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There can be no better recommendation to read a book than when its author spots you as a like-mind and invites you to read.

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Find it here: Smashwords

I am halfway through Julian Stodd’s ‘Exploring the World of Social Learning’ and am keen to spread the word to those like me who are studying for a Masters in Open and Distance Education (MAODE) – particularly in H807, H808 and H800 we are asked to learn collaboratively and go understand the dynamics of shared learning spaces online from this blog-cum-bulletin board platform, to student tutors groups and break-out cafes. You may even have made it over to the Open University LinkedIn group (go see).

I not only find myself nodding in agreement but better still in Web 2.0 terms I find I keep wanting to pause to explore a thought or theme further, the subject matter embracing learning, social learning and e-learning – while drawing on a professional corporate learning and development background, which makes a valuable change from an academic perspective on social learning in tertiary education.

To do this I return to this my open to all e-portfolio-cum-blog to search for what I have thus far picked up on social learning, learning theories, forums and so on. And to do the same in other people’s blogs as hearing these familiar voices helps make better sense of it all.

I should add a grab here of the couple of dozen books I have read in, on and around ‘social learning’ – I put ‘Exploring the World of Social Learning’ alongside:

‘The Digital Scholar’ Martin Weller

‘A New Culture of Learning’ Douglas Thomson and John Seely Brown

‘From Teams to Knots’ Yrjö Engeström

‘The Now Revolution’ Jay Baer and Amber Naslund

via a solid grounding in educational theory that you’d get from Vygotsky’s ‘Educational Psycology’.

An alternative to, or addition to reading about social learning in an academic papers, that are by definition are several years out of date, rate MySpace above Facebook and fail to mention iPads or Smartphones in the mix.

 

Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications – the Blog

It’ll not come from one book, or two or many. Having blogged for 11 years and six months I should know some things. I share some ideas here alongside some thoughts from Argenti and Barnes’s 2009 book ‘Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications‘ that I have read cover to cover these last few days courtesy of Kindle.

Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications

Blogs and social communities have sparked ‘a complete overhaul of the business environment, especially in the context of communication.’ Agenti and Barnes (2009:K168)

K = Kindle … they don’t give a page number. How could you in a e-Book?

Education is changing too, blurring the lines between school and the workplace, and encouraging workplace learning with distance learning specialists and online courses from members of the Association of Business Schools surely set to grow

The difference between web 1.0 and web 2.0 – observation versus participation, status versus dynamic, monologue versus conversation. Agenti and Barnes (2009)

What is most relevant to corporate communications managers is as relevant to other institutions, whether government, education or charity.

You need to be using:

• Blogs (such as WordPress. Edublogs, Diaryland)

• Microblogs (Twitter)

• Social Networks (such as Facebook, MySpace)

• Video-sharing platforms (YouTube, Vimeo)

Search engine marketing and optimization

• Corporate web sites/ online newsrooms

• Wikis • Mash-ups • Viral/word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing.

The trick is to find ‘a middle ground between a completely centralised and a wholly decentralised structure is the best way to maintain an effective communications strategy in today’s environment.’ K593

My take on this is that to succeed organisations need to be:

• Informed

• Engaged

• Responsive

• Frequent

• Authentic

• Relevant

• Appropriate

• Pithy

• Real (neither journalistic, corporate or academic in style)

• Understanding

• Passionate but not obsessive

• Media Savvy

• Connected

• Tooled up

• With a give, take, try anything and receive mentality.

• Tag it all

• Optimise out of habit

• Have fun, be playful with surveys, questionnaires and polls.

The view Sir Martin Sorrell takes is ‘The more control you keep over the message, the less credible it is. And Vice Versa.’ Martin Sorrell (2008: K1520)

There are three skills sets required to take advantage of this:

1. Identifying influential bloggers 2. Building relationships with them 3. Engaging with them with the intent of receiving positive coverage

Points 1 and 2 was the experience I had in Diaryland.

Here from 1999 bloggers teamed up with designers, where the two functions were recognised as different, like the copywriter and art director in advertising. Here you could form groups and join groups, link to friends for a myriad of reasons, but best of, in the list limited to 70 friends you were/are updated constantly on the status – it helps to know that you’re in a group where people update regularly. It is largely from the community of those who write, that you find people who also read and comment, they are various consumers and emitters of content.

So much that I experienced here has migrated to other blogsites.

Things that work, as well as buddies and buddy updates, are the surveys and groups, creating engaging or fund questionnaires to share with others and forming groups too, where for example I set up lists for those to be the first to make 500, then 1000 and then 2000 entries … Fun too are the banner ads you can make and use to promote interest within the Diaryland community. Perhaps Andrew’s (its creator’s0refusal to allow advertising is what is causing a Diaryland demise.

‘Metaphorically speaking, RSS is the gateway drug of experiential online monitoring’. Agenti and Barnes (2009:K1183)

My view is GoogleAlerts does this better, it spread the net for you, whereas with RSS you need to have found the feed first. What is more GoogleAlerts feeds you snacks of information that are easy to consume, note, reference, keep, pass on or over.

In emails the authors interviewed Courtney Barnes and Shabbir Imber Safdar.

‘You need to understand that it’s not a cut-and-paste job. You need to participate in the conversation and adapt the content for the environment. ‘ Thus said (Agenti and Barnes (2009:K1159)

Look, listen and learn … engage

To do this engagement is the first things, so blogs and Twitter, social networking and video, photographs … even some family history and reuniting with school and college friends. Then you tools like Technorati and Goole Alerts.

Technorati

Google Alerts

Search out appropriate keywords

Joined Linked In too.

Having been engaged with four/five groups I made the mistake of joining and dozen and will have to drop most of these. Some post several times and hour 24/7 and I have ceased to see the worth of reading that much from one group, especially if the same question is being answered a thousand times. Managing this maelstrom is a task in itself, being alert to the new, dropping the redundant, buying into and out of the right people and places as their influence and quality of comment waxes and wanes.

Forrester Research on 90 blogs of Fortune 500 companies. June 2008.

Most company blogs are ‘dull, drab and don’t stimulate discussion’. • 66% rarely get comments • 70% only contain comment on business topics • 56% republish press releases or summarise news that is already public.

REFERENCE

Argenti P.A. and Barnes M.C. 2009 ‘Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications’ McGrawHill.

Sorrell. M (2008) ‘Public Relations: The Story behind a Remarkable Renaissance,@ Institute for Public Relations Annual Distinguished Lecture, New York, November 5, 2008.

Meanwhile I’ve got these two to read.

And why books cover to cover?

I’m sick of snacking from a smorgasbord. I want a consistent voice, something up to date, that leaves an impression. A book does this for me, an article never does.

We are all the people we have ever been


What image should we use to portray ourselves?

Is there such as thing as best practice? Ought it to be like joining a gym, we have a snapshot taken on a webcam and this current image, no matter how it comes out, becomes who we are?


Do so few of us dislike or distrust what we see when we look at our faces in the mirror each morning?

It has been the subject of research, role play in online education; I’d like to do some of my own.

I began a year ago with this.

I liked the picture, felt it was healthy, robust and confident and confident.

I should have looked at the date on it. August 2004. Happy and sunny days. You age under stress and from the mid-40s it doesn’t take much to add ten years -all that sun in the past, being unwell.

As I write below, his spirit, like mine (I hope) remains that of an enthusiastic twenty-something.

The same occurred with the Elluminate session we had in H800 the other day, the tutor on the webcam (initially in a scratchy black and white image) is not the person who goes by in the General Forum. Are we all guilty of this. Men included? We go with something in our late thirties or early to mid-forties?


I then went with this.

An image I long ago used in my eleven year old blog. I wanted something that was indicative of the content and would last. I’m still inclined to run with this. It is indicative of what I think blogging is all about – the contents of your mind, what you think i.e. you ‘mind bursts’ as I call them on numerous blogs.

Facebook personas sees me in a number of guises

While on Skype I use a image taken with the webcam on the day of an online interview – this is a month ago, so as contemporary as it gets.


I have this image fronting Tumblr taken 21 years ago.

In moments of euphoria having just successfully negotiated a 15m pond of slush on a pair of skis in front of a crowd of early May skiers below the Tignes Glacier, France. The day I proposed to my wife. We’d be ‘going out together’ for three days … we’ve now been together, well 21 years.

In my original diary we could create banner ads to publicise what we had to say to fellow writers. One of these has a spread as long as the contents of my diaries and blog: they run from a 13 year old Head Chorister in cassock and ruffs, though gap, undergrad, to add exec, video director, with four woman I didn’t marry.


Increasingly, I am thinking of using a self-portrait, that this attempt to capture myself through my minds eye is more telling that a photograph.


I could use the drawing I did of a 14 year old

What amuses me most here is how I superimpose these attachments as if I were in a school play, the beard is clearly on the soft face of a pubescent boy – I should have looked at my grandfather for the face I’d get, with the more bulbous nose and pronounced chin.

Talking of which, I find it intriguing that I am the spitting image of my grandfather, that my own children see images of him age 20 and think it has to be me. All that changes as he ages into a 40 and 50 year old is he goes bald, whereas I am thus far limited to a thinning of the crown.

This I’m afraid, if the age of my children in the rest of the picture is something to go by, is some seven years ago 😦

My only reason for picking it is that I haven’t renewed my contact lenses and am inclined, after twenty years wearing them to give up. Maybe laser surgery when I have the cash?
This is contemporary. It doesn’t say who I am, just ‘what’ I am. Wearing a child’s hat (he’s a dad), the headset to record notes onto a digital recorder (for a podcast), a coat he bought for honeymooning in the Alps (we went skiing) 18 years ago …


I have of course not changed much since 1977

It takes me back to the original point – who are we? how do we representative ourselves online in a single image when we are all a sum of a complex of parts?

Is it any wonder that we present multiple selves online, the more so the longer we’ve lived?

I don’t remember my father being around to take this picture. though clearly he did. I do remember the great-big wellies though and the joy of water spilling over the top if I could find a puddle or pond deep enough. And the jumpers knitted by my granny (sleeves always too long). And the trees in the garden I climbed behind. And my sister and brother …

How set in were the learning process by then?

The Dracula Spectacula, People’s Theatre, Newcastle.

The teeth were made from dentine and fitted by an orthodontist.I rather foolishly sharpened the fangs and bit through my own lip on the last night. I had to sing while gargling my own blood. The joy of memories.

  • Could a daily snap taken when looking in the bathroom mirror be used to tag memories from that ‘era’ of your life?

The more control you keep over the message, the less credible it is.

Fig.1. The diary of Jonathan Ferguson Vernon Age 13 1/2 … still at it 37 1/2 years later.

Socially constructive learning finds in legs, mouth and finger-tapping-tips courtesy of blogging, content curation and communities of like (and not so like) minds.

My first diary entry is dated 6th March 1975. I as visiting a school as a potential music scholar. I played the flute and the piano. I should have been asked to sing, I’d been a chorister for five years.

My naive title for the diary was ‘from boy to man.’ I never thought that one day I’d be old – I’m six months short of 50. I feel more like a teenager than ever, that’s the odd thing. It’s all this blogging. I feel as if I’ve found my voice.

My first blog post was on 27th September 1999 and was titled ‘What’s new about new media?’

Let’s jam then. Here’s how.

Blogs and social communities have sparked ‘a complete overhaul of the business environment, especially in the context of communication.’ Agenti and Barnes (2009:K168) – (The K refers to the Kindle reference of the eBook version).

Education is changing too, blurring the lines between school and the workplace, and encouraging workplace learning with distance learning specialists and online courses from members of the Association of Business Schools surely set to grow

The difference between web 1.0 and web 2.0 – observation versus participation, status versus dynamic, monologue versus conversation. (Agenti and Barnes 2009)

What is most relevant to corporate communications managers is as relevant to other institutions, whether government, education or charity. You need to be using:

  • Blogs (such as WordPress. Edublogs, Diaryland)
  • Microblogs (Twitter and Yammer)
  • Social Networks (such as Linkedin and Facebook)
  • Video-sharing platforms (YouTube, Vimeo)
  • Search engine marketing and optimization
  • Corporate web sites/ online newsrooms
  • Wikis
  • Mash-ups – now curation.
  • Viral/word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing.

The trick is to find ‘a middle ground between a completely centralised and a wholly decentralised structure is the best way to maintain an effective communications strategy in today’s environment.’ Agenti and Barnes (2009:K593)

My take on this is that to succeed organisations need to be:

  •  Informed
  • Engaged
  • Responsive
  • Frequent
  • Authentic
  • Relevant
  • Appropriate
  • Pithy
  • Real (neither journalistic, corporate or academic in style)
  • Understanding
  • Passionate but not obsessive
  • Media Savvy
  • Connect
  • Tool up
  • With a give, take, try anything and receive mentality.
  • Tag it all
  • Optimise out of habit
  • Have fun, be playful with surveys, questionnaires and polls.

The view Sir Martin Sorrell takes is ‘The more control you keep over the message, the less credible it is. And Vice Versa.’ Martin Sorrell (2008: K1520)

There are three skills sets required to take advantage of this:

1. Identifying influential bloggers
2. Building relationships with them
3. Engaging with them with the intent of receiving positive coverage

Points 1 and 2 was the experience I had in Diaryland. Here from 1999 bloggers teamed up with designers, where the two functions were recognised as different, like the copywriter and art director in advertising. Here you could form groups and join groups, link to friends for a myriad of reasons, but best of, in the list limited to 70 friends you were/are updated constantly on the status – it helps to know that you’re in a group where people update regularly. It is largely from the community of those who write, that you find people who also read and comment, they are various consumers and emitters of content.

So much that I experienced here has migrated to other blogsites. Things that work, as well as buddies and buddy updates, are the surveys and groups, creating engaging or fund questionnaires to share with others and forming groups too, where for example I set up lists for those to be the first to make 500, then 1000 and then 2000 entries … Fun too are the banner ads you can make and use to promote interest within the Diaryland community. Perhaps Andrew’s (its creator’s0refusal to allow advertising is what is causing a Diaryland demise.

‘Metaphorically speaking, RSS is the gateway drug of experiential online monitoring’. Agenti and Barnes (2009:K1183)

My view is GoogleAlerts does this better, it spread the net for you, whereas with RSS you need to have found the feed first. What is more GoogleAlerts feeds you snacks of information that are easy to consume, note, reference, keep, pass on or over.

In emails the authors interviewed Courtney Barnes and Shabbir Imber Safdar.

‘You need to understand that it’s not a cut-and-paste job. You need to participate in the conversation and adapt the content for the environment. ‘ (Agenti and Barnes (2009:K1159)

Look, listen and learn

To do this engagement is the first things, so blogs and Twitter, social networking and video, photographs … even some family history and reuniting with school and college friends. Then you tools like Technorati and Goole Alerts.

Technorati http://www.technorati.com
Google Alerts http://www.google.com/alerts
Search out appropriate keywords

Joined Linked In too.

Having been engaged with four/five groups I made the mistake of joining and dozen and will have to drop most of these. Some post several times and hour 24/7 and I have ceased to see the worth of reading that much from one group, especially if the same question is being answered a thousand times. Managing this maelstrom is a task in itself, being alert to the new, dropping the redundant, buying into and out of the right people and places as their influence and quality of comment waxes and wanes.

Forrester Research on 90 blogs of Fortune 500 companies. June 2008.

Most company blogs are ‘dull, drab and don’t stimulate discussion’.

• 66% rarely get comments
• 70% only contain comment on business topics
• 56% republish press releases or summarise news that is already public. The positive spin on this calls it ‘curation’ – at best it is a playfully constructed mash-up that uses though is not dictated to by the tools, perhaps they are a mind-dump or mental compost heap, at worst it is an irritant – a waste of time for content you never get round to reading, and as you never engaged with it the first place, the waste is doubled.

REFERENCE

Argenti P.A. and Barnes M.C. 2009 ‘Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications’ McGrawHill.

Sorrell. M (2008) ‘Public Relations: The Story behind a Remarkable Renaissance,@ Institute for Public Relations Annual Distinguished Lecture, New York, November 5, 2008.

18 months on (November 2012)

‘You need to understand that it’s not a cut-and-paste job. You need to participate in the conversation and adapt the content for the environment.’  This said in Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications’ Agenti and Barnes (2009:Kindle page 1159).

As I go through 33 months of postgraduate blog posts (the Masters in Open and Distance Education with the Open University), I stumble upon a great deal that some might call aggregation, but a year or so ago was linking and tagging.

In the module ‘Innovations in e-learning’ we were give a list of aggregating tools to try. Personally, the curator – and potentially their team, as in the real world of museums and galleries must surely add value above and beyond the mere pulling of content using a set of terms in an off-the-shelf bundle of software?

Over the last week or so since the meet up I have returned to various tools and tried new ones. I’ve gathered screen grabs and given it some thought – and largely concluded that as a result of this exercise I will be dropping them all in favour of reading a few choice blogs and receiving feeds from them – blogs where an opinion is expressed, you can leave a comment and expect feedback. At the heart of this is socially constructed learning.

The way of the web and all technology? We just don’t know what’s going to happen next …

Tim Berners-Lee speaking at the Home Office in...

Tim Berners-Lee speaking at the Home Office in Westminster, London. His face is covered by letters from a slide. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I have in John Naughton’s own words, spent the best part of two hours ‘bouncing’ about Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web in search of a vital fact relating to this H800 task (no.3)

 

Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates

 

This concerns the Gutenberg, books and libraries – I failed, though I had a joyous time first in my own blog (started 1999, has the information I require, not tagged, poor archiving, couldn’t find it, read loads of other stuff I’d forgotten about), then via Google and too often in Wikipedia, all to find out something on the Bodliean Library that is in a file in the shed and in my head (somewhere).

 

On visiting the Bodliean in the early 17th century I believe this person said that if he read all the books then held he’d know everything or some such. Do we suppose that the 3 million+ entries in Wikipedia are the sum total of world knowledge?

 

Never mind

 

Any answers?

 

Blogging for me ended 25 years of keeping a journal in a hard back book. The complete undoing of my life with books will be further undone with the purchase of an e-Reader (a Kindle, I get one tomorrow).

 

There could be no libraries without books and people to read them, nor universities that gather around the library’s finite resource. With the digital ‘liberation’ of books will traditional libraries and universities go the way of the OU too?

 

Hyperbole is symptomatic of invention

 

I could in time drill through a year of reflection on great innovations from the book to the telegraph, courtesy of H807 ‘Innovations in E-learning’ and some extra reading I did over the summer on radio, film and TV, Edison and the phonograph and light bull.

 

Exaggeration reflects a human quest from improvement, and good sales talk.

 

It may distract thinkers from considering the wider consequences of technology change – though I suppose we are no better able to stop the future as Luddites exactly 200 years ago.

 

I won’t go along with some ‘Law of Technology’ unless there is some scientific and statistical evidence proof attached to it. It’s hardly Newton’s Law of Motion. I do buy the bell-curve elaborated fully in Roger’s seminal ‘Diffusion of Innovations.’

 

Nor do I buy Naughton’s idea that childhood ever ended at seven or twelve or fourteen.

 

All to be discussed elsewhere perhaps? The H800 cafe or OU Blog.

 

I’m 50 in September. My late grand-father told me to ‘enjoy it while you’re young.’

 

He’s not around to see that I stretched his advice by a couple of decades. He left school at started work on his 14th birthday; did his childhood end that day? I’ve just been reading about Lady Anne Clifford. When her father died she was 15. Her battle and wishes to secure her inheritance started that day. This is 1605. She’d had a governess and tutor. Did she grow up that day or age 13 years 2 months when she joined the court of Queen Elizabeth? Journalist are generalists. They don’t need to stick to facts, or cite sources or even stand up to peer review.

 

Is this the dumbing down of the OU or education’s necesary slide into informality?

 

A product of the age, where we Twitter and network, forum thread, then use the same style to write assignments.

 

Innovators do it because they see a need and feel a desire to come up with an answer

 

For some it makes money (Bill Gates, Thomas Eddison) for others it does not (Tim Berners-Lee). Academicsdo it for reputation, and status (and indirectly salaries/stipends pension), whereas entrepreneurs do it to generate wealth.

 

The problem they solve both is a turning point at least, where one story ends and another begins.

 

H.G.Wells thought we’d all be flying around in lighter than air dirigibles rather than aeroplanes – predictions are fraught.

 

He got it right plenty of times though.

 

We may think that social networking has exploded upon us all of a suddent with Facebook. A BBC radio series on the history of Social Networking took as back to the 1970s. It reminded me of Minitel in France. There was (and still is) MySpace, remember. And Friends Reunited? Are you there yet? More like Friends Disjointed now.

 

To develop and maintain relationships in a fractured world but it is the personal relationship that we want with those who govern us that is having radical consequences for people in nations like Tunisia, Iran, China and Egypt in this linked in world.

 

Are you Linked In? Will it work so well with 300 million signed up, as it does with 90 million? Does it work? What is it for?  What are the unknown consequences? I’d better not say it, that would spoil the next decade.

 

Remember all that talk of the leisure time we’d had? Longer holidays and three-day weeks because our lives would be so much easier to manage? Instead of working 9-5 we work through our sleep (indeed if you’ve read my early entries you’ll realise that I rate rather highly my mind does for me once I am asleep).

 

Enough

 

Sleep

 

(Which will be a new challenge with a Kindle on the pillow)

 

‘Does WikiLeaks mark the end of privacy?’

‘Yes’, says the new editor of Prospect Magazine, Bronwen Maddox.

I have much respect for this journalist having read her in Broadcast Magazine, the FT and Times over a couple of decades.

She adds.

‘Yes, I see it, and I refuse to be distressed: the good outweighs the bad, and the change is unstoppable.’ Maddox, 2010. Prospect January 2010

Two points I’d like to develop here: privacy and the unstoppable nature of advances caused by e-technology.

Exposure, disclosure and loss of privacy has been discussed in the blogosphere for a decade. I recall the debate starting in 1999 when Ellen Levey (now a director of LinkedIn) had herself featured in the Washington Post. She had spent 1998 blogging about every meeting she had, looking for connections and links and pondering the value of such actions. Since then we’ve had many people exposed for the things they share online. Facebook and Twitter are simply expressions of the same desire to ‘share’ with blogs, social networking and twitter different expressions of this.

Are people recording and storing Skype conversations?

Probably.

Especially anyone with an Ego or a mischief in mind.

‘Unstoppable’.

There is no going back to a world without e-learning. Though e-mail might be transposed by texting. Though MySpace has been flattened by Facebook (and who remembers FriendsReunited?) Though Google has superseded Netscape – and Amazon no longer only sells books. And at any moment something new will wash over this digital ocean like a Tsunami. (Pinterest? Instagram? StumbleUpon?)

In relation to e-learning I think we’ve barely started to see or fully consider the profound changes it will make to education – those who are e-taught could leave others in the wrong century when it comes to learning and developing potential.

REFERENCE

Maddox, B (2010) Foreword. Prospect. January 2011.

E-portfolio quotes and definitions

Educause defines an eportfolio as ‘a collection of authentic and diverse evidence, drawn from a larger archive, that represents what a person or organisation has learned over time, on which the person or organisation has reflected, designed for presentation to one or more audiences for a particular rhetorical purpose’. Martin Weller’s Eportfolio Report for JISC (2005)

‘A collection (or archive) of reflective writing and associated evidence, which documents learning and which a learner may draw upon to present her/his learning and achievements.’ JISC

“The overarching purpose of portfolios is to create a sense of personal ownership over one’s accomplishments, because ownership engenders feelings of pride, responsibility, and dedication.” (Paris and Ayres, 1994,p.10).

“The e-portfolio is the central _and common point for the student experience. It is a reflection of the student as a person undergoing continuous personal development, _not just a store of evidence.” (Geoff Rebbeck, e-Learning Coordinator, Thanet College, quoted in JISC, 2008).

Reflection is the “heart and soul” of a portfolio, and is essential to brain-based learning (Kolb, 1984; Zull, 2002).

‘To sustain a knowledge economy the workers in that economy need to continually develop new knowledge and skills, thus there is an imperative for many developed countries to promote lifelong learning as a cultural expectation.’ Weller (2007:35)

E-portfolios as ‘a means of gathering resources and monitoring progress is almost a requirement for complex learning to take place.’ Weller (2007:39)

‘The ePortfolio is a new concept, with the “e” part of the term suggesting that this is an online environment loaded with electronic tools that can be used to develop and present a portfolio package’. Jafari (2004:06)

The CMS breathed new life into cash-strapped campuses by providing a system to offer and sell distance-learning courses for both certificate and degree programs. Jafari (2004:04)

The end-user is a human being, and not all human beings have the same demands or expectations for human-computer interaction. Jafari (2004:03)

‘A digitized collection of artifacts including demonstrations, resources, and accomplishments that represent an individual, group, or institution.’ Reese and Levey (2009)

Helen Barrett describes an eportfolio an ‘Academic Myspace” and she suggests that, ‘The TaskStream electronic portfolio has been described by students participating in the REFLECT Initiative as an “academic MySpace.” If only we could capture that level of motivation while furthering the goals of deep learning in formative electronic learning portfolios, then we may realize the real promise of using technology to both improve and showcase student achievement’.

REFERENCE

Jafari, A. (2004) ‘The “sticky” e-portfolio system: tackling challenges and identifying attributes’ (online), Educause Review, vol. 39, no. 4 (July/August), pp. 38–49. Available from: http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0442.pdf

Martin Weller’s 2005 report for the OU on eportfolio products and strategic options for a university-wide system.
Reese, M. and Levy, R. (2009) ‘Assessing the future: e-portfolio trends, uses, and options in higher education’ (online), Research Bulletin, issue 4, EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, Boulder, CO. http://learn.open.ac.uk/file.php/6847/Reese_Levy.pdf (accessed 23 August 2010).

 

Try building a house on a landfill site.

I have this crazy idea that I should write 10,000 pages, 1,000 words per entry then hit the ‘enter@random’ button to create a novel.

It won’t work will it?

I’ve tried it with 1,500 pages. I’ve printed it off.

Try building a house on a landfill site. Try listening to six radio stations simultaneously.

Where’s the thread?

Content. Only because I’m tapping with such speed and ferocity at the keyboard that my finger tips hurt. Thimbles for keyboard addicts?

Twitter has me on its line, for now. Several other blogging sites have their nets over my head. I tickle them then let go, or get out … whatever it is. LiveJournal, Blogger, Writerspress.com, MySpace and FaceBook soon irritate me.

Why?

F*cking adverts smacking me in the face very few seconds, scr*wing the download and mangling my already tired brain.

My Brian.

AOL pushes blogging

AOL pushes their blogging tools and space in our face. Is this not all familiar?

Create Your Journal

Choose your Journal format. You can have a private journal, which you share only with invited friends and family, or a public one, visible to anyone on the Internet.

Set Up the Structure

You can choose the layout and colours with a Custom Journal, or have it done for you with a Simple Journal.

Invite Your Friends

Add your first entry and create a list of people you want to share it with. Save it in your Favourites so you can update it easily.

Develop a Writing Habit

Update your journal regularly, to avoid disappointing your fans. You can IM an entry to your Journal and set up an Alert so you know when someone’s left a comment.

Join the Journals Community

Share your tips with other bloggers on the message board.

Search Journals

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Was all of this not pioneered by the likes of Diaryland?

Isn’t ‘Diaryland’ a far more meaningful and powerful ‘brand’ for this kind of thing? So you ever feel like the guy who bought Betamax when everyone else has VHS, the guy who ran Netscape against all others, had a MAC well before PCs created Windows? Used ‘Ask Jeeves’ before Google got a hold?

Is it always the case that the little guy trail blazes only to be bounced out of existence by others with clout and capital?

Has Diaryland never developed a suitably healthy revenue stream?

Are others innovating fasting than them (or should I say him?)

Should Diaryland have sold up a year ago before the inevitable like the creators of Tripod before them?

With difficulty I am ‘playing away’ in Live Journals and Myspace

It pains me when Celebs in the UK get excited about either one of these having just discovered the pleasure of writing online.

Do I have a choice though?

Do we have a choice?

Do we want to be read or ignored?

My favourite writers, those who have kept a dairy online for several years, long ago went elsewhere.

Diaryland is becoming like a retired film star in their 70s or 80s. You can’t believe they are still alive. When they finally die in the 90s, like Bob Hope, those still around have little recollection of what it was all about.

If I’m still here it is only because I can’t be bothered to learn a new set-up, even if it replicates all the best ideas from Diaryland. I feel just as I did when I gave up my SLR camera for a digital camera. I gave the new technology a go early, ran both simultaneously, then switched allegiance when I found the old system couldn’t or wouldn’t keep up.

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