Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing


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Courosity: Open Scholarship and Connected Learning

I received my OLDaily early this morning.

Reading Stephen Downes‘ posts is an important marker in my day.

This morning Stephen connected me to Alec Couros.

I have been following Alec’s work since my involvement in CCK08 but had not seen his Plymouth presentation.

I think it is a wonderful exposition of open scholarship and connected learning. These are two areas of great interest to me.

By coincidence I presented some ideas yesterday about Connecting to a group of visiting students at the University of Canberra.

This is my SlideCast (2 minutes 46 seconds).

 


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Open for Learning

I have been thinking about open learning for some time.

The open online course CCK08 accelerated and focused my interest.

Since that course Stephen Downes’ OLDaily has nourished my thinking. (See for example his link to Jenny Mackness’s post today, The place of ‘the teacher’ in relation to open content.)

News of Sebastian Thrun’s development of Udacity (“We believe university-level education can be both high quality and low cost”) has added to my interest as did the video of his talk at DLD. (See this update.)

Matt Welsh ponders the “failings of the conventional higher education model for a minute and see where this leads us, and consider whether something like Udacity is really the solution”. Matt looks at three failings of ‘conventional’ universities: exclusivity; grades; lectures. Matt suggests that online universities bring to the table: broadening access to higher education; and leveraging technology to explore new approaches to learning. He observes that:

The real question is whether broadening access ends up reinforcing the educational caste system: if you’re not smart or rich enough to go to a “real university,” you become one of those poor, second-class students with a certificate Online U. Would employers or graduate schools ever consider such a certificate, where everyone makes an A+, equivalent to an artium baccalaureus from the Ivy League school of your choice?

I have been wondering how to offer sufficient rich experience to overcome the value laden and static nature of education credits. My aspiration is to encourage a collaborative approach to sharing and learning that personalises everyone’s learning environment and journey.

At present I am thinking about four stages in Open for Learning:

  • Invitation
  • Provocation
  • Transformation
  • Realisation

I have been wondering too about all this work being shared through Open Access, Creative Commons licensed material.

Participants in this Open for Learning model would:

  • Choose their level of entry
  • Follow any course without charge at whatever pace they wished
  • Decide whether they would like formal credit after successful completion of the course
  • Pay an affordable fee for a credit to add to their portfolio

My aspiration is for all these learning opportunities to have a fractal quality. Each learning opportunity would be scalable but would contain the principles of all other opportunities, particularly as learners moved to the realisation phase.

I see enormous benefits of using work integrated learning models for Open for Learning and I am particularly interested in the recognition of prior learning.

I liked Matt Walsh’s observation about grades:

Can someone remind me why we still have grades? I like what Sebastian says (quoting Salman Khan) about learning to ride a bicycle: It’s not as if you get a D learning to ride a bike, then you stop and move onto learning the unicycle. Shouldn’t the goal of every course be to get every student to the point of making an A+?

In my thinking getting an A+ grade is not a chronological event. It is, I believe, a kairological experience.

Just as I was completing this post I noticed this ABC post about homeschooling:

As a new school year begins, more than 50,000 Australian children will be home-schooled and in most cases, their parents are doing it illegally. It is compulsory to send children between the ages of six and 16 to school, or register them for home schooling, but more parents are opting out of the traditional school system and keeping their children at home. However, thousands of parents across the country are not registered and that means they potentially face prosecution.

I wondered what would happen if wherever we learned we were at home and overwhelmed by the interest someone took in us as a learner rather than a commodity.

Photo Credits

Primer in the Classroom

Private Wallace Tratford arrives home on leave


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Treasure Trove

Introduction

Last week was another treasure trove week for me. It started with my daughter Beth’s first blog post and concluded with news of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) running at present.

Treasure Baskets

Beth’s post about treasure baskets set me off thinking about the possibilities of guided discovery in play. I thought too about the personalisation that might occur in learning as teachers and coaches adapt the idea of a treasure basket to their own learning environments. A treasure basket is a collection of everyday objects chosen to stimulate the different senses. I followed up on Beth’s discussion of the role the basket has in heuristic play.

Elaine Lambe notes that heuristic play “is the term used to describe play for babies, infants and toddlers that actively encourages exploration by using and developing their senses.” As with all treasure troves one discovery leads to another and through Elaine’s post I found Elinor Goldschmied‘s work. Valerie Jackson has provided a great insight into Elinor’s work. I liked Valerie’s observation that:

Elinor understood the importance of accepting every child as a unique and gifted individual. She didn’t waste time trying to categorise or label children as having special needs, additional needs or anything else. They were all children and we were all the people tasked with the responsibility to encourage and raise good citizens.

She understood that learning to negotiate and compromise are positive skills to allow children to develop so that friendships grow and become strong in the nursery years so that the process of maturation and finally reaching adulthood becomes less arduous and isolating. If a child has one particular adult with whom they can develop a positive relationship during their time away from family, such as in the nursery, then their stay is less traumatic and their play and learned behaviours become more positive. From this, the idea of a key person has evolved and is currently promoted by the Early Years Foundation Stage in the United Kingdom.

Elinor worked with Sonia Jackson to write about People Under Three. I think their work has enormous implications for all learning. I will follow up on their key person ideas. “The key person makes sure that, within the day-to-day demands of thesetting, each child for whom they have special responsibility feels individual, cherished and thought about by someone inparticular while they are away from home.”

MOOC

The concept of a key person was reinforced for me this week with news of two MOOC events. Learning and Knowledge Analytics (LAK11) has been underway for a week. After my participation in CCK08 I have viewed George Siemens as a key person in my learning and trust implicitly his making sense of the world. I am impressed constantly by George’s energy as a guide and catalyst for learning. I will struggle to be an active participant in LAK11 and hope that legitimate peripheral participation is acceptable. There are some great resources available at LAK11 … a wonderful trove. I liked Dave Cormier’s post this week about the roles that can be played in a MOOC.

Stephen Downes is another key person in my learning. I have been writing about Stephen’s work from the origins of this blog. Many of my posts are inspired by links Stephen shares in OLDaily. Stephen is facilitating CCK11 with George Siemens. The course outline is here and week 1 news is here. I was interested to read George’s observation that “We are doing away with the central-space of Moodle – our final break from the LMS and will be using only the commenting feature within gRSShopper. While it might not seem like a huge change on the surface, it is probably our most significant experiment to date.” I found a newer version of Kroc Carmen’s post about RSS via a link in OLDaily.

Both courses are treasure baskets for me. It is great to start the day in Australia with news of goings on in Canada. I have an opportunity to explore ideas some fifteen hours ahead of convivial discussion in the Northern Hemisphere.

Conclusion

Sonia Jackson points out that Elinor Goldschmied’s first job was “in the junior school of Dartington Hall, the “progressive” school in Devon, where she stayed for five years. Dartington in the 1930s provided an exciting cultural and political environment which changed her view of the world.” The post that started me off on this reflection on treasure trove was written by a pupil at the Park School, Dartington. Beth was at the school in the late 1980s and like Elinor has been profoundly influenced by the possibilities of play in learning.

I am immensely proud of Beth’s entry into blogging. Her vision is to find ways to share knowledge and connect parents of young children. She, George and Stephen have a great deal in common in the altruism of connecting.


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Working Together

Last year I wrote a large number of posts about personal learning. Towards the end of the year I started to think about how spaces provide opportunities to connect personal learning. This year I am hoping to develop these ideas about Commons spaces. I hope too to explore how we talk about and write about these spaces.

My first post for 2011 is about collective intelligence. Back in September, 2010, Science published a paper by Anita Williams Woolley, Christopher F. Chabris, Alex Pentland, Nada Hashmi, and Thomas W. Malone titled Evidence for a collective intelligence factor in the performance of human groups. The authors noted that:

In two studies with 699 people, working in groups of two to five, we find converging evidence of a general collective intelligence factor that explains a group’s performance on a wide variety of tasks. This “c factor” is not strongly correlated with the average or maximum individual intelligence of group members but is correlated with the average social sensitivity of group members, the equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking, and the proportion of females in the group.

The ACA Wiki observes of this study that:

c was correlated with the average social sensitivity of the group and in the equality of term turn-taking as measured through socio-metric badges in the group. It was also correlated with the proportion of females in the group although OLS regressions implied that this was because females were more likely to take turns an to be more socially sensitive.

I was intrigued by the mention of socio-metric badges in this report and discovered from a paper by Benjamin Waber and Sandy Pentland that these badges are capable of:

  • Recognizing common daily human activities (such as sitting, standing, walking, and running) in real time using a 3-axis accelerometer.
  • Extracting speech features in real time to capture non-linguistic social signals such as interest and excitement, the amount of influence each person has on another in a social interaction, and unconscious back-and-forth interjections, while ignoring the words themselves in order to assuage privacy concerns.
  • Performing indoor user localization by measuring received signal strength and using triangulation algorithms that can achieve position estimation errors as low as 1.5 meters, which also allows for detection of people in close physical proximity.
  • Communicating with Bluetooth enabled cell phones, PDAs, and other devices to study user behavior and detect people in close proximity.
  • Capturing face-to-face interaction time using an IR sensor that can detect when two people wearing badges are facing each other within a 30°-cone and one meter distance.

Larry Irons has an interesting discussion of this work in his post Gossip, Collaboration and Performance in Distributed Teams.

There are some very important privacy issues in using these badges. Benjamin and Sandy discuss them in detail in Reality Mining. I would be very happy to wear such a badge as art of my daily working environment. I am keen to discover how working together in real spaces might add to working together in virtual spaces.

There will be some interesting opportunities for me to explore collective intelligence in 2011. At the University of Canberra I will be able to work in a number of shared spaces and explore the emergence of pedagogy and practice. In cyberspace I hope to participate in a number of massive open online courses (MOOC) including Learning Analytics and Knowledge, and Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2011,

Some colleagues from an earlier MOOC (CCK08) have provided some fascinating insights into MOOC behaviour. Recently Lisa Lane discussed a spectrum of MOOC design. Jenny Mackness has been exploring connectivism and lurking. Carmen Tschofen has been helping me understand situated learning and ‘legitimate peripheral participation’ (and led me to this infed blog post about communities of practice).

My participation in Commons spaces will be guided as it has been for the last three years by Stephen Downes and George Siemens. They act as wonderful compasses for me. Dave Cormier has some advice too in his YouTube MOOC video:

What an exciting year ahead!


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Sport n.0: Connecting Social Networks

Last year I wrote a paper for a special edition (Multimedia, the World Wide Web and eLearning in Sport) of the International Journal of Computer Science in Sport. The paper was rejected by a number of referees. The rejection was a salutary experience for me.

I wrote the paper in the afterglow of the remarkable CCK08 on line course. I was enchanted (and remain so) about the possibilities of connected groups and the opportunities that arise from sharing openly with colleagues whose work resonates with one’s own work and thoughts. The paper seemed a great way to share some of these experiences.

Two events have prompted me to revisit the rejected paper this week:

1. News that Facebook has 500 million users and that “more than a third of those who use the internet worldwide sign in to Facebook to update their status or post photos”.

2. Stephen Downes’ discussion of the xWeb as “the utilization of smart, structured data drawn from our physical and virtual interactions and identities to extend our capacity to be known by others and by systems.”

The paper is titled Sport n.0: Connecting Social Networks

Abstract

This paper discusses a connectivist approach to the development of social networks in computer science in sport. Social networks have used Web 2.0 tools to grow their connections and the prospects for a Semantic Web 3.0 present enormous opportunities for all of us in our personal and professional lives. This paper uses the concept of Sport n.0 to explore how each of us in the computer science in sport community can grow our interconnections through the use of social media. A case study of the development of one social network site is presented as a heuristic to explore possibilities for connectedness. The paper concludes that a move to open access is a key to the sustainability of the International Association of Computer Science in Sport and the flourishing of the International Journal of Computer Science in Sport.

Keywords: sport n.0,  Connectivism, social networks, social media, open access
Social Networks

In this paper I explore the social network possibilities open to communities of practice in computer science in sport. The paper is an exhortation to invest energy to create and develop open networks that share insights, knowledge and experiences that transcend language, geographical space and synchronous time.

Alexandra Marin and Barry Wellman (2009) point out that “social life is created primarily and most importantly by relations and the patterns formed by these relations. Social networks are formally defined as a set of nodes (or network members) that are tied by one or more types of relations”.  George Siemens (2008a) notes that “the advancements of the last several decades have made networks of learning explicit. Networks are reflected not only as physical information communication technologies, but as the very means through which knowledge is distributed for addressing complex challenges”.

Jane Hart (2009) has done a great deal to promote and support social learning. She suggests that “Social Learning can create more powerful and enduring learning experiences through the use of online communities and networks, where learners are encouraged to co-create, collaborate and share knowledge and fully participate in their learning”. Stephen Downes (2006) has argued that “theorists will have to, like students, immerse themselves in their field, to encounter and engage in a myriad of connections, to immerse themselves, as McLuhan would say, as though in a warm bath. But it’s a new world in here, and the water’s fine”.

This paper proposes that the computer science community immerse itself in social networks to engage theorists and practitioners in a discourse enriched by the possibilities of a Sport n.0. We are in an age of digital scholarship.

Digital Scholarship

Nancy Maron and Kirby Smith (2009) point out that this is an age of digital scholarship and observe that “as electronic resources for scholarship proliferate, more and more scholars turn to their computers rather than to print sources to conduct their research. While society journals, university presses, and conference proceedings still form the backbone of the scholarly publishing enterprise, alongside them many new digital scholarly resources have appeared, sprouting up wherever there is a devoted individual or team of scholars willing to create and nurture them”. Tony Bates (2009) considers that this digital scholarship is ‘embedded’ digital literacy and observes that “to be a scholar now means knowing how to find, analyse, organise and apply digital information. Studying without the use of technology is increasingly like learning to dive without water”. Rob Fitzgerald et al (2009) report the development of digital learning communities that are built by “an exploratory conversation between students, teachers, texts and technologies and that this is so whether learning is happening in the school, university, workplace, classroom, laboratory, or field”.

In the call for papers for this special edition (Multimedia, the World Wide Web and e-learning in Sport) of the International Journal of Computer Science in Sport (IJCSS), Larry Katz and Christoph Igel observed that: “We are interested in papers that explore the innovative use of these tools and their effectiveness in improving learning and performance”.  The call was contained in a PDF document and shared inter alia with the International Association of Computer Science in Sport’s listserv by email.

Larry Katz is a professor at the University of Calgary. Andrew Waller and Mary Westell (2009) report that the University of Calgary has had an Open Access Repository since 2003 that contains “citations for over 14,000 items, approximately 9,000 of which connect directly to full text. Material types include journal articles, reports of many different sorts, datasets, and theses and dissertations”.  Christoph Igel’s work at the Universitat  des Saarlands has been recognised with the award of the Chief Learning Officer 2009 for his work in the development of virtual learning and sharing communities.

In the context of the IJCSS call for papers it is interesting that a special edition on multimedia should be published in a conventional forum that limits the media that can be used and shared. This paper is a plea for a move to open access publishing and the transformation of intellectual property using Creative Commons approaches to community development as exemplified in the success of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (Gunther Eysenbach, 2009). It is a plea too to welcome and value the work of people like Brewster Kahle and John Willinsky.

Alex Wright (2007) points out that “ever since the Web first started to flicker across the world’s computer screens, we have seen a bull market in hyperbole about the digital age”. This paper celebrates that social networks are human networks and that there is an evident need to balance claims made for digital networks with the personal interactions each of us has in our daily lives (see Photograph 1).



Photograph 1: IACSS Dagstuhl Workshop, September 2006

Sport n.0

Many commentators locate the development of social networks and digital scholarship in terms of the n.0 characteristics the worldwide web. Wikipedia provides a brief account of Web 1.0 and a much more detailed account of Web 2.0. More recently Greg Boutin (2009a; 2009b; 2009c) has been exploring the characteristics of Web 3.0.  The European Future Internet Portal has shared a video about Web 3.0 and points out that 3.0 characteristics include: “an Internet of Services, where services are ubiquitous; an Internet of Things where in principle every physical object becomes an online addressable resource; a Mobile Internet where 24/7 seamless connectivity over multiple devices is the norm; and the need for semantics in order to meet the challenges presented by the dramatic increase in the scale of content and users”.

It is interesting to note that when the Information Architects’ blog (2007) discussed Web n.0 to visualise Web trends (see Visualisation 1), the authors observed that “we have added a Web Generation number … please note that there are some websites that are Web 1.5, some that are 2.5, and some that are 0.5. This is not a mistake. Web 2.5 is what Facebook is up to… The Generation number is not necessarily qualifying, but it’s not surprising that websites that do well are usually above 1.0; some of them (like eBay and Wikipedia) were 2.0 long before the term was coined”.

Visualisation 1: Web Trends Map 2007/V2

This visualisation locates the 200 most successful 2007 websites on the Tokyo Metro Map, ordered by category, proximity, success, popularity and perspective. A trendmap for 2009 is available.

The potential of these n.0 changes for our communities of practice in sport is enormous and has been exemplified in Larry Katz’s Sports Technology Research Laboratory and Christoph Igel’s e-learning work. My own approach to developments in Sport n.0 were shared earlier this year with delegates at the Thirteenth World Congress of the International Association for Sports Information and in a SlideShare presentation about Institute 4.0.  Mills Davis (2009) has discussed four types of web: 1.0 the Web (connects information); 2.0 the Social Web (connects people);  3.0 the Semantic Web (connects knowledge); and web 4.0 the Ubiquitous Web (connects intelligence). In the 4.0 space there will be “agent webs that know, learn and reason as humans do”.

Social Media

A report by the Smart Services CRC (2009) defines social media as “websites which build on Web 2.0 technologies to provide space for in-depth social interaction, community formation, and the tackling of collaborative projects”. There has been a proliferation of these media in recent years.

As each of us explores these social media we have the opportunity to learn with and from others. Wikis have proven to be a powerful medium for sharing. An excellent example of what is possible is demonstrated in the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge CCK08 course wiki and in work by such people as Leigh Blackall (2009).

The aggregation of our experiences through wikis offers enormous opportunities to grow communities. Gene Schembri (2008) has provided an interesting example of how a wiki can be used to support  learning communities in sport. He observes that wikis enable people to: share information; discuss a topic and invite comment on it; provide open access to upload and share resources;  and provide opportunities to edit material to ensure that content is current and accurate. Most wikis allow authors to create content without a knowledge of mark up language. Sue Vesper (2009) provides some interesting background information about wikis for those keen to explore their use.

There are some fascinating projects underway to explore social media. Howard Rheingold’s work with the Social Media Classroom (2009) aims to “grow a public resource of knowledge and relationships among all who are interested in the use of social media in learning, and therefore, it is made public with the intention of growing a community of participants who will take over its provisioning, governance and future evolution”. Michael Wesch (2008) and his students at Kansas State University are exploring digital ethnography. Michael Wesch’s video The Machine is Us/ing Us (2007) has been viewed almost ten million times on YouTube, it has over 21,000 ratings and 8,000 comments.

In 2008 a massive, open, online Connectivism course demonstrated how Sport n.0 might use social media to link and grow its communities of practice. This course,  Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08), is the subject of the next part of this paper.

Connectivism

In 2004 George Siemens proposed that “Connectivism presents a model of learning that acknowledges the tectonic shifts in society where learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity. How people work and function is altered when new tools are utilized”. His identification of Connectivism as a learning theory for the Digital Age has stimulated enormous interest and discussion. A community keen to explore his ideas came together for the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08) in the second half of 2008.

Principles of Connectivism identified by George Siemens (2004) that underpinned the CCK08 course were:

  • Learning and knowledge rest in a diversity of opinions.
  • Learning is a process of connecting specialised nodes or information sources.
  • Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
  • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known.
  • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
  • Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
  • Accurate, up-to-date knowledge is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
  • Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality.

George Siemens (2009) has provided a comparison of learning theories to locate the distinctiveness of Connectivism. This comparison is presented in Table 1.

Table 1: A comparison of learning theories

CCK08 provided a forum to explore, discuss and debate Connectivism and I believe the model has enormous possibilities for communities of practice in computer science in sport. The structure of the course was:

  • Each week had a clearly defined topic.
  • The topic was introduced by a short article or introduction or podcast.
  • Links to external resources for additional reading/viewing were provided weekly.
  • Short podcasts and opinion pieces explored disagreements.
  • Discussions were held in asynchronous forums like blogs, Moodle, and wikis. The course code (CCK08) was used for tagging posts or sharing del.icio.us resources.
  • Assignments and activities for participants who enrolled “for-credit” were required for completion/reflection on a weekly basis.
  • Weekly live lectures and presentations were held. These lectures were delivered in Elluminate, UStream TV and BlipTV and were recorded for participants in different time zones.
  • Guest presenters were involved throughout the course.
  • Mind maps of key discussion topics were co-created with participants at the conclusion of each week.
  • The time required by learners was a minimum of five hours per week (reading, assignments, etc) and a maximum of ten to fifteen hours (depending on learners’ expertise with online environments and familiarity with subject matter).

At the end of the course George Siemens (2009b) summarised his involvement as a course facilitator: “I have spend a minimum of 12 hours per week on CCK08. Some weeks, especially at the start, were likely closer to about 30 hours”.

The pattern of George’s time included:

  • Contributions to The Daily: 3-5 hours a week (reading posts and writing commentary)
  • Reading Moodle forum contributions: 5-7 hours a week (reading and posting)
  • Recording/wrapup/introduction for the next week: from zero hours some weeks to 2 hours others
  • Live sessions: 3+ hours (Elluminate and UStream sessions)
  • Responding to email: 2-5 hours a week
  • Marking papers: approximately 1 hour min per paper (reading, reflecting, and trying to write something coherent and hopefully of value to the participants). Total marking time for the course: more than 75 hours
  • Course preparation time: 60-80 hours

Overall George estimated that the total time he spent on the CCK08 course was between 375-425 hours.

There are many communities that have flourished as a result of the CCK08 course. Stephen Downes (2009a) has provided an overview of the course and its open access potential.

The CCK08 course was an excellent case study of Nancy White (2009)  Communities of Practice. These communities have nine facets:

  • Meetings – in person or online gatherings with an agenda.
  • Projects – interrelated tasks with specific outcomes or products.
  • Access to expertise – learning from experienced practitioners.
  • Relationship – getting to know each other.
  • Context – internally-focused or serving the wider world.
  • Community cultivation – recruiting, orienting and supporting members, growing the community.
  • Individual participation – enabling members to craft their own experience of the community.
  • Content – a focus on capturing and publishing what the community learns and knows.
  • Open ended conversation – conversations that continue to rise and fall over time without a specific goal.

I believe the CCK08 is an important model for developments within the computer science in sport community. Its use of social media has enormous implications for the way knowledge sharing communities are supported and sustained. Importantly Connectivism acknowledges the place personal learning environments have in this process. The CCK08 course led to an incandescence of activity and a flourishing of social networks. The Daily produced during the course gives a feel for the digital scholarship stimulated by the course. Two examples of community building projects that arose from the course include Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces and Connectivism, Technology, Web 2.0.

Stephen Downes (2009b) argues that “the first phase of educational media was focused almost entirely toward learning management”. Social media have made a second phase possible. Stephen Downes characterises this phase as the personal learning environment (PLE). Tony Hirst (2009) explores some of the possibilities for PLEs in a time of “radical syndication” and “the uncourse attitude”. His work demonstrates some of the ways in which content can be packaged, bundled, unbundled, mixed, remixed, contextualised, commented upon and scheduled for delivery using freely available web tools and techniques that do not need a programmer to operate them. The United Kingdom’s Open University Platform (2008) is an excellent example of this approach as is a web site that addresses the mashable (2009) affordances of digital media.

IACSS09

My involvement in the CCK08 course accelerated and focused my interest in social networks. During the course I used a range of social media to explore collaborative learning. I invested considerable energy in developing my blog Clyde Street and as part of the CCK08 course I posted each week and commented on colleagues’ blog posts. Visualisation 2 plots the increased readership of the blog since its inception in June 2008.

Visualisation 2: Clyde Street views per month

Clyde Street attracted its highest monthly readership during March 2009. This coincided with two conferences at which I blogged live. One was the International Association of Sports Information 13th World Congress in Canberra. The other was the National Library of Australia’s Innovative Ideas Forum 2009 also in Canberra.

Live blogging provides an opportunity to share presentations with colleagues within Australia and around the world. It offers an almost synchronous sharing opportunity as well as an asynchronous record for colleagues in different time zones. Microblogging services such as Twitter are now offering real time sharing of information in 140 character blocks of text.

My experience in CCK08 encouraged me to develop a Ning site for the IACSS09 Symposium to be held in Canberra.

The aim of this site was to build a social network around the work of IACSS and to create a pre-conference connection between delegates and organisers. It was defined as an unofficial site to avoid any confusion with the official Symposium site.

The Ning site was launched in December 2008 and one of the strong reasons for using the Ning suite of tools was its language potential. Ning offers the opportunity to use twenty-three languages on the site. The Language Editor page provides information about this functionality. Importantly it is possible to import language files from other Ning sites. My hope was that this agnostic feature would stimulate exchanges in a variety of languages (see Visualisation 3).

Visualisation 3: An example of four languages for upload to the site

One of the options available to Ning sites is to have an advert free skin and I chose this option (for a small monthly fee) to ensure that IACSS was not seen to be supporting any commercial activity by a third party over which IACSS had no control.

In December 2008, I started sending out invitations to join the Ning site. This was an important step as I was able to moderate all membership uptake to ensure  that there was no abuse of the site by uninvited third parties. Once a member was approved that member had full access to the site’s functions. Importantly the site does not require mark up language. At the time of writing this paper there are forty-seven members. Each of these members has the freedom to:

  • Add a blog post
  • Start a discussion topic
  • Create an event
  • Add music
  • Upload photographs
  • Upload video
  • Write a note
  • Invite a friend to join the site

These functions are located on one site and remove the necessity to use multiple sites for the social network.

The CCK08 course discussed earlier in this paper demonstrated the potential of social media to grow networks linked by mutual interest. The IACSS09 Ning site is an example of a connectivist approach to social network development in computer science in sport. At present it awaits examples of non-English language use. The next step is to encourage drivers from IACSS to initiate this multi-lingual exchange.

I believe this kind of exchange can lead to the production of remarkable open access materials. I conclude this paper with a brief discussion of open access publication as the logical outcome of a commitment to Connectivism, Sport n.0 and social networks.

Open Access

Lee Orsdel and Kathleen Born (2009) provide a detailed overview of the impact of the global 2008 financial crisis on library budgets. They report that “In an unprecedented move, the International Coalition of Library Consortia issued a statement to publishers in January warning that double-digit budget cuts over the next few years are expected and calling for creative strategies from publishers who want to keep their business. The Association of Research Libraries followed with its own statement in February, underscoring the need for publishers to take this crisis seriously”.

This financial crisis is occurring at a time when the impact of Open Access journals is growing (Shu-Kun Lin, 2009). It is occurring at a time when there are increasing calls for and commitments to Open Access in universities such as Harvard, the Universite de Geneve, and Roehampton. It is occurring at a time too when the Public Knowledge Project (2009) is growing its reach as is the Internet Archive. It is occurring at a time when there is increasing discussion of the Edgeless University (Peter Bradwell, 2009) in which “technology is changing universities as they become just one source among many for ideas, knowledge and innovation. But online tools and open access also offer the means for their survival. Through their institutional capital, universities can use technology to offer more flexible provision and open more equal routes to higher education and learning”.

Matt Wedel (2009) has raised some fascinating issues in relation to the links between published articles in peer review journals and the posts written in blogs. He draws attention to what he calls the Intolerable Problem: “which is that people online can critique papers and present new evidence and arguments in a format that is impermanent and not peer-reviewed. It’s intolerable because on one hand such material is not currently (operative word) citable in most outlets, and on the other hand repeating it sans citation in peer-reviewed literature smacks of plagiarism (to some, but not to all)”.

When I first contemplated writing this paper I posted my thoughts online in this post.  I received two responses about the principle of sharing a paper on line. Both responses encouraged me to contemplate what a collaborative paper might look like. I do find myself attracted to Matt Wedel’s (2009) argument that “I still think that the investment of blog posts with respectability, value, citability, or whatever rests entirely with readers, and always will. Options range from treating posts like papers to treating them like bar conversations to treating them like spam. You decide”. The availability of WebCite functionality will transform this debate: “a WebCite®-enhanced reference is a reference which contains – in addition to the original live URL (which can and probably will disappear in the future, or its content may change) – a link to an archived copy of the material, exactly as the citing author saw it when he accessed the cited material”.

If accepted for publication this paper will appear in 2010. In order to retain some currency I have chosen to use references mainly from 2009 in the drafting of this paper. By the time the special edition of IJCC on multimedia appears we will have had the Seventh IACSS Symposium. At this Symposium it is intended to use as many of the social network tools available to connect delegates in novel ways that are appearing elsewhere. As IACSS develops its own Symposia formats it will be interesting to see how these formats resonate with those organised by CERN (2009) and AACE (2009) amongst others.

It is a most remarkable time of change in the ways we communicate.

References

Bates, T. (2009). e-Learning and 21st century skills and competences. Journal Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://www.tonybates.ca/2009/06/24/e-learning-and-21st-century-skills-and-competences/ accessed 29 June 2009.

Blackall, L. (2009). Composing educational resources. (Wikieducator wiki)

http://wikieducator.org/Composing_educational_resources accessed 29 June 2009.

Boutin, G. (2009a). Tying Web 3.0, The Semantic Web And Linked Data Together — Part 1/3: Web 3.0 Will Not Solve Information Overload. Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://www.semanticsincorporated.com/2009/05/tying-web-30-the-semantic-web-and-linked-data-together-part-13-web-30-will-not-solve-information-ove.html accessed 29 June 2009.

Boutin, G. (2009b). Tying Web 3.0, The Semantic Web And Linked Data Together – Part 2/3: Linked Data Is A Medium. Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://www.semanticsincorporated.com/2009/05/tying-web-30-the-semantic-web-and-linked-data-together-part-23-linked-data-is-a-medium.html accessed 29 June 2009.

Boutin, G. (2009c). Tying Web 3.0, The Semantic Web And Linked Data Together – Part 3/3: Structuring Chaos. Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://www.semanticsincorporated.com/2009/05/tying-web-30-the-semantic-web-and-linked-data-together-part-33-structuring-chaos-.html accessed 29 June 2009.

Bradwell, P. (2009). The Edgeless University. London: Demos. http://www.demos.co.uk/files/Edgeless_University_-_web.pdf?1245715615 accessed 29 June 2009.

Davis, M. (2009). Web3 And The Next Internet – New Direction and Opportunities for STM Publishing. SlideShare Presentation http://www.slideshare.net/Mills/web3-and-the-next-internet-new-directions-and-opportunities-for-stm-publishing-davis-2009-web?src=embed accessed 29 June 2009.

Downes, S. (2009a). Access2OER: The CCK08 Solution. Journal article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2009/02/access2oer-cck08-solution.html accessed 29 June 2009.

Downes, S. (2009b). Beyond Management: The Personal Learning Environment. Keynote address EdMedia World Conference, Hawaii, June 2009 http://www.aace.org/conf/edmedia/speakers/downes.htm accessed 29 June 2009.

Downes, S. (2006). Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge. Journal article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://it.coe.uga.edu/itforum/paper92/paper92.html accessed 29 June 2009.

Eysenbach, G. (2009). Open Access journal JMIR rises to top of its discipline. Journal article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://gunther-eysenbach.blogspot.com/2009/06/open-access-journal-jmir-rises-to-top.html accessed 29 June 2009.

Fitzgerald, R., Barras, S., Campbell, J., Hinton, S., Yoni, R., Whitelaw, M., Bruns, A., Miles, A., Steele. J. & McGinness, N. (2009). Digital learning communities and social software. Australian Learning and Teaching Council http://eprints.qut.edu.au/18476/ accessed 29 June 2009.

Hart, J. (2009). What is Social Learning? SlideShare presentation http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/sociallearning/sociallearning.html accessed 29 June 2009.

Hirst, T. (2009). They Put Silage in Silos, Don’t They? So Feed Me. Invited paper EdMedia World Conference, Hawaii, June 2009 http://www.aace.org/conf/edmedia/speakers/hirst.htm accessed 29 June 2009.

Information Architect Blog (2009). Web Trend Map 4. Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://informationarchitects.jp/wtm4/ accessed 29 June 2009.

Information Architect Blog (2007). Web Trend Map 2007 Version 2.0. Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://informationarchitects.jp/ia-trendmap-2007v2/ accessed 29 June 2009.

Lin, S-K (2009). Full Open Access Journals Have Increased Impact Factors. Molecules 2009, 14(6), 2254-2255 http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/14/6/2254/ accessed 29 June 2009.

Lyons, K. (2009). A Fourth Age of Sports Institutes. SlideShare presentation http://www.slideshare.net/Postillion/a-fourth-age-of-sports-institutes accessed 29 June 2009.

Lyons, K. (2008). IASI in Canberra. Article (On-line/Unpaginated) https://keithlyons.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/iasi-in-canberra-2009/ accessed 29 June 2009.

Marin, A. & Wellman, B. (2009). Social Network Analysis: An Introduction. Book Chapter (forthcoming) http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman/publications/newbies/newbies.pdf accessed 29 June 2009.

Maron, N. & Smith. K. (2009). Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication: Results of an Investigation Conducted by Ithaka Strategic Services for the Association of Research Libraries. Ann Arbor, MI: Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan, University Library vol. 12, no. 1, February 2009 http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;cc=jep;rgn=main;view=text;idno=3336451.0012.105 accessed 29 June 2009.

Orsdel, L. & Born, K. (2009). Reality Bites: Periodicals Price Survey 2009. Journal Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6651248.html accessed 29 June 2009.

Rheingold, H. (2009). Social Media Classroom/ Co-laboratory. Screencast http://vlog.rheingold.com/index.php/site/video/social-media-classroom-co-laboratory-screencast1/ accessed 29 June 2009.

Schembri, G. (2008). Wiki http://ncodmelb.wikispaces.com/ accessed 29 June 2009.

Siemens, G. (2009).  What is Connectivism? Week 1:CCK08. Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=anw8wkk6fjc_14gpbqc2dt accessed 29 June 2009.

Siemens, G. (2008a). A Brief History of Networked Learning. Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/wiki/Connectivism#Week_4:_History_of_networked_learning_.28September_29-October_5.29 accessed 29 June 2009.

Siemens, G. (2008b). Who is still participating? Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/connectivism/?p=182 accessed 29 June 2009.

Siemens, G. (2004).  Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm accessed 29 June 2009.

Smart Internet CRC (2009). Social Media State of the Art. Australia: Smart Internet CRC. http://produsage.org/files/Social%20Media%20-%20State%20of%20the%20Art%20-%20March%202009.pdf accessed 29 June 2009.

Vesper, S. (2009). Wikis Overview. Wiki http://learningweb2.wikispaces.com/Wikis+Overview accessed 29 June 2009.

Waller, A. & Westell, M. (2009). Open Access initiatives at the University of Calgary. Letter of the LAA, 2009, n. 163. [Journal Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://eprints.rclis.org/16329/ accessed 20 June 2009

Wedel, M. (2009). Blogs, papers and the brave new digital world.: Matt’s thoughts. Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://svpow.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/blogs-papers-and-the-brave-new-digital-world-matts-thoughts/ accessed 29 June 2009.

Wesch, M. (2008). An anthropological introduction to YouTube, YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU accessed 29 June 2009.

Wesch, M. (2007).  Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us. You Tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE&feature=channel accessed 29 June 2009.

White, N. (2009). Red-Tails in Love: Birdwatchers as a community of practice. Article (On-line/Unpaginated) http://technologyforcommunities.com/2009/03/red-tails-in-love-birdwatchers-as-a-community-of-practice/ accessed 29 June 2009.

Wright, A. (2007). Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages. Washington: National Academies Press.


Hyperlinks

Social networks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_networks

IACSS

http://www.iacss.org/index.php?id=29

IJCC

http://www.iacss.org/index.php?id=30

Larry Katz

http://www.strc.ucalgary.ca/katz/index.html

Christoph Igel

http://www.sportwissenschaft.de/index.php?id=275

PDF

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDF

Email

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email

University of Calgary

http://www.ucalgary.ca/

Universitat des Saarlands

http://www.uni-saarland.de/index.php

Chief Learning Officer Award

http://www.uni-saarland.de/campus/fakultaeten/zentrale-einrichtungen/competence-center-virtuelle-saar-universitaet/aktuelles/1-preis-clo.html

Creative Commons

http://creativecommons.org/

Creative Commons video

http://creativecommons.org/videos/a-shared-culture/

Brewster Kahle

http://www.archive.org/about/bios.php#brewster

John Willinsky

http://pkp.sfu.ca/history

Worldwide Web

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Internet

Wikipedia

http://www.wikipedia.org/

Web 1.0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_1.0

Web 2.0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0

European Future Internet Portal

http://www.future-internet.eu/home.html

European Future Internet Portal video

http://www.future-internet.eu/publications/media.html#c140

Sports Technology Research Labratory

http://www.strc.ucalgary.ca/index.html

Competence Center Virtuelle

http://www.uni-saarland.de/campus/fakultaeten/zentrale-einrichtungen/competence-center-virtuelle-saar-universitaet.html

IASI Congress

https://secure.ausport.gov.au/conferences/iasi

Wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki

CCK08

http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/connectivism/

Social Media Classroom

http://www.socialmediaclassroom.com/

Digital Ethnography, Kansas State University

http://mediatedcultures.net/ksudigg/

CCK08 Google Tag

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=CCK08+tag&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

CCK08 del.icio.us Tag

http://delicious.com/tag/cck08

Elluminate

http://www.elluminate.com/

Ustream TV

http://www.ustream.tv/

Blip TV

http://blip.tv/

The Daily

http://connect.downes.ca/

CCK08 Moodle

http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/moodle/course/view.php?id=20

Digifolios

http://digifolios.ning.com/

Connectivism, Education and Learning

http://connectivismeducationlearning.ning.com/

Open University Platform

http://ouseful.wordpress.com/2008/11/28/ou-goes-social-with-platform/

Mashable

http://mashable.com/

Clyde Street

https://keithlyons.wordpress.com/

Innovative Ideas 09 Forum

http://www.nla.gov.au/initiatives/meetings/innovative-ideas-forum/2009/

Twitter

http://twitter.com

IACSS09 Ning Site

http://iacss09.ning.com/

Ning Language Editor

http://iacss09.ning.com/main/language/list

Ning Import Language File

http://iacss09.ning.com/main/language/upload

IACSS09 Ning Membership

http://iacss09.ning.com/profiles/members/

International Coalition of Library Consortia

http://www.library.yale.edu/consortia/

International Coalition of Library Consortia Statement

http://www.library.yale.edu/consortia/icolc-econcrisis-0109.htm

Association of Research libraries

http://www.arl.org/

Harvard Press Statement

http://www.gse.harvard.edu/blog/news_features_releases/2009/06/harvard-graduate-school-of-education-votes-open-access-policy.html

Universite de Geneve Statement

http://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/outils/Directive_Archive_ouverte_UNIGE.pdf

Roejhampton University Statement

http://www.eprints.org/openaccess/policysignup/fullinfo.php?inst=Roehampton University

Public Knowledge Project

http://pkp.sfu.ca/about

Internet Archive

http://www.archive.org/index.php

Ning paper alert

http://iacss09.ning.com/profiles/blogs/open-and-connected-communities

WebCite

http://www.webcitation.org/

WebCite Enhanced Reference

http://www.webcitation.org/#How_look

CERN (2009)

http://indico.cern.ch/conferenceDisplay.py?confId=48321

AACE (2009)

http://www.aace.org/conf/edMedia/


5 Comments

Talent and Giftedness

I have written a great deal in this blog about the impact CCK08 had upon my thinking and practice. Recently I had an opportunity to catch up with one of my on-line companions from CCK08, Carmen Tschofen. We came together to discuss talent and giftedness. Our conversation drew upon some exchanges we had during CCK08 and subsequently after I wrote this post about nature and nurture.

I was fascinated to learn from Carmen about the Lighthouse Program in Minnesota (some background information here). A Lighthouse Program student is:

  • In possession of an insatiable curiosity
  • Drawn to complex ideas
  • Comfortable with ambiguity in learning
  • Self–directed in learning
  • Eager to learn the practice of experts from discipline
  • Capable of working effectively with team members
  • Capable of a sustained focus to resolve questions
  • Recognized as highly able in performance, as well as, potential
  • Currently 7-18 years of age
The Lighthouse Program comprises:
  • Accelerated pace of learning
  • Non graded, multi-aged grouping
  • Integrated curriculum
  • Opportunities for On-line Learning
  • Opportunities to experience the practices of experts
  • Depth of study in complex Inquiry
  • Student focused learning
  • Teacher/facilitator focused on students’ learning
  • Connections to rigorous high school options
  • Collaborative and Competitive Opportunities

Meeting Carmen and her colleagues gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore and reflect on generic issues around talent and gift that had prompted me to write about performance and share some early ideas about the identification process.

Our conversation used Elluminate and this is a recording of our hour-long exchange that linked early morning Australia and lunchtime Minnesota.

During that time we discussed:

2:40 Supporting and defining talent on an individual basis

5:15 The role of personal volition/motivation/environment

8:30 The importance of allowing time for self-discovery and play

14:30 On being the same/being different

20:00 The meaning of growth potential and potential triggers for growth

23:10 Resilience, persistence, and the issues with electronic entertainment

27:50 Understanding personal talent development through biography and narrative

30:30 Who guides talent development?

33:40 Values and ethics in coaching and mentoring

36:10 The “Birth Year Effect,” the development of talent over time, and “the system”

40:00 Relationships and life lessons

43:00 The role of deliberate practice, the problem of instant gratification, and computer games

48:35 The difficulties of “elite performer” lifestyles, the problems with shallow praise

51:50 Extrinsic rewards and the issues of ownership and autonomy

54:00 Self-ownership and self-accountability

I really enjoyed the hour I spent with Carmen and her friends. It was quite difficult to go back to bed (4 a.m.) after such a stimulating conversation. I am hopeful that this is the start of a close link with the Lighthouse Program. Sport has a great deal to learn from innovative educators within and beyond its cultural contexts.

I am convinced that any approach to talent and gift must have a profoundly personal focus that celebrates learning biographies. I am keen to explore the interrelationship between context and opportunity that can permeate personal stories.

Photo Credits

Lighthouse

Girls skipping at an athletics carnival


1 Comment

A Perfect Mess: on-line communication

I was driving home last night and came across an interview between Michael Duffy and David Freedman on Radio National’s Counterpoint. David Freedman is the co-author of A Perfect Mess. In the interview David outlined his view on the messiness of life. The book “demonstrates that moderately messy systems use resources more efficiently, spur creativity, yield better solutions and are harder to break than neat ones.”

As I was listening to the interview I was thinking about how messiness has contributed to my learning. In the last couple of years, particularly post CCK08, I have accessed a variety of on-line sources to explore learning possibilities. Occasionally I try to collect these sources here in this blog. As I was sifting through my early morning feeds today I happened upon a delightful post on the ABC’s Drum Unleashed page by Helen Razer. Now that I have read her post, Twitter quitter, I lament that I have not been organised enough to find her work!

Helen discussed her decision to delete her Twitter account and contemplate Catherine Deveney’s removal from the pages of a Melbourne newspaper. She observes that:

Derailment becomes possible with the invention of the locomotive. The air disaster becomes possible with the birth of aviation. I don’t know what to call the spite, rage and fervour that unfolds every second on Twitter, but I no longer want any role within it.

You might think professional writers would exercise a little more caution with this push-button publishing. The fact is we don’t. We’re right down there in the mud of the populaire rolling around like malicious, attention-hungry hogs.

This is a medium that has seen journalists of national reputation call me, sans any personal provocation a “Druggie”, “Shameful” and “A crap writer”. The last of which was re-Tweeted by a former editor with whom I’d never differed.

Helen’s post was published on the day she appeared on ABC’s Q&A’s discussion of the Future of the Internet (on a panel that included Kaiser Kuo and Brett Solomon.) I missed that too but caught up with that this morning. Helen’s Drum Unleashed post had received sixty-four responses by the time I read it.

One of the comments was from Beagle:

In the early days of the internet, I used an electronic term to describe what I experienced in my quest for information on “the net”. I equated my experience in locating specific information about a topic in terms of signal to noise ratio. Think about it as if you are in a car, listening to the radio. As you drive away from a rural town, the further you get from the transmitter the less signal you get and the more noise you hear. Eventually, you hear mostly noise and very little of the signal that is being broadcast.

In the beginning, the internet was very noisy (95% noise and 5% signal). My impression as we moved forward into the 21st century, was that companies like Google got much better at how they interpreted our requests and actually gave us a better signal to noise ration (50% signal – 50% noise). That relationship is drifting back towards more noise and less signal as companies like Google give us “Ads” dressed up to look like signal, when they are actually just plain noise. As an example, try searching for something you want to go out and buy, but are looking for local stores close to you that sell it. Almost impossible! Most “hits” you get will be for companies selling something online.

Twitter at the moment is (99% noise and 1% signal), Why anyone would put up with so much noise beggars belief.

The way I overcome the noise in my messiness is to have trusted sources. I find Stephen Downes’ OLDaily an essential part of my day and his links give me enormous opportunities to explore and connect. I have reduced my use of Twitter but follow 332 others who act as my guides in that space. Recently I have added The Scholarly Kitchen as a source of information and was delighted with the synchronicity of two of its feeds today:

I resisted the temptation to follow links from the XML paper but did pursue a fascinating link from Kent Anderson’s Facebook post. I found Ashwin Machanavajjhala, Aleksandra Korolova, Atish Das Sarma’s paper on On the (Im)possibility of Preserving Utility and Privacy in Personalized Social Recommendations. Their abstract concludes that “We … show that good private social recommendations are feasible only for a few users in the social network or for a lenient setting of privacy parameters.”

This connectedness is a perfect mess for me and one that is invitational and volitional. I take from Helen’s post that each of us can choose how we share our thoughts and that we enter any forum with our eyes wide open. I am attracted increasingly by slow blogging but realise that the remarkable efforts of others makes my blogging possible … now I need to understand XML to savour the prospect of semantic connectedness.

Photo Credits

Phone-wire tangle

World Class Traffic Jam