Separated and Connected

509Earlier this morning I was corresponding with a friend from Estonia. Early morning rural Australia fits in well with late night Tallinn.

We were discussing how to share information with coaches and support staff. It is a topic that is at the forefront of my thinking at the moment and I have used recent posts to explore some ideas and links.

After saying goodnight to Tallinn, I started working through some of my feeds and found a treasure trove of connections.

From Paper.Li I was directed to a post by Keri-Lee Beasley about Twitter: A Cultural Guidebook. Keri-Lee acknowledges a range of people who helped with the project to produce the Guidebook and I noted her reference to Rodd Lucier.

In a post last year, Rodd looked at Seven Degrees of Connectedness. In the introduction to his post, Rodd asks “What’s the most significant event that causes you to pay closer attention to the learners in your network?” In answer to his own question, Rodd replies:

For me, it is meeting face-to-face. I’m more attuned to those people in my learning network whose voices are amplified because we met at a conference; exchanged stories; shared a meal. Fleshed out by personality and attitude, I find myself savouring the words and ideas I consume online.

  • Lurker (“Hey other people are sharing some cool ideas on their blogs”.)
  • Novice (“When I join in on the conversation people actually talk back to me.”)
  • Insider (“I’m beginning to know many of these familiar names and faces.”)
  • Colleague (“I rely on my network for the most important news.”)
  • Collaborator (“Why don’t we start a Google Doc to share our ideas?”)
  • Friend (“It feels like we’ve known one another for a long time.”)
  • Confidant (“I would rather talk to you in person, can you just call me.”)

Keri-Lee and Rodd reminded me of the discussion of three degrees of influence. In December 2008, James Fowler and Nicholas Christakis published “The Dynamic Spread of Happiness in a Large Social Network: Longitudinal Analysis Over 20 Years in the Framingham Heart Study,” in the British Medical Journal (337: a2338 (December 2008); doi:10.1136/bmj.a2338). In her review of the paper, Christine Nyholm observes “happy person can trigger a chain reaction that benefits friends, friends’ friends and friends’ friends’ friends”.

This is an interesting interface between connectedness and separateness. At the moment, I am finding the Paper.Li feed a very productive way of enjoying happiness at three removes. The same goes for Diigo.

For example, this morning a link from the Teacher-Librarian group took me to Greg Miller’s post, How do we measure a competency? Greg’s post is a delightful synthesis of some #21stedchat conversations. Greg provides links to some interesting documentation and summarises the conversations thus:

Many involved in the chat agreed that there needs to be a move toward students demonstrating their learning in more authentic ways, aligning with real-world situations. An emphasis on choice, performance assessments, portfolio building, and student-led conferences all came up as high yield strategies to better support the kind of learning needed today.  It was inspiring to hear from the many educators who are pushing the envelope with both learning and assessment.  Their ideas were both innovative and practical.

Greg links to a graphic from Alberta’s new Framework for Student Learning:

21st-century-1entejd1

 I am going to follow up on Greg’s discussion of a 21st-century-skills-report-card. (Greg acknowledges @PaulSolarz from Illinois in the use of this card.)
My morning’s reading ended with a visit to Rick Anderson’s Scholarly Kitchen post, The Shadow of the MOOC Grows Longer. Rick’s post prompted a comment by Rahim Rajan:
I think the real “disruption” is the effect that the MOOCs are having in initiating conversations on hundreds of campuses across the nation about the role (and need) for innovative technologies in teaching and learning – particularly as a replacement for large, impersonal entry level courses that have low success rates. The real opportunity for innovative campuses will be in leveraging these MOOCs for blended and flipped instruction. MOOCs are also forcing the question on campuses about the need for continuous improvement and course re-design, as well as issues surrounding non-traditional learners (now a majority of higher ed students) and cost/affordability. It’s very early days and no doubt these platforms and online courses will continue to evolve and change. In my opinion, MOOCs represent one of a number of innovations born in the cauldrons of the technology and internet revolution that will permanently change education.

Rahim gave his twitter account as the link to his profile. He is a Gates Foundation Program Officer focusing on e-learning and innovative educational technology; helping college students learn, succeed, and complete. Which provides me with another opportunity to negotiate separation and connection.

I am off to buy an electrical bike which might be a good metaphor for this conversation. The bike will help negotiate hills en route to face-to-face meetings – technology enriched wayfinding.

 

Photo Credit

Frame Grab from attempt to download the Cultural Guidebook.

 

Food for Thought 2.1

dscf0429

I had hoped to add to my Food for Thought 1.1 post last week but events overtook me! I was thinking that by the time I reached Adrian Hill‘s blog I would have written a Food for Thought 1.4 post. Instead I am at week two in the Rs.

In this week in review, Ruth Demitroff posted about Blip.fm, Chief Justice John Roberts and Barack Obama’s Inauguration Address. In her post on the Address, Ruth links to a new York Times article by Stanley Fish. Ruth draws attention to text as parataxis and I think this has implications for how we write in our blogs.

Rodd Lucier posted about the inauguration too (as did Pierfranco Ravotto with links to YouTube, Lee Kolbert on the first digital presidential portrait and Lani Hall). In other posts this week Rodd discussed: online identity (and offered advice about security, see too Kristina Hoeppner’s post); pendulum swings in education and included a Teacher 2.0 podcast (see Nellie Muller‘s post along these lines); and concluded the week with a post about Creative Commons.

Rhondda had a busy week of posts. Early in the week she reviewed the Icerocket search engine. In her next post (It’s not about the technology) she observes that “In the past 12 months I have found an amazing world on-line, that offers me so much for my own professional learning, making me a better teacher and I hope that some of my posts/links have assisted others as well”. She then posted about Worldometers (world statistics updated in real time) and day later abour reading options and DailyLit. Rhondda’s week concluded with her post about useful links. All this whilst preparing for a new school term in Melbourne, Australia.

Pat Parslow’s most recent post was a position paper (with Shirley Williams and Karsten Oster Lundqvist) on the future of social networking.

Nellie Deutsch has been incredibly busy with the Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces Ning site. Most recently she was involved in a Wiziq discussion about online identity (recording available at the Ning site).

This week the LibraryTechNZ Source post provided an update on digital libraries and library innovations from around the world. In the post

it is the smart and sensitive teacher, endlessly re-inventing her practice, noticing what works for individual kids, that makes the difference. Or the creative and flexible principal, willing to suspend the Big Expensive Program, guaranteed to yield (and I hate the way this word has been co-opted) results–in favor of something that meets the needs of real kids.

Milton Ramirez had a busy week of posts including teaching as an attractive and exciting career opportunity, the results of the PEW report, a discussion (inspired by a post by Doug Johnson) of the impact of books, blogs, articles and columns, three posts on Barack Obama, and a discussion of connectivism. Milton’s last post of the week introduced me to Sugar Labs. I hope to return to Sugar Labs soon!

Mike Gotta drew attention to a Web 0.0 paper from 1991 in his first post of the week. He followed this up with a discussion of the importance of Lotuspere 2009 and Lotus Connections and SharePoint.

Mike Bogle’s Techticker was a mine of information this week. He discussed free culture and Creative Commons and linked to Lawrence Lessig. (Melanie McBride posted about Lawrence Lesig this week too.) Mike’s post reports how he has created an audio archive of Lawrence’s four free culture presentations. Mike includes the workflow of how he did this.

… in the interests of transparency and respect for open source purists, I wanted to include the work flow process I used to ultimately produce the OGG version.  I relied upon as much open source software as I could (as always), however there are two notable exceptions that I’d like to menition. Namely, the process was conducted on Windows XP and included the MP4 codec during the initial rip from YouTube.

(See Mike’s discussion of Open Source this week for his take on sharing.)

Mike’s second post of the week was a slow blog about the Digital Youth Project and includes a video blog about his thoughts. Mike observes that “the results (of the project) point to a dynamic and complex ecosystem of interaction amongst young people that I believe we would do well to consider in discussions on elearning and new media – and in particular the manner with which education should seek to foster engagement and lifelong learning amidst young people.” His final post of the week discusses TOTLOL and children’s digital literacy.

In addition to her post about Lawrence Lessig, Melanie McBride shared news of her presentation at Web Weekend in Vancouver in February. Her talk, “Magazines2.0: The Sharing Revolution,” will consider existing and emergent issues related to the publisher and reader of web2.0 publications.

Matthias Melcher considered connectivist taxonomy this week. His post addresses the visualisation of a taxonomy in a very interesting way and he draws upon his native German landscape to to help him. He concludes that “the concept cluster of learning network/ ecology/ space is too overburdened and deserves some dissection.”

Lisa Lane discussed videoconferencing this week. She reflected on a Business Week article to develop her own use of videoconferencing. Mike Bogle commented on Lisa’s post and shared this link. Lisa responded with a discussion of Seesmic and its potential. (It was interesting to read Kristina Hoeppner’s post on the lens-eye after reading Lisa and Mike’s exchange.)

Lee Kolbert’s post this week took a close look at the potential of Nibipedia for teachers and students. She considers some of the access issues that might occur with some of the content and one of the creators of Nibipedia, Troy Peterson responds to Lee’s observations.  (Stephen Downes posted on Nibipedia too this week.)

Kristina Hoeppner posted three times this week. In her first post she discusses some of the issues raised by the availability of Userfly (a new online service which allows you to record a screencast of anybody who comes to your website) and the appearance of Tumbarumba. Her third post of the week reports the discovery of an apartment in Leipzig that was in an untouched condition from almost a decade before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

I was unable to access Konrad Glogowski‘s blog at the time of writing this summary.

Kevin Jones’ post this week reports on How Conferences Should Be Done and points to the Americorps Ning site.

I could not think of a better place to end my alphabet review this week with a visit to the busy week of Karyn Romeis and her learning journey. Her blog is “a catch-all for things that have caught my eye, links to helpful information and the odd soapbox moment”. Tuesday’s picture of the day was ‘Computer Hell‘ ( “Oh, for a techie to come and look over my shoulder and say, “Ah yes. I see what the problem is.” And then FIX it.”) (By Thursday the Articulate User Community had come to her rescue.) Karyn linked to Blurb in another of her posts and discussed the idea of publishing your own bespoke book.

There are 16 Js in my Nourishment list so I will draw breath here and hope that nature and workflow this week give me an opportunity to write Food for Thought 2.2. I am off to Sydney to celebrate our son‘s birthday. Somehow we have persuaded him that a trip to a Leonard Cohen concert is just what he needs!