Connected Pro-D

Social Software and CBC Radio

Posted in ECI 831 by tchcruiser on September 21, 2009

I was listening to CBC Radio this afternoon on the way to the Rider game (turns out I probably should have just kept on listening to the radio ūüôā and heard a short clip on today’s show about how a IBM executive turned away from email to social networking sites as his prefered mode of communication – even at work! Hmmmm…. knowing how much I use email¬†in my new role as a consultant, I can imagine what a challenge this would be if I insisted that the only way I would respond is if they found me in 2.0 land and used a social software tool…. I picture myself instantly as a younger better looking version of the¬†Maytag repair man!

¬†You might be interested in hearing the podcast of this show to hear what he had to say… (I don’t think the podcast is ready yet or I would try and figure out how to attach it here for you..) Did anyone else hear this interview with Luis Suarez? He¬†explains how he got rid of corporate email and replaced it with social software tools.

He basically quit using work email becuase he found other free social software tools that do a better job of things such as sharing files (instead of in large attachments in an email), conferencing rather than ccing and reply all, collaborating on projects and presentations, etc.¬† What I found interesting was the switch to, what I perceive as, much more instantaneous communication and a turn away from email which tends to be much slower and one-sided. While I see the benefit of social software for collaboration and sharing, what I sometimes still cherish about email is the ability to answer it and attend to it when it suits me, and that others cannot tell when that is except when I respond. I like having time to think about my response, gather the files needed, etc, and at times, I feel that social sites that show when and if you are “on” encourage automatic, rapd fire reponses just because you are there.¬† If someone sees you are on, asks you a question or starts engaging you in conversation, and you do not respond right away, or worse, just don’t repond, is that seen as rude in the new 2.0 world? Is the person asking expecting a response as soon as they ask it becuase they know you are there? Will they be offended if you “ignore them” – when really it could have been you are multi-tasking, or trying to get things done, or stepped away from your computer? I guess this is where I liked the one-sidedness of email communication ūüė¶¬† If you only have email (and for some, this IS a new tool!), and like email, are you a luddite in 2.0 land???

Does anyone else feel like a nervous teenager at their first high school dance when engaging in conversation in 2.0 – or is it just me? Is he going to “wink” at me or “poke” me? Is she going to respond to my tweet? Will they laugh at my joke? If a you-tube video plays in 2.0, does anyone see it?? I can see why many are nervous wall flowers- watching others who have screwed up their courage and are out there taking the risk!

Posted in ECI 831 by tchcruiser on September 21, 2009

My first attempts at blogging…

Posted in ECI 831 by tchcruiser on September 12, 2009

Well, this would be my first attempt ever at blogging! I have done a lot of other things with computers as tools in education, but I have never delved into the world of blogging. It is likely an experience that once I start, I will more easily see how it can be used in classrooms in order to make learning better for me and for students. Seems to be the case with all other programs and tools I have used so far РI have had to actually take it out of the box, play around with it a bit and then use it for my own use first to get comfortable with it, before I ever felt I could use it in classrooms. I know this is somewhat faulty thinking Рkids are more than capable of figuring things out without waiting around for me to learn how to use it first. It is my own power and control issues that I have to think about in order to harness the power that many of these tools have. Trying to control the access and use of technology tools because I am not familiar is not even possible anymore anyway, and I should be thankful. Becuase of the wide accessibility of these tools, I had students submit to me fantastic projects and assignments that were built and showcased in free and easy to use programs available to them on the internet from their homes in rural Saskatchewan. They produced finished products that were far beyond what I had even originally imagined and ended up learning alongside them when I could enter into conversations about where they found the tool, how much time it took them to make it, challenges they had, etc. Very powerful and inspiring to have it reinforced that content was NOT the focus of the project. The content was the material that allowed the students to explore and develop processes, strategies and skills in order to demonstrate they had learned something new.

I have taken a class online before, but it was asynchronous and had a much different feel than our first class the other night in Elluminate. As an online teacher in the past who taught asynchronously also, I know only too well the limitiations that kind of course delivery can have (as well as some of the strengths). But there is no doubt that learning community is built and reinforced when you can be there at the same time and place and hear and see eachother at the same time. Not much else can replace that important element as part of the learning experience for anyone. Learning that has lasting value usually involves interaction and communication with others and it is exciting that technology has brought us to this time and place where physical distance is no longer a barrier to building this sense of community and real time sharing of ideas, experiences and opinions.

My work this week will be to get more familiar with the backside of this blogging site and to figure out what the widgets are, what they do and if I want them or not. Anyone have any ideas which ones are the most powerful and essential?

I also am curious about RSS feeds and figuring out how they work. I have a feeling that this tool will be beneficial to me in my work as a consultant who constantly has to keep up with journals and newsletters.

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