Dozens of young boys were congregating in the shallows. Not a single adult was in sight (also, notably, not a single girl). We walked closer to them and saw that they were racing hand-made boats: some made of hollowed-out wood and scraps from potato sacks; others fashioned out of a flip-flop and plastic bag. One very young kid’s boat was a plastic dish detergent container — the sail was a u-shaped slice that was bent upwards — and at first, it looked like a failed invention. Every time he launched it into the wind, it quickly sagged, bobbed, and sank. But an older, more experienced sailor came by and showed him a new technique, and sure enough, the boat slowly waddled its way through the shallows without sinking, and the younger kid beamed.
I thought this was a great story to start the day. The cultural power of play has been a recurring theme in my thinking and blogging of late.
Other feeds continued with the togetherness theme.
A link from Stephen Downes took me to Justin Reich’s post on the Future of Learning. In the post, Justin writes:
Inspired by the work that Connectivist educators have done with cMOOCs over the last 5 years, particularly by the incredible learning experiences created by the ds106 crew at the University of Mary Washington, I thought we might experiment by solving our problems with a syndication engine rather than a walled garden.
The idea here is that we want people to be producing course content from the Web interfaces that they are most comfortable with. For some Web-savvy folks, that is their blog or their Twitter account. But for pretty much everyone in the Internet-connected world, email is the simplest possible interface for communication, collaboration, and co-creation. We wanted our website to have high ceilings, and indeed you can create posts where you embed a Storify with a collection of your tweets and YouTube videos, but we also wanted to have low floors, and just about everyone can step up to send an email (inspiration from Papert’s high-ceilings/low-floors/wide-walls).
I am looking forward to the progress of this project. I am very attracted to c-ness.
Another link, this time from LinkedIn, took me to an announcement that England and Australia Back DRS Despite Controversial Ashes Series.
I am not sure if both teams had been reading about the boat kids of Jambiani, but “representatives of the England and Australian cricket teams have reiterated their support of the Decision Review System (DRS), despite poor performances throughout the Ashes series”. The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) General Manager of Cricket, Geoff Allardice, has visited both teams this week “to meet with the teams to listen to their feedback, and to identify potential improvements to DRS moving forward”. He noted that “It was very encouraging to hear both teams reiterate their support for the use of DRS. Some of the ideas that were suggested during the meetings could improve the system, and will be considered further by the ICC”.
The Scholarly Kitchen post today was written by Robert Harington. In his introduction, Robert writes “As a publisher I know about the print world, but I am also quite taken with the digital social world: LinkedIn, for example, is a critical part of my professional networking”.
Robert points out and asks:
Every discipline has its own culture, and whether you are a humanities scholar, a social scientist, scientist or mathematician, your way of engaging with research and education will be quite different. The question I want to raise in this article is, do we as publishers, societies and libraries understand how to grapple with the needs of academics with such a range of cultures?
After reading the range of other posts this morning, I was thinking that part of an answer to Robert’s question is about personal blending of information sources. I think there are enormous potential gains if we can accept (or even look for) disruption in our thinking. It might involve some driving lessons too.
My final togetherness strand this morning came from Jason Anson’s proposal for a Virtual Alliance for Sport Technology (VAST). The aim of the Alliance is “to facilitate the generation and sharing of knowledge, using the online tools provided by Google communities to connect people from around the world and allow them to interact freely and productively.” I am hopeful that Jason is able to bring together a global community. It will have immense knowledge and experience resources to share.
The Boat Kids of Jambiani (Sam Graham-Felsen)
Drouin schoolboys playing cricket (1) (National Library of Australia, no known copyright restrictions)
No Safety Net Project 365(2) Day 5 (Keith Williamson, CC BY 2.0)