I can think of a lot of reasons to buy the WorldChanging book. But there’s one reason to buy it today:
Here’s how the system is supposed to work: you write a book. If people think it’s good they buy it. If enough people think it’s good it becomes a bestseller and widely read, spreading new ideas into the public debate.
Here’s how the system actually works: you write a book. Unless your publisher spends large sums of money on marketing and promotions to convince booksellers that you will be a blockbuster, your book remains obscure, often quickly sinking out of view, and few people have a chance to see it, let alone encounter the ideas it contains.
The Learning Technology Unit in the University of Manchester’s School of Computer Science is to host a workshop series on Technology, Media, Communities, and Learning.
The series is specifically concerned with convergences between:
- Social software
- New media-capable hardware devices
- Interactive / broadcast media
- Community formation and maintenance
- Learning and e-learning
- Greater inclusion, and the growth of social capital
The aim of the series is to build knowledge and skills in these topics and their intersections in order to facilitate research and practice. It anticipated that the workshop will be of interest to participants from a broad spread of practices and disciplines that bear on the areas of concern, including the social sciences, media studies and computer science.
The series will be open to all from inside or outside the University.
The series will run for ten sessions. This period may be extended if the participants decide that there is utility continuing in the series.
Workshops will be held fortnightly, from 3.30 to 5.00 pm on Wednesday afternoons, in the School of Computer Science, with a break for the Christmas holidays. The first meeting will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday 8th November 2006, in Atlas 1.
Enquires and further information:
Mark van Harmelen, mark -a-t- cs.man.ac.uk or mvh -a-t- machester.ac.uk
I chanced upon Online Course Design from a Communities-of-Practice Perspective (John Smith and Beverley Trayner) in eLearn Magazine. (The title is a slight misnomer, in the authors’ practice, there are also face-to-face meetings.) As I was reading the article I found myself picking up on various points that the authors make and on the phases of community development that they describe. To me, these points and phases resonated with what we experienced, both as individuals and as a group, and how we informally evolved our learning practice.
In the article, the authors provide several ‘heuristics’ which characterise different phases of community engagement, from inception to conclusion. They choose the word ‘heuristics’ carefully, to characterise events and to indicate “the ongoing tension and contradiction” between their interpretations and that that is interpreted.
Bullet renditions of the phases, which may be repeated, are:
- Getting into the online space
- Finding your way: asynchronous discussions
- Experiencing a new kind of community
- Engaging in a larger social space
- Anticipating face-to-face engagement
- Meeting individuals face-to-face
- Participating in groups face-to-face
- Framing one’s experience in a new context provided by the group
- Diaspora: Moving back to the online space
- Online closing or transition
The authors also provide some conclusions for education and development of (largely) online Communities of Practice, the headings to their recommendations are:
- Design for learning using CPD model is productive.
- Spending time on social processes.
- Using different media to negotiate language as part of a larger process.
- Creating new possibilities: subgroups and outside experts as resources.
- Demonstration of leadership roles in different media.
- Provoking shifts in “comfort zones.”
Some of these titles are a little less explanatory than those in the first list. I won’t describe further, but instead recommend that you read the original.
The tories have launched webcamron, in an attempt to ‘reach disaffected young voters‘. Isn’t sometimes embarrassing when someone tries too hard? Like a 60 year old banker with a leather jacket and a mohawk.
The thing is, boys, that it’s not about having your videos on the web. Its about having ours. Its not about you tagging the content, its us. But hey – here’s an idea. I can download your clips, upload them to youtube, and then really have me some fun.
I gotta admit though, you have a good copywriter. webcam-ron. cute. just watch out you don’t slip too far down that slope.
Muhammad Saleem has a very perceptive article on the Wisdom of Crowds and why it fails on Digg.
Wired runs a review on the state of wikis, education included.
Wired’s webmonkey has just published the results of their user survey on tinkers & stinkers of web-too-oh. I liked LibraryThing. Even the name is enough to make you feel warm. Basecamp, on the other hand, seems very useful.
Interestingly, MySpace seems to be out. Have we (as in we 12 yr old girls) outgrown it? Migrated to facebook? Or simply got bored of looking at ourselves making funny faces in the mirror-on-the-web?
Is this actually the first survey of web2.1 apps – things that don’t make a fuss about sharing, ajax, social features – simply use them as given to do something useful?