Archive for November, 2008

Technology Stewards

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

The latest podcast from the E-Learning Lab at Aalborg University features an interview with Etienne Wenger discussing his forthcoming book, Digital Habitats, and the concept of stewardship in emerging technology-enabled communities. He questions the interchangeability of the terms ‘communities’ and ‘networks’ by stressing the distinction is one of shared identities over connectivity.


Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Just launched in beta, refseek is a search engine for students and researchers. It seems a handy academic filter, and may be a useful alternative to the science bias of Google Scholar.


Information R/evolution

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Following the hugely popular video The Machine is Us/ing Us by Michael Wesch at Kansas State University, the equally hypnotic Information R/evolution explores how Web 2.0 has changed the way we find, create and share information. You can download all Wesch videos here.

Roy Pea @ LSRI

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

I was happy to attend the lecture by Roy Pea at the official opening of the LSRI at the University of Nottingham last night. In the first half, he presented an overview of the learning implications of the paradigm shift – a term I’m happy to use if he is – in participatory culture through Web 2.0 technologies, largely referencing the recently published report of the NSF Task Force on Cyberlearning which Pea co-authored. In the second half, he focused on his work around collaborative video discourse and his involvement in the DIVER Project. The lecture was video-recorded and will, no doubt, be available on the LSRI website very soon.

Digital Annotation

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

My university copy of Lave and Wenger’s Situated Learning is peppered with comments in the margins. It seems there have been two students at work here; one, using what appears to have been a big fat 2B, has merely scrawled largely illegible keywords around numerous underlined passages, whilst another, using a sharper pencil which has dug indelibly into the pages, has written several in-depth comments which display an insightful reading of the text.

I tended to ignore such distractions, but since reading David Weinberger’s excellent Everything is Miscellaneous, I have begun to take more notice. Predicting a day when they will be cheaper than paperbacks (p.222), he highlights the capability of electronic books to collate readers’ annotations. He sees this as contributing to the public metadata of the text, which will enrich a third-order, collaborative reading process. The potential within education is obvious; multi-perspective layers of student annotation contextualised with the original text. But beyond this, the shift towards reading as a socialised activity, borne out by the meteoric rise in the number of book clubs, has demonstrated a collective desire to share thoughts with others who have read the same books.