A couple of years ago I was looking for a way to bring a sense of embodied-ness to an online class where students simply couldn’t be together synchronously. The traditional discussion board was good, but had limits. So in seeking tools that might help with this snag, I came across VoiceThread. Since then, I’ve used this tool quite a lot to allow for project presentations and peer feedback. Students have loved it.
So, I thought I would test out the possibility of having an asynchronous, voice discussion with individuals participating in the e-Learning and Digital Cultures MOOC. Herre are the steps:
- Click on the image above and it will take you to the VoiceThread for this discussion.
- Hit play and listen to what has been contributed thus far to the discussion.
- If you want to add your own thoughts, press “comment” (you will have to sign in or register – sorry).
- Choose the “record” option and record your voiced contribution to the discussion.(try not to use “text” it defeats the embodied purpose and unfortunately I don’t have an account level that would accommodate video).
- Click “stop” and then “save.”
I am likely to provide some sort of synthesis of what folks share for those who don’t want to take the time to listen to the whole discussion (if one ends up happening). Mostly, I’m interested to see if folks have ideas on how else to created embodied presence asynchronously. I’m also interested to hear how others might use a tool like this as well.
UPDATE: The original VoiceThread for the eLearning and Digital Cultures now has over 50 voice comments and a small group has now progressed to scheduling a real-time Google Hangout. I am now drying to jumpstart a VoiceThread for the MIT Learning Creative Learning MOOC. That VoiceThread can be found here – http://bit.ly/YxC7ff.
Word cloud courtesy of Letty Mills Barnes
So the various metaphors to replace the digital native / digital immigrant concepts got me thinking, “How do I think of the folks in this MOOC?” Then I started to think, “How do others think about them?” I know what some folks think, but are there more metaphors and adjectives out there?
At the same time, I’ve been working out concepts of sense-making within the context of a MOOC. Then I thought about a tool Peter Taylor in the Critical and Creative Thinking Program at UMass Boston uses a lot in his classes related to brainstorming and sense-making. So I decided to experiment with it for the #EDCMOOC.
So here is the process:
- Figure out a question or bit of information you’d like collective brainstorm on.
- Create an input form using Google Docs – There are lots of online tutorials on how to do this especially this one from Google Help. – My Example
- The form feeds into a Google Spreadsheet like this (image courtesy of Dick Vestdijk):
- If you want others to see the results you can share the spreadsheet by clicking on the share button and making sure that the “Public” option is chosen. You can make the spreadsheet “viewable’ or “editable”. I wanted folks to see what others had entered so they could do what they wanted with it.
- You can also share the results via the editing function of the form. One of the “More Actions” on this form is to “Edit the confirmation” and you can check off “Publish response summary”
- Once these form is created, promote via outlets. I posted to the EDCMOOC Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ communities. I shortened the Google link to the form using Bit.ly.
So the tool is actually quit simple. I think the more challenging part is thinking about the process of bringing the collective ideas and thoughts of so many into some useable form. Letty created the world cloud above, perhaps with a tool like Wordle. I’m going to try to do a conceptual sort to see if certain types of MOOCers appear. UPDATE: My first and second level sort can be found at this Google doc.
There is also a second attempt at this activity seeing what folks sharing their impression on “What is a MOOC?”.
So these are my questions:
- What would you do with this information on who are the MOOCers?
- How would you use a system / process like this?
image courtesy Harold Jarche
The e-Learning and Digital Cultures MOOC (#edcmooc) has me contemplating the need for tools and a processes to help crowdsource user blogs as well as the synthesis of material.
Right now one of the things I wish I had access to is an RSS feed aggregator that can be contributed to by collaborative groups. For instance, a bunch of people want to share their blogs with each other, but no one person wants to curate the process. It would be great if something seamless and easy to use like a Scoop.it or Storify for group curation. I’d also love to have the capability of something like a Reddit or Diig that could be used for groups so good ideas and resources could float to the top through recommendations or votes. If a developing folksonomy for the group could be displayed and somehow voted on that would be a great added feature. Basically, how do you crowdsource the synthesis and highlighting of collective ideas?
The E-Learning and Digital Cultures MOOC (#EDCMOOC) has taken the approach in design to make multiple platforms possible for engaging in the content of the course — many, many discussion lists and all manner of social media platforms. Given the large number of students and personal technology preferences, this seems to be a strategy that allows for some management of how a student might engage with the course.
For instance, I am primarily checking the Twitter feed, Facebook Group, Mash-up EDC MOOC News which pulls in blog feeds, and tracking two discussion threads — one a Synchtube group of folks who are online educators and the other a discussion of one of the four videos assigned for week 1.
I also have some very specific learning goals for myself for this class. Such as:
- experience how a discussion oriented MOOC runs
- experiment with technique and strategies for making the most of collective insights and knowledge
- explore individuals and concepts that focus on learning process and instructional design
With these in mind, I’m able to identify content from scanning quickly posts, titles, etc. It makes me realize how critical it is to distill the essence of your ideas into a compact tweet, blog title, discussion title, Facebook post, etc. That these can signal your interests to others and help you find individuals with whom you might enter into more in-depth conversation.
My previous thinking on self-organizing groups and organizations applies to this class. Theories of connectivism are now on my list to explore a bit further.
Wonder if you should spend your time campaigning in social networks?
You can use this tool to calculate an estimate of cost and return on investment for the recruitment and fundraising efforts of your staff in social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace. It works sort of like an online mortgage calculator. Just enter the starting assumptions in the yellow boxes below and the tool calculates results automatically.
Need some metrics guidelines? You might check out some of the online advocacy and fundraising benchmark studies. If you don’t measure results strictly by fundraising — maybe your results are based on advocacy or branding only — you can just look at the “cost per friend” or “cost per email name” to compare with the costs of recruiting people elsewhere. You can also see how that translates into cost per action or email viewed (opened).
If you would like to see the assumptions and equations behind the magical calculations, they are available on the original Excel spreadsheet. Email Justin Perkins to request a copy or to send feedback, and feel free to comment below.
I’m working as a research assistant for Michael Johnson who has just transplanted himself from Carnegie Mellon.Â One of the project he is collaborating on is “Footprints” which looks at how to use a co2 personal consumption / emission widget to enliven person change.Â There seems to be some useful links and concepts on the site and certainly a project I’m interested in exploring more about:
Iâ€™ve been skeptical against the Open Source Software producers community since years, skeptical against this white, middle-class, male students and engineers. For me this user/producer group is a club, which includes those who have enough time resources to create social capital through peer recognition by working on technologically oriented projects. As early technology adopters, the OSS producers community also actively shapes technology (I have to repeat: they are white, middle-class, male). The OSS producers community tested, improved and incorporated all the elements which can be found in Lazzaratos description of immaterial work above: Flat hierarchies, computerized networks, creating products in their leisure time. So the OSS producer is paradigmatic for the current overage of productivity in the countries of fully developed capitalism, which again gets induced into the circuit of production and exploitation.more here:
Stan reponds in the thread just referenced with this
“Trebor’s notions around immaterial labour certainly qualify here — collaborative media do obscure the free labour that goes into them. And also Wikis. Their collaborative veneer disguises the elitist participation in them.”
See Wikinomics discussion on iDC.
Also the discussion on the list about immaterial labor is very critcal as well. It starts in august 07 here:
Train the trainers or let the trainers train themselves? (for ICT4D trainers)
This is a 4-page summary of a community readiness assessment for ICT4D trainers, done by IICD last year, which is available online here:
Train the trainers or let the trainers train themselves?
The research brief includes a short overview of the assessment, and ends with recommendations which may be valid for other communities of practice, as well as a few other methodological reflections.
You can also read the full report HERE.
Can social media increase and improve civic participation? If so, in what ways? There’s a lot being said and written about the subject these days, but it is difficult to get a clear overview of the opinions. I attempt here to collect viewpoints both for and against the premise that social media is creating a better public sphere, and analyze them in the context of what constitutes a public and its antithesis, a mass. In presenting what are sometimes extreme positions within this debate (too idealistic v. too critical), my hope is to begin to understand the reality that lies in the middle, and come closer to understanding social media’s potential (and limitations) as a tool to bring about social change.
i d e a n t: Social Media and the Networked Public Sphere