InSPIRING

There will be an official opening of the InSPIRE Centre at the University of Canberra this week.

I see the Centre as a physical tipping point in my own thinking about and practice in educational technology.

I like the idea of being InSPIRED and hope to spend much of my nomadic time at the University in the Centre.

The Hiperwall there is just one of the many tools for engagement and connection.

The imminent opening of the Centre has encouraged me to think about the ethos that underpins connected and emerging communities.

Thanks to a link from Stephen Downes to a MediaShift Idea Lab post by Jonathan Stray about visualising documents, I discovered a 2009 post by Dan Schultz that helped me clarify my thoughts.

I have written about reciprocal altruism in this blog and I have been exploring the invisibility of openness. Dan’s post was an excellent catalyst for my thinking. His post is titled In Search of a Community That Takes ‘Me’ Out of Social Media.

He concludes that:

Community tools exist, but they are drastically underpowered… As a result, they are drowned out by the far more successful alternatives… To change this, we need something that can:

  1. Host niche communities without isolating them from the rest of the world.
  2. Give individuals a chance to shine without letting their egos dominate the content.
  3. Attract enough people to drive collective intelligence, while maintaining the level of granularity needed to provide a truly personalized experience.

That isn’t too much to ask for… right? I personally believe that these systems will be the key to meeting community information needs.

I think we will have an opportunity to address these issues in and through the InSPIRE Centre. The Centre:

is a learning commons, a place to imagine, experiment and design new ways of working and learning digitally. INSPIRE services highlight quality teaching and contemporary learning practices through staying connected to global initiatives and trends about learning design and design thinking. We focus on a futures perspective and developing foresight, not just knowledge and skills.

I am hopeful that my visits to the Centre will help me explore learning ethnographies of the emergence of inspirational practice.

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