Off Course-On Target

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Predicting the Future Starts Now!
Wayne Hodgins Off Course-On Target

OK, well the concept is interesting: "By playing the game, you'll help us chronicle the world of 2019--and imagine how we might solve the problems we'll face. Because this is about more than just envisioning the future. It's about making the future, inventing new ways to organize the human race and augment our collective human potential." OK, so the first thing I want the future to be like is one where people say (correctly) "human species" instead of (incorrectly) "human race." Today: Total:830 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Human History Is Additive NOT Subtractive!
Wayne Hodgins Off Course-On Target

I disagree with the proposition asserted in the title. While a great deal of knowledge accumulates over time, it is very frequent that new knowledge replaces older, incommensurate, knowledge. The replacement of the Ptolemaic view of the universe with the Copernican, or the replacement of phlogiston production theory of fire with that of oxygen consumption, top name just two prominent examples. As Kuhn (who, I guess, nobody reads any more?) notes, not only does one theory replace another, whole vocabularies, practices and methods are supplanted. Older disciplines founded on older understandings of the world are relegated to history. Some media - most media - disappear. Which is why our libraries no longer store clay tablets, papyrus scrolls, Edison cylinders or betamax tapes. The preservation of old media is the exception, not the rule - which is why we should regard the current forms of radio, television and print to be, as they say, 'on the bubble'. Today: Total:4435 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Adding Arrows to Our Communications Quiver
Wayne Hodgins Off Course-On Target

I don't know why it is that if you add a Japanese name to something you get, almost automatically, a fad, but here it is again with Pecha Kucha. This post is pretty good discussion and extension of the idea (though I think that writing a book about it is a bit ridiculous). And I think that Wayne Hodgins captures the most important element - Pecha Kucha is a game, a silly game. It's fun. There's nothing inherently valuable about the rules - they could be (almost) anything. As a game, everybody gets to play, everybody gets to laugh - and everyone learns. See also Richard Nantel on the same topic. Today: Total:2258 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Ambient and Informal Information Filtering
Wayne Hodgins Off Course-On Target

And what direction is that, you may ask? Wayne Hodgins nails it when he describes ambient and informal information filtering. Without trying to trumpet my own horn too much, this is something I've talked about for a long time (remember the 'fishing rod that teaches you?'). Ambient and informal information filtering is "something to act as our personal agent to bring us more things which have a high probability of being relevant, while providing some tools and techniques that help us make better decisions faster." Hodgins sketches a few applications in the post - they're good applications, but I really hate the whole "we're completely novel and we will take RSS mainstream" approach, as though they invented the thing. As I point out in my comment, many people have worked for many years on this stuff. Sure, as Hodgins says in his reply, it may all be new to the crowd he is writing to. But let's try to keep a sense of perspective here. Today: Total:1253 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Going After Grandma!
Wayne Hodgins Off Course-On Target

I think I like the term 'Platform of personal Expression' (PPE) better than 'Personal learning Environment' (though of course I will continue to be indifferent about the terminology. I generally agree with Dave Berlind that Dave Winer is a pioneer in the field, and basically understood all this before most people - but as someone who has been working with this stuff for just about as long, I would hardly call Winer overlooked or overdue for recognition. People know well who he is and what he has done. Is he the first this or that? "Who cares!" I think he would say, as he points to Berners-Lee as the first blogger. The points Wayne Hodgins (still) misses are (a) it's flow, it's syndication; size doesn't matter, because we don't 'assemble' it into anything, and (b) what's important about standards is not that they be low-level, but that they be simple. Today: Total:1416 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Mishmash of Mashups
Wayne Hodgins Off Course-On Target

I'm not sure 'recombinate' is a word. But the diagram is pretty good, and this post gets a pretty good handle on the idea of mashups - except for the Lego analogy. "With mashups, the 'bits and pieces' or individual Lego blocks are pre-existing things that can come from any source and often from multiple sources. Furthermore, these 'bits and pieces' can truly be just about anything and everything, from content to code to hardware to events to teams." Today: Total:1244 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Dangerous Assumptions
Wayne Hodgins Off Course-On Target

The point of Wayne Hodgins's post (which as a happy side-effect introduces Erik Duval's blog (Erik, who is based at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, is president of the ARIADNE Foundation, technical editor for the (IEEE) standard on Learning Object Metadata, and coordinator of the work on learning objects, metadata and interoperability within the ProLearn Network of Excellence)) is this: "for the foreseeable future, I hope that we remain very aware of just how limited online searching is and that we continue to check our assumptions that 'everyone and everything is available online, otherwise they don't exist.'" I don't think anyone actually makes that assumption - the assertion that "if you're not online, you don't exist" is metaphorical. But also, there's a credibility issue. If you aren't online, how credible are you? If, especially, your domain is, say, online learning, and you're not online, how credible are you. Yes, as Hodgins says, a great deal of the world's information is not online. But that information - that is not instantly and freely available online - is increasingly and increasingly irrelevant. Because it is not credible. Today: Total:1188 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Opportunities in Our Laps?
Wayne Hodgins Off Course-On Target

Good post documenting the launch of the OLPC and getting to the point of the project - that it is not just about technology and not just about teaching. "There is no current funding or plans for any associated teacher training programs to go with the OLPC project. Is this foolish or brilliant? Should such teacher training and "train the trainer" programs be formally developed or will it be better to leave this to the teachers and adults themselves? Will teachers learn (and teach) best by doing so with their students and adopting a "guide on the side" type approach?" Today: Total:1010 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Coming Soon to a Desktop Near You: Massive Amounts of 3D for the Masses
Wayne Hodgins Off Course-On Target

I have seen both 3D scanning and 3D printing for myself in the National Research Council labs - this was almost five years ago so they must be getting at least a little closer to commercial application. It's a bit of a leap from that to desktop manufacturing, though, as this would require either that we stock every element in our printer (in addition to smelting capacities) or acquire some sort of transmutation capacity, which would be much bigger news than desktop manufacturing. Most of the 3D we'll be looking at for anything like the short term will be virtual - good for the Wii, less good for Transmutation Industries Inc. Today: Total:1709 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Get Out Your Snow Shoes-Severe Snowstorms Hitting TV
Wayne Hodgins Off Course-On Target

What tipped the balance for me was the showshoe metaphor, accompanied by Wayne Hodgins's bold declaration that he's Canadian (nice to see - it always irks to see Alex Trebek turn his back on our country). Anyhow, according to Hodgins, the "'Snowflake Effect' (mass personalization) is deeply affecting TV." Yes, and about time. So long as it doesn't take away my morning news, which is really the only TV of any significance I watch. Well, that and Jeopardy. Today: Total:2534 [Comment] [Direct Link]

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