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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Connecting, Sharing and Curating

The New Year has prompted a range of posts about trends in connecting, sharing and curating.

Some examples I have found in the last few days:

Stephen Downes linked to Nick DeNardis’s post Why now is a great time to do an OAuth audit. Nick points out that “The beginning of the year is a great opportunity to start fresh and look at everything with a new set of eyes. Something that is easily overlooked is who (or what) has access to your social media accounts. It’s easy to change your password and revoke access from co-workers but it isn’t as easy to identify which websites and services have access to your accounts.”

Alistair Gray shared a link with the International Sports Management LinkedIn Group to a Dan Schawbel discussion of optimising use of LinkedIn. Dan identifies two fundamental principles of networking in his conversation with Jan Vermeiren, the founder of Networking Coach: the networking attitude (give and receive); and the Know, Like, Trust factor.

A Diigo Teacher-Librarian Group link from a Scoop.it page to an Apollo Research Institute Report (April 2011) on Future Work Skills. The Report identified ten skills “vital for success in the workforce”:

  • Sense-making: an ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed
  • Social intelligence: an ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions
  • Novel and adaptive thinking: a proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based
  • Cross-cultural competency: an ability to operate in different cultural settings
  • Computational thinking: an ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning
  • New media literacy: an ability to assess critically and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication
  • Transdisciplinarity: literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines
  • Design mindset: an ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes
  • Cognitive load management: an ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques
  • Virtual collaboration: an ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team

Robin Good observes that:

By looking at the set of emerging skills that this research identifies as vital for future workers, I can’t avoid but recognize the very skillset needed by any professional curator or newsmaster.

This week’s presenter in the #change11 MOOC, Howard Rheingold has discussed five essential literacies:

I’ve concluded that one important step that people can take is to become more adept at five essential literacies for a world of mobile, social, and always-on media: attention, crap detection, participation, collaboration, and network know-how. The effects of these literacies can both empower the individuals who master them and improve the quality of the digital culture commons.

Stephen Downes shared a great link to Alec Couros’s end of year Social Media and Open Education blog post about student work. Alec notes that:

I wanted to use the last post of the year to share a few examples of the great work that is being done by my graduate and undergraduate students. I am so very fortunate to have creative & hard-working students who are committed to improving their knowledge of teaching and learning in light of our new digital landscape. I hope that some of these examples will inspire you to take up new challenges in your own context.

These examples included student projects using: stop-motion technique; Glogster; Freemind; Xtranormal; Screenr; Jing; Voicethread; TikaTok; Prezi; and Knovio.

SlideShare compiled 12 presentations that look at change in 2012. I was particularly interested in Skytide’s 7 Online Video Trends to Watch in 2012 and the discussion of Adaptive Bitrate Streaming. Skytide suggest “As adoption of adaptive bitrate protocols grows, providers of legacy streaming methods will find themselves under increased pressure to prove their added value. Witness the recent decision by Adobe to cease further development of its mobile FlashPlayer.”

I noted from an iSportConnect alert that the Philadelphia Wings Lacrosse team is using Twitter handles on its shirts (and following on a lead from two football teams (Valencia and Jaguares de Chiapas). Whilst looking at the Twitter possibilities I saw the Twitter blog post about New Year’s Eve activity. The post includes a video visualisation of tweets.

Phil Davis has written a post for The Scholarly Kitchen, Tweets and Our Obsession with Alt Metrics, that offers another perspective on tweeting. He discusses Gunther Eysenbach’s paper in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), Can tweets predict citations? Metrics of social impact based on twitter and correlation with traditional metrics of scientific impact. The comments on this post make for fascinating reading and raise some salutary issues for me about connecting, sharing and curating.

I thought I would end this post with a link to Tagxedo. It is a word cloud generator and I have used it here to summarise the content of this post.

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Connecting

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Librarian Action Figure


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111115 Cirrus

I have read some interesting posts this week.

They include:

An ABC discussion of attention and the visual cortex. (Reviewing Masataka Watanabe et al.’s paper in Science, Attention But Not Awareness Modulates the BOLD Signal in the Human V1 During Binocular Suppression)

News of Real Madrid’s use of Cisco’s Connected Stadium Wi-Fi at the the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. “Along with Cisco StadiumVision, the two solutions will allow Real Madrid C.F. and its sponsors to connect with fans in entirely new ways. And by bringing high-definition video of the game to the numerous screens located throughout the stadium, spectators will be able to catch all the action and enjoy exclusive content, even when away from their seats.”

Phil Davis’s post in The Scholarly Kitchen, Statistics and Storytelling that considers “Two thought-provoking articles published last week in JAMA” that make “compelling and complementary arguments to the rhetorical power of both numbers and words in conveying the message of science” (Reporting of Effect Direction and Size in Abstracts of Systematic Reviews, and Narrative vs Evidence-Based Medicine — And, Not Or.)

A link from Stephen Downes to the chaos leadership graphic in the Steve Collis must pay post on the Design for Learning blog. (By coincidence I found Stephen’s link a day after discussing with Shane Fudge his PhD research: “This study aims to utilize a multi-disciplinary approach involving Crisis Leadership, Chaos Theory and Complexity theory, to attempt to initiate an advanced understanding in Sports Events Organising Committee members to recognize the state of constant adaptation their organisational systems exist in today. By drawing on elements of complexity theory, the study seeks to analyze how a leader’s cognition may improve their cognitive complexity when dealing with and understanding the non-linear and dynamic nature of the systems they work within. The nature of the study is to collect qualitative data to fill the research gap regarding how a Sports Event Organising Committee may utilize a different leadership paradigm to improve their crisis management skills, as well as measure the effects of implementing anticipatory systems on the organisations behaviour. “)

A delightful week of discovery that added to my introduction to Olegas Truchanas.

Photo Credit

Ostrich reads caretaker’s paper