Net Neutrality

I want to pick up on a post from John Connell which picked up on ‘net neutrality’. He said

Tim Berners-Lee, as you might expect, has fought against any attempt to damage the open nature of the Net , and has used his own blog in the fight. A particularly interesting take on the protagonists ranged on either side of this debate is offered by Lawrence Lessig in his influential blog. He points out that, in his view, those arguing for net neutrality are those who ‘get’ the Net, and those opposed are those who have never ‘gotten’ it.

I am still a bit ‘rattled’ by the Phillip Adams session at the Education.au seminar – not so much by what was said as by what wasn’t said. I realise that it was the whole issue of net neutrality that was central to my concern, and that media people perhaps might not always ‘get’ the Net (not counting the media magnates who see the Net as a cash cow). Why is it bugging me so much?
With the launch of Microsoft’s blogging and social networking platform  Windows Live Spaces (formally MSN Spaces), you can see the distance that even media commentators need to travel in order to effectively comment on learner needs as a result of the changes taking place under our very noses.

I may not have time to listen to a rerun of the sessions via podcast (though I have captured them in itunes already), so I could be wrong – but I do not recall much elaboration around the social networking that social software enables – nor the implications of this for learners. People throughout history have always developed their best ideas by discussing them with others. Nothing is different now, other than that it happens constantly online or via other communications media.

The issue for me then is who ‘gets the Net’?  Who is going to ‘translate’ the developments effectively for teachers? Are we going to stay way behind developments with only pockets of currency?

Schools are busy working with various learning management systems – 5 years too late! And 5 years is a LONG time in the online world, but like 5 minutes in education. There’s the problem.  Even if an LMS has interactive components it can’t keep up. Why? Because there is a constantly evolving suite of social software that can and should be used within the learning environment regardless of the LMS system currently in vogue.

So back to the beginning….how to promote curiosity, clarity, keeness, and conscience – faith in ourselves and our world?

3 thoughts on “Net Neutrality

  1. So, am I right in reading you here that perhaps Phillip Adams doesn’t get the net? I suppose in his case, being involved in the media all of his working life, it may be very hard to concede that the media doesn’t have a role in the control of information (or impossible for him to see). After all, especially here in Australia, it’s not like the media has a history of being unbiased or open or being free of agendas. Our media magnates are hardly the gatekeepers of truth! The traditional media still wants to be the filter through which we obtain our information but the Neutral Net means we can interact (yes, even educators) directly with each other and make new meaning and gain new insight without accessing official sources. Love the fact that your brain is really ticking over and that an invited speaker isn’t a bulletproof guru above critique in your eyes. Great stuff!

  2. Judy – if you haven’t seen it already you might like to view Jon Stewart, the American comedy talk show host, on the Net Neutrality debate. His quotes from Senator Ted Stevens shows that this is one man who most definitely does not ‘get the Net’. John

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