Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing


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


2 Comments

Playing, Building, Flourishing

I listened to Radio National’s Future Tense program this morning.

By good fortune I heard Daniel Donahoo talk about the Robots in School project.

I was fascinated by Daniel’s conversation with Antony Funnell on Future Tense. I followed up some links to the project and read a description that resonated very strongly with me:

The study uses storytelling and illustration to explore, across several dimensions, how children might like to interact with robots in a variety of situations related to school and learning. In addition to capturing wonderfully inventive, vivid narratives and robot concepts, we’re looking for insights into how children think about the intersections of play, creativity, learning, and social interaction – insights that could inform next-generation learning content and technologies, and more generally, how we think about where and how learning could happen.

This took me to the Lego Learning Institute and its exploration of play … and onto Lego Mindstorms.

Ian Schulte has provided some additional information about the Robot project. I liked discovering that:

Across the stories we’ve received, kids are quick to recognize their creative and sophisticated thinking skills, and also are incredibly aware of the limitations of their “kidness” where creative expression is concerned. Those limitations can be stifling. While robots might not help kids be more creative (though that’s quite possibly the case), they can certainly remove a major obstacle to creative exploration and risk-taking by helping kids refine, re-frame and communicate their ideas.

I was even more interested to read that:

While we’ve focused specifically on kids in this study, the findings ring true far more broadly. As a parting note, and very much related to the theme of personal empowerment and self-expression, a recent 60 Minutes episode provided a very moving view of the transformative impact of technology on people with autism, essentially unlocking communications possibilities that weren’t previously possible.

(More news of transformative impact can be found at ICare4Autism in this post)

This week I have been thinking about Makerspaces. It was wonderful to catch a tantalising glimpse of work underway at Latitude Research host to the Robot Project and discover the awe inspiring diversity of media projects there.

Photo Credit

Robots in Action


3 Comments

#HPRW10 Sharing

I have been thinking about a framework for my panel contribution at Day Three of #HPRW10.The topic for the panel to address is How do we make the research effort into high performance sport more effective?

The abstract I submitted was:

There is a wonderful momentum growing around the aggregation of effort in many aspects of social and professional life. Following on from my presentation at the NESC Forum 2009 I am going to propose that a connected network of practice is essential for sport to flourish in Australia. This connected network will be open and through aggregation will ensure that we grow a research culture that has a cumulative approach to knowledge production. For this to be really effective it will require many institutions to transform their Internet presence. I will suggest there is no wealth but life.

The resources I have looked at to develop my thoughts are:

Around the World in Eighty Seconds

(London – Cairo – Mumbai – Hong Kong – Tokyo – San Francisco – New York – London)

Social Media 2

I was struck by a recent post by Seth Godin in which he argued that:

The challenge of our time may be to build organizations and platforms that  engage and coordinate the elites, wherever they are. After all, this is where change and productivity come from.
Once you identify this as your mission, you save a lot of time and frustration in your outreach. If someone doesn’t choose to be part of the elites, it’s unclear to me that you can persuade them to change their mind. On the other hand, the cycle of discovery and engagement the elites have started is going to accelerate over time, and you have all the tools necessary to be part of it – to lead it, in fact. (Original emphasis.)

I looked at a link I received to Virtual Research Networks

and pondered the possibilities of Web 3.0. Whilst doing so I found Kate Ray’s link to a discussion of the Semantic Web (link).

Which led me to this Flickr phtograph of Tim Berners-Lee.

I followed up his Linked Data Presentation just as I received an invitation to a webinar about the Semantic Enterprise. The trail for the webinar identified Four Pillars of the Advanced Computing Enterprise

  • Data management
  • Process management
  • Access management
  • Resource management

The value proposition from the trail was that semantics help adapt and unify databases, web services and service oriented architectures (SOA), mobile devices, and cloud computing.

From other feeds I have been contemplating social media and connectedness.

Social Media: Twitter

Social Media: Facebook

Changes to Facebook’s privacy settings have been creating some very strong responses. Recent examples include Jason Calcanis’s post (12 May) and a New York Times article (11 May).

(Postscript After finishing this post I came across Mark Pesce’s article for the ABC’s  Drum Unleashed Social networks and the end of privacy. I include it here as an important contribution to the discussion of privacy. See too Stephen Downes’ (18 May) detailed special report Facebook and Privacy. Scholarly Kitchen has compiled some resources on this topic too.)

Meanwhile a colleague had shared with me a paper by James E. Powell, Linn Marks Collins, and Mark L.B. Martinez (2009), in which they observe:

We believe that high quality custom collections of content from digital libraries, and the ability to explore it, can be critically important to decision makers and first responders dealing with crises.  These collections become even more valuable when offered with tools enabled by semantic technologies.  These tools can facilitate visual and task-based exploration of the collection, and provide Web 2.0 collaboration capabilities such as sharing, commenting, rating, and tagging, which are typical of online journal clubs.

Their work set me off on an open access track that took me to Sesame (an open source Java framework for storing, querying and reasoning with RDF and RDF Schema).

Thereafter, I pursued:

The Fierce Urgency of Now, in which it is proposed that:

proactive information retrieval tools can play a significant role in information seeking for users in some situations, in particular those where it is important to quickly get a sense of what information might be available about a particular topic. This may be particularly true if a user is focused on a task that benefits from information, but is not itself an information-seeking task. Additionally, the urgency of a particular task may also make it a requirement that the user be made aware of information, rather than be forced to search for it.

I followed a steer from the authors of that paper and found Michael Twidale et al. (2007) Writing in the library: Exploring tighter integration of digital library use with the writing process. They argue that:

Information provision via digital libraries often separates the writing process from that of information searching. In this paper we investigate the potential of a tighter integration between searching for information in digital libraries and using those results in academic writing. We consider whether it may sometimes be advantageous to encourage searching while writing instead of the more conventional approach of searching first and then writing. The provision of ambient search is explored, taking the user’s ongoing writing as a source for the generation of search terms used to provide possibly useful results. A rapid prototyping approach exploiting web services was used as a way to explore the design space and to have working demonstrations that can provoke reactions, design suggestions and discussions about desirable functionalities and interfaces. This design process and some preliminary user studies are described. The results of these studies lead to a consideration of issues arising in exploring this design space, including handling irrelevant results and the particular challenges of evaluation.

Whilst reading that paper on-line I received a tweet from Radio National about its Future Tense program on the digital classroom in Australia. I ended my day enjoying a blog from one of the people in that program, Helen Otway, Assistant Principal for ICT and Student Learning at Manor Lakes P-12 Specialist College.

Just as I was closing my computer I received a link to a YouTube video (two million views in a week) from a Listserv that ilustrated the excitement and dynamism available to us as we connect as researchers and coaches.

Photo Credits

Phone-wire tangle

Linked Data


Leave a comment

Writing Week: Day 4

We are moving to the end of the Writing Week in the Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra. Today staff had an opportunity to attend a workshop facilitated by Coralie McCormack.

Coralie’s work in the Teaching and Learning Centre at the University includes advising staff about Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) programs and projects, working with Associate Deans of Education in ALTC related work and supporting staff in the preparation of applications for the ALTC.

Coralie’s role in bringing people together to discuss and explore learning and teaching resonates with another event today. Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder of the not-for-profit online news service, Global Voices, a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, was a guest on Radio National’s Future Tense program presented by Antony Funnell.

Creating the opportunity for colleagues in the faculty of health is a microcosm of the Polyglot Internet discussions stimulated by Ethan Zuckerman:

One of the things that I’ve been noticing in my work through Global Voices and my work at Berkman Center, is just the proliferation of different languages online. We started referring to this as the polyglot Internet. And it seems to me that much of what we’d like to be able to do with the Internet, which is to say build communication between people who don’t already know each other, how do the trends perceive what people are thinking and feeling in other parts of the world, getting other people’s perspectives and views of events and such, requires us to take very seriously this problem of translation. Because people are putting up content in all sorts of different languages, and while there’s more on the Internet every day, for every one of us we can actually understand a smaller percentage of it.

I wonder if this approach can be used as a way to discuss the disciplined insights that are generated in a Writing Week. It seems to me that we may need a Reading Week to explore the output of a Writing Week and that this may lead to writing workshops. Louise Ada gave the Faculty a great lead in this regard earlier this week.

For those of you have time for video workshops here is Ethan Zuckerman video on the ‘history of the Internet in 5 minutes’

Photo Credit

Photo 1

Photo 2