I’ve started blogging over at and will stop blogging here soon. Hope you’ll follow me there, if not this is your chance to clear one more edublog out of your RSS reader.. mind you, I plan to start writing about more than education soon, so you never know what you might be missing.

Audio visual recording of the talk given by James Neill and Leigh Blackall, for the University of Canberra, at the 2010 annual conference of Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia. Notes to support this presentation are kept on Wikiversity.

Sam Hinton talks about open academic practices, as part of a series of interviews informing the OpenUC project.
Sam works with the University of Canberra, in the Faculty of Media and Graphic Design.
OpenUC is a project coming out of the Faculty of Health, lead by Leigh Blackall. It aims to create a space in the University of Canberra for people who want to develop open practices.
Video by Leigh Blackall: http://leighblackall.blogspot.comMusic by DoKashiteru:

As William Lucas says on the Networked Learning email list, watching this kid use libraries to critique schooling is 3 minutes well spent.

Seb Chan reports on how the PowerHouse Museum in Sydney is starting to consider how it can work with Wikipedia, starting off with a very interesting analogy of Wikipedia as being much like a city.

Interesting video explaining a little on how ARM processors are disrupting the netbook sector. This company is set to release US$150-$200 devices running Ubuntu in June 09, marketing to Christmas 09.

Source: Bill Kerr

I’m on the hunt for Illich inspired contemporary writers. Jude Cook has sent me links to Stephen Brookfield and Michael Newman. How’s this for starters:

In this paper I want to build on those moments of dissension and dissatisfaction that have occasionally emerged to disturb the equanimity of adult educators who align themselves with the idea of self-direction. In different ways these productively troubling elements have been expressed by Gelpi (1979), Griffin (1983, 1987), Candy (1989, 1991) and Hammond and Collins (1991) and they center chiefly on the fact that the political context, cultural contingency and social construction of self-directed learning activities have generally been ignored. Brockett and Hiemstra (1991) write that ‘concerns about the sociopolitical dimension of self-direction remain valid today” (p. 97) and they note as one of their concludng recommendations for theory that “the political dimension of self-direction continues to be largely overlooked by adult educators and this needs to be remedied” (p. 220). In building on the criticisms this group of authors make, this paper has two purposes. First, I want to argue that critical adult educators may be making a strategically premature decision to dismiss self-directed learning as wholly accommodative and therefore having no contribution to make to building a critical practice of adult education. Given the popularity of the concept in contemporary adult education, some important consequences could ensue for the field if it were reframed with a critical edge. We could miss an important tactical opening in the fight for a critical practice of adult education if we conclude too decisively that self-directed learning as an idea has been so hopelessly compromised that it can only function as an agent of domestication. Second, I want to make explicit what I see as the political dimensions to the idea in the belief that if adult educators acknowledge these it could affect fundamentally how many of them practice their craft. These arguments are, I believe, interconnected and they suggest that the concept of self-directed learning, if interpreted politically, could play an important role (along with critical theory, critical pedagogy and other work on transformative and emancipatory education) in providing a rationale for a critical practice of adult education. Stephen Brookfield, Self-Directed Learning, Political Clarity and the Critical Practice of Adult Education. 1993

Critical writers that connect this line of thinking with new technologies relating to information and communication continue to evade me.

Stephan recording the talk in Sydney

Stephan recording the talk in Sydney

Geoff and I gave another talk about EduPOV today, this time at Western Institute of TAFE in Orange. I think today’s talk went better than the one at Sydney Institute. Geoff spent more time explaining and demonstrating EduPOV gear before I launched into my usual rant about the importance of social media to education.

The talk at Sydney Institute was a bit disjointed I thought, because we had 3 distinctly different groups who came for 3 very different reasons. We had trades people who wanted to see the EduPOV gear, we had educational developers keen to talk about the wider implications, and we had first Australians interested in both the application and the implications in terms of the indigenous context.

The talk today in Orange seemed to be much more coherent and presenter lead, and so in this regard I felt satisfied that I played my expected part. After Geoff demoed the gear, it was up to me to put the concept of Point Of View into a historic, educational and social context for consideration. Again a recording was made, but I think I can recall the nub of it.

I basically said that Point Of View (POV) is about more than the cameras and that the modern internet is all about POV. I pointed out that we have actually had this micro camera technology for quite some time, but it took the modern internet to appreciate the value in it. So it is social media with all its evident influences on audience reception in television, radio, cinema and all, that has made the space for Geoff to present a product called EduPOV. Teachers are more ready to consider themselves and their students as the producers of their own educational media.

The modern Internet is all about points of view, and wearable micro cameras like EduPOV gear is simply one tool and medium for presenting a POV in quite a literal way. It is thanks to the success of social media services and people’s willingness to use those services to share their points of view, that we have access to a vast array of primary resources that can be made infinately useful in educational settings. My proposal then was that the educational point of view and contribution to all this available resource, is to identify what is quality in it all, and to make that identification of quality available for all to consider. The educational point of view therefore, is one of quality.

This is not to be confused with material quality such as the image or sound quality, that aesthetic perspective has been altered by social media as well and we are all more capable of accepting a wider range of aesthetic qualities now. The quality I am referring to is that of the content. It is an educational practitioner’s role (I argue) to engage with social media, to look beyond the surface layers of services like Youtube and get beneath it, to create accounts and subscribe to new content feeds, to favorite and comment and connect, and to realise the deeper layers of what is available in social media collections, and to help identify quality information and resources and help it to emerge and rise above other content. Further, if by chance that teacher notices something missing, or something in need of correction, to see that need as an opportunity for them to create the additional or corrective media and add it back into the social media so that it can play its role in that wider collective context. Its “teachable moment”.

So a teacher (or content expert’s) point of view has an important role to play in the folksonomic organisation of the modern internet. But sadly, due to censorship, restrictive copyright, over zealous network security, prejudice, ignorance, connection issues and general inabilities, the educational point of view is the missing element in the social media scape, leaving us all to ‘fend for ourselves’ in the appreciation and organisation of primary content.

There was some heated and challenging discussion around the points in that argument, with the usual split in the room between those who were excited by the thoughts and those who were deeply threatened, or flat out rejected the thought. I fueled that with my controversial ways of putting things of course, but I guess that’s to be expected by now.

I am beginning to let go of the idea that the education sector will ever make an impact on the development of social media for education and that either something else will fill that opportunity, or that darker elements such marketing and shallow entertainment will take advantage of the illiteracy and ignorance that the education sector permitted to exist. This is no reflection on the people at Orange by the way. Its just that after 5 years of doing this, I can’t see anywhere near the level of change in the educational mindset, and the wider society to that measure, that I thought should have taken place by now. Others more senior and more experienced than I assure me that a significant change is happening, but that the education sector can only respond when those changes are prevalent throughout society, rather than be the one to make the change or prepare a society for the change. And that is a fact that I am beginning to see the fairness of.

EduPOV have flown me over to Australia to talk with Sydney Institute of TAFE, Western Institute and Illawara Institute. The topic for discussion is EduPOV with the brief being to focus of on the conceptuial side of that. No worries.. here’s my 10 point frame for that talk. Looking forward to it.


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