Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing


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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)


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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).


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Following the London Paralympics

I am really enjoying the London Paralympics.

I like the atmosphere created by the ABC’s coverage of the Games. I am very impressed by the quality of the official Paralympic Games website.

The Conversation has a section dedicated to the Games.

Overnight I read Senator Kate Lundy’s blog post about Capturing Paralympic History. Senator Lundy is the Australian Federal Minister of Sport.

Kate linked to the Wikipedia information page about the History of the Paralympic Movement in Australia and the National Library of Australia’s Oral History Project.

One of the HOPAU Wikipedians, Greg Blood, is updating the following pages during the Games:

Laura Hale is working very hard as a Wikinews reporter at the Games. She has produced a large number of posts including Did You Know? insights. Her most recent post is an interview with Trischa Zorn, the most decorated Paralympian of all time (55 medals, 46 of them gold, earned between 1980 and 2004).

I am keen to read Stella Young’s views of the Games. Her first post concludes with her observation that “I’m here in London for a couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to really immersing myself in London life while I bring you some news from the Paralympics. So far, it’s rather agreeing with me!”

I hope to read more of John Kessel’s posts too. This morning I received an alert to his Missing John Armuth post. I thought it was beautifully written and moving.

Photo Credit

Opening Ceremony (Laura Hale)


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Blogging About Blogging

I have been blogging for some time.

This WordPress blog dates back to June 2008.

I have Blogger, Tumblr and Posterous blog accounts too.

This week a friend, Darrell Cobner, asked me to write about blogging. He is an accomplished blogger and I was delighted that he asked me.

Darrell’s request was for me to address:

  • What is blogging?
  • Why blog?
  • What is the impact?
  • What are the rules of engagement?

I started drafting this blog post just after I had read John Kessel’s delightful Celebrating Together post on the USA Volleyball blogs site. His opening paragraph addresses implicitly Darrell’s questions:

Just finished our annual meetings in Salt Lake City, where all the USAV leaders come to share their season’s experiences and best practices and plan ahead to grow the game anew. This being an Olympic Year, our CEO Doug Beal shared a special powerpoint at the Congress, celebrating the achievements of volleyball in the USA, aka USA Volleyball in his State of the Game.  It is shared here, since so many of you reading this blog could not be in Salt Lake, yet you are growing the game so well in your part of our nation – we wanted you to celebrate too.  CLICK HERE to download and read it, you will learn a lot about how the Team behind the Team, which is all of us, are doing at USA Volleyball.

Explicitly, here are my thoughts on Darrell’s questions.

What Is Blogging?

Wikipedia has a very clear description of blogging:

A blog is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject.

Stephen Downes adds that:

Though blogs are typically thought of as personal journals, there is no limit to what may be covered in a blog. It is common for people to write blogs to describe their work, their hobbies, their pets, social and political issues, or news and current events.

The uptake of blogging was accelerated by easy to use blog platforms like Blogger and WordPress. Both provided and continue to provide ways for the uncomplicated upload of content. This makes blogging a very personal activity.  The author creates, uploads and monitors content of the blog.

In recent years Twitter has made microblogging an everyday activity that enables the exchange of short sentences, web links, and pictures.

Why Blog?

I mentioned John Kessel’s  Celebrating Together post on the USA Volleyball blogs site earlier. I return to it here to help explain why blog.

In the paragraph I quoted John makes the following points:

  • Just finished our annual meetings in Salt Lake City, where all the USAV leaders come to share their season’s experiences and best practices and plan ahead to grow the game anew.
  • Our CEO Doug Beal shared a special powerpoint at the Congress, celebrating the achievements of volleyball in the USA.
  • It is shared here, since so many of you reading this blog could not be in Salt Lake, yet you are growing the game so well in your part of our nation – we wanted you to celebrate too.  CLICK HERE to download
  • You will learn a lot about how the Team behind the Team, which is all of us, are doing at USA Volleyball.

John’s post exhibits two fundamental aspects of the why blog discussion:

  1. There is an unconditional commitment to sharing experiences and resources.
  2. The topic is of the author’s choice and narrative style.

I see blogging as a voluntary contribution to a community. Whenever I attend a conference or workshop I blog live so that those not attending can access information if they wish.

An example is my blog posts from the Computer Science in Sport Conference (Special Emphasis: Football) at Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany in 2011.

I blog to share my interests in performance and this leads me to share data from my research activities.

An example is my blog posts about performance at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

What I find particularly exciting about this approach is:

  • There is no expectation that anyone will read any post.
  • Occasionally people comment on the posts and this leads to thought-provoking exchange.
  • It contributes to a world that flourishes through reciprocal altruism.

What Is The Impact?

Blogging offers an immediate way to share information or discuss ideas.

I have posted 619 times to my blog since June 2008. This is a rich record for me of items of interest to me and a cloud resource I draw upon when meeting others interested in learning, teaching, coaching and performance. To date I have had 112,000+ visitors to the site.

I saw a big spike in readership during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Thereafter searches on Google yield some of my posts.

The availability of alerts to blog posts on topics or by a particular author has transformed the impact of blog posts.

In contemplating the impact of blog posts I am mindful of Todd Sieling’s advice about slow blogging.

Slow Blogging is a willingness to remain silent amid the daily outrages and ecstasies that fill nothing more than single moments in time, switching between banality, crushing heartbreak and end-of-the-world psychotic glee in the mere space between headlines. The thing you wished you said in the moment last week can be said next month, or next year, and you’ll only look all the smarter.

I am conscious that if we are to use blog posts as an indicator or reach and impact then we must engage in slow blogging.We must think too about the tags we use to point to the slow blogging outputs.

I think microblogging with Twitter offers an alternative for the immediate response to events.

What Are The Rules Of Engagement?

It is a public space

Back in 2007 Tim O’Reilly suggested that “I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn’t come through any kind of regulation it would come through self-regulation.” One of his seven recommendations was:

Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.

Kate Carruthers’ advice

In my own blog I have an About page. On it I say:

This is a personal blog. Kate Carruthers has a great guide to rules of engagement for personal blogs. I try to follow her rules.

Kate’s rules are great!

  • This is my personal blog and I write it for my own personal satisfaction.
  • Readers are encouraged to comment, debate and discuss.
  • I moderate all comments and publish most, unless they appear (to my totally subjective gaze) to be defamatory, spammy, hate-mongering, not particularly constructive, or just plain rude/crude.
  • It’s fine to disagree with me, but I’m unlikely to publish your comment unless you display a modicum of style and intelligence.
  • if you do not provide a real name/identity/email I may choose not to publish your comments.
  • Real people who stand by their comments are cool!
  • This blog discusses ideas but does not purport to provide formal business, technology, psychology or finance advice.
  • Readers should seek (and probably pay for) advice of that nature from a professional source.
  • The content on this website is provided “as is” with no warranties, and confers no rights.
  • The opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent views of any clients or employers in any way.
  • Nothing posted here should be considered official or sanctioned by any of my clients or employers or any organisation I am affiliated with.
  • Feel free to quote liberally from this blog if you want – please link back in the best web tradition if you use any material provided here and give credit for material used.

Sharing openly and open about sharing

Richard Byrne has a helpful post from 24 May 2011 that contains some detailed advice about:

  • What to do when you see your blog posts being stolen
  • What to do if you want to reuse someone’s blog post(s)

In Conclusion

I have written this post from the perspective of a person who seeks to share through blogging. I recognise that there are other motives to blog.

I am excited by the reflective potential of blogs in education and sport settings.

I facilitated a Sport Coaching Pedagogy unit at the University of Canberra last semester. One of the requirements of the unit was to develop a blog as a journal. I have compiled a list of the 60 blogs produced by the students on a Wikiversity page.

Perhaps the next discussion with Darrell will be about wikis … but not before some more of John Kessel’s post:

The final night of meetings before play begins, is the “Boyce Banquet” in honor of Dorothy C. Boyce.  Dorothy joined USAV in 1952 as a consultant on women’s volleyball and took on many leadership roles over her 22 years of involvement, including being USAV Vice President for a decade.  Traditionally, I sit at the banquet with Mike Hulett, who, if you don’t know of him…well dang it you should. I knew what was coming, as I had contributed a lot of photos of Mike, having been with him for decades as he helped head coach in our USA Paralympic programs. So take time to read the link award below, and watch the video ( CLICK HERE to watch) that I took of his surprise in being honored with USA Volleyball’s highest award, the Frier (named after the USAV leader who almost singlehandedly got volleyball into the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, just one of those things that we all should know and celebrate too…).  Mike’s achievements are something we ALL should celebrate in volleyball.  Just another thing USA Volleyball does to help volleyball for all, including the disabled of all ages.

http://usavolleyball.org/news/2012/05/25/mike-hulett-selected-as-usavs-2012-frier-winner/48119?ngb_id=2

Thank you for finding time to read this post. There are some other posts about blogging here.