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paul reid • blog » Social Software
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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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Mar 24

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While I don’t actually post or comment on Flickr much these days, the stickiness of the site continues to amaze me. I’ve printed Moo cards, set-up groups, made maps, used slideshows, but it’s the simplicity of adding favourites that keep bringing me back. Usually I find these on my favourite aggregator PopURLs by Thomas Marban. I wish I had the talent of some of these photographers…….20080324-F9X2I3M7Fbxtkqsmxjmmt7CatnOne of the most organic social networks I’ve helped mash-up on the web is the Window Seat Please Flickr group. In 2004 I set up this group to join with others who have a love and interest in photos taken outside of plane windows.  This beginning started and continues quite humbly with the following text:

This group aims to collate photos taken from the window seats of aeroplanes. As consumers of window seat airline tickets we are given a special POV on this blue pearl Gaia. 

A wonderful 21C thrill indeed. 

Enjoy your flight. 

Now on March 24 2008 the group has 18,328 photos and 2,792 Members! Since then I’ve purchased the URL http://windowseatplease.com/ and one day I’ll put up some content about the controversial modern day thrill  and process of taking photos out of plane windows, instead of just cloaking the Flickr slideshow loop I have for my own set of photos.  I am sure there are hundreds of ways of using Flickr I haven’t even considered.

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Feb 17

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Browserwatch is a handy webapp to use when developing websites. As more webbrowsers become web standards compliant we should see less and less discrepancy between he way web pages render on the end-users screen. I took this screenshot from the feedback given to a website I have finished this weekend for the Value Adding Quest.

Screenshot from Browserwatch

Interestingly this was the first time I’ve used Apple’s iWeb to create a formal website. Considering it took around 4 hours to build I am fairly happy with the results. There are a few issues with caching of images, but besides that iWeb is the easiest web page creation tool I’ve used - even simpler than RapidWeaver.

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Oct 26

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The ease of knowledge sharing via web2.0 is continually prompting me to see it as the strong driver for educational change in the new paradigm. Many educators are questioning if the industrial age institutions we work in are ready for the kids of the digital communication revolution. As we begin to understand that moncultures are unsafe as models for access I find I keep returning to a quote by Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales when he was in Perth recently.

We need to learn to contribute and disagree in safety.

If “knowledge sharing is the lubricant behind the knowledge community” as Mal Bryce postulated in the panel discussion, then the engine of web2.0 is beginning to be used by educators as the agents of change. We are beginning to see a culture of sharing and creativity which is not based upon market exchange but rather an intellectual exchange.

Quote and image below via the post Mosh Pit as Innovation Model on Creating Passionate Users:

“Professionals” in any field come in two flavors: Knowledge Sharers and Knowledge Hoarders. The hoarders believe in the value of their “Intellectual Property”(IP). The products of their mind must be carefully guarded lest anyone steal their precious ideas. But let’s face it–if our only “strategic advantage” is our ideas, we’re probably in trouble.

Progress/Innovation

Mark Pegrum from UWA writes eloquently about the panel discussion here:

Mark Pesce (whose podcast and slides are available here) argued that the question “What is the truth?” has now become “Who do you trust?”. There is a potentially a clash of cultures between the Wikpedia model and the older encyclopedic model; has the culture of expertise, he asked, been out-evolved by distributed authority? He concluded by predicting a coming war between elites (who’ve traditionally possessed knowledge), special interests (who try to shape knowledge to their own ends), and communities (which are just becoming aware of the knowledge latent within them - and are beginning to use tools like wikis to harness that knowledge).

During the Perth panel discussion (a podcast of which is available), Mal Bryce, of IVEC, suggested that knowledge sharing is the lubricant of the knowledge economy, adding that information which is shared is information which is enhanced. Control freaks, he claimed, have no place in the emerging order. He agreed with comments made earlier in the day to the effect that more than anything else, it’s about changing the culture rather than grabbing the tools.

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