Connecting 131006


Earlier this month, Katherine Schulten asked What might “connected teaching” or “connected learning” — that is, using technology to build communities and share knowledge — look like in practice?

She shares twenty-eight examples of connections in her blog post.

I was thinking about Seth Godin and his Krypton course initiative as I read her post.

The logistics of the Krypton courses include:

  • Every week for four weeks, a course meets.
  • A course is a group of people learning together.
  • You can host each of the four classes of the course in your office, your home or a coffee shop.
  • The ideal size is 6 to 15 people, but you might want to invite a few extra folks as insurance.
  • We call the person who organizes the classes within a course (that’s you) an organizer. No credentials required, other than a generous desire to lead and share.
  • Every four weeks there will be a new course.

#KryptonTuesday shares news of some of these emerging courses.

Given the expertise that is used to facilitate these Krypton courses, I have been thinking even more about ePortfolios as records of participation and engagement. I like the idea of blending physical presence in convivial meetings with reflection and research in a transparent way.

I think the four-week scale of the courses raises some important issues about intensity and learning. Increasingly, I see remarkable opportunities for self-paced and self-directed learning that can be aggregated and shared through tools like Accredible.

I think this leads inevitably to important debates about equivalence with formal award qualifications. I can see the ability to connect and demonstrate this connection having fundamental implications for accreditation processes too.

I hope that the articulation of formal and informal learning opportunities and the transparent sharing of this articulation might be a worthy topic for a Berkman Center for Internet & Society fellowship application.

Photo Credit

Elliot bay: Seattle’s legendary independent bookstore (Nicola, CC BY 2.0)

#HPRW10 Sharing

I have been thinking about a framework for my panel contribution at Day Three of #HPRW10.The topic for the panel to address is How do we make the research effort into high performance sport more effective?

The abstract I submitted was:

There is a wonderful momentum growing around the aggregation of effort in many aspects of social and professional life. Following on from my presentation at the NESC Forum 2009 I am going to propose that a connected network of practice is essential for sport to flourish in Australia. This connected network will be open and through aggregation will ensure that we grow a research culture that has a cumulative approach to knowledge production. For this to be really effective it will require many institutions to transform their Internet presence. I will suggest there is no wealth but life.

The resources I have looked at to develop my thoughts are:

Around the World in Eighty Seconds

(London – Cairo – Mumbai – Hong Kong – Tokyo – San Francisco – New York – London)

Social Media 2

I was struck by a recent post by Seth Godin in which he argued that:

The challenge of our time may be to build organizations and platforms that  engage and coordinate the elites, wherever they are. After all, this is where change and productivity come from.
Once you identify this as your mission, you save a lot of time and frustration in your outreach. If someone doesn’t choose to be part of the elites, it’s unclear to me that you can persuade them to change their mind. On the other hand, the cycle of discovery and engagement the elites have started is going to accelerate over time, and you have all the tools necessary to be part of it – to lead it, in fact. (Original emphasis.)

I looked at a link I received to Virtual Research Networks

and pondered the possibilities of Web 3.0. Whilst doing so I found Kate Ray’s link to a discussion of the Semantic Web (link).

Which led me to this Flickr phtograph of Tim Berners-Lee.

I followed up his Linked Data Presentation just as I received an invitation to a webinar about the Semantic Enterprise. The trail for the webinar identified Four Pillars of the Advanced Computing Enterprise

  • Data management
  • Process management
  • Access management
  • Resource management

The value proposition from the trail was that semantics help adapt and unify databases, web services and service oriented architectures (SOA), mobile devices, and cloud computing.

From other feeds I have been contemplating social media and connectedness.

Social Media: Twitter

Social Media: Facebook

Changes to Facebook’s privacy settings have been creating some very strong responses. Recent examples include Jason Calcanis’s post (12 May) and a New York Times article (11 May).

(Postscript After finishing this post I came across Mark Pesce’s article for the ABC’s  Drum Unleashed Social networks and the end of privacy. I include it here as an important contribution to the discussion of privacy. See too Stephen Downes’ (18 May) detailed special report Facebook and Privacy. Scholarly Kitchen has compiled some resources on this topic too.)

Meanwhile a colleague had shared with me a paper by James E. Powell, Linn Marks Collins, and Mark L.B. Martinez (2009), in which they observe:

We believe that high quality custom collections of content from digital libraries, and the ability to explore it, can be critically important to decision makers and first responders dealing with crises.  These collections become even more valuable when offered with tools enabled by semantic technologies.  These tools can facilitate visual and task-based exploration of the collection, and provide Web 2.0 collaboration capabilities such as sharing, commenting, rating, and tagging, which are typical of online journal clubs.

Their work set me off on an open access track that took me to Sesame (an open source Java framework for storing, querying and reasoning with RDF and RDF Schema).

Thereafter, I pursued:

The Fierce Urgency of Now, in which it is proposed that:

proactive information retrieval tools can play a significant role in information seeking for users in some situations, in particular those where it is important to quickly get a sense of what information might be available about a particular topic. This may be particularly true if a user is focused on a task that benefits from information, but is not itself an information-seeking task. Additionally, the urgency of a particular task may also make it a requirement that the user be made aware of information, rather than be forced to search for it.

I followed a steer from the authors of that paper and found Michael Twidale et al. (2007) Writing in the library: Exploring tighter integration of digital library use with the writing process. They argue that:

Information provision via digital libraries often separates the writing process from that of information searching. In this paper we investigate the potential of a tighter integration between searching for information in digital libraries and using those results in academic writing. We consider whether it may sometimes be advantageous to encourage searching while writing instead of the more conventional approach of searching first and then writing. The provision of ambient search is explored, taking the user’s ongoing writing as a source for the generation of search terms used to provide possibly useful results. A rapid prototyping approach exploiting web services was used as a way to explore the design space and to have working demonstrations that can provoke reactions, design suggestions and discussions about desirable functionalities and interfaces. This design process and some preliminary user studies are described. The results of these studies lead to a consideration of issues arising in exploring this design space, including handling irrelevant results and the particular challenges of evaluation.

Whilst reading that paper on-line I received a tweet from Radio National about its Future Tense program on the digital classroom in Australia. I ended my day enjoying a blog from one of the people in that program, Helen Otway, Assistant Principal for ICT and Student Learning at Manor Lakes P-12 Specialist College.

Just as I was closing my computer I received a link to a YouTube video (two million views in a week) from a Listserv that ilustrated the excitement and dynamism available to us as we connect as researchers and coaches.

Photo Credits

Phone-wire tangle

Linked Data