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I first saw Andrew Odlyzko’s article Content is not king in Vol 6 Num 2 of the journal First Monday in 2003 or something. First Monday has consistently delivered many a mind altering experience for me, and even 6 years later it is worth revisiting this Feb 2001 article. In it Andrew makes an almost prophetic argument for the time.

In the following sections I develop the argument that connectivity is more important than content. The evidence is based on current and historical spending figures. I also show that the current preoccupation with content by decision makers is not new, as similar attitudes have been common in the past. I then make projections for the future role of content and connectivity, and discuss implications for the architecture of the Internet, including wireless technologies.

At the time of Andrew’s article, Learning Management systems were being used by educational management to bash the early adopters of the Internet into line and force them out of their DIY Internet projects and into template driven, organisation wide Learning Management Systems. I was called in to create high cost “Learning Objects” that the students would use instead of text books and analogue distance learning materials. The teacher took a back seat, always waiting expectantly for the content, always quietly skeptical that anything online would change what they do. To claim that content was not king at that time was something of a challenge to the likes of me who’s income was being made through eLearning content production, and to the managers who were blindly redirecting massive amounts of money into new content production. We hardly took notice of this argument, strangely nor did the displaced teachers…

Around the same time Dave Wiley produced the Reusability Paradox which was another spanner in the works articulating a persistant frustration being felt by content producers and elearning developers. The content wasn’t being used!!

It took me another 2 years to see the writing on the wall, and when Web2 / socially networked media / user generated content came along in 2003/4 I began to see my escape route.

Today, I recognise a connection in Andrew’s argument that content is not king, and Illich’s Deschooling Society – Chapter 6, Learning Webs. In Learning Webs, Illich also argues for investments in connectivity before content. I also recognise through the Illich connection that this argument has been going on for quite some time, and is not likely to get resolved anytime soon. Even with such stark and plainly obvious proof like email, SMS, blogging, online learning communities, and content-less courses that it is connection that is of more value to people.

So today, the struggle to appreciate these arguments goes on. At Otago Polytechnic we are investing in Flexible Learning. A considerable amount of that investment goes to Internet based content production unfortunately. We bicker and fight about this nearly every day. I myself spend a significant amount of time developing content, even though I am experienced and aware of the reasons why not to. To balance this plain as day risk we are also trying to get our teachers (and students for that matter) connected as well, but it is harder to quantify or see the results of this than it is with numbers and screens of content.

What does “getting our teachers connected” mean? It means helping them to appreciate Internet connectivity beyond content access; it means encouraging them to blog; network online and find others in their field, make contact, communicate, form learning communities, connect. It means extending the already familiar and tangible notion of face to face contact to an online and hence always connected context. It is very hard work, and very difficult to develop, especially when we can have very little say in the infrastructure that supports such an effort here in New Zealand.

A quick look at NZ Internet stats

My sense tells me that these stats reflect a reality in Otago that we fail to fully comprehend in education. And when we’re talking broadband, we should probably expect low speeds, low data caps, poor reliability, and shared computers to be further impacting all through that 33% broadband. How can we facilitate connectivity in the way I’ve described with infrastructure and take up that produce these stats?

Connectivity is our biggest challenge. Both infrastructural and behaviorally. Content is hard to justify when at least 67% of New Zealanders have very limited means to access it.

I plan to find out more about the KAREN project, and how it is promising very fast internet connections between universities and other nodes throughout NZ. At the moment the KAREN project seems to be focused on its application in research and formal education, celebrating stories of video conferencing between research groups, and distance education into schools. I want to find out if anyone has proposed distributing some of that connectivity out to communities. Something along the lines of South Australia’s Air Stream project, would possibly help improve both access and uptake of broadband connectivity, and help introduce an appreciation of wireless in the region. I’m not sure how big the KAREN is, but if a portion of its use could be made available for free community wireless across the region, I think that will go a long way to improving connectivity.

Update:

Here I am, on a lovely and sunny Sunday morning about to commit to another day of good old digging in my back yard. We have a steep section, and I just seem to end up doing a lot of digging in it. Mainly to terrace it off and make flat spaces for the day I organise a TALO swapmeet over at my place.

Anyway, yesterday I had the bright idea to break out the old MP3 player and load it up with some audio. I’m not a big fan of music, though I do have a huge collection of very nice tunes from CCMixter, but I crave insights, ideas, debates and stuff. So I had a quick hunt for some audio, and all I found from the news reader was this recording from Australia’s Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)’s Radio National Law Report looking at Creative Commons (silly buggers took the audio recording away!!) But apart from that, I found very little.

I can’t remember who (Brian, D’Arcy, Alan) ah! it was Alan who is also noticing the drop in podcasting, but reckons audio publishing is still going strong. Just to be clear, I’m referring to education stuff – sorry to be a bore..

In 2005 when I was super keen on audio recordings from conferences and the like, it seemed that everyone was putting stuff up. At the time podcasting was the flavour flave, but that’s not the way I found my listening. At the time, and still to this day, my internet access was always limited by data caps, and every month I seem to go over that cap. At NZ$49 per month I can’t really afford to upgrade, and nor can I afford to subscribe to podcast feeds that will load me up with stuff without me being able to say yay or nay to it before hand. So, I’ve always simply reviewed the synopsis of the pending audio recording before deciding whether to load it up.

Back in 2005 is when I discovered the mighty Stephen Downes and his near over whelming amount of audio recorded presentations. I guess I could have another listen to those again… they certainly are worth reviewing. It was through Stephen’s recordings that I found myself in all this edublogging anarchy. His ideas, ethics, and principles struck a cord with me and gave me the voice I was looking for. At the time I was hungry for more audio, and did a lot of listening of many others during the long commutes to work I used to do. I still remember getting totally freaked out in the van as a I drove home one wet and misty night, listening to eLearning Queen’s recording of her thoughts about Boliva’s El Luison. I still get shivers..

But now I don’t commute so much, and don’t really have so much of that valuable time for listening, contemplating, reflecting etc. Today though, I have a very large hole to dig, and it would be a perfect time to fill my ears with the ideas of SD or anyone else of similar presentation / ideas / ethics / political caliber (in other words, worth listening to). So I have the dusty old MP3 player plugged in, I’m trawling the news reader, but its largely empty of audio! I actually have to go out and search for it! That’s a big change from 2005. Before, if people weren’t publishing their own audio, then they were pointing to it. Now, it seems very few people that I have in my reader (some 300 or so) are doing either.. is my experience common with others? Have we all lost our time for listening? Lordy knows I still pump out a lot of media, and audio is still right up there, most recently the 10 minute lecture series about online learning communities, but I can see that they have had only a few downloads… perhaps we are all slowin down (or is that speeding up) to a point where audio is just not high on the agenda..

I’m sure its just me.. I’m sure its just a reflection of how long its been since I updated my subscriptions and that all the tired and used up old edubloggers I’ve been reading for the past 3 years are starting to lose their energy. Or its because I haven’t defended my listening time from the encroaching administrivia that I have stopped watching out for it.. either way, this morning, its a searching I will go…

Brian Lamb and many others have been keeping a close watch on FB lately, and its a relief that such critique is on the record throughout the Web2 educational blogger networks.

Below is a copy paste email exchange between a friend of mine and “Facebook User Operations”. In it you will see the process my friend had to go through to get out of Facebook. This friend was once a FB enthusiast, and now he loathes it. I am also on the road out of FB and glad to be getting free of it.

Like most people I saw the huge growth in the numbers of users and got sucked into the vacumm. Being a self proclaimed media and education critic of sorts, I saw it as part of my role to get to know the platform, experiment a bit and advise and critique. Thanks to the many critical thinkers around (especially those that engaged in the FB analysis in the Facilitate Online Learning Communities Course) that job of investigation has been quick and wide ranging. In that focus group we looked at the tools, features and toys in FB, we considered the serious accusations and questionable aspects of FB’s terms and conditions, privacy practices, copyrights, and marketing data collection practices, and we have discussed the bigger social issues around things like FB. Now more recently I have been shown the difficulty people have in actually managing their accounts in FB which is the nail in the coffin for me.

Just as in our “real world” of credit cards, databases, consumer “loyalty” programs and the more serious PR efforts covered by Adam Curtis’ films The Trap and The Century of the Self, FB is just another cynical intrusion on our society and another lift of the bar for those that claim to “do no evil”. Observing the quality of ads on FB lately might indicate that things are not going too well for the inflated FB adventure.

The thing that annoys me the most about all this is that the critics of Web2 will gain yet more traction through FB like bubbles. Those who have been following the Web2 thing should probably see that the likes of FB have very little in common with web2 ideas (closed, locked in, dodgy). Some may recognise it as that familiar corrupting force that will help to derail the more hopeful aspects of the movement, such as the revived belief in the value of a critical, creative and participatory society that helps to develop a more responsive and responsible economy, and more representational culture and mediascape (Benkler – Wealth of Networks).

Sadly, FB is another nod to the chilling warnings in the old classic EPIC2014, “its the best of times, its the worst of times…”

> From: “Facebook Support”
>> Hi …,
>>
>> You’re welcome. Feel free to contact me with any further questions.
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> ….
>> User Operations
>> Facebook
>>
>>
>>
>> —–Original Message to Facebook—–
>> From: …
>> Subject: Re: Deletion
>>
>> That’s fine thanks.
>>
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> ——————————

——————–
>> From: “Facebook Support” <….>
>> Sent: Friday, December 07, 2007 5:10 AM
>> To: <….>
>> Subject: Re: Deletion
>>
>>> Hi ….,
>>>
>>> We have permanently deleted your account per your request. Please note,
>>> deletion is irreversible. Let me know if you have any other questions
>>> or
>>> concerns.
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>>
>>> ….
>>> Customer Support Representative
>>> Facebook
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> —–Original Message to Facebook—–
>>> From: …. (….)
>>> To: Facebook Support (….)
>>> Subject: Re: Deletion
>>>
>>> I have removed all my friends, profile picture, and inbox messages.
>>> Delete
>>> my account now please.
>>>
>>> Thank the developers of Facebook for making this process as difficult as
>>> possible.
>>>
>>> Is there a valid reason why I have to go through that process, or is it
>>> so
>>> people give up and deactivate their accounts, so they always have an
>>> account
>>> to go back to, so you can advertise to them? Or maybe you count
>>> deactivated
>>> accounts in your supposed 55 million users?
>>> If I have asked for the account to be deleted, I should be able to get
>>> that
>>> done. I should be able to do that myself from the Facebook interface.
>>>
>>> ————————————————–
>>> From: “Facebook Support” <….>
>>> Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2007 7:43 AM
>>> To: <….>
>>> Subject: Re: Deletion
>>>
>>>> Hi ….,
>>>>
>>>> Unfortunately, you have not cleared your profile of all content.
>>>> Please
>>>> remove all friends from your friends list, photos from your profile,
>>>> and
>>>> messages from your Inbox. We will then be able to assist you.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks,
>>>>
>>>> ….
>>>> Customer Support Representative
>>>> Facebook
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> —–Original Message to Facebook—–
>>>> From: …. …. (….)
>>>> To: Facebook Support (….)
>>>> Subject: Re: Deletion
>>>>
>>>> I have cleared everything from my account, and wish for it to be
>>>> cleared
>>>> from your server.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> …. …..
>>>>
>>>> ————————————————–
>>>> From: “Facebook Support” <….>
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2007 1:28 PM
>>>> To: <….>
>>>> Subject: Re: Deletion
>>>>
>>>>> Hi ….,
>>>>>
>>>>> If you deactivate, your account, and any information associated with
>>>>> it,
>>>>> is removed from the site. However, we do save your profile content
>>>>> (friends, photos, interests, etc.), so if you want to reactivate
>>>>> someday,
>>>>> your account will look just the way it did when you deactivated.
>>>>>
>>>>> If you want your information removed from our servers, we can do this
>>>>> for
>>>>> you. However, you need to first log in and delete all profile
>>>>> content.
>>>>> Once you have cleared your account, let us know, and we’ll take care
>>>>> of
>>>>> the rest. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
>>>>>
>>>>> Thanks for contacting Facebook,
>>>>>
>>>>> ….
>>>>> Customer Support Representative
>>>>> Facebook
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> —–Original Message to Facebook—–
>>>>> From: …. …. (….)
>>>>> To: privacy@facebook.com (privacy@facebook.com)
>>>>> Subject: Deletion
>>>>>
>>>>> I would like my Facebook completely deleted, not just deactivated.
>>>>>
>>>>> Browser: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-GB; rv:1.8.1.11)
>>>>> Gecko/20071127 Firefox/2.0.0.11
>>>>> —–End Original Message to Facebook—–
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> —–End Original Message to Facebook—–
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>> —–End Original Message to Facebook—–
>>>
>>>
>>>
>> —–End Original Message to Facebook—–
>>
>>
>>

 

Movember – raising awareness of men’s health

Movember – Changing the face of Men’s Health. Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a charity event held during November each year.

Wellington School orders a student and Movember participant to shave off moustache. (Wellington is the capital and political centre of New Zealand)

A Wellington private school boy has shaved his Movember moustache off after his school threatened to ban him from sitting his NCEA exams. Scots College says it is inappropriate for students to grow a moustache, even if it is done for charity.

Facism (sic) …has a new name and look.

Subdued in All Her Rage: The musings of an unemployed twenty-something undergrad – School: Preparing Us For More School

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I have always been prepared for the pretend world — that is, school and school-like situations. I’ve always received good grades. I think I’ve had like 1 or 2 B’s, like 3 or 4 A-’s and the rest A’s my entire college career. I’m well adjusted to the learning environment, and all that crap.


Bella and I have similar feelings about the school uniform

Culture Kitchen – Does School Teach Kids to Survive and Thrive?

And to carry the thought further, which kinds of education (if any) are best preparing future citizens to survive, and even help prevent, all manner of potential catastrophes to come? I’d put a high premium on self-reliant yet socially responsible technology, schedules, lifestyles, networking, world views and income generation. The kinds of learning based on intrinsic motivation, privacy and sustainability, learning that doesn’t require or prepare people to live and work in assigned dorms and barracks under constant public supervision and scrutiny.

Youtube – Despotism and Democracy

Archive.org “DespotismDeschooling Society discussion in Wikiversity

“The most radical alternative to school would be a network or service which gave each man the same opportunity to share his current concern with others motivated by the same concern.” — Ivan Illich.

We have a project brewing here to create an image database for the Art School. Logically this project needs to eventually scale to other departments as well. Apart from the technicalities of meta data, resources such as storage, and sustainability such as who maintains and backs it up – as always, copyright is a problem. The Art School has thousands of slides they want to scan in and make available to their staff and students digitally, and questions arise on the effects a closed or open database would have on the copyrights of third party (stuff we don’t own).

Funnily enough, it seems to me that the solution to the problem is not to create our own image data base, but to use an already existing database such as Wikimedia Commons. Apparently up to half of the images that we might need to use in the Art School are already available on Wikimedia Commons, including some images that are copyrighted, and the InstantCommons project looks set to increase that number of resources like images. Interestingly it seems that Wikimedia Commons is accepting copyrighted works under USA legislation of Fair Use – which from what I can tell is a bit easier to use educationally than our own legislation here in NZ.

Based on a statement included with a copyrighted image on Wikipedia, perhaps it is felt that if the copy is low enough in resolution to not warrant a faithfully replicable copy, or if a copy that could not effectively reproduce in original scale and in detail, or a copy that could not be used commercially to any great degree, is potentially OK to exist on a Wikimedia project based on the US’ fair use. Interesting example based on a low rez copy of a Clyford Still painting

Also of interest is the Bridgeman vs Corel which a staff member on our image database project has pointed to. In this case, a court has found in favour of a corporation that made copys of a museum’s images of Public Domain works. The Museum claimed that they had put a lot of work into their scans to ensure acuracy, but that claim worked against them because their scans therefore lacked originality and so they couldn’t claim copyright… how would this play out in NZ we wonder? Does it need to play out in NZ if the image is hosted on Wikimedia Commons? Could this extend to copyrighted images we wonder…

I called my mate Stewart Cheifet at archive.org for his take on it all, and through a bit of discussion put it down to this, low resolution, not making money (or fair use), all reasonable steps, no worries [my wording]. I like the refreshing clarity. I would worry more if we had our own database to maintain, but perhaps Wikimedia commons is more clearly these fair use things and so we have a better bet there…

So, what of our image database project? I reckon we should work towards the bigger projects like Wikimedia Commons and help improve that open and very usable database. We should be able to load high rez jpg to the commons for works that we have copyright clearance for – we may even find that a large percentage of the images that we need are already there! As for images that we don’t have clearance on, it seems that being an educational institution we can claim fair use under US law if we load low rez versions and details, the question is do we fall under US or NZ law if we use US services? [I think it is US law regardless - they do after all have the bigger guns and trade "agreements"]. Seeing as we only intend to use these images in research and learning – we probably don’t have a lot of need for high rez images – especially if we include detail images for close ups and the like when we need them (instead of high rez full works). Wikimedia Commons uses a MediaWiki platform which has an excellent range of metadata fields not to mention a proven ability to maintain itself through collaborative editing. Use of Wikimedia Commons dramatically reduces our costs of installing, running and maintaining our own system. Does this stack up?

Of course we would still need to set up a basic internal system for original scans etc. Like a library back up in case we lose access to Wikimedia Commons. Hopefully we would also use a MediaWiki internally so as to remain compatible with the likes of the Commons. But we should ensure flexibility in what database we primarily use, we might want to use Archive.org later down the track if they get a good image database engine up and running, and so the openness of the commons gives us a fair amount of that flexibility for the meantime.

So as always it seems to make more sense to work in with existing projects rather than “reinvent the wheel” as the saying goes. Trouble is that in education, that saying seems to only extend as far as what your neighbour department is doing and not to a more national or even global scale… building our own is reinventing the wheel I reckon.

I wonder why not a soul in Australia or New Zealand thought to contribute to the Gmail collaborative video? With nearly 2 million views so far, and a Google map pinning everyone who contributed, I would have thought at least one keen videographer in Australia or New Zealand would have thought it a good idea to get a shot in and get noticed…

Why didn’t I put one in? Maybe my lame excuse is similar to all the others in Aust/NZ

I seem to recall having mixed feelings at the idea of participating in a Gmail fan club. But clearly I should have just gotten over it and put one in!! I would have been a lone pin representing Dunedin and Aust/NZ.

Barbara Dieu posted to TALO these links to stat graphs looking at the generational uptake of social media. Click to view. My initial thoughts from them:

I see the high bars moving WITH the generations, rather than other generations adopting these practices… which means the types of things that we are seeing 18-26yo doing online will change and evolve as their life experience grows.. in other words, social media will become rich and broader ranging with information and learning on a wider variety of things and with varying levels of depth.. within about 5 – 10 years. At the moment educationalists could be doing much more towards attempting to engage the % of the age group, and on their terms, so as the maximise the potential energy in this early adoption. Obviously, doing so will mean we learn the things now that we will need to know in 5 – 10 years time.

Then again, do these stats affirm the need for reaction at all? Or are those that promoted the use of social media doing so on the belief that it is simply a good thing to do proactively?…

Long time no chat with Teemu Leinonen. Tonight he skyped me out of the blue and in no time has me signed up to Jaiku – another group IM system, but seems to have more features than Twitter such as intergration with mobile phones..

We also got to chatting about various stuff in the world, flicking links to movies back and forth before we settled down to watch the first part of the BBC series Century of the Self. More info about this BBC series here.

Its another very thought provoking film in what seems to be a series of stuff I’m just happening across, such as Newman’s History of Oil and Zeitgeist. Apart from being interesting in that this BBC series seems to support in some way the general ideas coming out of the more “conspiracy” minded films like Zeitgeist and History of Oil, Teemu and I kept the skype chatgoing through out the 1 hour movie. We chatted to each other, summarised what was being said, grabbed links to some of the names etc. It was quite an enjoyable way to watch this film.

Here’s some of the transcript: [10:42:12 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: I am watching the movie too.
[10:42:21 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: :) me too
[10:42:33 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: I have this idea of having a TV with chat. We can do some quick user testing in here.
[10:42:44 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: right :)
[10:43:27 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: I have often tried to talk to my grand father about his life – but he does not talk about himself too well
[10:44:28 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: Where did he grow up?
[10:44:35 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: Australia
[10:44:52 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: through Depression WW2 etc
[10:45:48 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: My grandfather wrote down his memories.
[10:45:56 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: good man
[10:46:34 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: was common to keep journals in the 18 19th century hey
[10:46:35 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: I have this plan of “digitalizing” them. They are written with a typewriter.
[10:46:42 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: great
[10:53:50 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: hmm cigarettes
[10:54:02 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: torches of freedom
[10:54:21 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: bernays takes credit?
[10:54:27 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: dunno about that/..
[10:54:37 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: Bernays
[10:55:23 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: Bernays = emotional connection to objects
[10:55:32 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: emotional
[10:56:18 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: I think functional virtues will come back
[10:56:30 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays
[10:56:46 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: needs to desire culture
[10:57:03 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: does this reflect a European experience?
[10:57:43 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: emotional connection to objects is good if the objects are good. :)
[10:57:54 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: ah ha :)
[10:58:18 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: I don’t have anything agains good propaganda if the products are good.
[10:58:50 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: cigarettes – torches of freedom – money – wealth – jobs = good in 1920
[10:59:03 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: bad today
[10:59:12 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: hmm.. well…good for whom?
[10:59:32 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: women freedom?
[10:59:39 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: good point.
[11:00:30 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: if you could jump right from the “smoking” to the “torches of freedom” and the rest will still follow it would be much better.
[11:01:06 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: smoking – torces of freedom – money – wealth – jobs.
[11:01:33 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: well, money and jobs are good for others
[11:01:44 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: wealth for the nation/community
[11:02:01 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: women freedom means money for women.
[11:02:02 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: but all this just to question the notion of “good”
[11:02:36 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: “…and everybody was happy.”
[11:03:10 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: this bernays is a demon
[11:03:13 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: :)
[11:03:21 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: he has horns
[11:03:28 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: hah..
[11:04:35 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: bernays and co strike me as gloting arrogants
[11:04:46 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: or just american>
[11:06:37 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: freuds thinking = christian belief of inate sinfulness of men
[11:06:40 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: ?
[11:08:01 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: the mob and web2…
[11:08:09 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: unconsciousness = innate sin.
[11:08:17 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: hmm
[11:09:21 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: “engineered concent” – Bernays.. later Naom Chompsky
[11:10:55 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: Actually I mean: freud’s unconscious mind = the christian innate sin.
[11:11:42 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: right
[11:14:54 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: It seems to be that Europe exports “ideas” to US and when they are “imported” back to Europe it is a catastrophe.
[11:15:00 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: need to watch Zeitgeist for an idea about why the depression happened
[11:15:27 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: indeed
[11:16:00 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: …just waiting when the nuclear bomb will be finally “imported” back to Europe.
[11:16:24 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: freedom is impossible :(
[11:22:41 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: on archive.org there is a good film called Despotism – 1947 or something..
[11:25:28 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: yes. I have used the Despotism in some classes.
[11:26:51 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gallup
[11:36:01 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: not as active citizens but passive consumers
[11:36:15 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: web2 = active citizens?
[11:36:24 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: hmm..
[11:40:06 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: oh no.. the CIA
[11:40:15 p.m.] Teemu Leinonen says: Right..
[11:40:34 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: good film
[11:40:43 p.m.] Leigh Blackall says: thanks to the google pirate

Konrad Glogowski (that’s him on the right) joined us for the 2nd in a series of 10 minute lectures relating to the facilitation of online learning communities. In this recording Konrad talks about developing a sense of community and individual presence before attempting formal learning. Konrad talks to his middle school teaching experiences but his research and insight is very applicable across many efforts to develop an online learning community.

Barbara Deu rounded up the troops to support her presentation to the Merlot Conference in New Orleens last night. She had the main conference wired in with a SecondLife conference and a Webheads VOIP and chat conference all at the same time. There must have been 40 or so people online joining in the conference.

Barb gave nice talk on networked learning – slides and audio – and then handed the mic around to a variety of people coming in from all over the world to give a brief sentence or two on networked learning.

Finding my way into the webhead channels was too hard for me – something to do with that olden style free ranging that Webheads do, and being 1 in the morning for me I just needed something easy. So SecondLife it was, and my first go at the new voice feature.

It was really something actually. Jeff from WorldBridges did a great job relaying the audio from the Merlot and Webheads conference through to SecondLife via his Avatar’s voice. We in SecondLife all sat around Nick Noakes’ famous campfire and listened in on Barbs talk while we chatted amongst ourselves.

I was really impressed with the quality of the sound and the usefulness of the effects (surround sound with close and distant effects) how engaging it was to be in there supporting Barb as one of many. SO much better that Elluminate, and successfully bridged between the haves and the have nots. I could feel Barbs nerves though! I was nervous! but it all went well, topped of by a nice little Banjo playing (I could have heard more though :)

So, hats off to you Barb, not only did you give a great talk, you successfully brought your network in with you and gave something tangible to the conference goers to see what it is you are talking about with networked learning.

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