Social Media Sharing

I have been posting some #worldcup updates to Twitter this week. In passing I have accessed a number of links to social media resources through the serendipity of being online at just the right time. A read of Danny Brown’s 52 Cool facts About Social Media started my journey.

I delighted in finding these resources to grow my awareness of social media (driven partly by research for a paper on cloud computing and coaching).

Aggregations of Social Media Links and Guides

Jane Hart shared a great introductory guide to Social Media this week. I am constantly in awe of her awareness of social media and her energy in sharing her discoveries. This week she notes that “This is a social resource as it also provides the opportunity for you to provide your own experiences of using social tools for learning”. This is the link to the contents page of the guide.

I caught up with Darcy Moore’s Prezi presentation on Cool Online Tools too. I enjoyed reading his reflections on personal learning environments in education. “Year 11 will have virtually no opportunity, in their day at school, to use a computer or the many tools available online. During this presentation, I acknowledged that the student delegates will just have to use all this stuff at home. One kid pointed out, that even if they had DERNSW laptops, software could not be installed and many of the sites, especially social media and collaboration tools, would be blocked anyway. I was surprised at how little they knew of the tools discussed. The students were unfamiliar with all the tools, except iGoogle.”

Personal Learning Environments

David Hopkins’ post (from December 2009) shares a collection of PLE diagrams. his own is included:

I liked Skip’s video Personal Learning networks for Educators and thought it was an excellent introduction made all the better by creative editing.

After viewing Skip’s video I followed up on the The Educator’s PLN Ning site.


At the end of the week, Stephen Downes’ OLDaily led me to Teemu Leinonen’s fascinating post about the EduFeedr project (an educationally enhanced feed reader for blog-based courses). Teemu’s blog post provides some background to this project:

In spring 2008 the authors organized a course on composing free and open educational resources (in the Wikiversity). It was officially a master’s course at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. The authors decided to make the course available with an open enrollment through the Wikiversity and promoted it in their blogs. As a result about 70 people from 20 countries signed up for the course on the Wikiversity page.

The course was organized as a weekly blogging seminar. In each week the facilitators posted a weekly theme and links to related readings on the course blog. The participants reflected on the weekly theme in their personal blogs and commented their peers.

One of the challenges in a large blog-based course is to follow all the communication. Typically this communication takes place not only in blogs but also in other environments such as Delicious, Twitter, etc. Most of these environments provide RSS feeds but typical RSS readers are not very suitable for following this kind of courses. Most of the RSS readers such as Google Reader are designed for personal use. In a Wikiversity course it would be important to have a shared feed reader that all the participants could use.

EduFeedr is a web-based feed reader that is designed specifically for following and supporting learners in open blog-based courses. The design process of EduFeedr is based on the research-based design methodology. We have organized several Wikiversity courses where we have tried out various online tools to manage the course. The initial user needs for EduFeedr came out from this contextual inquiry. Interaction design methods such as scenario-based design, user stories and paper prototyping have been used in the process.

I wondered what role Livefyre might play in stimulating other types of conversation in blog based courses. I think it my have a role to play as another communication channel and I have signed up for the Beta version scheduled for launch on 14 July. From the Livefyre blog:

Livefyre is an embeddable live commenting and conversation platform that turns comment sections into live conversations, increases the quality of those conversations, and drives traffic to content around the web. Livefyre is introducing a number of firsts into the conversation ecosystem, including conversation check-ins, real-time game mechanics, and a revolutionary moderation and reputation system. The Livefyre platform quickly and easily replaces legacy commenting systems on any site.


Dodie Ainslie shared a wide range of links and resources this week in her discussion of student publishing sites. This post is part of a wider series of posts about Writing Digitally.


EduDemic provides a guide to the 30 newest ways to use Twitter in the classroom. Later in the week Sue Waters published her Twitterholic’s guide to tweets, hashtags and all things Twitter. Sue, like Jane Hart, has a wonderful way to share ideas and practice. Her advice is “for those of you who have heard of twitter and have dismissed it thinking ‘”Twitter is for people with too much time on their hands” — think again :) Educators are connecting with each other on Twitter and using it like a big teachers lunch room that’s open 24/7 whenever they need help, assistance or just want to connect with others.”


I have been slow on the uptake of Foursquare. This week I found a guide that might help me in a post on the Accredited Online Colleges blog. The post observes that “Unlike other social networks, Foursquare encourages people to get out and enjoy their city by sharing check-ins, tips and to-dos while earning points and badges as they explore new venues and favorite hang-outs. Foursquare can also be used in education, though, for online students, lower education teachers, and in campus communities.” Thanks to this post I have 30+ ways to build my practice. A colleague is helping me with this uptake.

Bibliographic Tool

This Zotero Guide for undergraduates jumped out at me.

Cloud Opportunities

I mentioned at the start of this post that I have been writing up a paper on cloud computing and coaching. This is the abstract of my paper, Cloud Computing and Ubiquitous Support for Coaches:

Cloud computing is transforming the ways in which coaches work with athletes and enrich their own professional development. Cloud computing enables “convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction” (NIST, 2009). The pace of change in cloud computing is such that many coaches need access to and the support of educational technologists to manage their engagement with the opportunities the Internet provides. This paper presents examples of coaches’ use of cloud computing.  It explores how the openness of the cloud raises risk management issues for providers of institutional networks. The paper concludes with a discussion of the transformation of cloud resources by coaches through the use of iterative ‘good enough’ approaches to digital repositories (Lund, 2009).

References for the abstract:

Lund, T.B. (2009). Standards and Interoperability. Accessed 8 March 2010.

NIST (2009). NIST Definition of Cloud Computing v 15. Accessed 8 March 2010.

Each week I am aware of the enormous opportunities to learn about and share experiences of social media. This week I have accessed Twitter more than usual to post links to my World Cup analysis. I realise that the items noted here are a very small part of a weekly sharing that goes on in and through social media tools.

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How fast do you want to go?

High Touch Coaching

By one of those wonderful coincidences I was reading John Naisbitt’s High Tech High Touch when a colleague sent me news of research into touch, judgements and decisions. The combination of both writings sent me off on time travel and prompted me to think about coaching environments.


In his discussion of High-Touch Time, Naisbitt points out that “People spoke of moments as fleeting, memories as lasting … Stories began with “Once upon a time” and we actually had a sense of what that meant.” He argues that in the last century there has been a move to High-Tech Time that is characterised by “lack of time, quick time, real time, deadline, check list, multitask, behind, finding time, making time, losing time, killing time, spending time, wasting time, on time, out of time, time frame, fast-forward.”

Naisbitt’s observations took me back to Jay Griffith’s sideways account of time.

Time is not found in dead clocks and inert calendars, time is not money but is life itself: in ocean tides and the blood in the womb, in every self-respecting player, in the land, in every spirited protest for diversity and every refusal to let another enslave your time, in the effervescent gusto of carnival; life revelling in rebellion against the clock.

It took me back also to a blog post I wrote two years ago Faster Than A Turnip? In that post I mention Al Monty’s observation that:

Kairological time has a different sense of movement compared to chronological time. For a rough comparison, contrast an urban with a rural day. In cities, where time is most chronological, your progree through the day is like an arrow, while the day of itself ‘stays still’, for time is not given by the day but is man-made, and defined by the working day or rush-hours. In a rural place, time moves towards you and is nature-given, defined by sun or stars or rainstorms. In this more kairological time, the future comes towards you and recedes behind you while may well stay still, standing in the present, the only place which is ever really anyone’s to stand in.

Touch, Judgement and Decisions

The prompt for this post was my colleague’s alert to a paper by Joshua Ackerman, Christopher Nocera and John Bargh published in Science. The paper’s title is Incidental Haptic Sensations Influence Social Judgments and Decisions. The abstract of the paper is:

Touch is both the first sense to develop and a critical meansof information acquisition and environmental manipulation. Physicaltouch experiences may create an ontological scaffold for thedevelopment of intrapersonal and interpersonal conceptual andmetaphorical knowledge, as well as a springboard for the applicationof this knowledge. In six experiments, holding heavy or lightclipboards, solving rough or smooth puzzles, and touching hardor soft objects nonconsciously influenced impressions and decisionsformed about unrelated people and situations. Among other effects,heavy objects made job candidates appear more important, roughobjects made social interactions appear more difficult, andhard objects increased rigidity in negotiations. Basic tactilesensations are thus shown to influence higher social cognitiveprocessing in dimension-specific and metaphor-specific ways.

The researchers conducted a series of experiments to investigate how objects’ weight, texture, and hardness might  influence unconsciously judgments about unrelated events and situations:

  • To test the effects of weight, metaphorically associated with seriousness and importance, subjects used either light or heavy clipboards while evaluating resumes. They judged candidates whose resumes were seen on a heavy clipboard as better qualified and more serious about the position, and rated their own accuracy at the task as more important.
  • An experiment testing texture’s effects had participants arrange rough or smooth puzzle pieces before hearing a story about a social interaction. Those who worked with the rough puzzle were likelier to describe the interaction in the story as uncoordinated and harsh.
  • In a test of hardness, subjects handled either a soft blanket or a hard wooden block before being told an ambiguous story about a workplace interaction between a supervisor and an employee. Those who touched the block judged the employee as more rigid and strict.
  • A second hardness experiment showed that even passive touch can shape interactions, as subjects seated in hard or soft chairs engaged in mock haggling over the price of a new car. Subjects in hard chairs were less flexible, showing less movement between successive offers. They also judged their adversary in the negotiations as more stable and less emotional.

One of the paper’s authors, Christopher Nocera, provides some background information to the research paper. He indicates that:

  • “Touch remains perhaps the most underappreciated sense in behavioral research. Our work suggests that greetings involving touch, such as handshakes and cheek kisses, may in fact have critical influences on our social interactions, in an unconscious fashion.”
  • “First impressions are liable to be influenced by the tactile environment, and control over this environment may be especially important for negotiators, pollsters, job seekers, and others interested in interpersonal communication.”
  • “People often assume that exploration of new things occurs primarily through the eyes. While the informative power of vision is irrefutable, this is not the whole story. For example, the typical reaction to an unknown object is usually as follows: With an outstretched arm and an open hand, we ask, ‘Can I see that?’ This response suggests the investigation is not limited to vision, but rather the integrative sum of seeing, feeling, touching, and manipulating the unfamiliar object.”

High Touch Coaching and the Coaching of High Touch

My own thinking about coaching environments is moving more and more to rich sensory experience that lets go of chronological time. I wondered about the sentence in the abstract “Physicaltouch experiences may create an ontological scaffold for thedevelopment of intrapersonal and interpersonal conceptual andmetaphorical knowledge, as well as a springboard for the applicationof this knowledge.” I translated that as “we can modify the coaching environment to accelerate and transform learning.”

The paper prompted me to think about the environment we might create as coaches to support touch and feel. It encouraged me to think about the sequencing of training too. My concern is that with our preoccupation with volume, frequency and intensity in training we may lose the possibility to explore tactile and temporal stimuli. I wondered if in our creative approach to coaching we might use tactile tactics to provide the lift we associate and experience with taper.

The linking of touch, judgement and decision making offers coaches a great opportunity to reflect on the practice of practice. I think the combining of these with voice and suggestion enriches the guided discovery environments that coaches seek to create and develop.

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Free Floating

Fade to Black

Insights for Coaches from Counterinsurgency Thinking

David Kilcullen was a guest on Radio National’s PM program on 28 June. A transcript of his interview can be found here.

I wrote about David’s work last year after I discovered his writing about the accidental guerilla.

He has written a new book on Counterinsurgency.

Many years ago coaches were reading Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. This review of Counterinsurgency indicates why David Kilcullen’s work might be of interest to coaches now. Two of the themes that will be of interest are David’s thoughts on training and trusting leaders and building build trusted networks.

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