ICTlogy Lifestream http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/feed en-us http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Sweetcron ictlogist@ictlogy.net Benchmarking open government: An open data perspective http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16136 Veljković, N., Bogdanović-Dinić, S. and; Stoimenov, L. Benchmarking open government: An open data perspective. London: Elsevier.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 03:33:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/bibliography/reports/projects.php?idp=2625
Indicadores destacados de la Sociedad de la Información. Noviembre 2011 http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16117 Observatorio Nacional de las Telecomunicaciones y la Sociedad de la Información (2011). Indicadores destacados de la Sociedad de la Información. Noviembre 2011. Madrid: ONTSI.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 02:24:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/bibliography/reports/projects.php?idp=2624
Indicadores destacados de la Sociedad de la Información. Junio 2011 http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16118 Observatorio Nacional de las Telecomunicaciones y la Sociedad de la Información (2011). Indicadores destacados de la Sociedad de la Información. Junio 2011. Madrid: ONTSI.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 02:23:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/bibliography/reports/projects.php?idp=2623
Indicadores de Seguimiento de la Sociedad de la Información. Junio 2011 http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16119 Observatorio Nacional de las Telecomunicaciones y la Sociedad de la Información (2011). Indicadores de Seguimiento de la Sociedad de la Información. Junio 2011. Madrid: ONTSI.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 02:22:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/bibliography/reports/projects.php?idp=2622
Principales indicadores relacionados con la Administración Electrónica, penetración y uso de las TIC en Sanidad, Justicia y Educación en España. Julio 2011 http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16120 Observatorio Nacional de las Telecomunicaciones y la Sociedad de la Información (2011). Principales indicadores relacionados con la Administración Electrónica, penetración y uso de las TIC en Sanidad, Justicia y Educación en España. Julio 2011. Madrid: ONTSI.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 02:16:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/bibliography/reports/projects.php?idp=2621
Estudio Comparativo 2012 de los Servicios Públicos online en las Comunidades Autónomas http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16121 Capgemini Consulting (2012). Estudio Comparativo 2012 de los Servicios Públicos online en las Comunidades Autónomas. Madrid: Fundación Orange.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 01:25:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/bibliography/reports/projects.php?idp=2620
Presupuestos de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones en la Administración General del Estado http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16122 Observatorio de Administración Electrónica (2013). Presupuestos de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones en la Administración General del Estado. Madrid: OBSAE.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:33:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/bibliography/reports/projects.php?idp=2618
Están entre nosotros http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16116 Esta tarde, al volver de trabajar, me he cruzado en una avenida de Barcelona con un diputado del Congreso. Nos conocemos hace años. Yo iba en bicicleta, él iba a pie. Nos hemos saludado efusivamente en lo menos que breve del momento. Nos hemos encontrado en varias ocasiones y en distintos escenarios, habitualmente ajenos a la política institucional. A veces intercambiamos pareceres aquí y allá. La semana pasada participé en una jornada sobre transparencia, participación y calidad democrática. La tercera en dos meses. Una la organizaba, directamente, un diputado del Parlament. Las otras dos, respectivamente, los concejales de los asuntos de participación ciudadana. En la primera jornada el diputado llevaba programa, ponentes e incluso daba una ponencia de “contenido” (no de propaganda); en una de las municipales, el concejal llevaba la reunión y tomó decisiones allí mismo, algunas corrigiéndose a sí mismo y reconociendo su mala programación; en la otra municipal, el concejal directamente co-dirigía la dinámica de grupos, tomaba nota, y se retiraba a un segundo plano dejando hablar a los ciudadanos. Con el primero nos hemos encontrado en varias ocasiones y en distintos escenarios, habitualmente ajenos a la política institucional. A veces intercambiamos pareceres aquí y allá. Con los segundos todo apunta a que volveremos a encontrarnos. Hace quince días me enteré que otro diputado, a quién también conozco, había tenido una cuestión familiar. Me enteré por un compañero que tiene una amiga que es su vecina. Da la casualidad que tengo su teléfono (el del diputado, no el de la vecina) y pude corroborar la noticia. Obtuve el teléfono de veras por casualidad pero nunca me pidió que se lo devolviese. Nos hemos encontrado en varias ocasiones y en distintos escenarios, habitualmente ajenos a la política institucional. A veces intercambiamos pareceres aquí y allá. Hay más. Con algunos intercambio información, con otros echo cervezas; algunos están desvirtualizados, otros lo tenemos pendiente; algunos son candidatos a las europeas, otros a la alcaldía de su ciudad; unos van para representantes electos, otros son los que lo harán posible contribuyendo entre bambalinas. Algunos hasta me han prestado su ordenador facilitándome la clave de acceso por teléfono; a otros se lo he prestado yo. Habrá quien piense que es debido a mi perfil que tengo acceso a estas personas. Algo de razón habrá en ello. Sin embargo, yo tiendo a pensar, y cada vez más, que es debido a su perfil — más que el mío propio — que tengo acceso a ellas. Porque da la casualidad de que, siendo mi perfil mi perfil, no tengo acceso a todos, sino sólo a algunos de ellos. Cuento en los párrafos anteriores hasta nueve partidos distintos. Demasiado para mi humilde perfil: tiene que ser algo en su perfil. No nos engañemos: soy el primero que a veces no entiende que parezcan no indignarse frente a según qué actuaciones de algunos de sus compañeros. Pero sí agradezco que estén ahí tendiendo puentes. Saben cuánto cuesta un abono multiviaje porque lo usan como cualquiera, no porque un asesor de comunicación ha incluido esa información en la preparación de un discurso enlatado. Saben de hipotecas porque las tienen que pagar, no porque se lo ha contado la pescadera en su visita electoral al mercado de turno. Saben de abortos, saben de dependencia, saben de paro porque conocen a alguien que, no porque hayan leído las estadísticas del INE o las encuestas del CIS. Mi voto no lo tiene garantizado ningún partido. Pero sí lo tienen garantizado esa franja de políticos que, estos sí, están entre nosotros. Esta entrada publicada originalmente en SociedadRed como Están entre nosotros

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Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:02:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/sociedadred/20140414-estan-entre-nosotros/
El entorno personal de aprendizaje para el investigador. Conferencia Esenred: Ismael Peña López http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16115 El entorno personal de aprendizaje para el investigador. Conferencia Esenred: Ismael Peña López

Seminario en el curso "La Educación Superior en Red", Universitat de València, 31 de marzo de 2014. Valencia: Universitat de València. Más información: http:... From: Ismael Peña-López Views: 136

2 ratings Time: 01:14:59 More in Science & Technology

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Sun, 13 Apr 2014 09:49:00 -0700 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dburscsQ4Xs&feature=youtube_gdata
Ismael Peña-López: Innovación Social Abierta http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16113 Ismael Peña-López: Innovación Social Abierta

Entrevista durante la VI Jornada Anual del Instituto de Innovación Social, 20 de febrero de 2013, Barcelona. Barcelona: ESADE. Más información y PPT de la co... From: Ismael Peña-López Views: 38

1 ratings Time: 01:17 More in Science & Technology

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Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:12:00 -0700 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eym12GTfvdk&feature=youtube_gdata
El entorno personal de aprendizaje para el investigador. Conferencia Esenred: Ismael Peña López http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16114 El entorno personal de aprendizaje para el investigador. Conferencia Esenred: Ismael Peña López

Seminario en el curso "La Educación Superior en Red", Universitat de València, 31 de marzo de 2014. Valencia: Universitat de València. Más información: http:... From: Ismael Peña-López Views: 125

2 ratings Time: 01:14:59 More in Science & Technology

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Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:53:00 -0700 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dburscsQ4Xs&feature=youtube_gdata
MOOCs, cMOOCs and xMOOCs: time to split up http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16111 Some weeks ago I was contacted by a doctoral student who is doing her dissertation on MOOCs. She was sending along a questionnaire on how to define and characterize MOOCs to which I had hard times to answer. The reason was not that the questions were specially difficult, but that the answers had very different mileage depending on whether you had in mind cMOOCs or xMOOCs. The feeling was not new: every time I read on the news something about MOOCs or have a conversation among colleagues on the topic, the difference (the huge differences) between the two models make any judgement difficult until some quite major clarifications are made. As the questions from the doctoral student where appropriate, I thought I would take the chance, in answering them, to stress how cMOOCx differ from xMOOCs and, consequently, what a good idea would be to split up one model from the other one. My intention is far from aiming at coining a new term — there already exists even a taxonomy with 8 types of MOOC by Donald Clark — but reflecting on these differences and, in some way, extend the excellent work by Li Yuan, Stephen Powell and Bill Olivier at Beyond MOOCs: Sustainable Online Learning in Institutions. Here, thus, comes the questionnaire and my answers: A questionnaire about MOOCs 1. How would you define a MOOC? It depends. xMOOCs are self-learning courses supported by a minimum technological infrastructure for the distribution of learning materials and, sometimes, to enable a certain student-to-student interaction. In my opinion, most of them are not much more than that. cMOOCs are self-learning communities, initiated by a person or a group of persons with knowledge and experience on a topic, and addressed to the rest of the community of interest so that new knowledge is built collectively with the support of decentralized leadership and the convergence of ideas. 2. What are the main characteristics of MOOCs? It depends. Most xMOOCs are just like an online course but without support or facilitation. Or are just a learning material with, sometimes, a platform for the exchange of opinions and judgements. cMOOCs have a distributed leadership, they use totally decentralized technology and platforms, with a certain or minimum coordination (either methodological or technological) that, once it is established, usually steps aside and out of the front line of the learning action. 3. What would you consider are the benefits of MOOCs in comparison with other distance learning or e-learning modalities It depends. Most xMOOCs are, in my opinion, a step backwards (or, in the best scenario, just staying in the very same place) in relationship to other learning modalities. Only in very exceptional cases, and compared with very basic modalities, they suppose and advancement if they succeed in creating a dynamic and live learning community. cMOOCs, in my opinion, are a leap forward. They imply putting the student in the centre of the learning action, make them aware and be part of the design and initiative of the learning action, make them reflect about that learning process and about the goals to be achieved (goals that, indeed, they are often changing). The MOOC makes reality the old motto of “learning to learn” as it makes real the creation of communities of learning and/or practice that, luckily, will stay with the learning for a long time (as long as their learning to learn lasts). 4. What would you consider are the main limitations of MOOCs? It depends. Most cMOOCs have as a main limitation the lack of facilitation, at least quality facilitation. Which, at its turn, implies other limitations that are the consequence of the former: highest drop out rates, disaffection, insecurity on the accomplishment of the learning goals, etc. cMOOCs have as the main limitation that they usually take for granted that the learner masters three skills which are, the three of them, very demanding:

A certain level (usually high) of knowledge on the topic to be dealt with. A certain digital competence, the higher the more decentralized is the course. A certain interest in matters of learning methodologies so that they can perform the implicit metaanalysis of a course of this kind.

If each and every one of these three factors is already excluding on its own, the confluence of the three of them is quite often an insurmountable barrier. 5. How do you think the main limitations of MOOCs could be addressed? It depends. Most xMOOCs, in my opinion, should evolve towards already established modalities which have proven their efficacy, with facilitators that guide the student and scaffold their learning process. cMOOCs should do an effort to increase the granularity of the levels of decentralization, individualization, autonomy, digital competence, pedagogical reflection, etc. so that it is possible to design a gradation of MOOCs that go from less “cMOOC-intensive” (and, thus, closer to more traditional modalities) to more “cMOOC-intensive” levels or “pure-cMOOCs” to benefit from all the possibilities of the model. This granularity with surely imply a trade-off with the “purity” of the MOOC, either with more centralization, more scheduling, more support or facilitation to students, more technological pre-setting, etc. 6. What role do you think MOOCs have? Now focussing only on cMOOCs (I guess it is now clear that I believe that xMOOCs are, in reality, self-learning without a course), in my opinion cMOOCs are the great excuse to rethink the increasingly more blurry frontier between formal education and informal, non-formal and autodidactic learning. And, with it, to rethink the role of traditional educational institutions before the institutions whose mission is not educating, but that in whose performance they end up being excellent learning platforms themselves (firms, among others). 7. Please state the degree of agreement with the following statements ranging from totally disagree to totally agree: (this question is being answered in relationship with cMOOCs, totally leaving xMOOCs aside).

Totally disagree Somewhat disagree Somewhat agree Totally agree

MOOCs are a new learning modality

MOOCs are an opportunity for lifelong learning.

MOOCs can be followed by people from all educational levels.

MOOCs participants should have a specific competencial profile (autonomy and initiative, perseverance, certain degree of digital skills…) before taking part in these courses.

MOOCs should have mechanisms so that students could be aware of their progress in the acquisition and development of competences.

Comptetences acquired and developed in the framework of a MOOC sould be evaluated.

Current accredtation of MOOCs is the correct one (free participation + pay per certification).

People that have taken part on a MOOC will have more chances of finding a job.

  1. Other considerations that you may want to add. I consider essential, in any analysis about MOOCs, to split up cMOOCs from xMOOCs: they are too different to be treated altogether. Regarding the question “Comptetences acquired and developed in the framework of a MOOC sould be evaluated” I do not think this question should be related to any modality of learning action in particular, but related to the purposes that led someone to develop and follow a specific learning action. That is, the decision whether to evaluate lies, in my opinion, outside of the modality, and it is framed in the learner’s context, in the learning goals, in the need (or not) for a certification of such evaluation, etc. Thus, I think this is a question that “does not apply”. Some last notes The landscape of MOOCs is rapidly evolving. Their horizon is broadening as are the methodologies that lead their design and development… and the business models (or lack of) that lie behind them. Some of them are beginning to be more closed courses than open; some of them are beginning to stress on facilitation; some others on peer-evaluation; etc. By increasing, as I stated before, the granularity of their characteristics, also their types will vary and increase, depending on what characteristics one prioritizes in detriment of other ones. Some of my statements above may thus be very inaccurate in the medium term for most MOOCs, be them xMOOCs or cMOOCs… as I am fully aware that they already are for some. So, the important thing, to me, is the following one: if MOOCs are the answer, what was the question? I think that when trying to understand MOOCs it still is more important to identify the correct question rather than focussing on what MOOCs (all of them or some of them) can or cannot do or achieve. This post originally published at ICT4D Blog as MOOCs, cMOOCs and xMOOCs: time to split up
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Fri, 11 Apr 2014 03:39:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/20140411-moocs-cmoocs-and-xmoocs-time-to-split-up/
Beyond MOOCs: Sustainable Online Learning in Institutions http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16123 Yuan, L., Powell, S. and; Olivier, B. (2014). Beyond MOOCs: Sustainable Online Learning in Institutions. Bolton: CETIS.

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Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:56:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/bibliography/reports/projects.php?idp=2617
Democracia líquida: contra la falsa disyuntiva de la democracia directa o la democracia representativa http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16109 Imaginemos un mundo sin coches. Un mundo donde todo el mundo va a pie. De repente, se inventa el motor de explosión y, con él, se inventa el coche. ¿Qué hacemos? ¿Vamos todos a todas partes en coche? ¿Sí? ¿No? Bueno, ni sí ni no: seguramente seguiremos yendo a buscar el pan a la panadería de la esquina a pie. Lo que hará la existencia del nuevo medio de locomoción será abrirnos nuevos espacios, poner a nuestro alcance nuevas experiencias, acortar las distancias haciendo que lo que antes suponía horas o días de marcha a pie ahora sólo esté a unos litros de gasolina de distancia. Imaginemos un mundo sin Internet. Un mundo donde el ejercicio de la democracia es costoso: informarse, deliberar, negociar, votar, evaluar las decisiones. De hecho, no es costoso: es muy costoso. ¿Qué hacemos? Delegamos gran parte de nuestro ejercicio de la democracia en terceros: gobiernos, parlamentos, partidos, sindicatos, ONG, medios de comunicación… ellos se informan, deliberan, negocian, votan y evalúan los resultados por nosotros. De vez en cuando nos lo cuentan y de vez en cuando nos piden que les votemos. Hasta aquí, cuestión de eficiencia y eficacia. Y realismo: menos unos pocos, el resto pagamos la casa y el plato de cada día no haciendo política sino ganándonos el pan con otras ocupaciones — ocupaciones que, como hemos dicho, no nos permiten el ejercicio de la democracia directa. De repente, se inventa Internet. ¿Qué hacemos? ¿Vamos ahora todos a participar y eliminamos todos los intermediarios de la democracia representativa? ¿Sí? ¿No? ¡NO! Si no íbamos a buscar el pan en coche (excepciones aparte, está claro), ¿por qué deberíamos pasar de una democracia representativa a una directa sin ninguna transición? Al fin y al cabo, seguimos teniendo 24h al día. Por mucho Internet que tengamos, seguiremos teniendo que invertir un tiempo (que no tenemos) a informarnos, deliberar, negociar, votar y evaluar. ¿Sí? ¿No? Tampoco. En general, los movimientos que defienden una desintermediación de la democracia no necesariamente piden el paso a una democracia directa, donde todos votamos todas y cada una de las decisiones que debemos tomar como sociedad, sino una democracia (representativa) más participada. Hay dos mitos que se deben desterrar urgentemente del imaginario colectivo y que son tres grandes frenos a la evolución de una democracia, ahora sí, facilitada por las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación.

Que nadie sabe nada. Falso. Todos sabemos algo. Porque hemos estudiado una determinada disciplina, porque tenemos años de experiencia profesional en un determinado ámbito, o porque, simplemente, somos algo (somos padres, somos mujeres, somos inmigrantes…). Por lo tanto, en muchos casos, se puede participar sin empezar de cero (a informarse, a saber quién es quién) porque, sencillamente, domina una determinada cuestión, demanda o problemática. Que todo el mundo deberá saber y participar de todo y, en consecuencia, moriremos en el intento. Falso. El hecho de que Internet ponga a nuestra disposición muchísima información no implica que necesariamente tengamos que asimilarla toda. De hecho, hace siglos que las bibliotecas tienen más información de la que nunca podremos procesar y nadie nos había pedido hasta ahora que lo hiciéramos: ¿por qué iba ser diferente con Internet?

Internet nos permite, técnicamente, ahora, participar en todo. Pero Internet no nos obliga a participar en todo. Entre la democracia representativa y la democracia directa hay un punto intermedio: algunos lo llamamos democracia líquida. [clic para agrandar] ¿En qué consiste? Fácil: en los temas que uno domina — porque los ha estudiado, porque tiene experiencia, porque le afectan especialmente o porque tiene un interés particular en ellos — hacemos posible que el ciudadano participe directamente. Como domina los temas, los costes de participar serán bajos para el ciudadano y, por supuesto, además se le supone motivación. En los temas que un ciudadano desconozca o no tenga ningún tipo de interés o motivación, dejemos que este ciudadano delegue el voto en alguien. Ese alguien puede ser, como se ha hecho tradicionalmente, un partido político. Pero ese alguien también puede ser otro ciudadano al que, puntualmente y para esta cuestión, le sea delegada la facultad de representar a los ciudadanos que confíen en él. En resumen: democracia directa o participación cuando queramos o cuando podamos, y democracia representativa cuando no queramos o no podamos, con la particularidad de que no necesariamente esta representación vendrá de la mano de listas que, a menudo (como se ha demostrado) ni tienen conocimiento sobre una cuestión ni, además, quieren tenerlo porque sus intereses personales o de grupo se anteponen a los de la ciudadanía. Esta variante no está exenta de problemas, ¡por supuesto! Pero no caigamos en el engaño de pensar que sólo hay dos extremos en el ejercicio de la democracia. Entrada originalmente publicada el 1 de abril de 2014, bajo el título Democràcia líquida: contra la falsa disjuntiva de la democràcia directa o la democràcia representativa en la Revista Treball. Todos los artículos publicados en esa revista pueden consultarse allí en catalán o aquí en castellano. Esta entrada publicada originalmente en SociedadRed como Democracia líquida: contra la falsa disyuntiva de la democracia directa o la democracia representativa

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Thu, 10 Apr 2014 00:54:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/sociedadred/20140410-democracia-liquida-contra-la-falsa-disyuntiva-de-la-democracia-directa-o-la-democracia-representativa/
El entorno personal de aprendizaje para el investigador. Conferencia Esenred: Ismael Peña López http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16112 El entorno personal de aprendizaje para el investigador. Conferencia Esenred: Ismael Peña López

Seminario en el curso "La Educación Superior en Red", Universitat de València, 31 de marzo de 2014. Valencia: Universitat de València. Más información: http:... From: Ismael Peña-López Views: 50

1 ratings Time: 01:14:59 More in Science & Technology

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Thu, 10 Apr 2014 00:10:00 -0700 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dburscsQ4Xs&feature=youtube_gdata
El entorno personal de aprendizaje para el investigador. Conferencia Esenred: Ismael Peña López http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16110 El entorno personal de aprendizaje para el investigador. Conferencia Esenred: Ismael Peña López

Seminario en el curso "La Educación Superior en Red", Universitat de València, 31 de marzo de 2014. Valencia: Universitat de València. Más información: http://esenred.blogs.uv.es/ http://ese... From: Ismael Peña-López Views: 16

0 ratings Time: 01:14:59 More in Science & Technology

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Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:47:00 -0700 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dburscsQ4Xs&feature=youtube_gdata
El entorno personal de aprendizaje para el investigador. Conferencia Esenred: Ismael Peña López http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16108 El entorno personal de aprendizaje para el investigador. Conferencia Esenred: Ismael Peña López

Seminario en el curso "La Educación Superior en Red", Universitat de València, 31 de marzo de 2014. Valencia: Universitat de València. Más información: http:... From: Ismael Peña-López Views: 0

0 ratings Time: 01:15:43 More in Science & Technology

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Wed, 09 Apr 2014 07:12:00 -0700 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dburscsQ4Xs&feature=youtube_gdata
In defense of “slacktivism”: The Human Rights Campaign Facebook logo as digital activism http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16124 Vie, S. (2014). In defense of “slacktivism”: The Human Rights Campaign Facebook logo as digital activism. [online]: First Monday.

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Tue, 08 Apr 2014 19:18:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/bibliography/reports/projects.php?idp=2616
The Nature of Slacktivism: How the Social Observability of an Initial Act of Token Support Affects Subsequent Prosocial Action http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16125 Kristofferson, K., White, K. and; Peloza, J. (2014). The Nature of Slacktivism: How the Social Observability of an Initial Act of Token Support Affects Subsequent Prosocial Action. Madison: University of Wisconsin.

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Tue, 08 Apr 2014 19:16:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/bibliography/reports/projects.php?idp=2615
The future of libraries, if they have any http://ictlogy.net/lifestream/items/view/16107 Idescat — the Catalan national statistics institute — published in late 2013, the update to the 2012 Library Statistics where it stated, among other things, that in 2012, “the number of users grew up to 4.5 million [the Catalan population is calculated to be 7.5 million], 18.3% more than two years ago”. Almost a month later, Professor Xavier Sala-i-Martin stated at the national television that “when the Internet comes, librarians lose their jobs”. This statement was later on developed with more depth in his blog post Internet, Librarians and Librarianship. Can both statements be true at the same time? Or is someone plain wrong? Probably the best explanation for these apparently opposing statements, and one explanation that makes them fully compatible, has to do with the present and the future of libraries. In recent years we have been witnessing how Information and Communication Technologies turned everything upside down, especially (but not only) knowledge-intensive activities. And, among all knowledge-intensive institutions, libraries are no doubt part of the leading group. The Public Library Association explains the whole matter: an increase in the demand for library services, an increase in the use of WiFi networks, in increase in the use of library computers, an increase in training on digital skills. In short, most users are not only going to libraries asking for borrowing books — which they of course do — but they increasingly go to libraries looking for a means to gain access to the Information Society. But not merely physical access but quality access: what in the arena of digital inclusion has ended up being called the second digital divide. That is, once physical access to infrastructures has “ceased” to be an issue, what is needed is training in digital skills, and guidance in its use. Using an extemporaneous metaphor, once one has a new car, what she then needs is a driving licence. So, we see there is more demand. But what about staff cuts? It turns out that, unlike many of the traditional roles of libraries, when it comes to overcoming the first (access) and second (skills) digital divide, many different actors come together to work in the later issue. Both inside and outside libraries. These new actors simply are a consequence to the change (or enlargement) of the roles of the library, a consequence that has now found competitors both in the market as in the public sector itself. A recent study by the European Commission, Measuring the Impact of eInclusion actors shows how, in addition to libraries, many other actors work in the field of e-inclusion (each one in their own way), such as telecentres, Internet cafes, some schools, fee WiFi access points, some bookstores, bars and cafes, etc. These new actors, indeed, also often operate inside libraries: libraries many times subcontract the services of telecentres or other “cybercentres” — or their personnel’s — either for managing the public computer network or to impart training related to digital skills. So, summing up, this is what we have so far: the growing need for digital competence does increase the use and demand for training in issues related to information management (and therefore fills libraries with people) but the diversity of functions and (new) actors means that, in the end, it take less ‘librarians’ but more ‘experts in information management and digital skills’. Yes, some concepts are written between quotation because, most likely, they already are or will soon be the same thing. And thus we enter the topic of the future of libraries. Empirical evidence tells us that information, the Internet, is increasingly ceasing to be a goal in itself, a differentiating factor, to become a generally purpose technology. If getting to the information ceases to be a goal to become a tool it is because it a (usually ad hoc) tool to be used “passing” in the pursuit of another task. Whatever that is: today it is practically impossible not to find a job, whatever trivial may be, that does not incorporate a greater or lesser degree of information, or of communication among peers. Thus, beyond getting information it now becomes mandatory learning to learn and managing knowledge: it is not, again, about gaining access to information, but about taking control of the process of gaining access to information, of knowing how one got to a specific set of information so that the process can be replicated it in the future. Finally, and related to the previous two points, access to information ceases to be the end of the way to become a starting point. Thus, the library and other e-intermediaries become open gates towards e-Government, e-Health, e-Learning… almost everything to which one can add an “e-” in front of it. That is, information as an instrument, the quest for information as a skill, and getting to the desired piece of information to keep looking for information and be able to perform other tasks also rich in information. And begin the beguine. Tacitly or explicitly, libraries are already moving in this direction. If we forget for a moment politeness and political correctness, we can say that system libraries and the system working in the same field are already leaving behind piling up paper to focus on transferring skills so that others can pile their own information, which most likely will also not be printed. Fewer libraries, but more users. It’s worth making a last statement about this “system working in the same field” because the formal future of libraries, especially public ones, will largely depend on (a) hot they are able to integrate the functions of the “competition” or (b) how they are able to stablish shared strategies with this competition. If we briefly listed before telecentres, cybercafés, schools, free WiFi access points, bookshops, bars and cafes as converging actors in the field of e-intermediation, we should definitely add to this list innovation hubs, co-working spaces, fab labs, community centres and a large series of centres, places and organizations that have incorporated ICTs in their day to day and are open to the public. This whole system — libraries included — is not only working for access but for the appropriation of technology and information management; they have make centres evolve into central meeting places where access to information is yet another tool; and they have become areas of co-creation where the expected outcome is a result of enriched information resulting from peer interaction. The future of the library will be real if it is able to cope with these new tasks and establish a strategic dialogue with other actors. It will probably require a new institution — not necessarily with a new name — that allows talking inside the library, or cooking, or printing 3D objects or setting up a network of Raspberry Pi microcomputers connected to an array of Arduinos. Or mayble the library — especially if it is public — should lead a network of organizations with a shared strategy so that no one is excluded from this new system of e-intermediation, of access (real, quantitative) to knowledge management. I personally I think that libraries are already at this stage. I am not so sure, though, that is is the stage where we find the ones promoting a zillion e-inclusion initiatives, the ones promoting modernizing the administration, educational technology, smart cities and a long list of projects, all of which have, in essence, the same diagnosis… but that seemingly everyone aims at healing on their own. Originally published on March 28, 2014, as El futur de les biblioteques, si és que en tenen at the Fundació Jaume Bofill blog at El Diari de l’Educació). All the articles published in that blog can be accessed at the original site in Catalan or here in the English translation. This post originally published at ICT4D Blog as The future of libraries, if they have any

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Sun, 06 Apr 2014 08:34:00 -0700 http://ictlogy.net/20140406-the-future-of-libraries-if-they-have-any/