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paul reid • blog » Professional Development
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May 10

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Via TweetieTwitter BirdRecently I’ve found that there are some useful Twitter communities forming around conferences, not just people using Twitter for twitters sake as when the microblog appeared a couple of years ago!  This means that attendees who may not know each other or even ever meet are bound in conversation by a simple hash tag eg. #hksummit.  This tag was used at the recent Apple Education Leadership Summit in Hong Kong.

During the keynotes, panel discussion and workshops there was a fascinating subtext being formed around the content.  Photos of participants and slides were posted to Flickr, links to videos, and quotes from presenters appeared in a livestream via the hash-tag.  Also informative, were the reflections on the conference process, the conversation between those there live, and those elsewhere wanting to know more. You can add me to your Twitter PLN here.

The challenge now for schools is to offer student access to these such conversations, especially if they want to ‘continue’ to be relevant venues for learning. Some of the speakers and organisers talk about the asynchronous global community that took part in the conference in this video below.

Kim Cofino wrote it best recently where she pondered:

“I didn’t find myself in awe of any specific presentations or the information I learned from them, but I reveled in the power of my personal learning network to help me make connections, push my thinking, and expand my horizons.”

The same occurred at the recent Educause conference.  While many said it wasn’t the best conference they had been to, many were impressed with the stream of conversation happening in the background via Twitter and other web2ls like CoverItLive.What matters most to me in these adult learning environments is the spontaneous community that forms around the content and conversation. The document (#hksummit) left behind by the conversation is also a fairly realistic appraisal of an event.I’ve also enjoyed many of the reflections in blog posts by #hksummit attendees for example:

Brett Moller: This conference had fascinating conversations happening, mostly facilitated by twitter. Simply by tagging all tweets with #hksummit, we suddenly had an amazing conversation that is still continuing today. The richness of the conversation and the content shared is truly remarkable. It is a conversation that is recorded and easy to follow. The value in this conference was found in so many places, however, the greatest treasure is in the conversations and the network that is built.

Julie Lindsay:  The power of connecting with and extending my own personal learning network is priceless at this type of event.

Andrew Torris: I can also guarantee you that the admin that attended the HKsummit left empowered and filled with ideas.  Change takes time. Change takes bravery.  Change takes guts.  Change takes focus.  How much of each of these things depends on the time and place.

Kim Cofino: I had seen some of his slides before, but it amazed me, yet again, how ironic it is to be hearing from a vendor the most relevant, forward-thinking, pedagogically sound ideas for education.

Learners

Source: superkimbo on Flickr.

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Apr 11

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Recently the visual/spatial learner in me is enjoying the life of a visual blogger using tumblr. Knewd is experimental tumblog aggregates memorable digital breadcrumbs I come across in cyberspace - this is my way of both sharing and archiving bitz i already knewd in a rather naked and open manner.

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Tumblr the easiest way to get content on the web I’ve come across. Organising, valuing and automating the metadata/content produced via the traditional inquiry based learning process is still for me currently the most exciting area of ICTs in education.

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Very quickly we are seeing metadata becoming hyper-connected content and the ability of users to quickly see this metadata in context. This picture is a snippet from the archive of my scrapbook from the last few months.

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I also use Tumblr here to aggregate my web2.0 wanderings - this automated process of organising, valuing and automating the metadata I produce via the traditional inquiry based learning process is for me currently the most exciting area of ICTs in education. The select and organise aspects of inquiry based learning are facilitated by the process of tumblogging even more when you add.

As @dswaters pointed out at the recent ECAWA unconference I am not the most social creature online these days! I do engage with some discussions on email lists and a little bit more lately on Twitter but in general this year I have not really been joining in the dialogue of the blogosphere as much. I have been considering the reasons behind this, and think it is simply that I am so busy with the new job, but most of all I think it’s because if I am going to engage with a discussion I feel I need to really immerse myself in the discussion to have my contributions be of any use.

CommentThis general demeanour leaves me missing out on a fantastic project is going on in the edublogosphere called the 31 day comment challenge. I would love to be part of it but instead I am just going to write about how cool it is instead :-). Sue Waters makes some valuable points here about the fact “that commenting on blogs is a crucial aspect of blogging conversations for achieving the greatest learning,” and this is put in context by an insightful reference to Derek Wenmoth’s diagram The Four C’s of Participation in Online Communities. Maybe I’ll be up for the next one.

My voluntary work on building the new ECAWA website and exciting Community Bookmarking project has taken up more time than expected. This will be an interesting project to watch unfold - currently we are still taking votes to see which social bookmarking tool we will use. The reception at the ECAWA unconference - thanks guys - was a positive one so I hope the wider community sees the value in tapping into and aggregating our collective intelligence.

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Aug 01

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ECAWA conferenceWestern Australia’s ECAWA 2007 State Conference will be two days of exciting professional learning and professional development opportunities, networking and sharing of information about ICT in education in a relaxed and friendly environment at the Atrium Hotel in Mandurah.

While a significant part of the programme will explore some of the opportunities that Web2+ technologies offer educators and students, there will be plenty more as well.

A strand in the programme will focus on senior secondary computing courses – Applied Information Technology and Computer Science. For Primary and Middle School Teachers, strands within the programme will focus on using Information and Communications Technology in the classroom. A list of the presentations are here.

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Apr 01

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Eduau LogoWikipedia is living proof that open-source, creative commons and web2.0 works. With vision our very own Education.AU is bringing Jimmy Wales is founder of Wikipedia, co-founder of Wikia and the Wikimedia Foundation. This self-organizing, self-correcting, ever-expanding, and thoroughly addictive encyclopedia of the future is an amazing resource for students and educators alike. I try to approach Wikipedia place in K-12 education optimistically, finding the guts to say yes, rather than approach with fear wanting to say no. Students, even primary school kids are amazed when you tell them that anyone can edit it. Triggered by a critical thinking response, they then approach the resource with a more skeptical, thoughtful eye. It will be great to have Jimmy Wales setting some valuable dialogue alight here in Australia - education.au should be congratulated for trying to engage the occupants of industrial age institutions to join, engage and participate in the discussion of our digital age. An EdNA group will be a central focus for this dialogue. Deanne Bullen sent in this information for interested digital chalkies:

Source: http://www.energylab.de/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/JimmyWales.jpgJimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, will be the keynote speaker for the first education.au National Seminar for 2007. The seminar will be held in four locations; Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne beginning the week of April 23. Jimmy’s seminar presentation will discuss critical issues such as:

  • The culture of the online community and the implications for education
  • The opportunities for collaborative learning in a globally connected world
  • What does it mean to be discerning in the online world
  • If content can be created and distributed cheaply, what is the future for entrepreneurs
  • Who has the knowledge in today’s global community
  • Creative Commons and the public good – what are the barriers to knowledge sharing.

To access information about the seminar online go here, to register for the seminar go here.

600Px-Wikipedia-Logo-1From the authors own Wikipedia page:

Wales’ father worked as a grocery store manager while his mother, Doris, and his grandmother, Erma, ran a small private school “in the tradition of the one-room schoolhouse” where Wales received his education. Most of the time there were four children in his grade so the school grouped the first, second, third, and fourth grade students together and the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students together.

Jimmy Wales was the first person listed in the “Scientists & Thinkers: the lives and ideas of the world’s most influential people” in Time magazine’s May 8, 2006 issue. Forbes magazine, in naming him one of the Top 25 Web Celebrities for 2007, says of Wales: “only on the Web could an encyclopedia geek become a superstar.”

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