The second assignment for Spring DS106 was to read this: A Personal Cyberinfrastructure and watch this: “No More Digital Facelifts: Thinking the Unthinkable About Open Educational Experiences.” and blog a response.

There is a requirement to read and watch both carefully but as I am taking this course a a college dropin I didn’t feel the need to take much care;-)

This is one of those videos/podcasts/blogposts that fire off lots of thoughts as you watch as it hits a lot of nails right on the head. I’ll only lazily touch on a couple.

The video is worth watching by anyone interested in Web 2.0 so I am imbedding it here:

Sounds Good

First thing I notices was the rhythm and musicality of Gardner Campbell’s voice. I’ve been listen to Tom Wordward’s remix A Bag of Gold « Bionic Teaching and used on Radio Edutalk a few times (that was a great idea). Gardner Campbell is a powerful, humorous speaker.

I guess the audience is familiar with the argument addressed, the tension between LMSs and the open web in US higher education. I an not but it sounds like the same sort of argument we have had in UK education between NLEs and WEB 2.0/google/open technologies, between systems set up for teaching and learning and more open and general software that can be bent to teaching and learning. Gardner Campbell defends the open with great humour and the marvellous bag of gold metaphor.

A Personal Cyberinfrastructure

In part Campbell is suggesting Students control their own domain, decide what sort of social software to install and manage it from themselves. As someone who has been doing this sort of thing for a while (here on this blog, personal wiki and a bunch of other stuff) I cn see where he is coming from and love the enthusiasm. I do wonder if it is for everybody. I am fairly relaxed about backing up, losing stuff and the like. I also host with someone who I know well and who has dug me out of a hole or two in my time.

If a student sets up, say, wordpress on their on domain they need to make sure they keep wordpress and any plugins up to date to avoid any wee hacking problems (FAQ My site was hacked « WordPress Codex) that can happen. You also might have to worry a bit about being fireballed or slashdotted if you ever write something the rest of the world want to read (More likely you will be hacked).

These are risks I am happy to take, given my host and the fact that I like playing with this stuff and don’t mind the time spent. If you value your time it might be preferable to head over to wordpress.com. (NB I am just using WP as an example, this blog is not a wp one, it runs off pivotx).

This leads into the though that there would need to be a fair bit of understanding by teachers and time for development if this was extended back into primary & secondary education. There is a lot of positivity about blogging in schools at the moment, this recent wave crested by Mr. Mitchell at Heathfield CPS Blogs in England (see the Heathfield in the News section) and a ton of blog work by the Glow Scotland team. I hope there is an understanding of the amount of knowledge and skill that goes into a good school blogging site, the time and energy needed to keep it going (a lot of support by Creative Blogs. in Heathfield’s case along with Mr Mitchell’s obvious energy and dedication). The pile of abandoned one, two and three post blogs out there suggests it might not be.

43 Minutes In

There is a question from the audience suggesting that this could be started earlier, this goes right primary school territory

there is an authentic version of any concept that can be taught to any child who can read and write. You pitch it to the appropriate level of development and then you keep coming back to it spiralling upwards and upwards and until that magic handoff moment… 45:46

The last section is really powerful pushing the need for teachers to help pupils make the decisions and on how using these techs in school could flow into higher education.

narrating curating & sharing

What learners should be doing.

Danger Edupunk

I have to be careful or it is down the youtube rabbit hole of edupunk videos, mostly of Gardner Campbell debating with Jin Groom, beware the related video…

Standard YouTube License

Be nice if this was a creative commons video.

If I had a bit more time & skill I’d like to popcorn this it would be a great one to some twitter video mashup, perhaps a hashtag could add the tweets as timed comments…

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