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As I was saying…

I have two blog posts already started, and another two waiting to be transferred from my head to the computer and thence to the web. I have had to interrupt myself so many times because of work commitments that I have become impatient – with myself! Hence the title of this post which should read, in full:

As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted…

Anyway, while I am in the process of completing the aforementioned articles, I thought I would mention the Propaganda exhibition that is currently on at the British Library. Entitled Propaganda: Power and Persuasion, it looks at the techniques used by governments and others to persuade people to do certain things or to adopt particular opinions. I think it is worth seeing, because it is very eye-opening. After all, people and organisations are constantly trying to persuade the educational ICT community that they should adopt this or that technique or technology, or that this or that technique or technology or approach is not useful or appropriate.

There is a section on modern media like Twitter, and its effect on news. For example, Alastair Campbell asserts that when the news media was undecided about whether or not the Olympics were to be enjoyed or disparaged, it was the mood of the public, as expressed through Twitter, that decided the issue with a huge “thumbs up”. Is that objectively true? I have no idea. But it’s an interesting point of view, and has a deeper significance: that social media enables persuasion to be made from the bottom up rather than only from the top down. (That isn’t a new idea, of course, but I thought it was fascinating coming from an ex-journalist who became the Director of Communications and Strategy for Prime Minister Tony Blair, ie someone whose job it was to call the shots.) A worthy topic for discussion in class perhaps?

Unfortunately, the Exhibition is on until the 17th September only, so if you are thinking of going and are in a position to do so, better get your skates on.

I will now try to complete the articles I mentioned. In the meantime, in case you missed these ones I wrote during the summer break I thought I would draw your attention to them. You may find them interesting, stimulating or even, in some cases, mildly amusing.

What is good practice in ICT and Computing? In particular, who decides what constitutes “good practice”?

Do 21st Century Skills make you employable? In a nutshell, I think the emphasis on so-called “21st century skills” is selling youngsters short.

How computers decrease efficiency Summary: computers only improve efficiency if the activity was worth doing in the first place!

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, by which I mean articles more frequently than has been the case lately. Well, that’s the plan anyway!

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