Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.

Archive for October, 2008

Twitter related links…
October 7th, 2008

Some time back a wiki was created for educators that use Twitter to add their Twitter accounts. I wish I could remember the addresss of the site…


Directory of eLearning Professionals on Twitter

OZ/NZ Educators

The value of Twitter for Educators

A Professor’s tips for using Twitter

If anyone has a link to that wiki full of educator’s Twitter accounts I would be happy to receive it. I remember at the time when I added my name I interfered with editing performed by Sue Waters. :P

Wandering about Singapore
October 6th, 2008

Arrived in Singapore last night. Woke up this morning. Did some work. Then caught a bus and train into Chinatown. When I took the escalators from the Outram Park MRT Station up to street level I was struck by a wonderful aroma ~ rain. It was raining so heavily. It was wonderful. The rain smelt so good.

Grabbed some lunch. I took a few photographs around Chinatown. I love to see the old and the new mixed up. The tropical lush attempting, yet struggling, to reclaim its territory. Note the building below which is being retrofitted with elevators that stop at each floor. Previously, I think, they stopped at every fourth floor judging by the landings. One would alight and than take stairs up or down to your specific floor.

I went across to Bugis and Sim lim Square looking for a QuikPod but  I had no luck.

Grabbed a drink and took a few snaps of people. In particular, the Singapore Malay couple below who were dressed for post Hari Raya celebrations. They both looked so resplendent.

Took the train back to Boon Lay MRT. Like to see the bike racks outside the station. Should be more of that back home.

Will the crowd crush creativity?
October 5th, 2008

Web 2.0 technologies. The read-write web. Call them what you will.  The nomenclature can be so constraining at times. I ramble. What can these technologies do?

They can enable, empower, engage and entertain. Educate too.

People connected with any web enabled device need not be consumers but producers. They can be…

  • active as opposed to passive
  • performing in contrast to observing
  • a part as opposed to apart
  • participants and not observers

The Internet facilitated a single dimensional flow of knowledge. It still does for many. From us to them [There is meaning and relevance there somewhere ~ read on]. The flow is also multi-dimensional. People have the opportunity to share their knowledge, ideas, opinions and experiences. What will be the consequences of these new flows? Intended and unintended?

The wisdom of the crowds has been well documented. Here too. The crowd or the mob can combine to act in different ways. Product purchases. Generating happiness. Generating positive change. The Twitter exchanges during the recent presidential and vice-presidential debates in the USA were like a ticker-tape stream of consciousness flow of the American psyche. At least part of it. We could read what many disparate people were thinking, in real time. People we do not know. For many, people far away.

In Singapore, for example, communities work together to achieve change. The community is enabled and connected ~ digital ties, human blood. Here for example: ICCS blogToddyCats. A living community that is nurtured and enabled, working together. The net facilitates. People act together. This is good.

The crowd. Will the crowd become overarching? What will happen to individuality? Will our individuality be buried underneath this new world of connectivity? Will the crowd dominate individuality? What if one’s voice is not heard? A voice not heard amidst the clamour of the crowd. Will the crowd create a monoculture? A series of monocultures, one after the other?

I wonder will the push and pull of the crowd crush creativity? Will the crowd determine what is creative and what is not? I feel perplexed. What if you loathe the crowd yet you depend upon it? What if you loathe the crowd yet you cannot function without it? What would that feel like?

Why do people participate in the crowd? A sense of responsibility? Obligation? Paranoia? Peer pressure? The tide? Sink or swim?

This is part 1 in a series of posts of thoughts that crossed my mind last night.

Three eternal questions…
October 5th, 2008

Three questions for my sage fellow travelers. Do you possess the answers to these three questions? I would feel happy to read your views.

1. How can teachers and students exploit Web 2.0 technologies for teaching and learning?

2. How will these new technologies benefit educators with respect to their teaching?

3. How will these new technologies benefit students with respect to their learning?

To begin I feel that students learn best when they are teaching. Is exploit the right term to use in the first question. Which measures do we apply? Myself and other teachers will be sharing these questions tomorrow. Your enlightened thoughts would be most welcome.  I am putting my ideas together. More to come during the day…