Thursday, August 26, 2004

Yawn! Moving between blogs...

I've been working on a project called Global knowledge, local learning and we've set up a web log to encourage ongoing discussion etc, as we progress our research, You can visit the site if you like! :o)

In spending time on that, I've neglected my blog here but am looking at ways to connect between the two. Well, I am going to kick on with my masters fairly soon, so that is one way to gain a solid connection! As the project centres on internationalisation of education and the local/global parallels of knowledge and localised learning (I'm cutting to the chase here, check out the site for a slower version!) and focusing on IT degrees as a case study, being that IT is often consdiered a 'global' degree. So, with this in mind, I'm considering the scope of a masters which maintains an ed design focus yet does so through a global lens if you like. I'm still working on it so stay with me!

I also came across a revelation on blogging - a penny dropping moment you could say (love those!). From the eLearning resources and news, came a link to a blog focusing on elearning design challenges, moderated by one Ron Lubensky. Ron, I take my hat off to you! This is what blogging should be about! Well, for learning and teaching anyway! Check out the planned approach taken in the set up of the blog...

Lubensky has set up a highly structured blog which has been well planned and does not rely on one person's monologue-style writing to carry the tone of the blog! Lubensky has set out parameters in which others can participate actively, rather than simply adding a response in what might only be described as sms type gaff (in many cases, I am generalising of course!).

There are articles questioning the validity of blogs as a learning and teaching tool/environment and have questioned how it differs from a threaded discussion forum. In many ways I'm sure it is similar but the environment is more aesthetic to me in a range of ways. A couple of things include a certain style which perhaps captures the personality of the main writer (or moderator in this case); a web page look and feel rather than an application like a forum; and most often than not it is publicly available without the need to log in (although these options are available depending on the intention of the blog in the first place).

In pointing out these features that is simply what they are. The crux of the design is in the content and the intention, which either a blog or a discussion forum are capable of handling! It is the quality of the content or the focus that gives life to the blog (or the discussion forum) and how one's approach to guiding, structuring, planning and implementing this content or focus is maintained.

I have been given cause now to review my thoughts on blogging at this juncture. My previous postings about my blogging process was intended to somehow extrapolate from the experience some reasoning behind how blogs are used, why they are used and in what ways could they be used beyond personal (perhaps self indulgent) reflection (although some blogs I've visited show no signs of actual reflection at all! More my preference I guess...).

Again, I am drawn back to the idea that it has nothing to do with technology - it being good learning and teaching (and good ed design for learning and teaching)! Nothing new really, but sometimes (well, quite often) we try to see technological advances as helping us out - doing stuff for us, especially the menial or the harder bits. We'd all much like to sit back with an ice cold cocktail and soak in the sunshine wouldn't we?

As I'm writing this, images of terminator come to mind. How the machines (artificial intelligence) rise up to take over, because of two opposing human characteristics: 1. obsessive ambition, and 2. innate laziness! Both of these factors contributed to the breakout of the machines. humans became complacent as the machines took over the work previously done by humans.

I'm also reminded of The Matrix when Neo is 'injected' with knowledge and says, "I know kung fu", before being challenged by Morpheous in combat.

Is it human nature to look for the easy way out? Or is it that because we are intelligent beings that we search constantly for "the answer" - the thing that will make life easier for us! As with Neo, it might be the harder road to travel but I'd rather take the red pill!

No comments: