Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing


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Accidental Readers, Connected Learners, Curators

I made a couple of short car journeys last weekend.

Long enough, though, to catch some delightful snippets from ABC Radio National.

On Saturday I listened to Geraldine Doog’s conversation with Hugh Mackay on Digital Tribes.

They were discussing the place of reading newspapers in our everyday life and the changes that are occurring in our lifestyles.

Is the switch to a more visual medium just an aesthetic shift or is it part of a broader trend of simplifying our knowledge base? And how do these differences feed into the broader debate about politics, democracy, and generational wisdom?

A podcast of the conversation can be found here.

On Sunday I caught Mimi Ito on a Future Tense discussion of Creativity. In the transcript of the program Mimi observes that:

I think that we are starting to see a shift in what people think of as creative activity, creative work. I think that you’re seeing that even within the domain of commercial media where you’re seeing forms of media that are about remix, that are riffing on earlier media, that are referencing other media, that these forms of expression are becoming much more visible and part of our common idiom.

At more of the populist or amateur layer, I think the positive dynamic is that we are seeing production, media production, curation, circulation really becoming something that people do on an everyday basis, it’s not just the domains of experts and professionals. So we’re seeing a broadening of the base of what people think of as their everyday creativity.

I think it does mean letting go of some of these cherished notions of individual authorship and lone brilliance and creativity that have animated a lot of our imagination about what creativity means. So in the balance I think there are things both gained and lost, but I see a lot of positive potential, especially from the point of view of young people’s creative expression and what the new digital media has to offer.

From Mimi’s contribution I followed a lead to Connected Learning. I think the design principles for Connected Learning make an interesting link between accidental readers and connected learning:

  1. Production-centered
  2. Openly networked
  3. Shared purpose

… and from there I followed up on a link from Stephen Downes to Beth Kanter’s post The Unanticipated Benefits of Content Curation: Reducing Information Overload. I ended up this journey with a visit to Robin Good’s visualisation of content creation tools.

I like the possibility that this is riffing on a variety of media.

Photo Credit

Riffing on a theme – lost mitten

untitled (riffing)


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A Souq-Like SOOC

There has been a lot of discussion recently about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

I am grateful to Stephen Downes’ OLDaily and George Siemens for regular updates about MOOC opportunities and debate.

I was fortunate to be a participant in the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08) open online course. George Siemens writes of this:

In 2008, Stephen Downes and I offered an open online course Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08).  As our registration numbers increased to about 2300 students, Dave Cormier and Bryan Alexander dubbed the course offering a “massive open online course” or MOOC. The term has stuck and both Dave and Bryan will eventually be inducted into the edtech hall of fame for great word inventage. Since that first course, Stephen, Dave, and I have offered a whack of different courses: CCK09, CCK11, CCK12, Future of Education, PLENK, LAK11, LAK12, Change11, Critical Literacies, and so on. All told, we are likely approaching about 20,000 registrants for our MOOCs (there is overlap from different courses, so the unique registrants would be less).

My thinking about learning was transformed by CCK08 and has been developed by peripheral participation in a number of the other MOOCs George mentions.

I have been contemplating a modest alternative to the MOOC … a SOOC (a Small Open Online Course). I do think the principles of MOOCs are scalable.

I like the idea of a SOOC that has characteristics of its like-sounding souq. According to Wikipedia a souq is:

an open-air marketplace. Historically, souqs were held outside of cities in the location where a caravan loaded with goods would stop and merchants would display their goods for sale. Souqs were held when there was a caravan or more available. At that time, souqs were more than just a market to buy and sell goods; they were also major festivals and many cultural and social activities took place in them.

The SOOC I have in mind is a mother SOOC that will lead to daughter and granddaughter SOOCs. I am planning a five topic SOOC in The Observation and Analysis of Performance in Sport. One of the challenges for me is how to support non-linear personal learning. At present the SOOC’s five topics are:

  • Connecting and Sharing
  • Observing Performance
  • Visualising Data
  • Knowledge Discovery in Databases
  • Augmented Reality

 

I see the Connecting and Sharing topic as the key to supporting involvement in the SOOC. I am keen to persuade colleagues that sharing is the competitive edge in sport. Thereafter there will be a weekly progression through the topics but I realise that the caravans that bring ideas and energy may not coincide with this rhythm.

I am exploring too how this kind of approach resonates with open badges and formal recognition of learning through a qualification framework.

My concept of the SOOC is that it is a fractal of all other activity imbued with a commitment to open, self-paced intrinsically motivated learning.

I see each step in the geneaology of the SOOC triggered by the parent SOOC but increasingly open through generational change to including and crowdsourcing participants’ interests and knowledge. I hope that this approach establishes the connectivist aspirations of this form of sharing.

I am looking at ways to develop this SOOC with tools developed by Adam Brimo at OpenLearning.

Photo Credit

Life offers you tools …

Souq, Aleppo


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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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Aruba, Darrell, Stephen and Max

Early this morning I was looking at some information about my blog.

I have been thinking about open sharing after receiving an invitation from Darrell Cobner to write about blogging.

WordPress offers a range of information about blog visits.

For the first time the geo-locator utility showed that Clyde Street had received three visits from Aruba.

At approximately the same time I received Stephen Downes‘ OLDaily from Moncton, New Brunswick. In today’s OLDaly Stephen points to his blog post on Feelings in Science. In the post Stephen observes:

when I reflect on my own practice it does seem to me that my own work is based in forming connections – though, more specifically, it is based in acting as a node in a network, and not in network-forming per se (I think the concept of ‘building networks’ is a bit misleading; if we want to be a part of a network we must be in the network, as a node, and not outside it

A few hours later I was listening to Michael Cathcart interviewing John Ironmonger about The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder. In this novel:

the central character wants to record every thought he’s ever had, every memory, every aside, every piece of odd knowledge picked up by reading the back of a cereal box. Maximilian Ponder also wants to leave his brain to science, and believes in the power of his increasingly absurd project. Unfortunately, he’s also stuck in 1975.

I am hopeful that someone in Aruba found something of interest in Clyde Street that might be relevant in 2012. Darrell has helped me clarify how this relevance can be shared.

As ever Stephen has demonstrated the energy created by sharing connections.

By the end of the day, Aruba, had moved off my geo-locator page:

… but had been in my network and had linked the Caribbean and a small village node in Australia.


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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.


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(Lif)e-portfolio: listening and sharing

I am reading lots of blogs at the moment.

Students on the Sport Coaching Pedagogy unit at the University of Canberra have submitted their blogs as part of the assessment for their course.

It has been fascinating seeing their take on the unit and on their experiences as teachers and coaches.

It was very timely, therefore, that Stephen Downes pointed to Lee Ballantyne’s post about (lif)e-learning and Jenny Mackness’s post about the First Steps in Higher Education MOOC.

Another link, shared with me by my wife Sue, alerted to me Anna Salleh’s post about listening. Anna reports work by Imran Dhamani that indicates that:

Some children find it hard to listen to conversations in a noisy environment because they are slow at switching their attention between different speakers.

… such children can fail to understand instructions, perform badly in subjects where class noise levels are high and quickly become the “black sheep” of the class.

Imran’s colleague Pia Gyldenkaerne has investigated the brain activity of children with listening difficulties, Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). These children had different brain activity when compared to children with no listening difficulties.

I was interested to read a summary of Lee’s conclusions about e-portfolios:

e-portfolio adoption must form part of a strategic approach and requires new practice due to their disruptive nature. Implementation has been planned for and with continued management should realise tangible benefits although it is acknowledged that this is a slow, iterative process and understanding will develop with experience and over time.

I am profoundly interested in the use of e-portfolios as a way of sharing life experiences as well as being an exciting assessment option. Today’s feeds have reminded me that listening is a fundamental issue I must address particularly if I use lecture theatres and SlideCasts as fora to share information and experience.

Photo Credit

Listening to Mystery


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#SCP12: Oracy and Creativity

I look forward to Fridays.

it is the day I meet students in the Sport Coaching Pedagogy unit at the University of Canberra.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This week our tutorials explored ideas linked to oracy and creativity. My presentation in the lecture was on Produsing Resources.

The day coincided with the submission of online presentations as part of the unit’s assessment.

I think we had lots to talk about and the Slideshow gives a feel for some of the tutorial activities in the beautiful InSPIRE Building 25 on the University of Canberra campus.

As we were working through some ideas, far away (but conversely very near) Stephen Downes was making a point in his talk (Slide 20) in Tallinn, Estonia, about aggregating, remixing, repurposing, and feeding forward.

Almost synchronously Alan Levine was posting about web thinking. Alan shared his thoughts about how web users become web thinkers and web makers after listening to Jon Udell.

To cap a rich day of connections my son Sam shared with me a link to Andrew Grauer’s post on Course Hero developments. Andrew and his colleagues have developed free online courses. He points out:

To create these courses, we scoured the web for the best freely available educational content in all formats, whether videos, papers, articles, or webpages. We then broke the content down into digestible clips and reassembled the pieces into navigable learning paths. We layered in interactive quizzes and added badges, points and levels at different progress checkpoints.  This decentralization and gamification allowed us to create a scalable learning solution that is both high quality and engaging.

Quite a Friday!