Connecting 131010


I have signed up for the Beta version of

It aims to be “an open platform for the collaborative evaluation of knowledge. It will combine sentence-level critique with community peer-review to provide commentary, references, and insight on top of news, blogs, scientific articles, books, terms of service, ballot initiatives, legislation and regulations, software code and more”.

I note that is founded on 12 principles. These principles resonate with CommentPress.

I am hopeful that both resources will enable a new form of inclusive disciplinary gaze, a topic that has been preoccupying me since the publication of a Clyde Street guest post by Darrell Cobner.

Both are open resources and embody the connectedness that fascinates me.

I see Curation as a fundamental contribution to this connectedness. Today, brought me Sue Waters’ digital curation links including John Pearce’s presentation Curation: The Next Big C.


After reading Annalee Newitz’s post about the Great Library of Alexandria I am wondering how we will deal with the immanence and permanence that cloud computing affords us. We should heed her conclusion:

Though we imagine that knowledge and civilizations are destroyed in one fell stroke, a rain of fire as it were, the truth is a lot more ugly and more slow. The ancient world’s greatest library didn’t die in battle — it died from thousands of little cuts, over centuries, that reduced this great institution of knowledge to a shadow of its former self.

We have so much data now that each of us will need to find a way of dealing with complexity. I was interested to learn this morning that Michelle Zhou has been using a sample of 200 Twitter messages to make an educated guess about personality traits. I will need to look carefully at topological data analysis if I am to understanding this complexity/simplicity relationship.

Perhaps an interim approach might be to participate in the workshops organised and facilitated by Jane Hart and Harold Jarche. I admire their Seek, Sense, Share approach. Their “workshops”  are intended to provide a semi- structured approach “to kickstart the informal, social learning that will be needed to become proficient”. The workshops are designed to give “just enough structure, without constraining personal and social learning”. Jane and Harold:

  • Curate what they think are the essential resources on a topic and also provide additional links and resources for those who are interested.
  • Encourage all discussions to be done in the private workshop group area, so that people can learn from each other.
  • Try to find ways to help each person as issues arise in the conversations.

After reading about their series of upcoming workshops and thinking about self-directed, intrinsically motivated approaches to learning, I came across Jason Farman’s Manifesto for Active Learning. I liked his sharing of fallibility and how he went about transforming his approach to blended teaching:

Working alongside these seasoned scholar-teachers, I realized that everything I had taken for granted about my own teaching wasn’t always the best approach. I very quickly realized that each one of my assumptions had to be reevaluated, beginning with the idea that I was a good teacher.

Connections and curation make this kind of professional reflection a rich experience. I am hopeful that my engagement with connected learning provides me with opportunities for the ongoing inclusion of practices as well as moments of conversive trauma.

I sense that and CommentPress will make it possible to explore these experiences with a community of practice willing to share experiences and insights.

Photo Credits

Presenting Social Marginalia (Kevin Lim, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Curation of Information (George Couros, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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