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Monthly Archives: June 2009

What a difference 20 years makes

I’ve been somewhat lulled into complacency with statements of how fast technology is changing. The true pace of change is overlooked by its constancy. The depth of change is revealed in a simple, but fascinating comparison between Apple IIGS and iPhone 3G S. In a span of only two decades, resemblance between the two devices [...]

Language and connectedness

Not only are we socially connected in our learning, but the concepts that form our understanding of a subject also reveal network attributes. Understanding is a certain constellation (pattern) of connections between concepts. At a more basic level, think of an alphabet – the richness of language is derived from a small number of distinct [...]

Opera Unite

Periodically, new software appears that has the feeling of a game changer. I had this feeling when I first tried Yahoo Pipes (even though the service still remains somewhat obscure) and Wolfram Alpha. Today, I installed Opera Unite and had was left with a sense of “wow, this could change how I interact and share [...]

Social. Networks. Learning. Organizations

Through LearnTrends, we are hosting an event on June 18: Social. Networks. Learning. Organizations . From the session overview: “Social learning and social networks continue to grow in prominence in corporations, organizations, and universities. The impact of networks, however, remains somewhat misunderstood. How should organizations “restructure” on network principles? How can ROI be calculated? Are [...]


We can always use new terms and buzzwords in the English language. Foreverism crops up occasionally. I hope the term goes away soon…but the concept of conversations that are never done and data that never disappears is worth thinking about. Trendwatching considers the subject in detail: “[Foreverism] encompasses the many ways that consumers and businesses [...]

Disaggregation of Higher Education

At E-Learn 2008 in Las Vegas last year, I finally met David Wiley f2f. He’s one of the most sincere, engaging, and thoughtful people I’ve had the honour to meet. At the conference, he presented on the disaggregation of higher education. He has posted slides on a similar theme on slideshare. David draws a parallel [...]

Data Center Overload

Ever stop to think about what happens behind a search request? Or the infrastructure required to upload an image to Flickr? I personally don’t spend too much time thinking about the complex system that supports the most basic online activities: searching, buying a book, finding a friend on Facebook or Twitter. Yet – as this [...]

Why group norms kill creativity

Collaboration, cooperation, communities of practice, collective intelligence, and similar concepts have become very popular concepts in society, business, and education. Any system of organization must pay utmost homage to the primacy of the individual. Wisdom of the crowds is often misinterpreted as suggesting that people are intelligent when they think together. It’s more accurate to [...]


ED-MEDIA 2009 is less than two weeks away (disclaimer: I’m program co-chair). We’ve been experimenting with twitter, Ning, flickr, and blogging. It will be interesting to see how the increased use of social media will contribute to conference interactions, connections, and quality of participant experience (there’s a research project for someone) – i.e. does social [...]

Social Network Analysis: An introduction

I am a big fan of Barry Wellman. His pioneering work in networks has a history that extends well beyond current hype in social networks. In my work with connectivism, I’ve found Wellman’s work insightful, relevant, and more informed than the often shallow network conversations now occurring. I interview him a few years ago and [...]