#CritLit2010 Semiotics, Semantics, Syntax and Pragmatics

In this Semiotics A primer for designers:

““Semiotics is important for designers as it allows us to understand the relationships between signs, what they stand for, and the people who must interpret them — the people we design for.” ”

Semiotics and the branch of linguistics known as Semantics have a common concern with the meaning of signs. Semantics focuses on what words mean while semiotics is concerned with how signs mean. Semiotics embraces semantics, along with the other traditional branches of linguistics as follows:

  • Semantics: the relationship of signs to what they stand for.
  • Syntactics (or syntax): the formal or structural relations between signs.
  • Pragmatics: the relation of signs to interpreters.

I found the above summary useful when designing, delivering and evaluating resources for courses.

Throughout the Course CritLit2010, I have been trying to read each post of other participants or networkers basing on those concepts, by relating to the words used by the blogger, the structural relations between those signs (pictures, videos) and words used, and how I would interpret such relations of different pictures,  videos and words.


#CritLit2010 Is leadership all about relationships and emotions?

While I was pondering about what to write in my Power of Story Part 2, I was stimulated by this post of matters of the heart referred by Stephen Downes in his OLDaily

I pulled these from Fullan’s new book, Motion Leadership (2010).

1. We must recognize the politics of emotions that energize behaviors.

2. The change strategy cannot create victims.

3. The problem must be named and confronted.

4. Leaders must exemplify the expected standards of behavior.

5. We must engage emotionally with students in their world.

6. Teachers and principals themselves are sometimes actors.

7. The environment must accommodate risk. (Jansen, 2009b, p.189)

I would like to know the basis behind these “principles of leadership”, and here I am posting my comments and questions:

1. What are the politics of emotions?  What are those emotions that energize behaviors? What is the relationship between leadership and behaviorism?

2. The change strategy cannot create victims.  Is this an oxymoron? Every change strategy creates winners, in accordance to leadership.  Otherwise, who would follow?  But who are the victims, who are the losers?  The strategy CANNOT create victims, but it CAN create winners and victims.  History tells us that there is no guarantee of no victims created out of any change strategy.  But great leaders do change the world

Were those leaders crazy? REALLY? Who changed the world? They were the great leaders, the real leaders who walk the talk.

3. Why must the problem be named and confronted? Are problems well-defined?  In whose names are those problems named? Who name the problems? In a leadership situation, is the leader the first to name the problem? Or the last?

4. Leaders must exemplify the expected standards of behavior – wow, that is the tribal approach, sure! The tribal leader would determine what standards of behavior would be praised, rewarded, amplified, or show as an exemplary to all followers, or would declare such behaviors as the heroic action in the tribal manifestation.  Magnificent motto!

5. We must engage emotionally with students in their world – wow! Are leaders emotional counselors or “manipulators” of their students?  Of course students are emotional humans, just like their teachers.  So what is the role of the teacher in their students’ emotional journey?

6. Teachers and principals themselves are sometimes actors.  What sort of actors?  Why? How to act?

7. The environment must accommodate risk. What sort of risks should be accommodated?  How about internet safety?

This one?

or this?

and this one?

Are we (both educators and students) safe in a virtual online environment?

I then read on about this site on distance educator where Saba would separate facts from fiction

My question: Really? How?

This stimulated me to reflect back on the Critical Thinking Skills needed, this time on leadership.

Is leadership all about relationship and emotions? How about critical thinking in leadership? No?

#CritLit2010 The Challenge of Connectivity

I resonate with Sherry’s views in her post Digital Demands: The Challenge of Constant Connectivity: that we are forgetting the intellectual and emotional value of solitude. As Benjamin Franklin once said:”Joy is not in things; joy is in us” We will lose our balance and our perspective with too much connectivity, and might even become slave to technology, if we rely too much on its affordance. I also found it worthwhile to meditate and pray, as a
Catholic, in order to maintain my spiritual growth and faith. So, moments of solitude could help me to concentrate without too much distractions. I think our own inner dialogue is also an important key to success, when we could think critically and reflect thoroughly before we take any action or make any important decision.

This conversation was held on Facebook with Irmeli, Steve and Donald and here is my response:

I have also shared that connectivity is like 2 sides of the coins in my blog post on my response to Nicola, where if there are too many coins stacked together, they would just topple. So, for me, I could only manage limited connections. May be some people could manage hundred or thousand connections, but I would like to learn if such learning be also based on the Pareto Rule: 80% learning coming from 20% connections, meaning that quality connections with fewer than the 100’s is better than having thousand of connections which are not adding learning values in the connections. This is just my experience and may need more debates to verify. But I resonate with the slow blogging concept, as once upon, I didn’t blog at all, but I wrote up lots of papers instead in the 90s and this decade, but have never published them. Did I learn?
I would like to test the theory of Pareto rule (or Power Laws) in networked learning myself? Does it ring a bell to each of you – Irmeli, Steve, and Donald?

This Social Media Science Experiments provide some insights into social networks and an understanding of who is talking to whom, and why?

As explained by George in his post on Social Media Experiments

Watts suggests that small-scale strategies, targeting individuals instead of large systems

See this Influentials, Networks, and Public Opinion Formation

The presentation is a really interesting look at much of the actual research, development and science that goes into monitoring social networks, with the goal of having a better understanding about how these systems work so that those tools and networks can be improved.

Would it be worthwhile to consider similar learning strategies for individuals – i.e. consider small-scale strategies in learning via the social networks.

I have yet to respond to Donald’s interesting post on leadership here.

Advice network