The social networking merry-go-round continues turning. It’s not all fun and games and party and let’s all wear hats on Seesmic today type stuff … though that’s fun too. There are more than enough engaging conversationalists and provocateurs out there with something to contribute to the hive and to keep us all ticking over, thinking, responding in words, images and sounds.
The other night I responded to Terry Freedman’s video post on Seesmic. He wanted to know how teachers were using Seesmic. Here’s the thread: Terry’s to me and mine to him with a link to a blog post I’d written a while back. @terryfreedmanhttp://katefoy.com/?p=280
Terry’s a UK-based writer who’s been commissioned to go beyond the chatter and to do some research on the way we’re communicating on and offline these days. He’s keen to get some responses from users with a point of view to share. Here’s the link with more details.
By the way Terry got back to me via Facebook with this request to pass it on. This blog post is going to find its way to my FriendFeed, and via that to a whole lot of other social networks and friends of friends … and so the message goes on its merry viral way.
Anyhow please help Terry out or post your response here if you’d like. I’m sure he’ll get it either way.
We’re in transition here in terms of study materials provision. With the push for student e-portfolios coming hard, it’s imperative that well-designed and presented study materials be prepared for offering on line or via digital media. Until then and until students are engaged positively in using online systems, feel comfortable and confident with their use, I doubt they will be enthused about switching from the tried and true. Spinning a Learning Web, Jun 2008
I wrote these words last night in a blog post ‘report card’ on some findings about student engagement with e-learning this past semester. This morning I read Jeff Nugent’s post on collegial collaboration in the introduction, development and use of Web 2.0 tools for teaching. I found the post by following a Twitter link from Jeff.
Seems in these Twitter-fed, Facebook-rich times that many of us are musing about and investigating the meaning of key terms like collaboration. Jeff hits the nail on the head when he ponders the changing nature of this activity in the e-learning workspace. It’s a good read. Check it out.
This is piggy-backing a little on branding, one of the ancillary threads running through the 31 Day Comment Challenge.
I’m wondering what role you think your blog’s theme plays in the matter of branding you and your blog? Why did you choose the theme you are using right now? Was it because it fits your brand or the tone of your niche?
Image from WikipediaOne of my favourite sites is The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies which contains a link to Jane Hart’s blog. Jane keeps a finger on the pulse of e-learning and she’s doing some great longitudinal research into who is using what tools and where. I’ve been signed up via her blog this year for a daily e-letter Jane’s e-learning pick of the day. Jane’s reminder and tips arrive each morning in the mailbox. This way I get to test drive a new tool and attempt to keep up with what’s being released in the dizzyingly fast world of e-learning apps and services development.
I took part in a survey earlier this year along with other educators in which we were asked to nominate our favourite e-learning tool at the time. You can read Jane’s summation of all of this in her post.
Apart from the rankings on a leagues table of what tools made it and what didn’t, who moved up or down or out from last year’s picks, is Jane’s brief analysis in the post of which tools are being used in formal, workplace education and which by educators. Perhaps no prizes for guessing, but the older, Web 1.0 ‘organise and push’ tools predominate in workplace learning, whilst Web 2.0 apps are the clear favourites with educators.
You can sign up for what will undoubtedly be a more comprehensive summation in a free pdf by going to the Top 100 Tools page on Jane’s site. Highly recommended.
And who’s sitting on top? Del.icio.us …. delicious! This alone says much about the primacy of collaborative learning in our collective consciousness doesn’t it?
Next Monday is day 1 of teaching for a new academic year… or should the emphasis be on learning! Change is in the air. It’s a change in thinking, a sort of ‘can-do’ feeling that is beginning to nudge colleagues into giving this e-learning stuff a go. I’ve experienced this several times this week alone at my place. Now change at institutional level can be notoriously slow in uptake, and never more so than in academe. Tried and true ways that ‘work’ are hung on to perhaps long past their shelf freshness date, and for all sorts of good reasons. One of the prime excuses is time-poverty, and free-thinking academics are notorious for resisting the kind of change that comes from above … administrative mandates being one of the most resisted. But I digress a little.
Next Monday is Day 1 of Semester 1 of a new academic year… hi ho, hi ho it’s off to teach we go …. or should that rather be off to learn we go! Change is in the air. It’s a change in thinking, a sort of ‘can-do’ feeling that is beginning to nudge colleagues into giving this e-learning stuff a go.I’m experiencing this change in attitude from several directions right now. Last minute panic? Maybe, but I suspect it’s part of the natural progression of change. Now change at institutional level can sometimes be glacially slow in uptake, and never more so than in academe. Tried and true ways that ‘work’ are hung on to perhaps long past their shelf freshness date, and for all sorts of good reasons. However, one of the prime excuses is time-poverty, and free-thinking academics are notorious for resisting the kind of change that comes from above … administrative mandates being one of the most resisted. But I digress a little. Continue reading “School Starts: e-learning’s in the air”
It’s been a great few days. The conference dinner (in the time-honoured way of conference dinners) got more of the chat flowing along with the sauvignon blanc and shiraz. It’s always good to make new connections … yes, social networking does happen outside FaceBook. I ended up having a couple of days getting to know a colleague who works down the corridor from me. We very rarely have time to chat in the way did these past few days; too busy … you know the drift. Upshot is we’re sketching out some tentative plans to engage in a research project next year.
The final Keynote of the conference was delivered by Sue Baker (VCA Melbourne). It was a firmly delivered look at the status of art schools as part of a new culture economy in the information age … in fact that was the title. Although her comment referenced visual art schools in particular, there was much that was appropriate across the disciplines, with their ‘porous edges’ especially in interdisciplinary centres such as the new model art schools emerging in universities.
I liked Sue’s idea of the entrepreneurial practitioner taking charge of her career as the equivalent of ‘start-up companies’ in the business world. In a paper that ranged widely around the arts economy, I found much to ponder in the notion of the emerging ‘experience economy’ tied as it is to what customers are now seeking. Beyond high quality product provision, it includes experience and action as part of the transaction; it’s found particularly in ‘image based’ product branding (there’s that word again!). Enter art as part of the provisioning process. Fascinating stuff this.
My one and only hands-on lab session was a most useful Creative Commons workshop. More useful material for those of us getting our material ‘out there’ and for encouraging our student ‘start-up companies’ to explore. And finally the round table which I live-blogged (in the last post below). Reading back over it, it seems a bit scattered at times, definitely a sense of flowing conversation rather than paraphrased, edited comment. Different, and a bit like dispatches from the field. For someone who has been engaged in writing my own discipline’s EBP for the RQF (acronyms, acronyms) it was good to hear colleagues thrashing out the challenges, and challenging the whole auditing process demanded by the (now former) federal government. Will this bureaucratic exercise change with a change of government, or is the juggernaut too big to stop. I suspect we will soldier on, having spent thousands of hours collectively in preparing this material, only to have it filed away somewhere in a Canberra vault. We’ll see.
And then it was all over for another year. New contacts, good ideas, stimulation, good food and company … what conferences are about.