Universities in the digital age

With the recent funding cuts to Universities all over Australia it is no surprise that the structure of teaching will have to change. MOOC’s or (Massive Open Online Courses) are set up to effectively teach students in the comfort of their own home and at their own pace. In the United States there are some courses which already have up to 250,000 enrolled in them, however most of the people enrolled in these courses drop out as the workload is way too much and people don’t have enough time to complete them. Only 4% of people who enrol in these courses get to the end and at the moment not all certificates that you receive at the end of these courses are accepted on the same level as a degree done at an actual university such as UOW.

An essential part of university is the social aspect, it’s a great chance to meet new people and build new friendships with people other than those in your direct social group. This is an important skill to learn as in the workplace you will be dealing with new people almost on a daily basis and it’s vital that you can work together as effectively as possible. With the reduced face to face time now being proposed in Universities I think this skill will be lost and it will lead to further problems when the company is trying to co-ordinate and work together like a team.

Below is a link to a video about how to succeed in a MOOC

This video clearly lines up how a perfect MOOC operates, with the rise of social media and many other networking sites everyone enrolled in the course is in constant communication with one another which puts the push for learning back onto the individual and their immediate networked group, this helps form stronger bonds with your classmates as you are depending on them as much as they are on you and with a little help every now and then from the tutor you would definitely achieve in a MOOC despite probably never even meeting your close network in person.

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The Future of Journalism

It was once said that when the computer was first introduced into the workplace during the 1980’s it would become the ‘paperless office’, however that in fact did not happen. The same kind of attitude is being taken while talking about the future of journalism and the rise of online news sources. I believe that within the next 10 – 15 years we will see the newspaper significantly reduced in circulation but it will not fade out completely like many predict.

The concept of paying to view online news sounds good in theory but if you actually try to apply this to the internet on a large scale you will be cutting off a huge section of your audience because why pay when you can go to another site which has all the same stories and information there for free. Free news sites will always spring up just as free movie downloads appear on pirate bay. Currently there has been no solution to the issue of downloading movies and music and I believe it will be the same with news stories in the future.

The issue of censorship regarding the news is another major topic for discussion when considering the future of journalism, sites like wiki leaks have gained a bad reputation from governments for exposing secrets, the biggest of them was the collateral murder video from Afghanistan, now I know probably everyone has seen it but just in case you haven’t there is a hyperlink below for you

Currently in Australia if the proposed recommendations made by the Finkelstein report are brought into law by the Australian government then everyone including the citizen journalists who write their own blogs from home will have to by law sign up to the ‘News Media Council’ which is an independent government body for regulating journalism in Australia. Incidents like the one you saw above might never see the light of day if the government takes over the regulation of journalists not only in Australia but all across the western world.

Body, Identity, Race and gender online

The issue of body, identity, race and gender will be hotly debated for many years to come. Anyone can become whoever they want online. Eg boys pretending to be girls and vice versa. This places online identity’s as something to only take at face value for you never know who is sitting on the other side of the screen. the lecture pointed out the fact that identity theft is on the rise now as most of the details needed to steal your identity are already in some companies databases. If they are to be hacked and the information published online then you’re really at the internet’s mercy.

This brings into a totally new idea of identity that once fully operational will be one of the greatest changes in the history of man. The invention of artificial intelligence. If the AI is smart enough then there will be no way for the average individual to distinguish that from a real person. This concept changes the idea of gender online as it is both yet can be male or female.

a great article that looks at how long before an AI is in the society at large can be viewed below.

http://hplusmagazine.com/2010/02/05/how-long-till-human-level-ai/

with AI online all the time. We could possibly lose our internet freedoms and identity as they will have the ability to process information at speeds which are beyond human capacity and as are information is coming from all directions 24/7 now with the rise of user generated content. Censoring the net and what information is put on there will become a very hot topic for debate when AI’s get really going. If you read the article above its not for at least another 50 years that we see an AI that can stand upto a person. It may just be within our lifetime and we may feel very overwhelmed by this new technology just as our parents feel with the internet today.

A very interesting video that looks at internet censorship by AI’s in the information age.