An introduction to my blog – Two years in review

After reading the post “eight things i hate about the edublogosphere” i thought that it might be nice to give new people a sense of what is written here on this blog. My two year anniversary is just about now (If you are about to say “that’s not what it says on your blog, read about how I saved my blog from oblivion after a full server crash through use of google cache). So if you have nothing better to do, have some strange interest in the work done on this blog or are a potential client/employer 🙂 and you’d like to get a better sense of what I’ve been writing about for two years… read on.

The Feedbook.
This was as close to the ‘first post’ that I ever made on this blog. It was, in a sense the reason I started it. I had an idea I wanted to write/talk about, and edtechtalk wasn’t really the right venue for it. A feedbook is a very simple concept. Use feeds from people who are relevant to the target curriculum as the ‘textbook’ for a course. Keeps material current, takes away the ‘fading curriculum’ problem, and keeps people on their toes. I like it… Seems some other people liked the idea too.

Disposable Learning Objects
This is an idea that keeps coming up in my practice all the time. A simple idea that really works. Record everything and post it. This quick tutorial on how to make cables is what I go back to everytime i forget how to make an ethernet cable. It’s far from perfect, but it doesn’t need to be perfect. That’s the point. It’s disposable. If it stops serving a purpose, or it becomes obsolete… it’s no big deal. Too much curriculum is tied to the amount of money that it cost to produce it. If a textbook is expensive, or a training item or piece of proprietary software cost alot of money, it’s FAR more likely to stick around long past it’s usefulness. A quick learning object, made at the time of learning, is easily disposed of when no longer useful, and to my mind, a far better record of work done.

Rhizomes, habitat and Emergent Training Communities.
This is the main focus on my educational work right now. I’ve written several posts on rhizomes as a model for describing knowledge and paths to learning. This pageflakes page from my presentation at the Futures of learning conference was a draft try of some of the things I mean regarding this. It’s a tough topic to sum up in a paragraph…

The idea is that all things are connected ( 😛 ). Knowledge, by its nature, works very much like a biological rhizome. There is no ‘central bit’ no ‘important core’ no ‘Truth’ that holds it together. If you look at any one ‘thing’ that you would like to believe or know, it’s contextualized by all the other things around it that one needs to know in order to be able to understand a thing. Learning, then, should be structured to take this into account and take adavantage of the way that technology now allows us to work that way. We need to create special ‘habitats‘ that may allow an ’emergent training community’ to form. I should have an article or two written about this by early fall. Hopefully that will explain it better.

Membership and communities.

This is tied up in the emergent training community stuff. I’ve written a fair amount around membership and people’s responsibility to their communities. Also on how to see communities by membership.

wikitextbooks

project over at educationbridges. post 1 and post 2 We were hired by the nord family foundation to do a review on the viability of using wikis as textbooks for northeastern Ohio. Some very interesting discussions in the audio over at educationbriges. Conclusion? It’s possible… I would use drupal books (or something similar) or a wiki. And for fun… a post on why i think wikis are bad as a CMS.

Knowledge

I’ve written scads of posts on knowledge, what it means to know and what learning means. Something that underpins most of my thinking. I don’t ‘believe’ in ‘Truth’. I put my trust in the assessement of context. Truth ‘may’ exist… i don’t think that the search for (or the teaching of) one truth is particularly useful. Also… my favourite post that never got any attention.

Online debates.
I’ve been part of a bunch of fun debates online. I’ll drop three in here. The Kathy Seirra debate, the LMS must die one with Leigh, and one where i critiqued Jay Rosen and actually got a response. And also… the worst post I ever made that got the most attention. Oh… and O’reilly and web 2.0.

Tech Stuff
There have been several posts that have been ‘how tos’ or generally catelogued my work with a given tool. I’ve talked about my struggles trying to stay current with three operating systems in Linux, Mac Windows I’ve settled on Ubuntu for my main machine… but still use mac and PC for some things. I did an intro to elgg… we still have a couple of wicked projects that came out of our early toying with elgg at youthvoices.net and personallearningspace.com. i also wrote an intro to getting a blog up before edublogs made that kinda moot, and a quick review of embedding flash into moodle . I have plans for a ‘getting a server up and running’ post soon, as I’ve spent a chunk of time in the last 18 months learning how and don’t want to forget 😛 .

wow… I meant to post about 8 links… and should stop before I post everything I ever blogged. As Karyn mentioned recently… I’m really passionate about this stuff… and put alot into these posts (other than editing bonnie would add)… so i guess it’s hard to leave any out.

I hope this serves as a bit of an introduction to the things i’ve been thinking. And, if you made it this far… thanks for reading my blog 🙂

Author: dave

I run this site… among other things.

6 thoughts on “An introduction to my blog – Two years in review”

  1. thanks for the Coles/Cliff notes. i’m tempted to steal the idea of a summative overview…it’s cool, and makes it look like you’ve been damn busy, and gives me a nice refresher course to refer back to when you’re on about something and i can’t remember what it is. 😉

    but an ideas blog like this is probably better suited to the recap format than a narrative blog like mine…i can just see it now: “oh, i’m tired, oh, the baby’s very wonderful, oh, lament lament about life, oh, look at my navel, oh, i’m tired…”

    yeh. perhaps no Coles notes needed for that, huh?

  2. Sorry Doug… That should be ‘that irritate me’ about the edubloggosphere… I haven’t been able to get started blogging lately and am finding myself tearing through that first paragraph 😛

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