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Monthly Archives: March 2009

Social Networking Sites and Social Theory

The internet, specifically social networking tools like Twitter, assaults the boundary between our private and public selves. The many representations of “George” – father, son, brother, employee, friend – move toward one on Facebook. Social networking and social theory explores this blurring of identities through Erving Goffman’s (a connection to Manitoba!) work: “front stage” and [...]

IBM Casestudy of Second Life

IBM reports on a conference held in Second Life (.pdf): “The meeting in Second Life was everything that you could do at a traditional conference—and more—at one fifth the cost and without a single case of jet lag”. Benefits reported: reduced cost and increased productivity (i.e. less time traveling to/from conference). The paper discusses how [...]

Workplace learning

Tony Karrer summarizes views of what workplace learning will look like in 10 years…and offers his own: Half of the current members of training departments will still be there. The others will have first jumped into these new departments. These will be the individuals who focus on performance, who get informal/pull learning, and who take [...]


Of all the tools available for educators, e-portfolios have a pleasant mix of “great potential” and “very low adoption”. When combined with Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), eportfolios can bridge the gap between formal learning and informal learning. The Wired Campus is more effusive: “If we truly want to advance from a focus on [...]

Media and news

Newspapers are the current topic of interest on many blogs/news sites. Seattle PI announces it will stop publishing a paper-version, to focus on online resources (which it states will be more than only an online newspaper but will serve as a community platform). Then, the State of Newsmedia provides the happily bleak outlook: “Journalism, deluded [...]

Video of University of Calgary Presentation

Last week, I was in Alberta for a series of presentations (in Calgary for ADETA and University of Calgary, and in Edmonton for a full-day workshop with Athabasca University). It was great to meet up with colleagues and friends like D’Arcy Norman, Alec Couros, Norm Vaughan, Terry Anderson, Jon Dron, Cindy Ives, and many others. [...]

Clickstream Data Yields High-Resolution Maps of Science

Google founders discovered the value of citations (connections) in pagerank, which was based on Garfield’s citation index. Now, armed with better data-crunching capabilities, the same principles of extracting value from exploring connections between articles can be applied on a much larger scale: Clickstream Data Yields High-Resolution Maps of Science: “Maps of science resulting from large-scale [...]

Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning

Over the last year or so, Peter Tittenberger and I have been working on a Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning. We’re done with version #1. The wiki is now available (will continue to be updated), and if you prefer to read paper, a .pdf version of the handbook is also available. Questions, comments, and [...]

Course: virtual worlds

We are offering a new course in our Certificate in Emerging Technologies: Immersive Worlds, Avatars, and Second Lives. A schedule of upcoming courses is available here.

Why TV Lost

Education has three components that provide value to learners: content, interaction, and accreditation. Content creation/validation has moved sharply (but not exclusively) to learner control…and where still under institutional control, it’s often available for free. Interaction with peers and experts outside of universities is not confined to classrooms anymore. Blogs, podcasts, mailing lists, etc. offer learners [...]