I have been away enjoying the Australian summer but I have been thinking about this post for some time. Last year I posted a list of the sites that nourish my thinking about teaching, learning and educational technology. During 2009 I am going to write about these sites as a synthesis of themes and links. I hope to post once a week to capture something of a week’s news and discussions. It is my way of responding to and contributing to communities of practice that are growing by sharing (Kim Marshall, Beth Kanter and Richard Byrne are the most recent discoveries for me!).
This first post looks at blog posts published in the week beginning 11 January (back from my holidays then!). At present I am thinking that I will not include directly Ning and Wiki posts. Both are flourishing and I am working on this Ning site developed for IACSS09 and this wiki for a canoe slalom community in Australia. I have joined the Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces Ning site developed by Cristina Costa.
I list the sites on the Nourishment page by a person’s first name and so for the first post in Food for Thought I am going to pick up on a post by Will Richardson before my start date on Why Blogging is Hard …Still (9 January). Will’s discussion on blogging concludes with this observation:
…I still feel every time I press “publish” is a good thing on balance, not something to avoid as much as to embrace as a path to a greater awareness of myself and of the world around me.
In the week in review Will has posted about his on-line reading habits and the strategies he is developing to change his on-line practices (12 January) (interesting to note Tony Karrer’s discussion of an information radar in this context). This post and the comments received give some excellent insights into reading possibilities. (Shortly after reading Will’s post I found Benjamin Stewart’s post about Storytelling and noted his observation that “I see my own online identity in a constant state of flux as I am constantly trying out new technologies that best serve my own learning and teaching practice”.) Will posted a short piece about a fascinating in-car conversation with his daughter (13 January). His last post of the week was a discussion about Web 2.0 (15 January) and he addressed some of the issues arising from Howard Gardner’s work (amongst others). Will comments that “Whether we think this new learning landscape online is a good thing or not, the reality is that it’s not going away, and that having the skills to make the most of the opportunities here are only going to become more and more important” and asks “But how do we make that happen for those who don’t find the entry point as easy as most of you reading this have found it?”
Wesley Fryer posted thirteen times last week. Amongst his posts were items about Photodropper (11 January), Gabcast and WordPress (12 January), CrowdSpring (12 January), Kaplan University’s video It’sTime for a New Kind of University (12 January), videoconferencing with Google Chat (13 January), the ISTEconnects Blog (15 January), and digital storytelling (15 January). After reading Wesley’s final post of the week (17 January) I wondered about the kind of conversation his ‘8 year old American Girl doll and movie fan’ would have with Will’s daughter. I think it would be a fascinating journey.
Meanwhile at the Cool Cat Teacher Blog, Vicki Davis posted about YouTube and sharing (12 January), Yuan.CC maps, Flyr and Woophy (13 January), Images4Education ” a space to share exciting digital possibilities to help learners develop 21st century multiliteracy skills through active learning”, the Future of Education community (Sharon Betts posted about this too), ScreenToaster (see Sarah Stewart’s post too), and the Global Education Collaborative (16 January), a link to Michelle Krill’s post on Image Choices, vFlat Classroom wiki, and Diigo (17 January).
Tony Karrer wrote this week about developments at the eLearning Learning Community and on the same day (13 January) discussed his approach to developing an information radar. Tony looked at networks and communities (14 January) and discusses social networks with a range of readings to extend the post. Tony’s final post of the week was a short item about his work with Beth Kanter on a nonprofit technology portal.
I missed Tomaz Lasic’s Gazump post in December, having written about George Oates I should have been more alert about employment status. (I thought some of the comments on Tomas’s post resonated with Steve Dembo‘s post earlier this month.) This week Tomaz’s posted about Memetics (10 January) and I tried not to get too distracted by following up his post link to Susan Blackmore.
It was a busy week at the O’Reilly Radar. The week started with a post by Tim O’Reilly (11 January) on Work on Stuff that Matters in which he discusses: working on something that matters to you more than money; creating more value than you capture; taking the long view. This post is followed up in some video interviews later in the week (15 January). Nat Torkington linked to Brooklyn Museum’s development of a socially networked museum membership. He links too to Doppir‘s personal annual report plans (16 January).
Terry Anderson posted twice this week. In his first post (15 January) he discusses name confusion on open, distance and e-learning and in the second guides readers through configuring Google Scholar (16 January).
Susan Sedro’s post this week introduced her readers to Motivator.
This week Sue Waters posted a second article about Flickr and explored possibilities for personal learning networks. She posted about global projects too and discussed Bringing us together and Around the World with 80 Schools. Sue’s Google Reader, Edubloggers, has a range of stories this week including news from Richard Byrne of developments at Google Earth (I noticed too this post about Google Maps by Scott Leslie and this post by Stephen Downes). In her Mobile Technology in TAFE blog, Sue has been revisiting the 31 Day Project (10 January) and links to the 31 Day Challenge wiki. She discussing emailing a new reader (13 January) and running a first time reader audit on your blog (17 January).
Stephen Downes is my primary link to educational technology, learning and much, much more. His OLDaily starts my day in Australia and has done so for many years (the metrics listed by Stephen here suggest a lot of people do the same). My weekly review will focus on Stephen’s Half an Hour blog. I post here Stephen’s welcome statement on Stephen’s Web:
I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.
Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations – or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.
This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence. This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward.
Stephen’s Seven Things You Don’t Know About Me was posted on 11 January. Item 5 on the list “I have my own discipline, or so I tell myself. It is that area where media, education, philosophy and computers intersect.”
Seth Godin‘s week was a full one! Amongst many of the posts this week were posts about: how to send a personal email (11 January); “If you write online, on a blog, on Twitter, on Squidoo, even in the comments section of a site, you are a published author” Don’t get sued (13 January); the end of newspapers “The magic of the web, the reason you should care about this even if you don’t care about the news, is that when the marginal cost of something is free and when the time to deliver it is zero, the economics become magical” (14 January); Twitter and Squidoo (15 January); online interactions (17 January); and a post on love … “The goal is to create a product that people love. If people love it, they’ll forgive a lot. They’ll talk about it. They’ll promote it. They’ll come back. They’ll be less price sensitive. They’ll bring their friends. They’ll work with you to make it better. If you can’t do that, though, perhaps you can make your service or product less annoying” (18 January).
Sarah Stewart has had a hectic week preparing to leave New Zealand for a six-month stay in Queensland. Her posts included a discussion of evidence based medicine and Web 2.0 (13 January) in which she observes that:
it is vital that we integrate the principles of Web 2.0 into our practice so that evidence-based information is freely available to all, health practitioners and consumers. That we work together to share and collaborate, and find alternative ways of communicating and disseminating information to the traditional journals that are locked up, and only available to those who can afford to pay to read them.
Other posts include: working environments (13 January); designing a virtual birthing unit (14 January); using Facebook to network at a conference (16 January); ethical issues for health professionals who blog and Twitter (16 January); ePortfolios (16 January); and Doodle (17 January). Quite an output for someone with a sock dilemma!
This summary covers approximately one quarter of the blogs I monitor. I found writing this review fascinating. It makes explicit for me the kind of reading I do independent of feeds. I tried to avoid diverging from the W to S posts and realise that I have some issues to address identified in Lee Gomes’ Wall Street Journal post Why We’re Powerless to Resist Grazing on Endless Web Data which I found via Tony Karrer’s post about infovores linked to in his information radar post. Perhaps it is because I am a vegetarian I am so attracted to grazing!