megan avery and….

my web 2.0 class @ FSU

second life in review, well, kinda

so i checked it out. poked around, watched a few videos. have been meaning to for quite some time. i’m like that feet dragging kid who hates camp on the way to the bus. that will take them to 5-star camp wolahi. i’m not a gamer, have no desire to devote more of precious life to activities that involve more of me ingesting my computer. sure it’s fun for lots of people, but i’m not really interested since i’m already interested in so much else! does that make sense?

can anyone give me an educational purpose? one that is unique to second life? right off the bat i don’t like creating a fake image of myself. why did everyone have to be model thin? that’s not cool, nor very interesting. that took me WAY too much time in reflection. do i want her, or her, or even him? ha ha. but seriously, ‘just pick someone!’ you say, ‘you can adjust your avatar later’. alright, but then i have to figure out how to do that. and other things like walk in 3d and fly? why? there’s just way too much that has to be figured out. i’m sure it’s fun, but i don’t have time for that. or rather, i don’t want to detract from the 1st life i already live.

-sigh-maybe i’ll try again over the break. when life is less crazy, if that’s not a mirage.

week 5 question…

“how do issues such as authorship, copyright and open access impact your desire, ability and willingness to engage in produsage, both personally and professionaly?”

this is a huge question. so i’ll start out small: on the levels that matter, more especially the issue of ‘open access’, i find that they’re what drive me to engage at all. how fortunate i have been to find needed information, only costing my time, and to talk/share ideas with others, in various produsage environments. that’s frankly the understatement of the year, since there is so much more that i have yet to explore, do and apply. so i find it rather hypocritical to not engage/give back, considering how helpful the work of others have been. there’s so much out there, if we just look for it. and there’s so much that we can do, to give back, however small. ‘by small and simple things, are great things brought to pass’.

frankly, copyright can bog things down, which just means less time to do something and therefore inclination. however the trade-off, in terms of things learned from an object, and then the application to whatever you’re doing and how that changes, is just too great to not spend the time. if you think about it, everything we do is borrowed ideas and actions from someone else, only you most likely don’t remember how it got in your head. 🙂 so is anything, even your thoughts, really authentic anyway? we have debts to pay, it’s really not that complicated. when it comes to our responsibility, that is. 😉

response to cool read: “why youth (heart) social network sites: the role of networked publics in teenage social life”

http://www.danah.org/papers/WhyYouthHeart.pdf

this article was completely engrossing. and it made me rearrange my thinking in so many areas. to be brief, it’s a study on kids 14-18 and mainly about how teenagers have been gradually forced into their own segregated spot (historically & hypocritically) and how they have come to use online social networks. about how they are so IN to them, as a means of self-expression, but precisely because there aren’t many options for them in terms of ‘safe’ public places to hang out. in what public place would you feel comfortable having your child interact with others without your supervision? exactly. and even if you didn’t care, there’s just not much out there that is appealing to teens. so a lack of these places is a major reason why they seek online spaces. it’s a chance to learn via that social collide or feedback, that shapes our perceptions of self and aides us as we figure out others and ourselves. exactly what teenage time is for. it’s not so much about replacing the physical world, it’s about extending it, pushing those boundaries and having both good and bad experiences. about socialization. which is a marvelous and key part of development.

anyway.

so why does this matter to me? the hypocrisy of how we treat this age-group and their ‘public’ space, is rather illuminating. the same thing happens in the workplace, generally speaking. the chance to talk to others, to socialize, is not considered ‘getting to work.’ and especially not online! how many times have you stopped a conversation when the boss walked by? of course, there are lots of times when you were probably not talking about work related issues, but is it possible that that was in response to the constant pressure of ‘work work work’ and no play at all? work is work and not a public space, so to speak. yet it is. we spend so much of our time there! is it possible that you would, if given the time to have social time placed into and called ‘work’, and also in a web 2.0 framework, that you would actually use it for fun but also that it would stimulate you to other work purposes? hm-m-m. i lost count of the number of times i’ve been grateful for someone that was so very social, that pulled me out of my focused little world, and made me interact. it’s refreshing, stimulating, and highly motivating when i turn back to my work, to say the least. in the workplace, as in other places, the effects of this have been extraordinary.

free ≠ crap (for once)

okay so i just did some searching to find this little jewel. it’s a free WEB-BASED service for video-conferencing, and desktop sharing, and interactive whiteboard using fun. i’ve learned (you too probably) that most of these’free’ offers aren’t so much when you look deeper. they usually have limits and such to what you can have access too. and usually the free stuff is junk. not so here. in terms of size needed, in my experience, groups of 4 or less have been ideal for collaboration. So services that offer all of this functionality for free at less than 10 people are seriously fine with me! way to go vyew. check it out:

https://vyew.com/s/

question of the week

“How do you judge the value of expertise on the Web? How does it differ from your notion of expertise in face-to-face settings? Why or why not?

this is a tantalizing question. i think i’ll start by pulling out how i feel about f2f expertise and from the perspective of a learner. in that setting, to ‘do it’ well, you prepare for class by reading what was asked and doing whatever homework was given. you also listen, take notes, participate, ask questions, and listen to others. with readings and homework, there are certain strategies that i employ so that i retain the information. for one, i space readings out so that as a consequence, it comes up more in my day-to-day activities or i think about it more (obviously). i also underline in text and refer/reread back to it or try and tie it in to whatever assignments i can.

when it comes to being in class, i could say that it’s rather easy to judge expertise because if you are participating and asking questions then you are learning, but that’s not always the case. some people are learning just fine watching/listening and from the questions asked by others, and they aren’t participating very much. i don’t pretend to understand that entirely, even with the training and experience as a teacher that i have myself, but i do know it happens. but here’s the tricky part to that last point. participation, when it’s one sided like that, can’t really be called participation since you aren’t contributing or giving back. i need you to respond and speak up and interact with all of us so that i can learn too (same goes for the teacher!). so if you are in class, then while you may be learning something, you’re not helping me much. a teacher can grade you on what you have learned, but what about me as a fellow student? sometimes i wish we could give REAL peer evaluations of each other. i just wish my classmates knew how much i love hearing from them and how beneficial it is for all of us to hear/respond to what they have to say. but i digress!

so how does this differ from how one shows adeptness with learning online? not much, in my opinion. it’s really the same game. you’ve just got different tools to learn about and utilize. but you do have to work harder to go out and learn/explore. if anything, more participation is what can potentially be asked from an online experience. these are reasons why i love this venue.

of course, all of the above depends on how the course is designed. you don’t NEED technology to foster excellence in teaching. it can help, oh yes!, but great teaching and learning isn’t dependent on it. it’s about your design from beginning to end of a piece of learning.

furthermore, so many classes online that i have been in, and NOT this one, haven’t really utilized the medium to it’s fullest capacity. the same things can be done online, but in new and novel ways, however professors tend to stick with reflecting a f2f course (that wasn’t very good to begin with) instead. -sigh-

mini response to clay shirky book ‘here comes everybody’ (probably my biggest geeky post yet)

there is just too much going on in my life. i really appreciate the chance to write things out and contemplate. this book was seriously engrossing. and such complete fun to read. i need to write to this man and just say ‘thanks!’ some big things i will take away are for one, something i already know, and that is how key storytelling is to keeping attention. every chapter opens with a story, and then other stories are elegantly woven into the points he is making. so this was a real delight and very motivating to read.

another thing, each story i will not forget. and i can certainly use them and apply in other situations as i move through life. so, to repeat, story telling is a learning tool that we all love that can be integral to retaining information. i need to read this book all over again!

and then his points. probably my biggest takeaway is that people need to care about ‘it’ and then each other, for any kind of worthwhile collective effort to continue. if you are trying to create some kind of produser environment, gotta keep this deeply complex principle in mind and then design to align! i tried to with what i made last week. time will tell i reckon. btw, here’s the assignment:

http://qrproject.wikispaces.com/

discussion tool searches

so i had a bit of fun today in researching discussion tools for my paper. i used quora.com to see if anyone had asked related questions. they had, and so from there i found a website called ‘tanglerlive’ that is supposed to be quick and fast discussion set up, with the ability to add images/videos/links, sessions are archived and can be deleted whenever, and ‘joining’ the conversation means you don’t have to do any registering, yay! so then i went and checked it out. joined a conversation on google+. snooped around, set up my own account so if i want to generate a discussion i can. seems fairly straightforward. if i did want to join or read a specific conversation, there’s no search feature for that that i can see, which is weird since they allow hashtagging when starting your conversation. and so it’s limited to a certain set of predetermined categories. hm-m-m….off to check out tangler instead (i noticed them bookmarked in diigo).

http://www.tanglerlive.com/home