As of late, I have been enamored with infographics—the epitome of “a picture is worth a thousand words.” So, beginning this week and running indefinitely, I will be posting infographics that have caught my eye and made me think.
The inaugural infographic comes from an information brief from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development with the original link for the pdf here. Take a look and then let’s chat:
Recently, @digitalmaverick posted this question on Twitter, and I think it makes a pretty important point:
In era in which innovation and constant change are the norm with digital technologies, the access to and experience with digital devices, broadband Internet and composing softwares is paramount. In this infographic, ASCD not only proposes the digital divide in terms of individuals, but schools in comparison to, I assume, industry and business.
Continue reading The Digital Divide Goes to School
In the Music section of The New York Times, music critic Simon Reynolds explored how and why The Songs of Now Sound a Lot Like Then. Right in the middle of this column, Reynolds takes a stab at the larger vintage chic pop culture phenomenon and its relation to the digital age. Just something that made me go hmmmmm….
The fading of newness and nowness from pop music is mystifying. But in the last couple of years a concept has emerged that at least identifies the syndrome, even if it doesn’t completely explain it. Coined by the co-founders of cyberpunk fiction William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, “atemporality” is a term for the disconcerting absence of contemporaneity from so much current pop culture. This curious quality can be detected not just in pop music but in everything from fashion to graphic design to vintage chic.
A prime example of atemporality is the fad for photography apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram, which digitally simulate the period atmosphere of pictures taken in the ’70s or ’80s, using the cameras and film stock of the time. Instant-nostalgia snapshots are part of a culture-wide fascination with outmoded technology and “dead media” (Mr. Sterling’s term) that encompasses everything from the cults for manual typewriters and cassettes to the steampunk movement’s fetish for Victoriana to the recent movie “Super 8.”
Mr. Sterling sees the time-out-of-joint nature of today’s pop as a side effect of digiculture. One of the curiosities of the futuristic-seeming information technology that we now enjoy is that it has dramatically increased the presence of the past in our lives. From YouTube to iTunes, from file-sharing blogs to Netflix, the sheer volume and range of back catalogue music, film, TV and so forth that is available for consumption is astounding.
We can access all this stuff with incredible speed and convenience, share it and store it with minimal effort.
Speaking of access to music of the past with incredible speed and shared with minimal effort…
Anna Smith, PhD, educational researcher & teacher educator blogging about composition in the digital age, contexts for learning, theories of development, and global youth.