Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Google Account = OpenID

On Monday, Microsoft announced that it would give every Windows Live user an OpenID account, and yesterday, Google formally announced its support as a provider for the OpenID 2.0 protocol, i.e. If you have a Google account, you can also start using it as an OpenID. Google has launched an API that allows other websites to provide users with the option to login using their Google Account.

writes:

Starting today, we are providing limited access to an API for an OpenID identity provider that is based on the user experience research of the OpenID community. Websites can now allow Google Account users to login to their website by using the OpenID protocol.


We chose OpenID as the protocol for our identity provider because it makes a large set of open source implementations available for many different development platforms used by Google Data API developers. To learn more about this new API see http://code.google.com/apis/accounts/docs/OpenID.html.
Update (Oct. 31)
1. An episode of thesocialweb.tv which covers the launch of Google's OpenID API.



2. A new post in Google Code Blog addressing 2 concerns about the current implementation:
- Users could not just use their Gmail accounts to log into any OpenID enabled site.
- Google itself did not accept OpenID to let users log into Google's own services.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's all about Networks

In this presentation, Ton Zijlstra presents his fully networked and connected day.


Polit Camp Graz
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: politcamp graz)


Ton writes:

When we look at how children respond to the technology available as well as to the societal changes that already caused, it is much the same process. We need to adapt our teaching, because the world these children grow up in and respond to has already changed due to the new affordances that mobile communication and internet give us. Our teaching needs to empower children to consciously shape their strategies using the tools and environment they already adapted to without noticing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Microsoft Windows Live Supports OpenID

OpenID - the "free and easy way to use a single digital identity across the Internet" - is now supported by Microsoft Windows Live. Microsoft describes OpenID as the "emerging, de facto standard Web protocol for user authentication". According to Microsoft "We look forward to making it easier for our users to access the Web sites they use, by reducing their need to create additional identity accounts. That is the promise of OpenID. We are happy to support that goal by providing OpenID-based sign-in functionality to Windows Live ID account holders".


Windows Live ID OpenID Provider Screencast from Angus Logan on Vimeo.

Monday, October 27, 2008

CCK08 - More on Instructional/Learning Design

What did others say about Instructional/Learning Design:


- Adrian: “For some learners, however, we know that the linearity of courses that have been developed with a lock-step linear scope and sequence are not desirable, with the exception of their being the means to accreditation or certification”.

- Inez: “As we design instruction, it is important to remember that we're not building a path or constructing a house as much as we are nurturing a garden”.

- Bradley: “What I have come to realize is that up to 2 years ago, I often relied on others description of who the learner/user was. I never got to meet the learners; instead I relied on a subject matter expert who told me who the target audience was and provided the details and I applied objectives, wrote content and provided testing. Often the subject matter expert was several years removed from interacting with the end-users.

- Lani: “Those rules in the districts in which I worked were stringent, imposed not by educators but technicians interested in security, not learning. And they prevented, and continue to prevent, learners from making important connections with content, with people, with ideas, with networks, with the world... I’m wondering if the instructional designs I’ve developed in Blackboard don’t hold some similarity to the notion of that impenetrable firewall?” – I like the ID-Firewall analogy made there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

CCK08 - Instructional/Learning Design

Grainne Conole gave a presentation on learning design (LD) at CCK08. The slides are available on Slideshare. Actually I’m not a fan of LD, for two main reasons:

Firstly, learning is complex and multifaceted to be captured within a LD model. Learning design is a complex task, due to the dynamics of the learner’s knowledge and the diversity of the parameters that should be taken into consideration in the design equation, such as the context of the learning environment, the nature of the learning activity, learning styles/goals/preferences, motivation, cognitive capacities, disabilities, etc. LD suggests predefined inputs and outcomes. However, in learning, neither the input can be predetermined, nor the outcome can be anticipated. In learning, a wide range of interacting entities produce unpredictable outcomes. It is an illusion that learning can follow a clear predetermined direction, controlled by predefined condition-action rules.

Secondly, LD is specified with control in mind, and thus cannot be easily adopted by learners. In fact, LD prescribes a sequence of activities for a learner, which are carried out in a particular environments initiated and controlled by learning designers, rather than the learners themselves. In my opinion, If we insist to have LD, then it should be LD triggered by the learner; i.e. personal learning design.

Conole Ouldi
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: cck08 conole)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Biggest Mistakes Made by Social Media Gurus

Social media gurus talking about their biggest social networking mistakes (by David Spark):

  • Respond to all negative comments
  • Participate in flame wars to increase traffic
  • Hire a voice talent for $2,000 to read a podcast for you
  • Send a specially selected mass mailing to your friends
  • Assume that social media doesn’t exist until you arrive
  • Post a comment on your own Facebook profile wall
  • Don’t engage with people who only want to push their own initiative
  • Over-architect a site with features and content without talking to your customers
  • Be overly careful about everything you say online
  • Don’t come to your own defense when people bad mouth you online
  • Accept friend requests from people you barely know
  • Stalk women on Facebook

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Google Docs' Features Explained


Via Kevin Purdy.

Digital Inspiration's 15-point guide, "How to Do Stuff with Google Docs," explains how to convert, import, sync, translate, and tweak your documents in myriad ways.

Monday, October 20, 2008

TENCompetence Winter School 2009

Sebastian Kelle sent around this call for participation in the TENCompetence Winter School 2009. My dear friend Milos Kravcik is on the organisation committee. An event that I highly recommend to everyone interested in Personal Learning Environments.


TENCompetence Winter School
1-6 February 2009, Innsbruck (Austria)
http://www.tencompetence.org/node/167

OBJECTIVES

The TENCompetence Winter School is considered as an intense training and collaboration on the core topics related to the TENCompetence project (http://www.tencompetence.org), building the European Network for lifelong competence development. The first two TENCompetence Winter Schools received a positive feedback from the attendees. The main theme of the third one will be Competence Management in Learning Networks. The programme includes lectures and hands-on sessions from leading experts in the field. We want to offer enough space for interactive sessions, informal discussions, group work, and students'
presentations. Our ambition is to stimulate emergence of communities of practice and learning networks as well as to support joint research opportunities. PhD students and other interested people are invited to participate and contribute to creation of an exciting learning experience.

TOPICS

Personal Competence Development
Replacing Teachers with Crowds
Networks for Learning Professionals
Learning Activity Design
Simulation & Game Based Learning
Educational Theories, Concepts, Methods
Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments
Competence Development Networks
Disagreement Management
Telepresence & Streaming Media Systems
Learning at Work
Oranizing Project Dissemination

LECTURERS

Albert Angehrn, INSEAD, France
Jon Dron, Athabasca University, Canada
Dai Griffiths, University of Bolton, United Kingdom
Hannes Ebner, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Davinia Hernández-Leo, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
Wolf Hilzensauer, Salzburg Research, Austria
Rob Koper, Open University, Netherlands
Ruud Lemmers, LogicaCMG, Netherlands
Jocelyn Manderveld, SURF Foundation, Netherlands
Ambjörn Naeve, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Sandra Schaffert, Salzburg Research, Austria
Peter Scott, Open University, United Kingdom
Peter Sloep, Open University, Netherlands
Fridolin Wild, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria
Scott Wilson, University of Bolton, United Kingdom

ORGANISATION

Milos Kravcik, Open University, Netherlands
Christian Glahn, Open University, Netherlands
Wolfgang Greller, Open University, Netherlands
Sebastian Kelle, Open University, Netherlands
Mieke Haemers, Open University, Netherlands Sabine Maassen, Open University, Netherlands

VENUE

The winter school will take place nearby Innsbruck, an internationally renowned winter sport centre in western Austria. The participants will stay in the Tiroler Bildungsinstitut - Grillhof (http://www.tirol.gv.at/themen/bildung/einrichtungen/grillhof).

COST

EUR 550 (including accommodation and meals, excluding traveling expenses). TENCompetence is not allowed to provide any grants to external students. We encourage especially the project partners from the PRO-LC Cluster (http://www.professional-learning-cluster.org) to enable their members attending the event and support exchange of knowledge among these closely related projects.

APPLICATIONS

The winter school is intended for PhD students and other researchers investigating the issues related to lifelong competence development and technology enhanced learning. People are invited to submit applications to milos.kravcik@ou.nl. The application should include a Curriculum Vitae and an abstract describing the research objective.
The deadline for submissions is October 31st, 2008. The school will be limited to 40 participants.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Elearning: promises and practices by Peter Tittenberger

Via George Siemens.

A nice slideset from a presentation by Peter Tittenberger at the International Arab Conference of eTechnology.

IACE-T Presentation
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: elearning)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

PKM by Gabi Reinmann

Via Jochen Robes.

A good presentation by Gabi Reinmann on Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) at the " 6. Karlsruher Symposium für Wissensmanagement". The transcript of her presentation is availabe here (.pdf, in German).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rethinking Communities of Practice

In this article, Richard McDermott, who co-authored the book "Cultivating Communities of Practice" together with Etienne Wenger and Bill Snyder, notes that a rethinking of the concept of Communities of Practice (CoPs) is needed. From a three-year study he conducted, McDermott concludes that some of his initial ideas on CoPs were wrong. He writes:

We believed that CoPs were essentially informal, voluntary groups of peers. We thought that goals and deliverables would inhibit people’s openness and the community’s ability to help each other with everyday work problems. We believed that companies could seed communities, but that they would evolve on their own over time, finding their own emerging focus and level of activity.

Communities of practice were essentially, we thought, part of the ‘underground’ organisation, operating 'under the radar', below the formal structure, and marginal to official organisational authority. We concluded, as a result, that healthy communities depended on the passion of the members, active leadership and hands-off support from the corporation.

But as more and more organisations have implemented CoPs over the past dozen or so years, our understanding of the role of communities in the organisation has changed. While some of our earlier ideas have been confirmed, others, we have found, were simply wrong.

Informal groups of peers, sharing their insights and help with the blessing of management – but little more – do sometimes continue under their own momentum. But many, contrary to our original thinking, fade away. Most of the healthy communities in these companies are more like other ‘official’ organisational structures than dramatically different from them.

McDermott continues to note that:

All of the communities had been in existence for at least two years and many for five or more. Our initial findings were mixed. About one-third of the communities of practice we examined in most of these organisations were floundering or dead.

In my opinion, the death of CoPs is mainly due to the fact that our personal networks, not CoPs, are our real knowledge homes. We tend to rely on our personal networks to learn/work, rather than participating in a CoP that is assembled through and controlled by outside forces. From my experience in participating in different CoPs, groups, and controlled networks, over time, most of these social forms have dissolved leaving place to multiple personal networks. Whereas several CoPs - that I was supposed to be a member thereof - do not exist anymore, my personal knowledge network (PKN) is still alive and has been extended over time with a myriad of selected knowledge nodes (e.g. smart people that I used to know during my work in different projects or from my blogging activities).

Related Posts:

KM Principles by Dave Snowden

Via Mary Abraham.

Dave Snowden has updated his famous 3 Rules of knowledge management to 7 Principles.

1. Knowledge can only be volunteered, it cannot be conscripted.
2. We only know what we know when we need to know it.
3. In the context of real need few people will withhold their knowledge.
4. Everything is fragmented.
5. Tolerated failure imprints learning better than success.
6. The way we know things is not the way we report we know things.
7. We always know more than we can say, and we always say more than we can write down.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Stories by Googlers

A video of some Googlers talking about the past and future at Google... A great network of smart people that I'd love to join one day...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

You...at the center...

Terry Anderson has given a presentation on "Groups, Networks and Collectives" to CCK08. The presentation is available on blip and the related paper can be downloaded here.
According to Terry "each of us participates in groups, networks, and collectives". While I do agree with the difference Terry made between the three social forms, I do not see that we are merely members of groups/communities or nodes in networks/collectives. In my opinion each of us is at the center of her very own personal knowledge network.

YOU are the sun and everything travels around YOU...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Putting Connectivism to Work

Interesting thoughts in this post by Dave Pollard. Dave writes:

My experience suggests that some of the greatest challenges to doing 'good' work are knowledge and learning related:
  • Most people are ignorant of how the world really works.
  • We live in a world of great imaginative poverty, with a dearth of practical ideas about how to make work, and our world, better.
  • Our conversational skills are abysmal.
  • While we learn mostly from conversation, from being shown, and thenceforth from practice (all collaborative processes), our learning institutions, programs and systems deprive us of all three, and instead force us to try to learn from reading, listening, and being told (all individual processes), after which we are expected to be 'expert' without any real practice.
  • This individualized approach to knowledge leads us to depend on 'experts', 'executives', 'managers' and 'consultants' and build systems that are hierarchical and support a cult of leadership, instead of drawing on collective knowledge, collaboration and community and building systems that are egalitarian and cooperative.
  • We are propagandized to be competitive and to lack empathy for others, which deprives us of the will and opportunity to work and learn collaboratively and to share knowledge with others.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Learning Styles Don't Exist

Via Stephen Downes and Daniel Willingham, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Virginia, explaining why Learning Styles don't exist.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The new TechMeme killer


Google has just launched a new homepage for Google Blog Search.

Michael Cohen, Product Manager at Google writes:

Adapting some of the technology pioneered by Google News, we're now showing categories on the left side of the website and organizing the blog posts within those categories into clusters, which are groupings of posts about the same story or event. Grouping them in clusters lets you see the best posts on a story or get a variety of perspectives. When you look within a cluster, you'll find a collection of the most interesting and recent posts on the topic, along with a timeline graph that shows you how the story is gaining momentum in the blogosphere.

Will the new Google Blog Search be the Techmeme killer?