Connecting and Flipping

3712154175_7f25d99141_bI wrote about Flipping yesterday.

Overnight Mark Upton commented on the post. I admire Mark’s work immensely and was delighted he shared links to examples of his flipping work:

These resources appeared in July and August last year. Mark’s sharing of them underscored for me a point made by Alison Seaman in her 3 January post:

It takes time and a level of humility to come to terms with the idea that knowledge is no longer contained solely “in [our] skulls, books, and libraries” and is instead constructed from knowledge distributed across networks and on the Web.

Alison discusses how  connecting with and learning from colleagues nourishes and develops your personal learning network (PLN). I liked Alison’s quote from Dori Digenti:

The PLN consists of relationships between individuals where the goal is enhancement of mutual learning. The currency of the PLN is learning in the form of feedback, insights, documentation, new contacts … It is based on reciprocity and a level of trust that each party is actively seeking value-added information for the other.

My own PLN is based on: mutual learning, reciprocity and trust. Mark is an important part of my development as a learner and I trust his judgement implicitly.

Thinking about trust and personal learning led me to David Hopkins’ post about Creative Commons licenses. I use Creative Commons (CC) images in most of my posts. David points out that “A photo or image placed under a Creative Commons license enables you, the ‘borrower’ to copy, distribute, and display the work providing the photo or image is correctly attributed to the owner. Every CC license applies worldwide, is non-revocable, is not exclusive, and lasts for the duration of the work’s copyright”. However, he notes that: more than 90% of CC photos are not attributed; more than 99% of CC photos that are attributed are not attributed properly.

When I use CC images in my posts I provide a url for the image and include the photographer as a tag for the post. In the last two months I have been providing a link to the specific license for the image. David provides a link to Photo Pin. This service searches for CC images on Flickr and provides a choice of size/resolution of the image, a link to the original image and the HTML code to attribute the photo, owner, and CC license used.

Here is an example of my search for a Parkour image:

Parkour example

As I explore ideas and practices of flipping through connecting I am conscious that I do need to open up to intuition and creative leaps of the imagination. An interview with Bill Duggan encouraged me to think about neural plasticity, curiosity and “presence of mind”. Stephen Downes does this for me every time I receive his OLDaily.

Today, Stephen reflected on an essay by Lev Gornick on IT Trend in Education in 2013. Stephen looks at two different issues:

  • The impact of HTML5 will be widely felt (and exemplifies the change underway with this New York Times article) with widespread integration of multimedia and text in ordinary things like books, posts and articles.
  • Dynamic learning materials (and dynamic reading materials generally) – multimedia posts and articles connected to live data sources (see, for example,  weather bugs, Yahoo stock charts and Google Maps mashups) will become widespread.

My excitement about what might be possible in 2013 flipped learning environments was tempered by a very sobering post from Kent Anderson in The Scholarly Kitchen. He identified some of the threats posed by ubiquitous computing and connectivity and concluded his post with this observation “With the smartphone as one likely instrument of havoc in a world full of connected hostilities — personal, military, national — the benign face of technology is being remade”.

Kent is another trusted source in my daily connections and with his insights I realise I must adopt a much more nuanced approach to flipped learning opportunities. I will not try to get over excited about the possibilities afforded by the New York Times’ innovation Snow Fall … but it is hard not to take a naive view of open learning.

My next task is to look at Brook Ellingwood’s look at Snow Fall. In it he suggests “What makes the piece so remarkable isn’t that the New York Times has created anything new in a technical sense. It’s that instead of retreating from what’s disrupting their business they have embraced it and made it even better by using it to showcase their traditional strength: Meaningful storytelling”.

That seems a great way to look at transformation in teaching too … embracing connecting and flipping as essential elements of stimulating and supporting learning.

Photo Credit

Parkour Practice (JB London, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Integrity and Presentation

Last month I posted about blogging as a scholarly activity.

I linked to Stephen Downes’ observations about blogging including the point that “blogs have a readership to which you have to be accountable”. I liked Stephen’s suggestion that “a blog is not a single blog post, it is a totality of blog posts, with a myriad of purposes, all blended together”.

Earlier this week I wrote about accidental reading and the role of editors. That post was prompted by a Radio National discussion about changes in reading habits. I mentioned the program trail that asked “Is the switch to a more visual medium just an aesthetic shift or is it part of a broader trend of simplifying our knowledge base?”

This morning I received an alert to Kent Anderson’s post, Data Integrity and Presentation – Journalism, Verfication, Skepticism and the Age of Haste, in The Scholarly Kitchen. In his post Kent looks in detail at an Atlantic post about PLoS One browsing metrics and access. At the time I accessed Kent’s post there was a vibrant discussion taking place in the Comments section.

In his post Kent observes “We’re in a data-driven era, and we need to become better at presenting, analyzing, critiquing, and drawing conclusions from data”. His exhortation took me back to Scott Flemming‘s thoughtful comments on blogging as a scholarly activity. I share with him a desire for rigour and quality assurance in blogging that seeks to advance scholarly debate away from formal peer review processes.

Kent’s post took me back to a course I attended at the London School of Economics in the early 1980s. The course was titled Deciphering Sociological Research and was taught by Gerry Rose. In that course Gerry sought to encourage forensic insight into reading published papers. I thought it was an excellent introduction to veracity and validity.

My juxtaposition of these sources and experiences is a way for me to develop my own thinking about integrity in the presentation and sharing of ideas. I have used two of my trusted sources (Stephen and Kent) and insights gained from an outstanding teacher.

I am an inveterate sharer and realise that the act of sharing has responsibility and accountability. I do find blogging a wonderful way of sharing these ideas transparently and aspiring to bisociative vision.

Photo Credit

Cross Referencing

Voluntary and Professional Associations: Signal and Noise

I receive regular blog post alerts from the Scholarly Kitchen.

The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) established the Scholarly Kitchen blog in 2008.

SSP’s mission is:

To advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking.

The Scholarly Kitchen, a moderated and independent blog, aims “to help fulfill this mission by bringing together differing opinions, commentary, and ideas, and presenting them openly”.

I admire the way The Scholarly Kitchen goes about sharing openly. I have linked to their posts in a number of my posts.

This morning Kent Anderson has a stimulating post about associations. In his introductory comments he observes:

It’s no secret that associations and membership organizations are facing generational, attitudinal, practical, and economic challenges simultaneously. Many things are going on, but a sampling shows how profound the challenge is becoming:

  • Younger people don’t want to join organizations they see as either irrelevant to them or as fusty leftovers of their parents’ or grandparents’ generation.
  • Organizations haven’t shifted their value propositions sufficiently — they haven’t trimmed benefits to match their members’ needs or added the right new benefits, which means they have value propositions that are hard to explain or just plain wrong.
  • Time pressures are everywhere but associations and societies have bylaws, structures, and practices that demand a lot of time and commitment. You have to work your way up to Board work; there is only one big meeting per year; or all meetings demand travel and multiple days away.
  • Dues are expensive relative to other things competing for the same money — as much as a new iPad or an airplane ticket. All these things compete for money, and there is less discretionary income at the same time.

These trends seem to be cultural universals for voluntary organisations as well as professional associations.

In his discussion of these trends, Kent links to Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers’ 2011 book Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations. He links to a Steve Rosenbaum post too.

Harrison and Mary suggest that relevant associations:

  1. Have a small, competent Board
  2. Empower staff and the CEO
  3. Examine membership categories
  4. Rationalize programs
  5. Build a framework for the future

In his discussion of the framework for the future, Kent links to Steve Rosenbaum and the role of associations in information filtering at a time of digital overload.

Steve suggests that:

Associations are a veritable content creation machine. These groups of thought leaders are blogging, tweeting, meeting, and plugging in to social media with innovation and enthusiasm that in many ways surpasses many of the media organizations.

While media is suffering from audience erosion, as the web gives readers and viewers and ever widening array of choices — association membership remains strong and solid. Why? Because professionals need access to high quality information, professional networking, and professional development resources that a consortium of their fellow members can provide.

Steve adds that:

Professionals need access to high quality information, professional networking, and professional development resources that a consortium of their fellow members can provide.

I am fascinated by how individuals and groups share (or do not share) information. Much of my thinking these days is related to open sharing and the flourishing that is possible through such sharing.

I appreciated Kent’s discussion of relevant associations and am grateful to him for the links to Harrison, Mary and Steve. I believe that knowledge and learning organisations can help distinguish signal from noise and do so in a ubiquitous and asynchronous way.

It necessitates addressing a clear point made by Steve:

So thinking about how to share information from other sources, and how to walk the line between making members aware of other voices without necessarily endorsing them is a complex bit of content calculus.

I think it is trust that can address this complexity. I see trusted collaboration as both energy giving and energy saving. I see this becoming increasingly personalised too.

Photo Credits

Curation Nation Book Party

Woman sitting on a beached boat reading a book

Share @ Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, NYC