Activity Steams: Splicing information and social relations

George Siemens, elearnspace, Dec 27, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The concept of activity streams, as described here by George Siemens, is a fairly natural progression from the idea of the personal learning environment, and the diagram (above) makes that clear, as we have the same usual suspects - blogs, photo sites, chats, etc. - feeding into a personal system. The major different is in how the system is portrayed, and (if I may wax sceptically for the moment) and this portrayal is firmly in step with the now vogue notions of data and analytics. Not that there's nothing to these, but wrapping up the old idea in the new terminology isn't a great advance. So, if we are in some way going to learn from activity streams, we want a story of what we will learn and how the activity streams help us do this. What we get here is, "splicing information and social interactions is critical to making sense of activity streams... the need for mechanisms to order that information and flow soon becomes evident." We need more.
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