Lonely Little Clouds
There are all kinds of ways to share your learning online.
Have you tried Cloudworks?
The group I’ve been working in have dubbed them ‘lonely little clouds’.
I takes me a while to spot my own, let alone find anyone else or specific group activity. Navigation is a nightmare. Instead of being tethered to the ground like a kit, every time you enter Cloudworks it is like trying to get a helium filled party balloon to go in a specific direction by blowing on it.
Serendipity built in.
There’s no sign in page. To login in I click through pages until something I want to do requires a sign in.
Blog posts can be the same.
Finding the place, space, time and group where there will be some co-ordinated as well as vicarious engagement is not so easy. Getting it to work is a science not an art.
I had experience of listServ in 2001 on the original Masters in Open and Distance Learning.
I rather think it was a bit like this platform. It worked because you could respond in turn.
I also find the right forums in Linkedin work where there are enough people contributing to the degree that an asynchronous conversation becomes quasi synchronous.
There are ways and habits and even an acquired culture of behaviours with all of these.
The most valuable insights I have gained comes from being part of this Open University Student Blogging Platform.
You have a basic blog, but every post from all students is posted in a strict chronology just like the old, threaded ListServ. One hand on top of the other.
Like cards being dealt from a pack.
Your voice gets its chance. Never mind if it isn’t picked up. It has its life in your blog too.
It’s as if it is getting two chances of being spotted. A third would be to ‘stack’ an entry in a subject-specifc platform too. i.e. common categories creating another distinct list.
This means that anyone who is active has a chance of being read.
There’s no obligation. But it implies when you post publicly that you are part of a collective enterprise rather than a diarist writing on your space, strictly on your terms.
And it doesn’t offer bells and whistles.
Nor should it. This platform offers a way in for the novice. In fact, I recall how I struggled three years ago when I first joined in. Why couldn’t it be like WordPress or Blogger or LiveJournal? I’m glad that it isn’t, glad that there is a sense of continuity with bulletin boards and the ListServe.
Both from my own modules and especially the eclectic mix of everyone else here, I have been introduced to a wonderful myriad of possibilities, ideas and perspectives.
There’s a very tricky balance that decides if one means of communicating catches on, or even works with a particular group.
I am going to throw myself at the OLDs MOOC this afternoon and see if I can see where my head should be.