From community folksonomy to epistemology in a few clicks via @psychemedia #altc2010

Possibly the most useful post (ever?), showing how using Twitter can delineate communities of interest and lead from ephemeral and transitory utterances to more stable representations of (still dynamic) useful knowledge does, of course depend on people using conventions (Twitter hashtags) consistently. The rebels at ALT-C who resented the waste of three characters and insisted on tagging #alt10 instead of #altc2010 won’t be picked up in these algorithms. No matter how otherwise influential, their influence in these searches would only be felt through their reflection in the interests of those they connect to.

I think there may be some limitations on the depth of search for new hashtags, or the pipe needs to be rewired. I would have expected the tag #falt10 to have appeared several times.

Posted via email from George’s posterous

US Government Cloud Computing strategy; where is the UK in this respect? #ssbr

The Federal Government will transform its Information Technology Infrastructure by virtualizing data centers, consolidating data centers and operations, and ultimately adopting a cloud-computing business model.

This article reports a Booz Allen Hamilton report on the cost model being used to drive US Govt data policies towards the adoption of “cloud computing” platforms. They offer three scenarios: Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and Private Cloud (as the US military is doing, see Where is the UK is this respect? More locally, where is the UK HE sector?

Posted via web from George’s posterous

Sustaining support

Further to the last post, Sustaining Communities, the tension in higher education is between: open educational dialogue and institutional pragmatics (a 1000 mile question?).

Open educational dialogue is concerned with networks or communities for information sharing, which take a user-centred approach to learning and design for learning on all scales. These networks make use of user-generated content for learning resources, including novel audio & video resources. Assessment, feedback and feed forward is conceived dialogically for learning. Among the benefits of open educational dialogue should be improved student induction and retention in situated learning communities. Among the technical enabling practices by which open educational dialogue might be supported, projects are working on systems mapping, business analysis (BA) and work flows. Information aggregation practice and content syndication (RSS) are being implemented using increasingly open web services and service oriented architectures (SOA). While institutions are traditionally seen as being located in physical space, mobility and location-based services are increasingly re-articulating the relationships between people, space and institutions: domestic, commercial, cultural, civic, language, faith, education, state and their various concrete reflections in houses, offices, systems, stores, transport ways, networks, authorities, maps, corridors and campuses.

Innovation themes supporting open education dialogue appear to be:

  • Portals and personal portals (programmes, eportfolios and PLEs) to CPD aligned with
  • Flexible frameworks for accreditation, underpinned by
  • Multimedia epistemologies, the semantic web and a peer-to-peer participatory culture in disciplines

Sustaining participation as principal, agent, volunteer, affiliate, staff for:

  • natural and built environments
  • food, water, energy
  • economies
  • polities and communities

Managing participatory identity

  • learning (peripheral participation)
  • authentication
  • trust (accreditation)
  • access (privileges)
  • openness

The innovative potential of these themes depends on and is set against an enabling apparatus of social institutions – institutional pragmatics. These are the means by which order is brought to, or structures educational practice along rational lines. Institutional pragmatics may be resolved to nine categories:

  1. Learning teaching and assessment
  2. Research and development
  3. Business and community engagement
  4. Learning resources
  5. eAdmin
  6. Institutional ICT services
  7. Physical estates and learning spaces
  8. Mobile, location aware and pervasive computing
  9. Green ICT

@eframework technical model: a key enabler of open education dialogue? #jiscssbr

The eFramework people have published their technical model here: The model depends on continuing feedback from the community. Their aim is to develop “… a common approach to the description of service-oriented design and analysis,” and provide “… a neutral means to articulate the design of software services” in order “…to assist international education and research agencies and communities in planning, prioritising and implementing IT infrastructure more effectively.”

This is a good aim. So, the question is, does it? They want the framework to assist in strategic planning, but it is hard to see how to make the step from the more or less technical abstract layers up to the policy implementation layers. There is still an exclusive, jesuitical (exegetical, hermeneutic) gap, largely inaccessible to lay people, that needs to be interpreted. You have to learn the language.

Continue reading “@eframework technical model: a key enabler of open education dialogue? #jiscssbr”

Immersive interfaces for learning

Another very useful Berkman talk on Immersive Interfaces by Chris Dede, Timothy E Wirth professor of Learning Technologies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Dede develops a typology of immersive interfaces and illustrates their application in US middle schools. Even more usefully he presents a simple analytical framework for discussing immersive environments for learning: is it an environment or is it an interface? And, as frosting on the cake he gives sound cultural and pedagogical arguments for the use of immersive technologies in education.

Epigenetic phenomena

Thanks and a(nother) tippo to A J Cann for the link (via his soti bookmarks on delicious) to D’arcy Norman’s epigenetics and the institution. This hit me as an approach to conceptualising the relationship between individuals and institutions for a paper I am puzzling over writing, about the utility of participatory media (Web2.0/the social internet) to the support, synthesis and benefits realisation of educational R&D programmes.

Personal learning environments (PLEs), please

The term PLE is going to come into its own in 2009, because of the prominence of the digital literacy/academic literacy and lifelong learning debates. There has been much discussion of PLEs over the past four or five years (yes, that long). I was led to this reflection by Graham Attwell’s post, How my Personal Learning Environment is Changing.

Continue reading “Personal learning environments (PLEs), please”