Saturday, November 09, 2013

Learning 2013 - Breakout Session 101 - Living Online: The Internet's Impact on Human Memory, Decision Making, Creativity & Communication

The first session I attended at Learning 2013 was a Q&A session by Betsy Sparrow regarding living online. Sparrow is an assistant professor at Columbia University's Psychology Department. She initially was not my first choice for the 8:00 am, Monday session. I chose at the last minute to attend her session was due to her comments at the Sunday night opening session when she was interviewed by Elliott Masie and she commented that we are now focusing on where to find information online rather than remember the knowledge itself.

At her Monday morning session her question to the participants was "Should simple tasks be delegated to look-up learning?" And, as a result of this delegation are we losing our memory of simple things. Trans-active memory gives away control of remembering things to our appliances and the internet. That memory then assumes a belief and a trust that the sites we are turning to are reputable and not willing to mislead us. These sites may be moderated by experts or crowd-sourced.

Belief is the key and if trust in a site or organization is squandered the people looking for information will go elsewhere. So sites cannot stagnate, they must constantly review their content to ensure it is valid and relevant.

Key term learned: Agency: You have control over your learning.

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