Home > Social Networks, Social Learning, Social Web
Area of interest
This will be my new virtual home. Why?
For those familiar with technology and blogging, you have been shaking your head at me for far too long -- and I don't blame you.
You know that (in addition to numerous other reasons), using something like WordPress to set up and run a blog is much more time efficient than running a website such as this one. With more things continually trying to make their way onto my job/time plate, I need -- no scratch that -- I have to do this.
RSS feeds are not supported on Calvin's personal websites. I have appreciated your patience in continually having to return/check-in here on this site, but it's time to move on to a better way of doing things.
I will keep this site up for reference sake -- as I've worked hard to obtain the information on the various topics located herein. Thankfully, some of this site has been helpful to other people.
Archives of my postings related to "Social Networks, Social Learning, & the Social Web" are listed below.
For up-to-date postings, I'll see you
over at my new "Learning Ecosystems" blog!
"A network of individuals knows more than a single individual."-- George Siemens That's somewhat obvious. Sure, "wisdom of the crowds" (wikipedia) can quickly become "idiocy of the crowds" (youtube comments)...and experts do know more than novices (though a network of experts knows more than an individual expert).
This is evident in the education field. Education employs more people than almost any other sector - 1 in 16 jobs in the US. Which means expertise is widely distributed and capturing great ideas about teaching practices can provide much value. Looking for a simple way to aggregate these ideas? Doug Belshaw used a simple Twitter hashtag approach, moving from idea to artifact in about one month. A .pdf of the project is available here.
Open for Learning: The CMS and the Open Learning Network -- from ineducation.ca by Jon Mott and David Wiley Abstract:
The course management system (CMS) reinforces the status quo and hinders substantial teaching and learning innovation in higher education. It does so by imposing artificial time limits on learner access to course content and other learners, privileging the role of the instructor at the expense of the learner, and limiting the power of the network effect in the learning process. The open learning network (OLN)—a hybrid of the CMS and the personal learning environment (PLE)—is proposed as an alternative learning technology environment with the potential to leverage the affordances of the Web to dramatically improve learning.
I came across this really interesting interview with Greg Kroah-Hartman – Linux Kernel Dev/Maintainer. In this interview, Greg talks about how the Linux project has accommodated the accelerating rate of change for the kernel. It was very interesting to draw parallels between some of what he says and learning.
“And then I send stuff off to Linus. So, Linus trusts 10 to 15 people, and I trust 10 to 15 people. And I’m one of the subsystem maintainers. So, it’s a big, giant web of trust helping this go on.”
Web of Trust’ Networks of trust are becoming very important to the way we create products/services where each individual on the network is a potential contributor. There are just such networks in the enterprise as well, and they play a big role in how tacit knowledge is transferred in the organization. Increasingly, social networking tools are available within the organization and analyzing these networks gives a good idea who the knowledge leaders in an organization are, and which individuals form their network. The ability to target and influence knowledge leaders will lead to similar effects on their networks as well.
Educational Networking: The Important Role Web 2.0 Will Play in Education -- social networking whitepaper from Elluminate by Steve Hargadon ...discusses social networking, Web 2.0, the emergence of educational networking, and its adoption for personal learning. The paper also looks at how the LearnCentral social learning network is providing a platform for professional development for educators on a global level.
Connectivisim: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age-- from E-learning Practice & Research blog; and ultimately from George Siemens The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe. Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today. A real challenge for any learning theory is to actuate known knowledge at the point of application. When knowledge, however, is needed, but not known, the ability to plug into sources to meet the requirements becomes a vital skill. As knowledge continues to grow and evolve, access to what is needed is more important than what the learner currently possesses [emphasis DSC].
Connectivism presents a model of learning that acknowledges the tectonic shifts in society where learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity. How people work and function is altered when new tools are utilized. The field of education has been slow to recognize both the impact of new learning tools and the environmental changes in what it means to learn. Connectivism provides insight into learning skills and tasks needed for learners to flourish in a digital era.
GoingOn Announces First Community Platform for Education at EDUCAUSE 2009-- from B2E
The GoingOn Community Platform leverages social web technologies to create online communities for collaboration, learning and social knowledge management November 4, 2009/San Francisco, CA – GoingOn provider of the first open source community platform for education, will showcase its cornerstone technology, The GoingOn Community Platform at EDUCAUSE 2009, November 3-6, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
Defriending can bruise your 'digital ego'-- from CNN.com by Breeanna Hare If you harbor a bit of angst over Facebook friend requests gone unanswered, a surprise "defriending" or being deserted by your Twitter followers, you're not alone.
Technologically Externalized Knowledge and Learning -- from Connectivism by George Siemens Introducing [something that I haven't named yet]
Here’s the basic concept: technological advances in how content is created and how individuals interact are at a sufficient stage to serve as a replacement to traditional classrooms. Enter Technologically Externalized Knowledge and Learning (TEKL). Or Connector. Or Learnometer. Or learnalyzer. Or Learnabler. Or future learning approach. I have no idea what to call it without evoking the cheesy Batman “pow” images and shark repellant from the 70’s. For know, I’ll stick with the acronym TEKL.
What is TEKL? TEKL is a physical, wearable device that captures our physical and virtual interactions and assist us in recognizing and forming knowledge connections based on our past interactions, our social network, and our current work or personal interest needs. The image below expresses the elements of TEKL and provides additional detail on the function of various agents.
SoLearn is our social learning environment - ie a place for individuals to come together and share resources, ideas and experiences for formal courses or for informal learning and working. SoLearn is powered by Elgg, the leading open source social engine.
Our customised installation of Elgg at SoLearn provides a number of social media tools that we believe are key for personal and group learning and working: It includes the following functionality
Social networking - to establish and build online relationships with others
Social bookmarking - storing and sharing links to web resources
File-sharing - to create, store and/or share files in all formats: pictures, videos, presentations, documents, etc
Communication - to connect with others both in real time and asynchronously via email
Collaboration - synchronously or asynchronously to work together and co-create documents,
Blogging - to read, comment on and write blog posts
Podcasting - to share and listen to audio (MP3) files
RSS feeds - to subscribe to and read blog and web news feeds
Micro-blogging - to send, receive and reply to short messages with others
Tagging content - to bind related content together from across the site
The New Glogster Edu Is Live -- from Free Technology for Teachers Glogster, a great multimedia collage building platform that I've written about in the past, has officially launched the live version of Glogster Edu. The new Glogster Edu eliminates all of the problems that teachers previously encountered when trying to use Glogster in the their classrooms. The new Glogster Edu is hosted separately from the commerical version of Glogster thereby eliminating links to Glogs (multimedia collages) containing questionable content hosted the commercial version of Glogster. Glogster Edu provides teachers with a virtual classroom space in which they can manage the accounts of up to 200 students. Glogster Edu has also partnered with VoiceThread to allow users to include VoiceThread content in their Glogs.
Social Learning Models -- from Jane Hart When I help organisations understand how to incorporate social media into their formal e-learning content to create formal social learning, I explain this can be done in 3 different ways as shown in this slide from a presentation I use:
Related item: Beth Kanter Keynote: The Networked Nonprofit-- from New Media Consortium by Alan Levine Online social networks and social media are beginning to have a dramatic impact on the way that nonprofits do their work beyond marketing, communications and fundraising. As nonprofits adopt social media and become social organizations, we're beginning to see more transparent, open, and porous institutions. Nonprofits are working in the clouds with crowds in new and innovative ways, inspired by the possibilities of new tools. There is social change happening behind the firewall as well as in the board room -- all linked to the use of these new tools.
Related item: Video Conferencing-- from WebConferencingCouncil.com Video conferencing is a tool that is now being used frequently in the workplace. Helping to connect people quickly and easily, video conferencing offers employers and employees the opportunity to communicate more efficiently and directly, saving time and money. By learning to use and operate a video conferencing system, you can really improve the way you work and what you achieve. So if you want to increase your job skills or those of your employees, you may be interested in learning a little about video conferencing.
What is Video Conferencing?
Video conferencing is a simple but effective way to connect people who are in different physical locations. It is very similar to a phone call, only it allows you to see, hear, and exchange data with a person (or persons) all at one time. Through the use of video, audio, and computer technology, video conferencing allows two or more people to see and talk to one another without having to meet in the same physical space. Video conferencing works particularly well in connecting small and large groups of people located all over the world.
Types of Video Conferencing
There are two main types of video conferencing...
Related item from Learning Trends by Elliott Masie:
"Platforms for Collaboration" - Innovation Article.
Here is an article that focuses on three types of Collaboration Platforms: Exploration, Experimentation and Execution. As organizations leverage collaboration, how do their objectives shape the format and style of the process. Written by By Satish Nambisan, from RPI, for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, it will worth a read.
Lest you still think social networking on the Web is a waste of your
time, here is an opportunity to deploy the real world-changing tools of
the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Skype.
Among the projects established by World Mind Network members are a
forum for improving science education co-moderated by Nobel laureate
Peter Doherty (1996, Physiology or Medicine) and an interactive blog on
the world economic crisis co-hosted by another Nobelist, Edmund Phelps
Music and literature also offer ripe opportunities for social
networking on the site, including poetry challenges to fit the 140-
character limitations of Twitter (though I confess I thought I'd never
see a tweet as lovely as a tree.)
"We're not against those things. We do them sometimes. But we have also discovered that the capacity of these tools to build community, to do research, to enlighten, educate, and inform, and to effect humanitarian aid is almost unexplored."
Related item: Addressing problems of faculty resistance--
from elearnspace by George Siemens James Morrison tackles the topic encouraging faculty to expand their range of instructional strategies and increase utilization of technology in the process. A great discussion follows the original post. Obviously, you don’t need technology to be a provide a great learning experience. Creative, engaging, and participatory learning is an educational mindset, not something that requires blogs, wikis, Second Life, and podcasts. What technology does, however, is expand the range of options for interaction. Classroom walls give way to global connections. Single educator models are replaced with distributed networks. A bit utopian? Perhaps. But, once control shifts to a network of learners, the prospect arises for the creativity that exists in open source software and with application developers (i.e. iPhone, Facebook) can be applied to education.
The long and the short of it is that CCK08 was an incredible experience. The subject matter was fascinating; the cohort size and diversity was staggering; the nature, scope and scale of the distributed frameworks was incredible; and the sheer volume of information and discussion was titanic. My appreciation for and perspective of online learning and open education was inextricably altered, and my thirst for additional knowledge on the matter unquenchable. By the end of the session I had more questions and research topics than I’d started with, and importantly I’d developed relationships and friendships with some incredible people.
From George Siemens... In June, through LearnTrends, we hosted an event on Social and Networked Learning. The recordings are now available (thanks to Scott Skibell of SkillCasting). Topics include: What is social networked learning? ROI, Organizational Challenges, and Moving Beyond Networks.
Learning Networks-- from Long Tail Learners PBS TeacherLine Peer Connection is a great example of the rise of social networks as professional learning communities. Social networking is not just about sharing your latest thoughts, it’s about developing a network of peers who help you learn faster and become better at what you do.
"He is doing what I am trying to do in my classes. He is using the web as a all around source for information and research as well as a place for his students to publish and submit their work. I was struck when he said that his students published on the web and instead of them submitting papers or putting their links on a wiki (which is what I tend to do), he has them use a social bookmarking site like del.icio.us to tag their work so that he can retrieve it."
Join PBS Teachers and Classroom 2.0 Tuesday, June 2 at 8 p.m. ET for "Summertime and Your Personal Learning Network," with technology integration specialists Bob Sprankle, Alice Barr and Cheryl Oakes.
In this webinar, our guests will discuss the value of online collaboration and provide guidance for those interested in joining or creating a professional development community during the summer months. They will share their own experiences of expanding their knowledge and improving their practice through online conferences, social networks, and other collaborative technologies. In addition, they will demonstrate tools and best practices to promote technology integration in K-12 classrooms.
Could Google Wave Redefine Email and Web Communication?-- from Mashable! by Ben Parr Google promised to deliver something spectacular on the second day of the Google I/O conference, and they did not disappoint. Google has just announced Google Wave, a new in-browser communication and collaboration tool that is already being hailed by some as the next evolution of email. Yes, Google Wave is potentially that disruptive.
Here's how it works: In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It's concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use "playback" to rewind the wave and see how it evolved.
Can't you just hear the engines roaring on the racetrack?! The pace is pushing 200 miles per hour now.
Related items from George Siemens "I finally got around to capturing a few thoughts on CCK08. I've posted an overview of the course (as well as an earlier rudimentary attempt from 2002) on my connectivism blog: Socialization as information objects. Now, to get ready for CCK09..."
Related item: Institute for The Future explores future of video: People of the Screen --
from Smart Mobs by Howard Rheingold Institute for the Future recently held a conference on the future of video. I was one of the participants, along with one of my inspirations, Mike Wesch, and other very interesting people. They have edited the video and have invited the public to remix, add their own video comments at the People of the Screen website: Are we becoming people of the screen? Are YOU?
Check out how they are using this site in their research...
I’ve always prided myself on an extensive circle of people that I could talk to, bounce projects off of and get valuable advice from when I needed it. But this blog — and yes, Twitter — have really helped me cement a much larger network without really having to go anywhere else or do anything different than I was doing before. Well, except now instead of just talking to the people who are close to me — or coworkers — I’m sharing information and learning from a much wider audience.
Social Experience : eLearning Technology-- from Tony Karrer and Dave White Interesting image from post by Dave White – Eventedness that relates to our social experience with different tools. It looks at how each technology relates to feeling of being present with others and whether that presence is felt beyond a specific limit of an event.
Relevant items from George Siemens:
Items from George Siemens:
Providing Learning in Social Networks
I haven't had time to listen to the audio - I'll do that on my commute today. His slides provide an overview of the talk: learning networks, PLEs, openness, serialized feeds, etc. Networks - as prominent as they are now - are still at the early stages of impact on education. It's quite difficult (if not impossible) to overstate the transformative influence network-thinking will have on learning in the future.
Chief Learning Officer has published an article on Leveraging Human Networks to Accelerate Learning: "Networks connect diverse people quickly and easily...Networks can withstand stress and adapt quickly to change...Networks contain a small number of people that have proportionately more influence over the network than others." I'm concerned about this article and about recent emphasis on the strictly social network dimension to learning. It's an incomplete view. Social and external networks show us how people are connected. But they don't tell us how and why they learn. What goes on cognitively? Why do different people experience different levels of learning even though they have similar connections? How does distributed and networked intelligence differ from a social network? For a leader to know that people learn well when properly connected is an important start. To address situations that require "intervention", redirection of efforts, and the achievement of planned outcomes requires a far deeper understanding of networks than is evident when only considering social/external networks. I'll write more on this on my connectivism site.
Hopefully we can address this inadequacy in the upcoming conference Jay Cross has organized (April 21 & 22, 2009). Luis Suarez and I will be discussing "learning in an era of networked intelligence.
[Stephen Downes] Providing Learning in Social Networks ...his slides provide an overview of the talk: learning networks, PLEs, openness, serialized feeds, etc. Networks - as prominent as they are now - are still at the early stages of impact on education. It's quite difficult (if not impossible) to overstate the transformative influence network-thinking will have on learning in the future.
Related article: A Learning Theory for 21st-Century Students-- from Innovate Online by Marie Sontag The affordances of today's digital technologies have significantly changed the way students learn. Arguing that current learning theories have failed to address this new reality, Marie Sontag proposes a new theory, social-connectedness and cognitive-connectedness schemata (SCCS) theory, that integrates key elements of other theories with gaming elements in a structure designed to facilitate engagement of students' social- and cognitive-connectedness schemata. The results of a pilot study using an instructional design model based on SCCS theory showed that students learning in an environment shaped according to these principles developed higher levels of expertise and greater learning transfer.
Economic Downturn Limits Conference Travel-- from The Chronicle of Higher Education by Jeffrey Young The recession is having a big impact, with attendance down at many academic and professional meetings, and next year is expected to be even worse. Attendance is down at many academic and professional conferences in higher education this year, and next year’s numbers are expected to be far worse, as campus budgets take further beatings. With many colleges limiting travel to professors or administrators who are speaking at events they’re attending, will anyone be left in the audience?
The Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 08 Solution Serialized RSS Courses. This concept is developed more fully here: “A serialized feed is one in which posts are arranged in a linear order and where subscribers always begin with the first post, no matter when they subscribe to the feed. This contrasts with an ordinary RSS feed, in which a subscriber will begin with today’s post, no matter when the feed started”. Be sure to read through to comments by Tony Hirst.
I think this is an important concept and one that deserves more attention. The next stage is to find ways to allow subscribers to find, and connect to, each other. Information without social interaction is a reduction to MIT’s OCW.
Snowflake Effect “We now have the chance to invert our design assumptions from mass markets of similarity to singular markets of unique solutions for individuals. We now have the opportunity to adopt an approach which focuses on design for mass personalisation and uniqueness called the Snowflake Effect.” The article goes on to describe mashups as the means to personalize education…and introduces a variety of mashup “types”....Anyway, Hodgins article is well worth the time. The personalization of learning through mashups is a welcomed concept.
Promethean’s free online community
...is designed to provide Activclassroom teachers around the world
with the ability to share new and innovative lessons, access a wide variety of professional development
and connect with fellow Activclassroom teachers from around the Planet.
New social learning network - Technology and Learning-- from Ray Schroeder Teachers and school administrators looking for an innovative eLearning application might want to check out Sclipo, a new social learning network for education, similar to Facebook and LinkedIn. The network boosts online learning by integrating rich education applications, such as a live web classroom and an educational video platform, with social networking features.
Information Science Reference recently published a book by Miltiadis Lytras from the University of Patras, Greece, Robert Tennyson from the University of Minnesota, USA, and Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos, from the Universidad de Oviedo, Spain called Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective. Here’s a description:
Social networks are collections of individuals linked together by a set of relations. The linkage of social networks to people and business contexts as well as to critical government domains is important for the emerging information ecosystems of the knowledge society.
Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective concentrates on strategies that exploit emerging technologies for the knowledge effectiveness in social networks. This comprehensive book delivers an excellent mix of information for readers and is a must for those thirsty for knowledge on social networks and information systems. It’s long (400+ pages) but seems to be an excellent resource. You can download it via scribd.
Social Learning & Sharing-- from open thinking The learning continues in EC&I 831, and since I haven’t had much time to blog, I though I’d offer a 2-for-1 post with links to the most recent presentations for the course.
On January 27, I offered a session on the Age of Social Learning. The full Elluminate session is found here, and my slide deck is...