My Project

Back in June 2008, I started writing this WordPress blog (link). I had written on other blogs before and had first dipped my toes with Geocities in the late 1990s.

In 2008, I was emboldened by CCK08 (link) to explore thoughts openly about learning in a digital world. I had not considered that what I wrote would be of interest to any other reader. It was framed by the delight of thinking out loud.

This delight in thinking out loud led me to explore many ways to share openly through emerging cloud resources. Many of these accounts remain and include wikis, talks, slides, documents and data. I was even naive enough to start Facebook pages for some of my units.

Another preoccupation of mine has been the linking of ideas about learning, coaching and performing enriched by my formative experiences of social sciences, teacher education, human movement studies, performance analysis and analytics. This has led me to think deeply about how ideas are formed in social contexts. Many of my posts are about how performance analysts and their collaborators emerged at particular times and particular places and constructed knowledge.

My blog at Clyde Street continues to be my platform for this sharing. I hope to add many more posts to the 1800 produced already. My new guide is the R community that is providing exciting ways to share openly and my old guide, the ever inspiring, Stephen Downes (link).

It has been fascinating how this project has emerged and changed.

Photo Credit

Blue sky thinking (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

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

Sharing news

Each week an O’Reilly newsletter arrives in my email inbox. I am not sure when I signed up but I am delighted I did.

This week the newsletter brought an article by Avinash Kaushik titled Responses to Negative Data (link). In it, Avinash discusses the reception of negative news and four data leadership archetypes:

  • Bubble
  • Attacker
  • Rationaliser
  • Curious

I found the Curious leadership description particularly interesting. Avinash suggests that Curious Ones have two critical attributes: they demonstrate open mindedness in the face of negative data; and they look forward.

I am particularly intrigued by the feedforward aspect of curiosity in changing times. Avinash contextualised this in his opening remark: “A decade ago, data people delivered a lot less bad news because so little could be measured with any degree of confidence”.

His next sentence encouraged me to think in pedagogical and practice terms how we might support those who are learning to analyse data carefully and thoughtfully: “In 2019, we can measure the crap out of so much. Even with the limitations of tools, government regulations, and the astonishing fragmentation of everything (attention, devices, consumption sources, identities and more)”.

I am starting to imagine all sort of learning scenarios where the ‘leader’ can receive news and respond stereotypically … and the conversations we might have to share news effectively.

Photo Credit

Photo by N. on Unsplash