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……

Pulling together resources for a presentation/event/happening.

I’m doing an “educational” activity here this Friday morning with some co-workers. I’m tired of powerpoints and yapping at people. As dazzling and engaging as that may be for my audience, lately I’ve been trying to diversify, to deepen my bag of tricks and find better, more interactive and engaging ways to talk about technology. So, I’ve contemplated theater – which has some promise but I haven’t pulled that off yet – and games. I have used the tech planning card games developed by David Wilcox with success, and this presents another opportunity to use a game to really look at what some of these technologies can do, in a hopefully meaningful way that has relevance and meaning.

So, I need to gather some background resources for folks – on the odd and oddly optimnistic hope that someone who attends Friday will want more information. I suppose I should mention that at this point the topic du jour is “Social Media-An Invitation to Tell Stories”. And yes….there is an itnroductory powerpoint – my dislike of ppt presentations is overcome by the feeling of near nakedness at not having one at all. I’ve managed to pare them down to around 15 quick slides, but still use them – maybe someday I’ll be ready to cut the proverbial apron strings. And it’s enirely possible, given that it’s only Tuesday, that this will all change. But – some links:

Developing a guide to social media – not so recently updated wikispace – Beth Kanter and David Wilcox – Useful for links to games and info.

Secret Guide to Social Media in Large Organizations

One page guides to social media tools – Tim Davies – handy, but a bit busy one pagers covering wikis, blogs, etc…

Motionbox – online video sharing/editing/storage. Haven’t used but looks potetnailly useful.

More to follow.

Broadband presentation, again….

Doing the broadband evangilist thing again this afternoon. Updated powerpoint and a few links for the presentation:

Case Studies:
•Syracuse Municipal Broadband
•Burlington, VT Telecom



•NYS Office for Technology

NYS Council for Universal Broadband

New York State ‘s Broadband Federal Stimulus Web site

•New York State Broadband Coverage Maps


•Broadband USA

•Vermonters Fight for High Speed Internet

•Rural Riddle: Do Jobs Follow Broadband Access?

Pew Internet and American Life Project

New user documentation added

In the past two weeks I’ve worked on some user documentation for WordPress and Adobe Connect. All partof my job and possible of little use to external users but thought I’d toss the link here just for fun:

Connect Documents:  Converting video for use in a connect meeting and Downloading a copy of your recorded connect meeting.

WordPress (Mu) :  Google calendar for your blog and Removing links from images

The WordPress docs are pretty basic. Connect doocumentation is for more advanced users.

Practice, devalued?

I had a short email conversation this morning with a colleague – we are trying to name a site- and I suggested something with the word “practicing” in it. The initial response was that the term seemed too much like “playing at” something, not quite active and concrete enough. I understood the reaction, though I wish it weren’t so. Practice is such a time honored thing – One practices a craft or an art – and it carries with it connotations of apprentiship and community. Or at least that was a predominate meaning. Now we practice for life…… we pretend in order to get ready for the real thing. Meanings shift, I understand that. Just in this case it struck me more than others.

And it points up to the well worn and time honored issue of how we manage to communicate anything at all, with any clarity, given the disjoints in meaning we carry around with us. But that’s one of the things about practice, it’s generally embodied (in my world view) and involves acting in the world – not just speech acts but tangible, physical acts. So we practice deliberation by doing it – the practice is the doing. And yes, deliberation – more talk less action, but I’ve got opinions and thoughts contrary about that too.

Setup for Podcasting

Someone asked me what I use for audio – interviews and such. If I’m flying solo, doing a screencast, I use a Sennheiser USB headset but for multiple voices I dig out the mics and mixer. So, I present, for posterity and everyone’s edification, my audio setup for recording interviews:

  • MXL V63M microphones and am satisfied with the price/performance.
  • You’ll need Mic stands
  • Mic cables
  • I use a Behringer Eurorack UB802 Mixer
  • You will want a
    1/4″ Stero Adapter
  • and a speaker cable to go from the 1/4″ stereo adapter to the soundcard on the computer…can grab those at radio shack or best buy.

Audacity is good and free for recording and editing the sound.

Broadband- A tool for civic engagement and sustainability?

Powerpoint hot off the virtual presses! Click the link to dl/open the pptbroadband-civic-engagement-and-sustainability

High speed internet access can be a powerful tool for communities. During this webinar we will explore some of the practical and potential uses of broadband in addressing issues of civic engagement,sustainability and economic growth. Any discussion of this topic must, however, look at ways to bridge the “digital divide”. In light of that fact, we’ll also look at Issues of access and digital literacy How creative can we be in creating inclusive engaging opportunities that make use of the potential of broadband technology? During this session we’ll have ample opportunity for dialog and discussion.

Scattered thoughts about the commons, rivers and wells

I’m trying to find the right metaphor for a presentation I’m doing next week. The subject under consideration is broadband and the model/metaphor I currently have is that of a river and a village well. Which almost but doesn’t quite work, I think. What I’m trying to get at is the difference between viewing the internet as an outward journey to find things (video, wikipedia, fantasy baseball, etc.) which you then “bring home”, or things you take from home to launch “out there” (videos, pics, etc) as opposed to/ or complimentary to using the bandwidth locally to engage others in your community around issues of local import. The river and the village well.

These two uses are not exclusive of each other, but rather build on each other – the connection out into the broader world allows for the infusion of new ideas and information which can then be brought to consideration locally. Or perhaps not even overt consideration but an in-flowing of the exterior. ( And yes, bad things can come in too but that is an other conversation).

And the commons – as I was thinking about this today a number of things came up, such as why do we pay so much for internet access at home but again thats a whole other conversation, which I tried to focus down to some consideration about the nature of the online commons (or internet as commons). Some of the conclusion depends upon your orientation- is the internet a for profit venture, a megamart online with preferred services and all that that implies or is the net a common good, open and self replenishing, a market of ideas and communication? For profit implies a limited resource, gatekeepers, tollbooths, checkout counters (virtually) – an economic relationship. A common good implies other values ( and this had me sidetracked a bit on speculation on how few common goods we actually have any more) such as accessibility openness, etc…

So ones orientation towards the net is an aspect of ones political orientation- it exposes or at least points at economic relations, intellectual relations and activities and so on. This is not a news flash but has implications on the provision of service, equal access, open access which, I think, should be articulated clearly and more prevalently that is current. This also implies a stance towards education which is well worth looking at, re-enforcing and bring from a virtual to an embodied position.

Webinar – Broadband- A tool for civic engagement and sustainability?

Spring 2009: Sustainable Communities Webinar #3:
Tuesday, March 24, 2009: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.


High speed internet access can be a powerful tool for communities. During this webinar
we will explore some of the practical and potential uses of broadband in addressing issues of civic engagement, sustainability, and economic growth.Any discussion of this topic must, however, look at issues of access and digital literacy -the “digital divide”.

How creative can we be in crafting inclusive and engaging opportunities that make use of the potential of broadband technology? During this session we’ll have ample opportunity for discussion. Feel free to bring (virtually) examples of tools or projects which you think make exemplary use of the technology.

Learning Objectives:
Webinar participants will better understand (1) the ways broadband can contribute to sustainable communities (2) the challenges posed by the “digital divide” and ways these challenges might be overcome and (3) how to evaluate the benefits of broadband technology.

Paul’s Bio:
Paul Treadwell is a distance learning consultant and information technology specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension.His current areas of interest include digital storytelling in the context of online learning, and exploring appropriate tools and techniques for civic engagement online. He develops and teaches online classes on social networking and is actively engaged in the use of storytelling and games to evoke creativity and engagement in the realm of Information Technology. This summer Paul will be offering a summer seminar on “Tools for Civic Engagement | Social Learning, Dialog and Deliberation”. <

If anyone is interested feel free to contact me.

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