Mapping the four quarters

It’s a Monday on Tuesday, due to the holiday, and time to try and make sense of where I am, of late. Being visual I roughed out a map of what interests I’m currently focused on and how it ties into my professional life here at work. So, without much further elaboration:
Like any tentative map its up for question – learning can surely be folded into collaborative activity, but not all learning in collaborative and so on. The key, the thing I need to figure out how to represent, is the p2p element. There are links to various sites that work with this map, and no doubt some more thought and contextualization would be useful, but it’s still – technically- Monday morning so……

Social Media 101 – A terse, incomplete and hurried introduction

About 24 hours prior to the delivery of this presentation I realised that the presentation I wanted to give (From Content to Context -social media, networks and meaning) would have had this particular audience glazed over in a matter of seconds. So I ripped together this – Social Media 101 – Content, Context and Story – and ran through it quite quickly in order to give us time to play the social media card game. You can, if you really want to, watch the video of my hurried presentation here.

It was disappointing, in some ways, as there wasn’t time, nor foundation, to really dig into the topic. I presented the powerpoint, handed out a glossary of social media terms and then we split up into groups to play a social media game. I do feel that the quick presentation followed by the game delivered more  of an opportunity to be concrete about what it all meant. I seeded each group with an IT person to act as a sort of living glossary/advisor which helped also.

It’s an ongoing learning process, for me, as I try to “get the message out”. Experimenting and learning what works best with which audiences. And, if anyone out there has a good audience for From Content to Context -social media, networks and meaning I’d love to present that someday.

Technology for Community Conversation and Learning – Online Summer Seminar

We share a world of finite resources, rapid changes, and evolving cultures. Can technology help us talk about the challenges inherent in this environment? This seminar will focus on case studies of the effective use of a global technology to support local community conversations and learning.

We will critically examine a variety of technology-based tools and how they are being used. Seminar discussions will focus on the impact of these tools in our work, when and where they can be effective, and how to manage online learning and conversation.

The online nature of this seminar allows us to use discussion forums, wikis and other tools to learn together over the course of the summer. The timeframe for this course was set with the hope of making this a low-stress, engaging online experience that you can participate in as the season unfolds.

Session: June 15 – August 29.

Registration is open from April 1 thru May 10, 2009. Register online for this course at:

Deliberating online : Can we disintermediate power relations through the use of technology?

Very much first draft thinking….

The issue:

How can power be neutralized such that participants engage in a deliberative process with equal weight to their (valid?)is there a pre-supposition of validity to any claims made here? -Paul 2/14/09 11:12 AM claims given differing factors such as economic background, level of education, varying claims and types of expertise, etc.

The three powers- administrative, economic and cultural (wiklund 2005)

Why deliberate?

Bridging the chasm between what is and ought to be:

1) Begins as a linguistic/communicative act
2) Must attach itself to the tangible (direct,visible results as an endpoint) – Actionable
3) The ought may be (should be?) aspirational – but not utopian.

A proposal:

A potential system:

If we accept that expertise comes in different forms (modes) and that public participation is open to all, the leveling process (disintermediation of power relations) and creation of norms of deliberation can be arrived at by providing 3 zones as constituent of an online deliberative sphere. These zones (Educative, Dialogic and Deliberative)

Each participant can engage in any of the 3 zones as needed. Ideally the educative and dialogic zones provide tools to minimize knowledge differentials and allow for the establishment of a deliberative norm.

In this instance dialog does not equal deliberation. Dialog=talk/discussion. Deliberation = intentional, directed process to arrive at a conclusion/decision. Public reasoning Support for social learning.

The 3 zones

Assumption of equal access and digital literacy
– A fundamental, and troubled, assertion of this system is that access to the online sphere is equitable such that none of the three powers exerts an influence on participation. Given the current state of access to the internet, as well as issues of digital literacy, the current proposed system depends upon several steps or actions prior to the full realization of it’s potential.

Weakness of placing the deliberative zone online – Ideally the deliberative process should include embodied interactions in a physical sphere. Thus the ideal solution would likely include educative and dialogic zones which could be constructed online with either a hybrid online/in-person or an completely face to face physical zone for deliberative functioning.

Anonymity vs accountability – There is some evidence that anonymity (cite) can encourage participation in online environments, however in a deliberative space ownership of ones words is fundamental to establishing trust,

Fundamental embodiment of the practice and it’s outcomes
– Democratic practice as craft combining techne and phronesis this may be questionable, open to debate -Paul 2/15/09 12:52 PM

Summer Seminar on Social Networking Tools

I’m putting together an online course – beginning June 15- for Extension Educators that looks at the possible uses of social networking tools for education. I’m posting the current outline here, open for input.

Social Networking for Education – New Tools and Challenges

* News forum
* Summer Seminar Online Course Goals Resource
* Your Guide to Social Networking Online file
* How much time do social networking tools take? file
* Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us file
* Using Information and Communications Technology for Agricultural Exetnsion (pdf) PDF document
* Social Networking for Education Glossary

Blogs and wikis

* Blogs and Wikis – The discussion Forum
* Difference between blogs and wikis file
* Summer Seminar Wiki file
* Educause Review – Educational Blogging file
* Blogging in MOODLE- How-to Screencast file
* Posting to your blog Assignment

Tags and Tagging

* What is a tag? Resource
* 7 things you should know about social bookmarking – educause pdf PDF document
* 13 Tips for Effective Tagging file
* file
* CiteULike file
* Supplementary/Optional Readings
* The Role of in Education file

The Multimedia Web

* Audio
*     Podcasting
*     7 Ways NonProfits Can Use Podcasting file
*     Audacity – Audio editor file
* Video

Social Networking Tools

* Ning – Social network
* Mashups
* Supplementary Readings
* Using Social Networking to Stop Genocide text file
* Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship file

Building Networks

* Characteristics of Successful Online Communities text file

Evaluating Use and Impact

ICT to Support Educational Programming

Yet another ppt. This one for an in-service tomorrow for educators. I actually have a slide called “The Power of ICT”…..maybe too many times seeing the Iron Man advertisement?

I struggled, a bit, with framing this presentation. I originally started with a Create, Share, Present matrix which made sense to me, but I wisely consulted a respected elder here – my sometimes mentor on certain topics – and he suggested a Development and Delivery context which makes good sense-given the focus and tasks our educators have in from of them.

So here’s the ppt

Hoping it refine it a bit after the presentation, narrate it and post the video next week.

Practice based e-learning

I’ve mentioned before that the nature of many of the online courses we develop have elements of tangible engagement with the physical (or real, if you wish) world. I’ve struggled with how best to describe this type of e-learning. It is a methodology that has proven to be effective and is an animating element for our courses.

Communities of practice are being mentioned frequently of late, and on occasion I question the validity of this designation for some of what I see but the concept of practice describes the tangible engagement we integrate into our online courses. I just googled the term practice based e-learning and found The Practice-based Professional Learning Centre (PBPL) from the Open University, which rather describes what I’m saying quite succinctly, albeit in a professional setting. Nonetheless, I think there’s room to designate what we do as Practice based e-learning (PBE-L), focused on skill and/or craft in informal learning situations.

Practice based e-learning map

Now with mindmap!

Building online learning communities

It’s about time for another powerpoint. This one looks at a 2 1/2 year project we conducted that attempted to facilitate the growth of an online learning community around the topic of forest farming. I am hopeful that in the next week or so I will have time to narrate this and make it even more captivating than it already is.

Building online learning communities

Distance Learning Dialogs – What is Instructional Design

Distance Learning Dialogs – What is Instructional Design?

The first in a series of Distance Learning Dialog podcasts. In this cast I discuss instructional design with Sarah Fox Dayton, Professional Development Specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension. The whys and how’s of integrating ID into a distance learning course development process are explored.

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