Knowledging across life’s curriculum


Life is creative

This blog was begun during my PhD studies in Educational Technology at Concordia University in Montreal. I stopped writing a number of months ago… lets be honest 2.5 years ago which eventually mirrored my ambivalence towards the subject I was first passionate about: online interactive media that supports professional development and life long learning. As a real passion it lasted 8 years. Though the interest in such subjects has not disappeared they’ve faded into the background. My adverse reaction to too much disembodied textual relating was very real. The need to go back to the hands on making of art, an embodied experience with materials was a soul rescuing necessity.

A new curve ball was thrown my way mid-way through 2007 when I was offered a full time position as an art therapist at the Douglas Institute, a psychiatric hospital and McGill affiliated research center. Though I was studying in educational technology, my focus had always been the professional development of creative arts therapists, most specifically art therapists (visual arts) through online media.

In 1999 I was the instigator of an online egroup for art therapy professionals and graduate students. The Arts in Therapy egroup is still active (450 international members) but much less than it was a couple years ago. It mirrors the proliferation of new connective tools (new networking possibilities) and the general and noted decline in e-forum use for general networking and exchange purposes. It also reflects my pulling away as an active moderator and contributor. There are still interesting subjects being brought up–such as the discussion on Positive Psychology and its understanding that it makes for a good “fit” for art therapy practice. However dialogue is often limited to a few contributions. This effectively moves it from a knowledge building interactive platform, to an information sharing platform where most of the learning doesn’t happen on forum, but in the self directed efforts of each reader/seeker who pursue the linked information; what could be called non formal distributed learning (distributed learning is often attached to distance learning).

In 2003 I created members only eforums for the members of the Quebec Art Therapy Association (AATQ), and one in 2004, restricted to Board members. The first has provided a very efficient tool in disseminating information and mobilizing members for various events. It also had a moral boosting effect where the accumulated activity of the members made for a more lively and dynamic contextual reality for the arts therapies. The latter on the other hand, has provided a timely tool to extend our discussion times and work on various ‘dossiers’ at a distance, making our board members much more effective and efficient.

Given my new work environment, I now have the opportunity to link my passion for the arts, health, social issues, knowledge dissemination, and web based media through my blogging. In the next few weeks I will be starting a new blog from within the Douglas Institute. When the link is established I will post it here. Just reading some of my past entries and the thought of focusing my thoughts, creative ideas, and my accumulated knowledge on the above subjects feels pretty exciting. I’m happy to be back.


Whos direction?

Well I haven’t shown up in this space for a while and I don’t feel like justifying this long absence; but I’m hoping that an image can better convey the many versions of me which sometime want to go their separate ways! By the way, the artist whom I’ve borrowed from on Flickr is a wonderful French artist who goes by the name bobi & bobi. She has a nack for depicting our ambivalent and human contradictions among other emotional states she renders quite beautifully. Click on the image to see more of her work.

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before the rain
Originally uploaded by (bobi & bobi).


Blogging tool quarks

I mentionned earlier that I was testing rss readers. But I am also testing remote blogging tools like the one incorporated in Diigo but also stand alone desktop ones like Blogjet ($39US)–review here (with Ecto), BlogDesk (free)–extensive review here, Elicit ($29US) lots of features, WBEditor 2 ($19US) –no service to iron out the kinks, but positive review here; and wBloggar. WBloggar (free) has just released a firefox version; I must try it to see if I like it better. A review is found here.

I’ve also tried Performancing for Firefox that integrates within FF (right click and blog/ review found here)and have just recently downloaded the Flock browser with integrated blogging options right in it. I need to fiddle a bit more with this one. It’s an impressive browser, with many options but at first try it is somewhat slow to load pages. It is only a beginning I suppose. A review of Flock beta is found here scroll down to blog editor for specific information.
The previous post was blogged with the trial version of Blogjet. For some odd reason the full text was blogged but only the intro shows up on the home page. I tried to republish to no avail. It is not that serious. The full posting can be viewed by clicking the title. When first publishing a post with an uploaded picture, the settings here at edublogs would not allow the image to go through.

Meanwhile, the stand alone blogs are much more full featured than the browser integrated ones (Firefox and Flock); but the latter are quite useful for short blog snippets. I’m hoping for my cake and the possibility of eating it too in the near future, when we can combine feed readers with full featured editing and publishing tools ! It will sure beat trying to format text in the edublog/wordpress editor which never seems to be able to remember how to stay formated.


Quantifacts

Reading across the web, gleaning information and surfing on various waves of information, you come across snippets of information that ring true, invite reflection, but are not necessarily connected to a body of knowledge you are investigating or pursuing in any focused way. I am interested in a wide variety of subjects that are sometimes barely connected and at others only evoke conceptual connections as a kind of bridge across epistemological divides.

It is a kind of associative journey; following key words into dark alleys which at times open up into bright vistas of new information territories. Sometimes treasures are found, keys to making sense of something you could not grasp or see, better explained by what seem irrelevant at first. We don’t always have time I’m afraid for this immersive process akin to immersion in a new culture when we travel and wander simply taking in the sights, sounds, while absorbing the feel of a place. Do I waste my time? BIG TIME. Do I feel guilty that I’m not doing what I’m suppose to be doing—like finishing my research report? Of course I do. But….

Below is one of these finds. A cultural anthropology view of statistical artifacts. I couldn’t resist. Like Blogjects explored earlier, Quantifacts is another neologism with character. Another discursive object with weight in our collective imagination. What follows only has an indirect link to education or even learning per se. The excerpt looks at how numbers commodify knowledge while transforming the nature of what is understood to be real.

Figuring Crime: Quantifacts and the Production of the Un/Real | Public Culture

[Statistics] Being assertions of the real, they fill the space between the unknowable and the axiomatic, imagination and anxiety. Viewed thus, the statistic is a medium of communication and a species of commodified knowledge, one whose value and veracity accumulates as it circulates. Part fetish, it has also become a term in the ordinary language of being.

The rise of contemporary Western perceptions of society, Ian Hacking (1990:1 – 5) has famously argued, was closely tied to the “avalanche of numbers” produced, publicized, and deployed for purposes of governance by nineteenth-century states (cf. Canguilhem 1989).

The obsession with counting and with calculating probability, he suggests, had profound epistemic effects. For one thing, “society” itself “became statistical.” For another, the appeal to lawlike regularities began to replace other kinds of causal explanation, such as “human nature,” in making sense of and acting upon the world.

On the micro level:

If lets say there is only a 10% chance that a child with some identified syndrome survives beyond the age of 5, what do you do? What can you do? If I am diagnosed with cancer and they give me 3 months or 3 years according to survival rates of my kind of cancer, what will I decide? What is the psychology of this false knowingness? Do I feel the urgency to live with 3 months left or do I give up and let myself die right then and there! Or even commit suicide! With three years I may decide to chuck it all or obsess compulsively on every symptom and die of a heart attack instead.

On a mezo and macro levels there are all kinds of predictive sciences : from epidemiology, to economics all sharing their ‘wisdom’ to navigate our living in the world. We are human and humans like to believe they have some control over the unknown. Our frail sense of trust in ‘natural’ living is shored up by a boulimic consumption of these charts and various predictive devices called expert knowledge. I`m not advocating going back to the bush and learning in the wild, but I am saying live a little and sense your way around, a knowingness that comes from within. You don’t know how many clients have sat in my office wanting to get a neat answer, a quick solution, a downloadable map of the journey, a prescription to kill the pain, a magic word to make it all right. What happened to tuning in? To living and sensing? to learning from what emerges in situ? to listening to feelings and knowledgeable sensations? We have lost this ancient wisdom and replaced it from without, making ourselves more vulnerable than ever.

Probabilities don’t predict, they are not facts but creative possibilities, dressed in numbers. The hegemonic ways in which numbers are used is an area worth studying much more closely. I’m thinking of Fairclough critical discourse analysis (capitalist discourse studies) but also of Joseph E.Stiglitz, Globalization and its discontent; a book I bought a year or so ago on the recommendation of my public policies professor but have yet to read. Stiglitz nobel prize lecture is found here where the politics of information meet economics (the science of quantified wants and needs!). Stiglitz calls this meeting of models and lived facts : imperfect information. Sounds like human creativity or Qualifacts is my books.


A tool and a talk

I’m trying to accomplish two different things in this particular posting.

  1. Test the new remote blogging service offfered by the very interesting social bookmarking service Diigo (beta)
  2. and point you in the direction of a web presentation called Beyond the Blog (see below)

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Diigois first and foremost a bookmarking service but one with more than one twists. Not only can you bookmark pages, sections but you can add private or public annotations (on top of the highlighted copied content) and add sticky notes too. You can export your bookmarks, import from your browser or deli.icio.us (I wish there were more options here) but Diigo has yet to offer an opml import option. You can also subscribe to other members feeds or specific tags. Recently they’ve added this blogging feature.

I appreciate remote blogging. It saves times and you can update more frequently. I’ve been able to add wordpress blogs easily, the examples are directly related. But I will need to go search for my other blog configurations.

Notes: right away there are a few frustrating bugs. When you highlight a part of the text you want to blog, it copies it automatically to the editing screen. That`s good. But when you begin to type an introduction, or a comment at the top of the copied info, the entire note gets hyperlinked. There is no ‘unlink’ button, nor is there an undo option. And an html editing option would also be nice when the WYSIWYG screen won`t cooperate. Next version I suppose.
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So here goes for the first posting.

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Beyond the Blog View the screencast version∞ (Requires QuickTime∞ 43 MB)This is a very interesting screencast offered through UBC (University of British Columbia). It is a well done commented visual overview of blogging and various social software options in education.
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Now lets see how this looks once it`s published.Update (post-publishing): Images are purged and so are text highlights.

INTJ + PhD

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Myers-Briggs or MBTI personality assessment test based on Jung 16 types. And the similar Kiersey temperament sorter. You can take a 72 question Jung Typology test or the Kiersey temperament sorter for free. I think they’re only partial tests, but to my knowledge relatively accurate if you reply to question not as you would like to see yourself but how you actually act and think in situations.

Learning styles are also assessed through the MBTI

The 126 item Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Form G, is the most reliable method for assessing student learning style. The MBTI provides data on four sets of preferences. These preferences result in 16 learning styles, or types. A type is the combination of the four preferences. The most common MBTI type for business undergraduates is the ESTJ, the Extraverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judger.

The author doesn’t say much about other disciplines, but gives a number of teaching tools to address the different types encountered. The 4 pairs of characteristics are Introverted/extraverted; intuitive/sensing; thinking/feeling; judging/perceiving.

I first heard about the MBTI test in a research seminar when I was doing my MA a while back. We were introduced to the typology to identify what type of researcher we were. I turned out to be an INTJ, which is labelled a Mastermind in the RATIONAL category by Kiersey. I’ve retested myself a number of times and come up with quite similar results, with my I (for Introverted) becoming a bit more E (extroverted) with time. Normal according to the metrics. It seems that INTJ ‘s are rare, 1 to 2% of the population, and a majority found in higher education and various thinking spheres. I guess PhD studies were inevitable!!

You can imagine what ‘rare” entails, misunderstood when young and sometimes later in life too ;-) I remember one time I told the team under my supervision, “If I come to the conclusion that I am not needed or don’t fit in this system, I will fire myself”. I did get weird stares but what I meant was that the parts are less important than the whole and I was hired to take care of the organization, not individuals per se. As a therapist, even when working with individuals the family and social systems to which they belonged were most important in finding the keys to improved wellbeing.

We INTJs think in systems, love concepts and have fun envisioning and planning for the future. And most of all testing theories. Googling a bit more, I came across an edtech professor who introduces himself through his type …guess which one? Yes INTJ, explaining to prospective supervisees his personality quirks and suggesting students know their own type for a better communication match. He was clear on the limits of what the MBTI could offers but could also see the benefits in understanding preferred modes of thinking and behaving. For one it was a more efficient means of getting the word across. Efficiency another INTJ must!
An INTJ is

Conceptualizer Director: INTJ

Theme is strategizing, envisioning, and masterminding. Talents lie in defining goals, creating detailed plans, and outlining contingencies. Devise strategy, give structure, establish complex plans to reach distant goals dictated by a strong vision of what is needed in the long run. Thrive on putting theories to work and are open to any and all ideas that can be integrated into the complex systems they seek to understand. Drive themselves hard to master what is needed to make progress toward goals.

Pretty good description of what my son calls driven behavior. I often see myself take models and theories and pull them apart, see if I can apply them to various situations. I’ve been going back and forth with Doug@Borderlands and a bit with Chris who comments there too. A whole section here is devoted to commenting on sensemaking and deconstructing epistemologies and developping new conceptual territories. You would think that in PhD studies it would be a welcome attribute. Well, to a certain extent it is working to my disadvantage. The educational technology department in which I study has repeated numerous times model building was expected in an APPLIED PROGRAM, which seems to preclude theoretical dissertation work. What is happening to PhD programs these days? In psychology there are PsyD and PhDs: one is clinical (practice oriented) the other more theoretical/philosophical. I’m doing a PhD not an EdD! There is a great though older (1997) debate on the subject here. It seems the practice/theory divide is problematic at the conceptual level, and second as a determinant of what a program offers be it Ed.D or Ph.D. It is perhaps time to review the labels in light of what is really happening in various programs.

This is to me, a major dilemma at the moment–practically at the end of my course work. It has eaten up much of thinking space and peace of mind, sapping my energy in the pursuit of these final requirements, making me very very unhappy there. After many years of mulling this over, I think I have a solution. Can’t say right now, but just feeling the vice relax around my brain, makes me feel much better.
Am I saying that as an INTJ in education, mental models should be taken into account ? Maybe. But that would be naive in the face of a department’s mental model wouldn’t it! I am a systems thinker and can see how much the environment in which I study is stuck with its own model and politics. I feel like a hexagonal peg in a square hole! Either I chop off a few asperities to fit or find a less cartesian environment. To be continued…


blog(re)jects

Update: A few problems with the pictures. Now they should be more stable. And change of title, shorter yet telling.

After such serious debates about objects as credible participants in conversation and the importance of an internet of things; I could not help but hear a different type of conversation from all those “things” that litter our world. Can you smell the storyline?
Here is a satirical visual take on the subject
Excerpt from Julian Bleecker’s Why Things Matter (All in good fun Julian ;-) )

Blogjects: Some Characteristics
Blogjects have some rudimentary characteristics, [...] Here are three peculiarities of Blogjects:

✦ Blogjects track and trace where they are and where they’ve been;

✦ Blogjects have self-contained (embedded) histories of their encounters and experiences

✦ Blogjects always have some form of agency — they can foment [ferment] action and participate; they have an assertive voice within the [ecological] social web.


Julian Bleecker further adds about the pigeon that blogs (a pigeon equipped with a device that retransmits flight path and polution levels):

Whereas once the pigeon was an urban varmint whose value as a participant in the larger social collective was practically nil or worse,the Pigeon that Blogs now attains first-class citizen status. Their importance quickly shifts from common nuisance and a disgusting menace, to a participant in life and death discussions.

Perhaps we should equip our disposable consumer objects with some sort of tracing device to elevate our mountains of garbage to useful status. However i think they “blog” loud and clear without. Another option would be to use objects to track and report on delinquent citizen activity!

Identifying what is worth tracing and who does the collecting is another matter all together. Isn’t this already happening?…remember big brother; so many cameras everywhere!

YES THINGS DO MATTER they tell trace stories in more ways than one!
Why aren’t we listening?


Blogjects…hmm!!!

Lately I’ve been testing new (to me) feed readers … (BlogBridge, Awasu, and the newest version of FeedReader(3)); an activity that sent me back to my neglected collection of feeds. I miss having the time to read and comment, read and blog, blog and talk with my virtual colleagues and critics. Obviously I read and found this:

On Anne Gallaway’s blog (Purse Lip and Square Jaw), there is an entry on the subject of “blogjects”. Not really on `blogjects’ but she takes the word/concept to task. What are blogjects? A videocast and a picture can help make sense of what these are.

Essentially, the term is meant to represent objects with certain built in capabilities to interact with the environment; designed to collect information and feed it back to the user. Here they speak of GPS mapping and googling attached to : i.e. a camera.
In what they call the Internet of things (seen as post web 2.0), objects are anthropomorphised, they literally ‘talk back’.

The Internet of Things is the underpinnings for a new kind of digital, networked ecology in which objects become collaborators in helping us shape our individual social practices towards the goal of creating a more livable, habitable and sustainable world. “Blogjects” — or objects that blog — captures the potential of networked Things to inform us, create visualizations, represent to us aspects of our world that were previously illegible or only accessible by specialist.

As Anne Galloway remarks, Bruno Latour’s Actor Network theory (ANT) is certainly the theory that seems to best represent such actants; the term Latour used to signify people and/or object agency. Actant as a term collapses both into one: no more hierarchy, instead both have equal powers of shaping but they remain separate yet interconnected.

ANT is not focused on the objects says Anne Gallaway, but instead Latour foregrounds the links or relationships these make possible (the network they map out). I agree with Anne’s reading, in that it’s the interdependant connectivity made possible by the translations of actants, that lead to versions of the social. Latour in his latest book mentions there is no social a priori, it is constructed through translations, mapped out from the center out, according to the actants that create the signifying network organised around a controversy/issue/event. (Reviews here).

Instead the notion of blogject seems to collapse person-machine into one, in more of a cyborg type of entity, than a Latourian actant which retains more of its separate yet interconnected reality. The blogject is anthropomorphised, it “thinks” and “communicates”; while the cybord is a human that is machine like. Blogjects seem to fit nicely in Donna Haraway’s cyborg world: “Haraway’s ideal “cyborg world” consists of people living together, unafraid of their joint kinship with animals and machines.” The kinship is forgotten for a fetishised object as Anne remarked.
I too object to the Internet of things being seen as “a renaissance of objects”. Objects have always informed and participated in significant ways in our world. The digital object is just another “species”. (Knorr Cetina also has much to say on this). How I read blogjects (and surface reading it is at this point) and the explanation provided is as follows: they carry their own DNA (to carry through with the anthropomorphism), reveal traces of human/object activity, while feeding back contextual information that is otherwise hidden, accessible only to experts in the past or invisible because of our human limitations.

The tools/objects can help us see more of the context, the history, and even the background and as such extend our information source and perhaps enhance cognitive potential. But what I or You do with what you now have access to and are able to see can be something completely other than connecting to humans in any significant way or creating “sustainable and habitable worlds”. That’s a big technological leap of faith.

What blogjects seem to represent well are various traces of our human/object activities, what they call ‘cataloguing the weak signals” (see slides of presentation).This newer ‘legibility” of traces of what use to be opaque or invisible also implies new types of literacies; a literacy of diverse codes, genres and symbols. It also implies more demands on our already stretched to max attention. Without some purpose, some type of practical use, this is just one other type of information, in an already saturated information world.

As an ordinary user, a citizen doing my thing, I can choose to tune out, or never tune in in any significant way, watching a trend go by without taking part in it. In business certainly. In research, and specialized uses, the many types of mapping made possible by technology is quite useful. (See DontClick.it and see the mouse traces of past users). In education? perhaps, once schools ramp up to systematically teach information-media literacies across the board.
And furthermore, if blogjects don’t partake in actual blogging, that is publishing person generated text we can read, instead of bouncing snippets of all kinds of data, than a more apt term could be “datajects” (sounds too much like reject) or “infojects” or even “mediajects”. What do you think?


Blogs as graphs

KALC blog linkgraphDiscovered via Remote Access this online tool that takes a url from a web site, and turns it into a graph. This is what knowledging across life’s curriculum looks like.

What do the colors mean?

Here is what they say:
blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags

Basically it says a lot about code but very little about anything else. Oh well nice graphics!


Smartfox, firefox scholar coming soon

In the development stages, Scolarly firefox tools 

SmartFox is being developed by the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).


Firefox Scholar (aka SmartFox) From ToolCenter

The Educated Browser: SmartFox, the Scholar’s Web Browser

While many libraries and museums have put materials online, often at great expense, scholars and researchers using these institutions’ online catalogs, collections, and documents currently have no easy or powerful way to use these resources, often resorting to a cobbled-together set of stand-alone applications (such as EndNote and Word) to make citations, take notes, and create personal collections and bibliographies. Few libraries and museums have had the resources to improve the user experience of their valuable resources. The Center for History and New Media is building an open-source package of tools for libraries and museums that will work right in the web browser, where most research is now done.

We are calling the project SmartFox: The Scholar’s Web Browser, and it will enable the rich use of library and museum web collections with no cost—either in dollars, or probably more importantly, in secondary technical costs related to their web servers–to institutions.

This set of tools will be downloadable and installable on any of the major open-source browsers related to the increasingly popular Firefox web browser: Firefox itself, Mozilla, and the latest versions of Netscape and the AOL browser (all based on the Firefox code base). SmartFox will enable users, with a single click, to grab a citation to a book, journal article, archival document, or museum object and store it in their browser.

Researchers will then be able to take notes on the reference, link that reference to others, and organize both the metadata and annotations in ways that will greatly enhance the usefulness of, and the great investment of time and money in, the electronic collections of museums and libraries. All of the information SmartFox gathers and the researcher creates will be stored on the client’s computer, not the institution’s server (unlike commercial products like Amazon’s toolbar), and will be fully searchable. The Web browser, the premier platform for research now and in the future, will achieve the kind of functionality that the users of libraries and museums would expect in an age of exponentially increasing digitization of their holdings.

I’m thinking Yé!!! I can grab (umm!), mix and match, collect, collage, collate and remix in a more fluid way. Where do copyrights come into play? How are they managed? Or are we talking only public domain materials? Will the stored copies collect reference materials. I suppose the tools will take care of these details. Lets see, sounds great on first reading.


spam activity–kills interactivity

FED UP

Yes I am. I tried all the tricks and spam blasting widgets (or at least I think I did) offered by James and his crew (?). But no can do anymore. I’ve had it with the bushels of unsollicited comments I have to deal with.
Battling spam: pornography, gambling, pharmaceuticals, technology sollicitation has simply gotten the best of me. NO MORE comments, and hopefully trackbacks too. …. I need to read up on this a bit more.

I tried to install this new service from Webride which adds discussion to any web page. But I can’t (don’t know) how to install it here. Perhaps this could be a solution to these pesky spammers. Perhaps I simply don’t know how to manage comments (subscribe only I guess could do the same).

Here is what they have to say. Note they seem to be developing something for wordpress.

From their webpage:

Comment everywhere

Webride automatically attaches discussion forums to each and every web page on the Internet.
Use the input field on the homepage or our browser tool (bookmarklet) to start discussions on web pages you are interested in. With Webride, you are not restricted to only blogs!

From the developer page ummm! hint hint!!!

Blog integration

We, the Webride team, have already started integration with WordPress. API::Blog is half the way through and we would support everyone, who likes to take only the last steps but get all the honors ;)

Currently, our WordPress plugin already chats with the Webride API to post messages, but the other way back – pulling messages from the Webride API, waits for implementation. It isn’t too complicated, but our priorities have changed somewhere in between.


poetic morcels

I carry a notebook wherever I go and jot down what inspires in the moment. They are notebooks not moleskines! Nothing fancy. In fact the opposite of fancy is best. I like the small French made Clairefontaine notebooks. The weight of the paper is just right, not too newspaperish, nor too glossy which I detest writing on. Not too precious to be questionning what type of marks to put on the pages. Nor too flimsy to fall apart.

In these I’ve added a number of questions, half thoughts, drawings, ideas for art series, readings that inspire my musings, parts of theories, book and paper ideas; words I like, definitions I need to search for; miscellaneous thoughts of many sorts. The world is my learning space!
Two of the short inspirational sentences added lately came from 1) an author of fiction and 2) a poet. These authors were discussing aspects of their craft on BookTelevision.

One of them–heard on Imprint, was uttered by Rosemary Sullivan, a Canadian author speaking about what I believe was her newest book the Labyrinth of desire. She said :

We need experiences to crack us open in order to become ourselves”.

In other words we need shocks and unpredictable events to be shaken out of our comfort zone to get to know who we really are and what we are capable of.

The second inspirational instance came from the words of James Dickey author and poet. The lifeguard, is a dark moving poetic story from his selected poems. The story of a man in the role of a lifeguard who fails to save a drowning boy and ends up profoundly changed by the experience. In speaking about intuition James Dickey said

Intuition is the the celestial wireless”.

I love it.


Podcasting legal guide

Creative commons has published a new legal guide for podcasters. You can view the contents online or download a 42 page pdf file from their site.


Finds-smartboards

If I am going to blog anything these days it should be some of the finds I`ve been coming across.

via Vic Divecha’s Tech Blog

further linked by Renée Marie Fountain from Laval University Quebec

The World of Smartboards, Sympodiums is about to change

The technology is multi-touch screens, developed at NYU (as per post on the Cult of Mac blog). And the interesting part is that Apple has patented these interactions, which means… a TabletMac?

Enough to make any edtecher dream in living color!


Findability

Getting back to my draft…(a month later), I finished reading an interesting book by Peter Morville. Morville is an information architect. His book Ambient Findability (2005) did not provide new information or anything that I had not read in bits in pieces across blogs and various other readings. However in book format it weaves the information into a comprehensive canvas revealing wider information realities. This is of course what books can do and blogs cannot. A significant read.
The book begins with information literacy, moves through a history of ‘wayfinding’ from natural environments to maps, charts and navigating the Noosphere. Chapter 3 tackles the difficult task of defining information, the problem of language and representation and the unpredictability of people behavior regarding information:

“Like beauty, relevance exists in the eye of the beholder” … “users are often willing to sacrifice information quality for accessibility” (p.55). Principle of Least Effort: George Kinsley Zipf.

In chapter 4, ‘Interwingling’ is about border crossings and permeability and the recreation of space through hypertext and hypermedia. ‘Locations’ are less important than ‘connections’ and these connections are achieved through metadata. Information artifacts and technologies are reshaping not only what they organize but also our experience.

ETc… truth is I had to bring back the book to the library and my mind can’t strech back to a month ago when I read it and started this blog entry. To compensate here are Peter Morville’s web site and blog.

It is an easy and interesting read if you have any interest in information management, organization, and findability. Or for anyone in education with a constructivist view of learning. Understanding how the info pieces lead to learning is in my opinion a blind spot in education these days. One that use to be managed entirely by teachers. Not so anymore.