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CCK08: Pre-Week 1

I have been trying to grasp the scale and momentum of a Massive Open Online Course.
I had to make an emergency visit to Sydney this week that coincided with Pre-Week 1 of the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge course.
Whilst on the road, I read with great interest George Siemens’ post on 2 September … and prepared myself for Pre-Week 1. I viewed George’s video introduction. I managed to read the pre-readings, make a Moodle intoduction and write an introductory blog post. I added myself to Rodd Lucier’s Google map and was pleased to make my icon a pin on the map. I choose the same colour as the other place markers!
I missed the course elluminate and UStream tests on Wednesday and Friday but accessed the sites to check out what had been happening. I made my first visit to a Pageflakes site too. I worked my way through the course wiki.
A number of the tools in use on the course are new to me so I have been registering for them. I hope that I was able to give the correct feed for my WordPress blog, Clyde Street, to Emanuela Zibordi for her request about RSS.
In the midst of this my mobileme account seems to be behaving randomly and I am starting to appreciate the richness of Firefox as my preferred browser.
I am tracking posts with the CCK08 tag via WordPress’s Tag Surfer. As of this moment I have 23 blog posts to review.
What an action packed twelve weeks ahead!


I am in Sydney for a few days. I am staying in a hotel with views of the Sydney skyline.

I think this is a good metaphor for the about-to-start CCK08 course. I woke early to find a number of messages about the course, including Rodd Lucier’s Google Map of course participants.

I am staying on the thirteenth floor of the hotel and have a great panorama of Sydney. This is what CCK08 feels like and Rodd’s map brought it home to me what a global perspective the course will offer.
It was remarkable last night seeing the Moodle introductions grow whilst I was on-line. Same for the Map.
I do feel connected … particularly using WordPress’s Tag Surfer for CCK08.

IASI in Canberra 2009

The International Association for Sports Information (IASI) is holding its 13th World Congress in Canberra in March 2009. The National Sport Information Centre (NSIC), a program of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), is the host for the Congress.
I have been invited to be a keynote speaker in Strand 2 (‘Electronic Sport Information Resource Sharing’) of the Congress. The title of my talk is ‘A Fourth Age’ and my aim is to discuss approaches to information sharing that are characterised by ‘connectivism‘ and energised by the approaches Stephen Downes and George Siemens promote and develop.
I was asked to provide some personal background information for the Conference website. Given the nature of my talk I have used WordPress to host this information. Although I posted this first on 12 August 2008 my introduction to you here will continue to change. (For example, in December I added a page entitled ‘Nourishment’ to provide links to a range of authors and at the same time changed my ‘Introduction’.)
Examples of my interest in Resource Sharing are ‘Connecting, Sharing and Growing‘, ‘Personal Learning Environments‘ and, Semantic Technologies‘.
This is my video introduction to you. I have posted it on a GoYoDeo channel. I have some biographical information here and a list of some of my publications too.
This is an example of a wiki community in which I am involved. The wiki is providing opportunities for a community of practice to explore the Fourth Age. (You might find Gene Schembri’s wiki of interest too.)
I look forward to seeing you in Canberra in 2009.

Additions to the post:
31 August: I discovered Posterous earlier this week and used it to post my video introduction to you. This is my page on Posterous.
31 August: I used Google Video to host my video introduction to you. I have been using the Beta version to share videos about Officiating in canoe slalom. You will find these in the ‘More from User’ tab.
1 September: I used Iterasi to record this post on 31 August. This is the link to the saved page.
6 September: My first post in this blog for the CCK08 course
15 November: My facebook link
17 November: I opened a Netvibes account to explore some of the functionality I had seen elsewhere in Pageflakes.
1 December: I am participating in a PBwiki project ‘Top Web 2.0 Tools’ with Jenni Parker.
9 December: I have developed a Ning site for another conference to be held at the AIS later in 2009. My aim is to explore some of the powerful social network tools available.
9 December: This is the Technorati link to this blog.
23 January: This is the abstract I have submitted to IASI
[scribd id=11135913 key=key-2k98hlhmvnjlz26vr889]
23 January: I have stored audio files of the abstract in Box.Net (Wav file here and aiff file here)
23 January: This is an MP3 version of the abstract (I used a third party add on for Audacity to create the MP3 audio)
7 March: This is my draft presentation shared through SlideShare with a SlideCast
[slideshare id=1108286&doc=afourthageofsportsinstitutes-090305170059-phpapp02]

The Merry Makers

Hot on the heals of the ABC Sunday Arts’ program (8 June) was a wonderful story about the Merry Makers (9 June). For anyone interested in teaching, learning and the flourishing of the human spirit this was a must see program.

ABC Photograph
In the program you meet Lucinda Bryant the Artistic Director and Choreographer of The Merry Makers. She is a remarkable teacher. She observes that:
“I suppose one of the biggest things is knowing about each individual in the class and how they actually work, and that’s not really knowing a lot about their disability, but more about their personality. I kind of just go by the feel of the day, and quite often when you’ve got 70 people in one room, each day is very, very different. So I sort of just take each day as it comes with the Merry Makers and yeah, just sort of go with my instinct.”
One of the stories within the program was about Sam. Lucinda’s work with him seemed to me to be the essence of all good teaching:
“When he first started, didn’t want to be in with the rest of the group, wanted to be outside. If he was in with the rest of the group, he’d be lying on the ground. But then as soon as everyone stopped dancing, then Sam would get up and want to be a bit of a star. So you knew he had it in him to want to dance. And I just let him do that. I kind of just ignored him, just to … one for him to get settled and to feel comfortable and confident, but also just so he didn’t have the attention on him.”
The Merry Makers performed at the Sydney Entertainment Centre for a one night show. This is one of the mums’ view of the evening:
“At the end of the night, the people and the love and the joy that’s in that audience, everybody just wants to hug one another and the the Merrys come off stage and the audience treat them like they’re absolute stars. Everybody’s equal because of this wonderful performance which is, words can’t describe it. It’s inexplicable. I just can’t tell you the effect they have on people. It just generates love and joy and happiness, and there’s so much laughter, and no one wants to go home.”
You can find two video clips of the program here.

Stephen Downes and Jeanette Winterson

Last week had a double bonus! Stephen Downes shared his video of his talk Light, Agile and Flexible: Collaborating the Web 2.0 Way. The slides of his talk at the Innovations in e-Learning Conference, Fairfax, VA are here. Stephen’s OLDaily post about the talk is here. He observed that it was a “somewhat chaotic presentation (I used the conference backchannel chat again) in which I talk about collaboration with respect to web 2.0.” The Google video made it possible for everyone not at the conference to share a fascinating presentation.
I start each day in Australia by reading OLDaily over a cup of coffee.
ABC photograph
The ABC’s Sunday Arts’ Program televised an interview with Jeanette Winterson and made the interview available as a vodcast (Episode 18, 8 June). I read her Oranges are Not the Only Fruit when it appeared in 1985 and saw the TV adaptation in 1990. The notes from the ABC Arts show introduce her with this statement: “The British Council says Jeanette Winterson is a “writer and controversialist”, apt descriptors for one of England’s leading authors whose forthright ways have characterised her public profile for more than 20 years.”
Like the OLDaily I am finding that the ABC Sunday’s Arts program is becoming an important part of my week. I am delighted that the ABC web site is such a rich resource.
It is great having such visual access to two remarkable characters!

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