OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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September 24, 2010

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Tagxedo – Making Words out of Wordclouds (or "Emergence Emerging")
Scott Leslie, edtechpost, September 24, 2010.

"What if I could make the word "Emergence" actually emerge out of the terms that relate to it," asks Scott Leslie. And thanks to Tagxedo, he can. The result is a nice image that expresses the concept of emergence quite nicely.

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The Learning (B)log: Darren Kuropatwa's class scribes
Ewan McIntosh, edu.blogs.com, September 24, 2010.

This is a look at how to integrate online writing with classroom activities. "Learning logs were a core part of my classroom practice," writes Ewan McIntosh, crediting "the effects they have on improving student performance in the bilingual schools of New Brunswick in my first year of teaching." This post links to a three-part podcast featuring Manitoba teacher Darren Kuropatwa, and the learning scribe.

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Mobile Learning: Is It Doing What It's Supposed To?
Susan Smith Nash, E-Learning Queen, September 24, 2010.

Susan Smith Nash asks, "Is mobile learning really doing what it's supposed to be doing?" The answer, of course, depends on what it's supposed to be doing, which Nash characterizes as "engag[ing] in substantive, meaningful learning any time and any place [and] effectively creat[ing] conditions for learning – you're engaged, the content is relevant, you're able to connect it to applications and real-life settings that mean something to you." And tbhey haven't reached this potential, she writes, because of a series of barriers, ranging from non-support for Flash to limited apps, small screens and incompatible forms. She follows this with a list of resources intended to help practitioners improve mobile learning.

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Maslow's Hierarchy of Organizational Social Media Needs
Aaron Silvers, Weblog, September 24, 2010.

files/images/maslow.png, size: 161078 bytes, type:  image/png I think the idea of a hierarchy of organizational social media needs is interesting and will appeal to a lot of people. That said, I have some significant reservations that are only moderately mollified by pointing out that this model applies specifically to collaborative organizations, and not looser forms of organization. Take goals, for example. "Without business goals," writes Aaron Silvers, "you're dead in the water when it comes to making social media work, internally or externally." Maybe, from a business point of view, but if you expect all the participants, even in the business context, to share these goals, you are mistaken. A social network needs to address the diverse goals of its members, and not to conform to some centrally defined business-driven goal.

The additional layers are equally suspect, even within an organizational context - it's almost as though they've been taken from a Harvard Business School seminar on team-building and applied to online communities and social networks specifically. Thus, observations about 'governance', 'community' and 'collaboration' really misinterpret the social media context. And don't get me going about putting 'win' at the top of the pyramid. You can't just take existing business concepts and apply them to social networks; this simply ignores the fact that social networks are different.

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PLENK2010 – Twitter Clusters
Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, September 24, 2010.

Analysis of the Twitter network that forms a part of the PLENK 2010 course reveals a number of distinct clusters within the course, writes Tony Hirst. The clusters appear to be mostly geography or language based, and each cluster has different interests, as revealed by word clusters. It's a great visualization, and it is of course not entirely certain what it means. But as I state in the comments, I see it as a realization of a design objective.

I write, "The intent of the course design is to distribute and diversify participation. We tell people to find their own unique perspective on the material and the commentary. In other writing I have described the desired outcome as a structure resembling 'a community of communities'."
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Research Communications Strategy
Various Authors, JISC, September 24, 2010.

JISC has launched a new blog, Research Communications Strategy, based around its research communications project. The 'About' page states, "The project provides a quarterly report for JISC which looks at the current and emerging issues in research communication at a strategic level.... A second strand of the work is looking at advocacy to academics as one of the key issues in the adoption of open access, and is working to identify the significant concerns and barriers to cultural change and adoption of new research communication methods." There's also an OA Answers page which looks like the beginning of a FAQ on open access, which links to resources on open access topics.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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