Friday, March 20, 2009

The internet and Plato

The Plato Society is 29 years old. The internet browser is generally accepted to be 15 years old and it's impact on the concept of the Plato study discussion group is still being measured.
As a 4 year member of Plato, I can sense the shift in attiude and methodology from 'don't trust wikipedia' and 'do your research at the library' to a "drill down" search within google scholar with bottomless text, pictorial and audio results. The emerging discipline is how to confirm , edit and compose the information into an acurate, meaningful yet succinct statement.
Shall we use powerpoint presentations, movie clips, audio recordings, email preview information? Or shall we arrive at the table prepared to present and defend a point of view.
How do we effectively use the media tools available to enhance our group experience? I look forward to your comments.


  1. This session I'm part of a Plato experiment. I'm in the SDG studying the botany and geology of the Santa Monica Mountains led by Lee Ann Kennedy and Sol Scope. This has been a fantastic adventure.


    I've posted pictures of each of our walks showing the plants, flowers, geology and terrain we've seen along the way. For those who could not join us to see the wonderful Spring in the Santa Monica Mountains, take a look.

  2. I hope this SDG is offered again, I would like to participate. In the interim, would you consider doing a BrownBag overview of that SDG experience?

  3. Yes, I think this SDG should be offered again next Spring. Bill, I'm not sure what I would say at a Brown Bag. I think Lee Ann Kennedy and Sol Scope might be better presenters as coordinators.

    Do you think we could project some of my images at a Brown Bag?

  4. Yes, we could project a slide show of your posted images. Is there a core book or field guide that could serve as a published reference for the walking and observing SDG?

  5. There is a golden rule at Palto that presentations should not be read from a prepared text. Yet I have seen PowerPoint used in that way, with the presenter reiterating, with little or no addition, the PP text that appears on the wall. I would urge the powers that be at Plato to ban this practice. The use of PP should be confined to displaying graphs, illustrations or other visual non-textual material.
    Jonathan Goldberg

  6. I surely endorse Jonathon Goldberg's comment.
    Karl Bouvier

  7. I agree with Jonathan that powerpoint is often misusued through lack of understanding or lazyness.
    Banning is also a lack of understanding. In my recent SDG there was a powerpoint presentation on the series of battles in William Shakespeare's Henry V leading up to and including Agincourt. There were map graphics, statistics and succinct bullet point statements that illuminated and sparked a lively discussion of the historical record vrs. a classic accepted fictional constuct.
    Possibly what is needed is a workshop on effective use of media in a live discussion enviournment.