Julian Treasure offers us above a recent TED Talk, a lovely exhortation on the value of listening, but notably short on the details.

His key recommendation is for the use of the acronym RASA.

Receive (which means pay attention to the person); Appreciation (making little noises like Ok), Summarize (the word so is very important to communications), Ask (ask questions afterward).

I live to listen, that every human being needs to listen consciously to live fully: we need to be connected in space and time to the physical world around us, and connected in understanding to each other.

We need to teach listening in our schools, as a skill: Why is it not taught?  It’s crazy.

We can move it to a place where everyone is consciously listening all the time, or at least capable of doing it.

Let’s transform the world to a conscious listening world, a world of connection, a world of understanding and a world of peace.

The video could make, I think, for a lovely preface to an advisory session (pressed for time? Just watch the last two minutes, beginning at 6.00) about listening, and students could be invited then to practice good listening for the subsequent 15 minutes in pairs or trios.

In this second video, Eli Parisier, author of the Filter Bubble, calls upon us to listen better by listening more widely to a wider array of ideas and perspectives.   He shares a deep concern about the invisible way major internet tools are filtering what we receive in our searches and feeds, and calls upon internet managers to break the filters and let us control what we see.   He doesn’t, however, offer particularly helpful advice for internet users, but I think this could stimulate a very important conversation in any information literacy study with students about how we collect information and how we ensure we listen widely.

Some key quotes:

The internet originally meant a connection to the world, bringing us all together.

There is a shift happening to information on line, and if we don’t pay attention to it, it could be a real problem.

Facebook is conducting invisible, algorithmic editing of the web.  Google is doing so too: there is no standard google search results anymore.

As Eric Schmidt, Google CEO said,soon it will be very hard for people to watch or consume something that has not been, in some sense, tailored for them.

You will get a “filter bubble.”   What we are seeing is a passing of the torch from human gatekeepers to algorithm gatekeepers.

We are back in 1915 in the web, and we need the new gatekeepers to make sure that these algorithms have encoded in them a sense of the public life and civic responsibility.   We need you to give us some control so that we can decide what gets through and what doesn’t.

We need the internet to connect us all together. We need it to introduce us to new ideas and new people and different perspectives and it is not going to do that if it leaves us all isolated in a web of one.