6 July 2011
Metaphors to illustrate:
Spheres of Influence
It isn’t for lack of overwhelming, immersive and engaging content online, from ‘how to’ movies and ‘clips’ in YouTube, but how you manage this inexhaustible choice. Armed with an 3G tablet and sim card will we find we are learning more on the fly, taking it with us, much of it free, some of it guided and paid for? Is learning all the time a viable approach compared to careful and strategic time management?
Taking advantage of participation (Seely-Brown), learning on the periphery (Seely-Brown), vicarious learning (Cox) and if you can get your tongue around it ‘serendipitous learning.’ (me I think).
I’m finding that 18 months in, and having really started this gig in 1998 when from the agency end we were migrating interactive DVD based learning to the Web, that I of necessity must balance the tools I can play (musical instrument metaphor), compared to those I play with (sandpit, training pool metaphor) … and I suppose those ones I am obliged to master whether I like it or not (prescriptive tools for work and study – in at the deep end metaphor?!).
Conole (2011) invites us to use ‘metaphors for meaning making’. I always have, often visualising these metaphors. Just search this diary on ‘Metaphor’ to see what comes up. Also try words or phrases such as ‘traffic light’, ‘nurture’, ‘gardening’, ‘swimming’, ‘spheres of influence’, ‘hub’, ‘serendipity’ as well as ‘water’ and ‘water-cycle’.
I therefore offer the following:
Linkedin (For Forums, like this, in groups and networks)
WordPress (for blogging, sharing, wiki like affordances, training, updates)
iPad (or Tablet) (Whilst PCs and Laptops have considerable power and versatility
Twitter (only for niche/target live discussions or quasi-synchronous conversations.
The rest of it is ‘Twitter Twaddle’ – spam of the worst kind being pumped out by pre-assigned links as CoTweets or random disconnected thoughts. This is killing some forums where RSS feeds of this stuff overwhelms any chance of a conversation).
I’ve seen two Forums killed, temporarily I hope, by this stuff, the largest victim being the Oxford University Alumni group. I believe it is simply the case of a new moderator niavely permitting Twitter feeds in on a discussion, ie. having the conversations between 30 disrupted by the disconnected chattering of 300.