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by Stephen Downes
May 21, 2008

Knowledge Mobilization and Knowledge Translation
Tom Carey's presentation at the SCoPE conference was canceled today, but I was motivated to look more deeply into the concept of 'knowledge mobilization' suggested in his title. My view:

"The presumption that there is a privileged group that is in some way able to identify 'gaps' in the current state and some desired future state is, in my mind, flawed.

"It is flawed, not simply because any assessment of the current state depends on perspective, and is not therefore theory-neutral, and it is flawed not simply because there does not, and will never, in a complex system, exist a causal mechanism to move one from the original state across the gap to the desired state, but rather, because the articulation of the desired state, so crucil to the determination of action, is not an epistemological problem, but rather, one of power and authority.

"And knowledge mobilization (and knowledge translation) is, in my mind, especially when practiced in an institutional setting, a legitimation of that authority, an authority that is just as likely based on the prejudices and desires of those in control, and not any objective, theory-neutral, or evidence-based statement of the desired outcome."
Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, May 21, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Is the World Open?
Interesting article that looks at the question of whether we live in a 'flat' world or a 'spiky' world (my take is that we live in a spiky world with many deep valleys). Interesting is the diagram about halfway through which matches major innovations - the industrial revolution, for example, or the automobile revolution - with eventual economic collapses (touching how he thinks that the dot com 'economic collapse' was the bubble bursting a few years ago - heh - I'd say we have a much more significant collapse coming). Note: the link to the PDF of the full article in in the upper right-hand corner - you have to look for it; it's easy to miss.

Related, and from the same issue of elearningpapers: Antonio Bartolome on Web 2.0 and New Learning Paradigms ("This article is sceptical about the current changes at eLearning institutions and businesses, but points out some of the changes that will take place outside their courses and programmes") as well as Juan Friere on institutional challenges posed by Web 2.0. Richard Straub, elearningpapers, May 21, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Hyperconnectivity Study - Validating Our Thinking
Is society becoming 'hyperconnected'? John Roese summarizes an IDC study commissioned by Nortel that examines this question. The answer is - tentatively - yes. "16 percent of business users are already hyperconnected," he reports, with the Asia-Pacific region leading the way and Latin America close behind. Social network adoption is growing in the enterprise (despite, interestingly, being blocked in many places) and "phones are more important than wallets and keys."

Roese, who is Nortel CTO, writes, "The strategy at Nortel has been to enable that communications integration in a way that the entire applications ecosystem can be empowered with embedded communications services. Imagine that any application that stores information or creates it can seamlessly interact with collaboration and communications tools and services and can do so in a unified way." It's the right direction, in my view, although it may be a few years before we see this playing out in full.

(p.s. gotta love the first comment: "Let me get this straight; you paid a company to 'validate your thinking' and voila! They validated your thinking!" I tell you, having a blog keeps you humble, even if you're a CTO (and that's a good thing)). John Roese, Weblog, May 21, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Epic Thinking - HRD 2008
Kath Fleet has been blogging the HRD 2008 conference on Epic Thinking, including Clive Shepherd, Kate Day (Cisco) and Richard Jordan on blogs, wikis and social networking, an interesting post that begins with the question "What do a lecture on neural networks and a lecture on social networks have in common?" Steve Barden is also writing about the same conference, contributing a post on the culture of emerging leadership which summarizes a talk by Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe. You will also want to see his coverage of a session on building learning culture. Kath Fleet and Steve Barden, Epic Thinking, May 21, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

ccLearn Monthly Update - 21 May 2008
The Creative Commons Learning initiative, ccLearn, still exists. Ahrash Bissell writes to let us know that they are about to enter the testing phase of their universal education search project (finding Creative Common stuff is easy enough, but limiting that to 'educational' materials is tricky, and potentially controversial). Thet are also writinga report on licensing policy diversity among open educational projects and websites (I wonder whether this website would be considered among them). They also have a largish but institutionally-biased set of open education resources on the site. Ahrash Bissell, Creative Commons, May 21, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

So, How Did You Get Started... and What Difference has It Made?
Karyn Romeis asks, "So, how did you get started [in social media]... and what difference has it made?" Here's my response. Here's Harold Jarche's respons. Here's Dave Ferguson's answer. And there's 20 more reponses on Romeis's website. Here's Rina Tripathi's answer. Here's Debora Gallo's answer. Tony Karrer helps out with a post - and a comment on her use of a wiki to write her dissertation. Karyn Romeis, Karyn's erratic learning journey, May 21, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Inside Out - What Do Current Web Trends Tell Us About the Future of ICT Provision for Learners and Researchers?
Here's a full day of streaming media (which in one short phrase highlights the chief weakness of streaming media) on the web, web 2.0, new media and learning opportunities for the future, the proceedings of Eduserv's conference from a couple weeks ago in London (which in one short phrase highlights the chief strength of streaming media). Various Authors, Eduserv, May 21, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Blackboard, Inc. Sued for Patent Infringement
I want to say something like, "Live by the sword..." or "hoist up your own..." but I'll just leave it for now as a short item, and we'll see where it goes. Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, May 21, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Teaching and Learning With Twitter 2008
Jennifer Jones returns home from the TLt conference with (in my mind) exactly the right message. Starting with: "Some people get it. Some people do not get it. Do not dilute your message for these people. Give them all the inferno. The embers that reach those on the outskirts will eventually turn into flames." Related: Kelly Chrisopherson also reflects on the conference. Jennifer Jones, injenuity, May 21, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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