subversive and resistant power in relation to professional media, propaganda, and traditional and digital political campaigning. It also offers unique comparative case studies of Internet memes in Russia and the United States.



Posted in Internet, Memes | Tagged ,

Virtual Platforms as Spaces of Control and Contestation

Today, platform capitalism asserts a complex regime of economic and social control over corporeality (Srnicek 2016). Such control is exercised through composite virtual environments composed of intertwined components such as social media outlets, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMPRG’s) and game worlds, application markets, personal communication applications, news and entertainment media channels, shopping services and business exchange facilities, and even voice-activated domestic assistants. While Google, Apple, Microsoft, Alibaba, Amazon, Uber, Facebook, and a few others already dominate such composite virtual markets, the notion of ‘platform’ itself becomes an economic modality, way beyond a business model, for the foreseeable future.


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Effect of a metacognitive scaffolding on self-efficacy, metacognition, and achievement in e-learning environments

The object of the present research is to study the effects of a metacognitive scaffolding on metacognition, academic self-efficacy, and learning achievement in students with different cognitive styles in the Field Dependence-Independence (FDI) dimension when learning math content in an e-learning environment. Sixty-seven (67) students of higher education from a public university of Bogotá, Colombia participated in the study. The research has an experimental design with two groups and posttest. One group of students interacted with an e-learning environment, which includes within its structure a metacognitive scaffolding. The other group interacted with an environment without scaffolding. Findings show that the scaffolding promotes significant differences in metacognitive ability, academic self-efficacy, and learning achievement. Similarly, the data show that students with different cognitive styles achieve equivalent learning outcomes.


Posted in Cognition, eLearning, Learning, Metacognition | Tagged , , ,

Digital Technologies for Cultural Heritage

In line with the growing demand of digital documentation in the field of Cultural Heritage, nowadays survey technologies allow an immediate reading of a whole system directly in a 3D environment. The Photogrammetry Laboratory at the Iuav University of Venice had often dealt with surveying and documenting complex wooden structures. In this work, we will present the methodology used to acquire two different types of structures with an in-depth analysis of two Venetian study cases: the SS. Giovanni e Paolo’s wooden dome and the Magazzini del Sale’s trusses, starting from previous work in the Ducal Palace. The purpose of this research was to analyze the shape and the geometry of these structures: because of their complexity, a laser scanning survey, with the support of more traditional methods, seemed to be the best way to analyze them and to obtain the information directly in a 3D environment. The final aim was not only the creation of 3D models, useful for studying the spatial complexity, but also the identification of an operational procedure for such particular constructive techniques. This paper analyses the issues concerning the survey processes and it illustrates the solutions chosen to overcome them.


Posted in Cultural heritage, Digital technologies | Tagged ,

The Digital Expansion of the Mind: Implications of Internet Usage for Memory and Cognition

The internet is rapidly changing what information is available as well as how we find it and share it with others. Here we examine how this “digital expansion of the mind” changes cognition. We begin by identifying ten properties of the internet that likely affect cognition, roughly organized around internet content (e.g., the sheer amount of information available), internet usage (e.g., the requirement to search for information), and the people and communities who create and propagate content (e.g., people are connected in an unprecedented fashion). We use these properties to explain (or ask questions about) internet-related phenomena, such as habitual reliance on the internet, the propagation of misinformation, and consequences for autobiographical memory, among others. Our goal is to consider the impact of internet usage on many aspects of cognition, as people increasingly rely on the internet to seek, post, and share information.


Posted in Cognition, Internet, Memory, Mind | Tagged , , ,

How to Download the Books That Just Entered the Public Domain

Public Domain Day was yesterday, but you were probably hungover, so here’s how to download the tens of thousands of books that became legal to download for free in 2019.

Starting at midnight on January 1, tens of thousands of books (as well as movies, songs, and cartoons) entered the public domain, meaning that people can download, share, or repurpose these works for free and without retribution under US copyright law.


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Impact of Screen Time on Kids’ Brains

Screen time activity — watching television or videos, playing video games, or using social media — affects structural changes in the adolescent brain, compelling early findings from new research shows.

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study is by far the largest of its kind, as it aims to recruit 11,500 9- and 10-year-olds and follow them for up to 10 years. It will include detailed information on screen media use and data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans every 2 years. A multivariate tool will be used to try to disentangle the effects of other environmental factors from that of screen media use.


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