Connecting

A view of Moscow

A couple of days ago, Maha Bali wrote about connecting virtually (link). I was very interested in the ways she explored personal and continuing learning in her post.

Part of her experience was ‘attending’ conferences through the presence of others. I see this as vital in a world where there are so many conferences with a variety of registration, travel and subsistence costs. Partnering someone remotely overcomes the difficulties of cost and distance.

It does nor replace attendance. I am mindful that many people gain immense satisfaction from being present and part of “the hallway and social conversation at the conference”.

However, connecting virtually does offer the possibility of connection in a different kind of way. It is an issue I have been thinking about a great deal.

This Summer, in July, I am facilitating an unmeeting and (un)hack in Moscow with Malte Siegle, Martin Lames and Alexander Danilov prior to the Symposium of the International Association of Computer Science in Sport (link). We have a tentative program to explore data from the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals and prospecting to Qatar in 2022:

Saturday: 6 July

18:00 PM: Arrival, Registration and Brainstorming

Start of hacking, working and analysing.

Sunday: 7 July

09:00 AM: Morning coffee and recap of Saturday

09:30 AM: Networking and brainstorming

10:00 AM: Hacking, working and analysing

Noon: Lunch

13:00 PM: Hacking, working and analysing

16:00 PM: Break out session

17:00 PM: Elevator pitch presentations of ideas (3 slides, 3 minutes per group).

18:00 PM: Announcement of winners and on to the opening reception of IACCS conference.

This is a framework that we can adapt. Throughout the process, I have been aware that not everyone can attend. There are lots of other opportunities around the world including Seattle and Paris.

I am travelling from Australia to Moscow for the (un)meet and (un)hack. I do take Maha’s point strongly that those who are attending in person can partner with those not there. I wondered if we might connect in real or lapsed time through social media and online platforms. I am going to use Twitter (link), Mastodon (link) and GitHub (link) as part of my aim to connect. I will be using the hashtag #iacss19connect to support this remote sharing.

Photo Credit

Tom Grimbert (@tomgrimbert) on Unsplash

Microcontent: narratives and attention

How do online courses engage learners?

Alan Levine explores this issue in a post titled Seeking Answers: Can a Narrative Tie a Course Together? (link). He asks “what would it take to apply a storytelling approach in courses outside ones about storytelling”.

Alan’s discussion has its roots in his experiences, with Jim Groom, in the course ds106 (link). Alan’s post and the ds106 archive will help with your thinking about narrative in course design, delivery and experience.

As you contemplate Alan’s questions, you might like to refer to Phillipp Lorenz_Spreen and his colleagues’ (2019) paper Accelerating dynamics of collective attention (link). In it they consider “increasing gradients and shortened periods in the trajectories of how cultural items receive collective attention”. Their paper considers the existence of “individual topics receiving shorter intervals of collective attention”. This is an important issue for designers of courses that seek to engage interest remotely.

For a brief introduction to attention span, you might like Dalmeet Singh Chawla’s The Global Attention Span Is Getting Shorter (link).

After reading these items, what might your reply to Alan be?

Photo Credit

Photo by Dieter de Vroomen on Unsplash

Writing a report

Earlier this week, Avinash Kaushik wrote about Responses to Negative Data (link). Shortly after his post was published, I found a link to a Turing Institute blog post, written by Franz Kiraly, What is a data scientific report? (link).

Both posts have helped me to think about the why, what and how of sharing observations, analyses and insights.

Franz, the author of the Turing blog post suggest that a stylised data report is characterised by:

  1. Topic. Addresses a domain question or domain challenge in an application domain specific to a data set.
  2. Aim. Data-driven answers to some domain question.
  3. Audience. Decision-makers or domain experts interested in ‘evidence’ to inform decision-making.

Franz suggest five principles that inform good reporting:

  1. Correctness and veracity
  2. Clarity in writing
  3. Reproducibility and transparency
  4. Method and process
  5. Application and context

Whilst there are some issues I take with Avinash’s and Franz’s posts, I do think they both raise some fundamental issues for us as we contemplate sharing our data-informed stories. I am particularly interested in how the curiosity and openness Avinash describes meets Franz’s five principles.

As I was concluding this post, up popped a link to Samuel Flender’s post How to be less wrong (link). This will be an excellent companion to the two posts discussed here. It also gives me an opportunity to extend my interest in Bayesian perspectives.

Photo Credit

Photo by Sandis Helvigs on Unsplash