Today marks the first day of Summer Semester 2014, which for me, is the beginning of the end – the end of my (first) undergraduate degree, at least. In this accelerated semester I’ll be taking two intensive subjects over the course of six weeks, thus amalgamating to the equivalent of two full time subjects taken across a standard university semester. For the purpose of one of these subjects, I’ll be updating countingletters regularly with my reflections on the course content, tangential thinking regarding issues discussed, and offering perspectives on class readings and other related material.
Consequently, countingletters may appear to have a temporary shift in theme for this period of time. I generally try to (defy the first rule of blogging and) steer clear of one specific theme or niche on my blog, but decided instead of activating a new portal for my Networked Media reflections, to instead integrate them into countingletters and build up my online presence, portfolio and thinking, from here.
I may also be slightly altering the layout and formatting of countingletters for this purpose, but I feel a little sprucing up for the new year is far from detrimental, in any case. You’ll notice I’ve added a Blogroll to countingletters linking you to other Networked Media student’s blogs. Feel free to check them out to gain an alternative perspective on the course. To start you off, here’s a link to Mishell Hernandez’s blog.
I’m aware that the nature of this content may be less appealing to some of you, and so please, feel free to disregard many of the coming posts over the next six weeks. However, as was discussed in today’s workshop, networked media is inherently about navigating between, and integrating platforms, media content and social spheres. Therefore, if you’d stick with me, I hope to be able to provide you with some interesting and possibly new (dare I say, innovative) knowledge with which you can nourish and nurture your own minds. We can learn together, if you like.
A key idea on which this Networked Media course is founded is that of the constructivist model of learning. In brief, the model proposes that all knowledge is built, rather than existing free of context. New knowledge is understood through the personal lens (influenced of course by an individual’s social sphere), and is made useful through integration with already existing knowledge.
Upon learning of the name of this philosophy today, I was taken back to my year 11 psychology class, where we studied systems of memory and learning. Paralleling this constructivist notion, I remembered (forgive the extended pun), that memories are recalled through a series of associations based on a network of nodes. These nodes are structured according to concepts, where the application of existing knowledge makes it easier for us to engage with new concepts. This structural layout and its associated process is known as Semantic memory.
You may be wondering why I referenced Wikipedia in the above paragraph, to provide you with further information about the concepts introduced. I’ve long thought Wikipedia to be an unreliable, sketchy source – something never to be referenced in academic coursework – and have huffed at nameless politicians who have referenced it in public discourse. However, I learned today that Wikipedia is in fact probably the world’s most accurate encyclopaedia, and thus, its faults aside, determined it to be the most appropriate resource in this context.
I hope you will continue to follow my documenting of Networked Media and take the opportunity to receive a full semester’s learning – at no cost to you! – through my personal understandings and speculations as we navigate our way through the fundamentals of ‘networked structures, protocols, and… internet communications’.