Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing


Leave a comment

Planets Aligning

Earlier this year, I wrote about Lycerius’s dilemma.

Lycerius has been playing Civ II for ten years. In June 2012 the game had advanced to 3991 A.D.. There are three remaining super nations “each competing for the scant resources left on the planet after dozens of nuclear wars have rendered vast swaths of the world uninhabitable wastelands”.

Lycerius’s goal for the next few years “is to try and end the war and thus use the engineers to clear swamps and fallout so that farming may resume. I want to rebuild the world. But I’m not sure how. If any of you old Civ II players have any advice, I’m listening.”

I recalled the dilemma this morning as I started to work my way through a number of emails and alerts that had some interesting connections.

Prezi alerted me to The Rational Person’s Guide to the Mayan Apocalypse in which Jaquelynne Avery shares some news about 21 December 2012.

Maya 1

Here are some of the links I received this morning. I am hoping they are harbingers of an age of transformation (to the Age of Aquarius) rather than a predestined meeting with Nibiru.

Darrell Cobner shared with me Nathan Harden’s essay on The End of the University as We Know It. In the essay, Nathan makes a number of observations about students’ experience of higher education. He suggests that:

students themselves are in for a golden age, characterized by near-universal access to the highest quality teaching and scholarship at a minimal cost. The changes ahead will ultimately bring about the most beneficial, most efficient and most equitable access to education that the world has ever seen.

He adds:

Technology will also bring future students an array of new choices about how to build and customize their educations. Power is shifting away from selective university admissions officers into the hands of educational consumers, who will soon have their choice of attending virtually any university in the world online. This will dramatically increase competition among universities. Prestigious institutions, especially those few extremely well-endowed ones with money to buffer and finance change, will be in a position to dominate this virtual, global educational marketplace. The bottom feeders—the for-profit colleges and low-level public and non-profit colleges—will disappear or turn into the equivalent of vocational training institutes. Universities of all ranks below the very top will engage each other in an all-out war of survival. In this war, big-budget universities carrying large transactional costs stand to lose the most. Smaller, more nimble institutions with sound leadership will do best.

220px-V838_Mon_HSTI wondered, in passing, if Nathan had met Lycerius in Civ II in a 21st century encounter.

The University of Western Sydney is investing $35 million over three years (including providing 11,000 iPads) “in a bid to keep its content and teaching relevant to students”. In her report on this initiative in The Conversation, Charis Palmer notes:

All new students who enrol to study at UWS in 2013 will receive an iPad, and some 1500 academic staff will also receive a tablet device for use in teaching. Existing students will receive a subsidy of $50 to go towards textbook purchases. The investment is part of a broader initiative that will include more flexible study options and interactive learning.

One of the arguments for attendance at a University is the social experience of being there. Stephen Downes has an interesting discussion of this argument today in response to a post by Justin Ritchie. Stephen comments:

if the social aspects of universities are so all-fired important, what happens to the large majority of the world’s population that never attends university? Do they just become socially stunted? Inept? Or is it possible that these social dimensions may be addressed in ways other than university pubs and social clubs?

One alternative might be to engage in a community of readers that discuss and share ideas. A post by Michael Lovett alerted me to the growth of readership in Next Generation libraries.

Since the relaunch of Dayton Metro Library, readers are spending 22-percent more time on site, viewing 22-percent more pages. At the Public Library of Cincinnati And Hamilton County (Ohio), which relaunched on Monday, sample excerpts are up 93 percent. The North Carolina Digital Library (Chapel Hill Public Library, Greensboro Public Library, Hickory Public Library) has seen significant increases in page views (15 percent), time on site (18 percent), visits (10 percent), and sample excerpts (35 percent).

Meanwhile in the Scholarly Kitchen, Phil Davis was writing about How Much of the Literature Goes Uncited?

How much of the literature goes uncited? It seems like a simple-enough question that requires a straightfoward answer. In reality, this is one of the hardest question to answer, and the most appropriate response is “it depends.” A citation is a directional link made from one paper to another. In order to count that event, that link must be observed. And while counting a citation confirms that an event took place, not observing a citation does not confirm that it didn’t.

Given my own online reading habits, I think that discoverability in a semantic web is becoming much more important that citation. I tend to follow Related Article links in Google Scholar as a personal learning tool. I start with 2012 papers and move backwards to saturate my literature search.

I find this approach empowering. By coincidence an email from John Kessel sent me off to the Harvard Business Review and Nilofer Merchant’s suggestion about power:

If you currently equate your power with your bossness, your ability to have all the answers, and getting credit for everything you do, then you are set up to thrive in the past. Thriving in the Social Era requires different skills: collaborating rather than commanding, framing and guiding rather than telling, and sharing power rather than hoarding it.

I finished my early morning reading with the story of a toddler in Townsville in North Queensland who has incubated a nest of Eastern Brown snakes (one of the world’s most deadly species of snake) in his bedroom closet. Kyle is just three years old.

The story from the ABC news site indicates that Kyle managed to do this by himself. His negotiation of the threats posed by venomous snakes seemed a perfect allegory for the start of the Age of Aquarius.

I am definitely on the side of transformation in 2013 … and thinking about how I would support Kyle’s learning journey and his co-learners who will live in the 22nd century.

Photo Credit

V838 Mon (Wikipedia)


Leave a comment

Game Changing

4849524717_39bb115d29_bA post by Terry Condon sent me off thinking.

Terry wrote about meeting Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt. Two paragraphs in particular caught my attention:

Many people move into their chosen field and ‘specialize’ in an area in order to become an expert. Hans’ is no different, most of the time he works with athletes.  However it seemed to me that Hans had acquired a bigger picture of healing. He had not subordinated to one industry paradigm of how things ‘should’ be done and limited his learning to one isolated body of research. Instead he actively took from various methods and disciplines what he felt was valuable and developed his own idea of healing.

the level of success you will have is directly correlated to the amount of criticism you are prepared to accept. In order to create the kind of results that will make you a leader, you need to first be prepared to become ‘the villain’ in many people’s eyes in the understanding that at the same time or eventually you will also become the ‘hero’ for many others.

Reflecting on Terry’s post helped me realise how fortunate I am. This year I have met and spent time with many game changers. All of them have energy and passion. All of them have big pictures of where they plan to be.

I like to read about game changers too. In addition to Terry’s post this week I found an interview with Alberto Cairo. In the interview, Alberto talks about changes in higher education:

What I saw happening in newspapers is awfully similar to what I am seeing in higher education: Drowsy institutions with inflexible procedures and obscure lore that are resistant to change just because they feel solidly rooted, stable, and essential. Why would you experiment when your current situation is so comfortable and your model has taken you a long way, up to the present? Because if you don’t seriously —let me stress the word seriously here— try to understand what all new developments, technologies, tools, are capable of, when one of them becomes the next big thing, you may suffer. It is not about burning your ships here; you need to keep using them in routine operations, after all. Instead, it is about taking a few of them and sending them to the open ocean to see if they find something useful. Most of them will be lost, but it may happen that one will stumble upon a treasure island.

I like the open ocean imagery. Yesterday, Stephen Downes was discussing opening doors.

I have been following Anil Dash’s discussions about the web. A couple of days ago he posted about rebuilding the web. In the post he talks about taking responsibility and accepting blame:

The biggest reason the social web drifted from many of the core values of that early era was the insularity and arrogance of many of us who created the tools of the time. I was certainly guilty of this, and many of my peers were as well. We took it as a self-evident and obvious goal that people would even want to participate in this medium, instead of doing the hard work necessary to make it a welcoming and rewarding place for the rest of the world. We favored obscure internecine battles about technical minutia over the hard, humbling work of engaging a billion people in connecting online, and setting the stage for the billions to come. To surpass the current generation of dominant social networks and apps, which have unsurprisingly become arrogant and inflexible during their own era of success, we’ll have to return to being as hungry and as humble as we were when the web was young. Because last time, we were both naive and self-absorbed enough that we deserved to fail.

I think that failure is a very important experience for game changers. It happens a lot when decision makers are unable to manage risk and prefer to avoid it.

I think game changers require great resilience. All the game changers I have met this year are self-evidently different. All of them have managed to overcome resistance to their vision. They all exhibit the characteristics of Sarah Horrigan’s learning technologists:

  • Curious
  • Playful
  • Connected
  • Proactive
  • Passionate
  • Learner

I think game changers are excellent communicators too. One of them, Charles Rosen, died last week. Earlier this year he wrote:

We do not learn language by reading a dictionary, and we do not think or speak in terms of dictionary definitions. Meaning is always more fluid. Nevertheless, we are hemmed in, even trapped, by common usage. Senses we wish to evade entrap us. The greatest escape route is not only humor, but poetry, or art in general. Art does not, of course, liberate us completely from meaning, but it gives a certain measure of freedom, provides elbow room.

I like the idea that the art of game changing creates elbow room and there are fluid ways to share vision.

Photo Credit

Horizons gyroscopiques II


Leave a comment

Aggregate and Record

CSDI am starting to make better use of my Twitter aggregator, Paper.Li.

In the last week I have been taken to some posts that I would have missed in the daily flow of tweets and exchanges.

For example, I found a danah boyd post that led me to this tweet:

Tweetdb

which took me to Anil’s post and the 158 comments it stimulated. Anil starts the post with these observations:

The tech industry and its press have treated the rise of billion-scale social networks and ubiquitous smartphone apps as an unadulterated win for regular people, a triumph of usability and empowerment. They seldom talk about what we’ve lost along the way in this transition, and I find that younger folks may not even know how the web used to be. So here’s a few glimpses of a web that’s mostly faded away …

One of the comments (by Ryan Sholin) was:

Of all these things, I miss Technorati the most, but I also miss the culture of blogging that powered it. Now we (well, Anil and Jason and Gruber and obviously many prominent others excluded) barely use our blogs, content to share half-passively, doing things like posting a comment and leaving the box checked to post it to Facebook as a method of exposing our thoughts on a link to a wider audience.

2934563494_2dd9b2f3a1_bPerhaps moving six cubic metres of stone aggregate recently during house renovations has overly sensitised me to the medium but I was interested to note that aggregate has interstices (small openings or spaces between objects, especially adjacent objects or objects set closely together). Paper.Li is taken me to some of those spaces and is helping me connect macro themes with granular detail.

It seems to me that if we do talk about aggregation, we need to discuss record keeping and curation too. Paper.Li helped me with that today too.  At the end of last month, the Recordkeeping Roundtable, in partnership with the Australian Society of Archivists, held a two day workshop in Sydney; ‘Reinventing Archival Methods’. Radio National’s Future Tense program reported on the workshop.

Over two days participants in the workshop explored “how we can fundamentally reassess our methods and determine what can be done to create a stable archival record of the 21st century”. There is an excellent resource (compiled by Cassie Findlay) that came out of the workshop.

I was struck by Cassie’s introduction:

In 1986 David Bearman first argued that our core methods of appraisal, description, preservation and access were fundamentally unable to cope with the volumes of information that archivists were required to process. He called on the profession to completely reinvent its core methods.  While much has been done in the intervening 25 years, as a profession our methods are still ill-equipped to deal with the volume, fragility and complexity of contemporary archival records.

I recall that Claude Debussy suggested that music is the “space between notes”. Paper.Li is helping me with some of the spaces in my information interests.

On this journey I have thought about what we have lost and gained in the transformation of the web. It has been great having danah, Anil, Ryan and Cassie as guides.

Photo Credit

Pebbles


Leave a comment

Drupal at the National Library

DSCF7619I am attending a Drupal training day today as part of a global initiative (there are twelve of these Drupal sessions in Australia today). The venue is the delightful National Library of Australia.

Drupal is a free software package (distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License) that makes it possible to organise, manage and publish  content on the web.

Justin Freeman of Agileware will facilitate two sessions:

  • The morning session introduces Drupal fundamentals.
  • The afternoon session provides hands-on experience of building a working Drupal website.

The training outcomes for the day are:

  • Understand Drupal basics and terminology.
  • Explore case studies where organisations have used Drupal.
  • Learn the benefits of building websites in Drupal.
  • Explore and use a real Drupal website.
  • Understand how Drupal can help your work.
  • Explore the building blocks of a Drupal website.

 


Leave a comment

Connected through discoverability: Zeitgeist 2012

Zgrab

I am fortunate to receive regular news feeds from John Kessel (Director, Sport Development at USA Basketball).

John and his network have shared some remarkable resources with me this year.

This one arrived today and i thought I would share it too. It is the Zeitgeist year in review (1.2 trillion searches in 146 languages).


2 Comments

Goal-Line Technology Update: December 2012

_48189916_lampard_nogoal640I have been keeping an eye on the goal-line technology debate in football this year.

A Wikipedia page for Goal-line technology was created in October 2008. It has been edited over 100 times in 2012 and provides an excellent overview of the topic.

Goal-line technology has been in the news over the last week.

It is in use at the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup. GoalRef  has been installed in Yokohama and Hawk-Eye at Hiroshima.

A Michel Platini press conference has attracted a lot of comment. At the conference he is quoted as saying:

It is not a question of goal-line technology, it is a question of technology. Where do you begin with the technology and where do you end with the technology? Technology is helpful but we have to draw the lines on certain things.

To put goal-line technology in our competitions would cost €50 million in five years. I prefer to give €50m to the grassroots and development in football rather than to put €50m into technology for perhaps one or two goals per year. That’s a lot of money per goal.

We supported the additional referees which are now accepted by the international board, and with the referee one metre from the line I think if he has good glasses he can see if the ball is inside the goal or outside.

It is an interesting coincidence that Chelsea are playing in the tournament. One of their team, Frank Lampard, has been an advocate for goal-line technology. His ‘goal’ in the 2010 World Cup amplified the debate about how officials make decisions about a goal being scored.

Photo Credit

Lampard effort not given (BBC, 28 June 2010)


Leave a comment

Online Resources for Coaches

4344268766_1ae903c997_bIn the early days of public Internet access I found my way to Brent Rushall’s Coaching Science Abstracts. In the mid and late 1990s I found it a revelation to be able to access curated resources that saved me time and introduced me to a range of topics I may not have considered.

Volume 1(1), Training Principles, was my induction to online sharing. Between 1995 and 2002 I monitored Brent’s summaries with great interest. On the current welcome page to the Abstracts, Brent notes:

These abstracts interpret research articles for practicing coaches and others interested in applied sport science. They are drawn from the personal files of Professor Rushall. Some dated articles are included because their content is still current. Most articles are interpreted for coaches of elite athletes and programs. The contents are changed monthly and may or may not be thematic. Usually six issues per year will be provided.

Since Brent’s retirement from San Diego State University in 2004, abstracts included in Coaching Science Abstracts:

have increasingly come from the annual ACSM conference. The scope of other reading sources has diminished. ACSM contributions represent a wide variety of very recent works. Often they go on to become published articles in formal journals. It is my belief that what is presented now on this web site remains a good cross-section of the current thinking on the many topics covered. The standards for inclusion of referenced works remain high because each is originally supervised by at least one ACSM Fellow and this editor retains high conservative standards for evaluating the scientific rigor of each abstract’s origin.

In 2000, the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports (ISBS) launched the Coaches’ Information Service. I thought this was an outstanding initiative and was particularly impressed by Ross Sanders’s work in sharing information with coaches. The current version of the service, CoachesInfo.com, shares research from sixteen sports.

Back in 2000, the Coaches’ Information Service aimed to present scientifically sound information in an appealing and coach-friendly way. The site had scope for scientific contributions based on research and ideas expressed by coaches and sports participants.

Memories of Brent and Ross’s work came back to me this week when I received an alert to the International Rugby Board’s Coaching platform. This online resource “designed to help coaches and match officials get their hands on essential and up-to-date information for improving their coaching and officiating”. The site provides opportunities to:

  • listen to and watch coaches explaining their practices
  • plan sessions on-line and share them with fellow coaches and players

The resources on the site are available in English, Spanish and Cantonese.

IndexMy memories were stirred further by the work Stephen Mellalieu, Keith Stokes and Grant Trewartha are doing as Network Editors of the IRB Rugby Science Network. The Network is “a global network of researchers who are interested in the study of the Rugby Football codes”. The Network was launched in November 2012 at the IRB Medical Conference.

The aims of the Network are to:

  • Promote the scientific study of the game and the transfer of scientific knowledge into professional practice through international collaboration.
  • Provide an international forum for the interaction between people interested in the science and practice of Rugby Football.
  • Work towards the establishment of a periodical conference and publication for academics and practitioners interested in Rugby Football.

The Network has an application process. Network editors respond within seventy-two hours to an application to join. I was very impressed by the speed of response to my request to join. I was able to acquire an IRB passport to the site within twelve hours.

There are nine Digest Sections available in the Network. I am keen to see how all of them develop and I have a particular interest in the Match Analysis Section edited by Ken Quarrie and Simon Roberts.

It is fascinating to see the seventeen-year evolution of online resources from Brent to the IRB. I think other services like the Clearinghouse for Sport in Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new Hub Application for high performance coaches will continue this transformation.

Photo Credit

Coaches watching the fight (Michael Heiniger)