Bryan Alexander at the TLT Symposium

Bryan Alexander at the TLT Symposium

I gotta tell you … it was too hard to get the good stuff here. Stay tuned for the podcast.

Social Media and Web 2.0: Two Themes

Emergence in Time and Space

How do we react to emerging technologies? In many cases it is with panic and hesitance … other times we trust venders who give us things, establish futurism methods, among others. How many of you are gamers? Not many hands … how many have played games — the whole room presumably. In academia we see games as childish.

We used to say social software to emphasis that software can be social … that has been replaced by the notion of web 2.0 … it is also important to note that the web has a real history. Bryan says web 2.0 is a series of micro-content items, authored by multiple authors — even on the same page. This kind of an approach leads to a networked conversation … discussions “rippling across the blogosphere.” Speaking of the blogoshpere, he spends a little time on Technorati and the number of blogs … will it be become the human race, or stay small and emerge into something as silly as the novel.

Loved this one … RSS is the most frustrating web 2.0 technology … it is a geek only technology at first blush.

This one blew my mind … CyWorld — In S. Korea nearly half of the population is in there.


He says teaching with web 2 is not much different than web 1 … web 2 makes it much easier. Think of journaling and you can see how all this is supported in a very easy way. Flickr with notes and working on fine art projects — all through annotation and the conversation gets extended … “object oriented discussion.” Podcasting and blogging have brought discussion and discourse back into fashion.

Mobile devices offer the ability to access more content, annotate in the moment, and accelerates the ability to interact and change it all on the fly. His “mandatory device” slide was just great. The best covereage of the London Subway Bombing came from cell phone photos … why is mobility good?

  • Information on demand
  • Swarming
  • Spatial mapping
  • Mobile Multimedia, social research
  • So much more …

Gaming is an amazing cultural presence … that in and of itself is why it is important for us to understand. If gaming is this important we need to study it so we can help students understand it as a medium. Gaming is macro-content, unlike web 2.0 which is micro-content. How are games like web 2.0? I am guessing the social aspects. The SecondLife pedagogy advantage is virtual reality and emotional bandwidth (eb). EB is the ability in SL to watch people react — laugh, dance, smile, and other things. Half way between video conferencing and chatting. I need to explore Alternate Reality Games — new forms of digital storytelling.

I just couldn’t keep up … too interesting at the end. The podcast will be available.

6 thoughts on “Bryan Alexander at the TLT Symposium

  1. I, too, enjoyed Brian’s fast-moving session. The takeaway message for me was his comment about how Web CT and other CMSs scream “old school” to Web 2.0 users. After the sections of his talk that led to that comment, I could see that it had to be true.

    We’re still trying to lead learners step by step down a prescribed path, inviting them to interact when WE feel the need. From their perspective, they probably want to be able to interact at any time, about any aspect of the course, with people in the course and people not in the course. I’ll be thinking about how we might make that happen.

  2. Kyle, so will I. I have to tell you I see great results in my classrooms when I use multiple modes of communication — ANGEL is great for somethings, as are blogs, wikis, Flickr, and everything else. For me its finding the right mix of technologies to provide a rich learning environment that is easy and engaging to use. Not easy, but really worth thinking about.

  3. I wonder…

    To what extent does it make sense to ask students to create additions to the course that make sense to them? To clarify,some professors retain the authority while using Web 2.0 tools, assigning work using these tools. An alternative would be to encourage students to engage in the design and development of an appropriate environment consisting of several tools. The students, once they understand the content, could suggest the use of a tool for the group. I think that as long as our students know more than we do about these tools and have more discretionary time than faculty do (which is probably forever) we should engage them in the design of learning environments. More food for thought.

  4. That is really the main theme of the course I am designing for next Fall … I want to build the early, baseline of the content and then open it up to them to round it out. Using a tool like a wiki to create the course content would let members of the learning community make it stronger. Going in you have to trust the students, but I can say from experience that they are trustworthy. Can you imagine how rich an environment can be created when students start to take control and contribute not only content and context, but their own examples?

    I am anxious to put this into practice.

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