We are digitalists – these are our tools
<Image Tatuagem geek no Barcamp – Tiago Doria http://flickr.com/photos/tiagodoria/432822929/> To avoid the digital natives and immigrants debate, let's opt for the term digitalists instead, and define them thus: "Those who are comfortable using a range of digital media and are open to the changes that digitisation brings to society." It's not exclusive, anyone can become a digitalist, and it's not absolute, you can be a digitalist in some areas and maybe have reservations in another. But you're not Andrew Keen. This follows on from previous post, where I took Scott Leslie's post about just sharing to argue that the mode of sharing has changed. Digitalists know this because they do…
The cost of sharing
I've mentioned Scott's Planning to share, versus just sharing post in passing, but here is a slightly more considered response. Scott sets out his frustration with top down, planned approaches to sharing: "I have been asked to participate in many projects over the years that start once a bunch of departments, institutions or organizations notice that they have a lot in common with others and decide that it would be a good idea to collaborate, to share “best practices” or “data” or whatever… But inevitably, with a very few exceptions, these projects spend an enormous amount of time defining what is to be shared, figuring out how to share it,…
SatNav – a microstudy in digitisation
<Image Mapa antiguo de America del Sur – thejourney1972> We have only recently got a SatNav system for the car (it's invaluable if you are towing a caravan, no matter how small and trendy, as doing 3-point turns is not easy, or popular). Using it has made me reflect on how the process of digitisation and connectivity changes behaviour and our relation to certain artefacts. I think what is true of SatNav and maps, is probably true across all forms of content. Here are the changes as I see them: The need for a particular skill (in this case map reading) which was previously thought essential becames largely irrelevant. This…
Is Uniglu what I need?
A warning upfront: I think this post may expose my ignorance, and there may be a 'duh, we've been working on that for ages', type reaction. But based on previous experience, I've found that my ignorance is often shared by others, I'll forge ahead. I'll give you the background: On Friday I had a quick play with video in Googlemail. Naturally it works fine, so I put out a rather facetious tweet about why do we bother to design software specially for education when this stuff is just there. Niall responded saying: "can it be linked to student registration systems for automated population of tutor groups etc? " This is…
My edublog 2008 nominations
With all the usual provisos about awards not mattering, the Edublog 2008 nominations are open, so I thought I'd spread a little love. Here are my nominations (it's okay not do every category isn't it Josie? I don't have a best use of virtual world). Best Individual Blog – I'm going to nominate John Connell here. John manages to combine quality and quantity. Almost every post sets me off thinking. I have at least ten unwritten posts which are responses to things John has posted about. I particularly liked his grandfather's social network post. Best group blog – Pontydysgu – they're Welsh, they like edupunk, they do a crazy internet…
Quick play with xtranormal
Tony pointed me at Xtranormal (and the CogDog reminded me that Tony had pointed me at it). It's a service that allows you to create little movies, adding in dialogue, camera angles, music, expressions, etc. So, while having my ham sandwich for lunch I had a quick play and produced the following. It's not very good, but you get the idea: Adblock A better one is this take on FightClub.
Pregnancy, FLOSS and lightbulbs
Following on from what I hoped was a balanced post about the pros and cons of FLOSS software in education, Mark Ballard at the Inquirer writes a one-sided piece. At least I got to air the celebrity's favourite complaint 'I've been quoted out of context'. It's been a strange process this debate. At the OU I've long been one of the evangelists for open source. I developed SLeD, was the VLE Director who rejected proprietary solutions, part of the team that got the OpenLearn grant, and have blogged often about how the open source method is the best way to produce content. Yet, the outcome of the debate has been…
All educators are broadcasters
I gave a short talk at the OpenU a couple of weeks back about the changing nature of broadcast and what it means for educators. Although it was aimed at the OpenU audience, I think a lot of it is more widely applicable, so I’ve finally made a slidecast of it. The original had a few audio and video clips, which I haven’t included in the slidecast. It does however, feature the now famous ‘Caravan equation’ (oh, okay famous in my mind only). What does changes in broadcast mean for educators? View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: higher education)
Should FLOSS be the only option?
The OU has been taken to task by the Open Source Consortium for supporting Microsoft Office. The OU has sent an official response, but here's my unofficial take on it. I ought to say upfront that I love open source. Not necessarily the software (I'm pretty agnostic about software), but the fact that it's there and it works, when all conventional thought said it shouldn't. The very existence of open source gives me hope for the world. And I find the manner in which it is created fascinating, and probably the most interesting business, social and technological development of the past twenty years. But even so, this letter causes something…