Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Twitter-Connected, Interstitial Hyperbole Lives On....

So, who says I can't dream up fascinating titles?

I have done a bit of work on the layout... I hope you enjoy it. The CCK08 course concluded in a blaze of glory today. I was sadly absent. i don't know how I missed it. I was somewhere else taking care of something quite important in my life, so I came back to the Eluminate session about half an hour after people had said their pieces. I am trying not to be too cut up about it. As George said: "I think I'd like to offer a course without any content again..." So there is always going to be good input from that direction. Right now, the closed eLearning course is up on a wiki, so everyone can read anyway (here is the link to the course which I finally found: - I have no idea why it was so hard to find this page... but I bet you all have had an experience of looking for a needle in a haystack...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Into the Wide Blue Yonder...with Connectivism!

Well - twelve weeks flashed past. I have learned a lot about new technologies ( I have seen the direct results of social networking ( and I have been introduced to some amazing people (

It has been a fabulous experience and it is not going to stop here. I intend to go on and explore some more.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stretching Out and Finding Roots in My Branches...

I have met an enormous amount of really interesting people during the CCK08 course. In fact, it is such a small world, that I now have a real problem trying to keep up with all the friends I have made all over the world. The problem is time!

Yes, time, is the grim reaper of my contact with other people. I never ever thought that this would ever be a problem. Now I find that to gather with other people who live all over the world, I have to plan the time zones... Happily, a regular weekly meeting which is held between people who live in Mexico, Israel, Turkey, Argentina and Germany, to name a few places, seems to be convenient at 11:00 am PST. But this is generally too late for people further West like those in Korea and other Asian places!

It is so strange that we should be coming up against these limitations now, when all the other technological problems of the world are rapidly dissolving, this is a problem that will probably never be resolved, until we become more virtual. This will mean a change to the virtual components of ourselves. I mean now, there is no feel or touch. Someone mentioned the absence of smell and touch in a conference on corporate learning I attended today. So, if you have been following my blog, you will have noticed that the first emphasis I made was on our proximity, and how, in some countries, people are quite comfortable to be inches away from each other, whereas in countries like Great Britain, USA, Canada, this would mean invasion of a "comfort zone."

So, will we become more and more androgynous as time wears on? Will we lose our sexuality, our individuality in favor of a more asexual existence? Will our immortality increase in deference to our longevity and lack of offspring? Will we really find it comfortable in a society where nobody questions the lack of contact and ordinary tenderness?

Give me your thoughts and ideas....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Swinging Along in the Mid-Term...

Well here we are. It's past eight weeks into the CCK08 Connectivism course. I have to admit that, although I was pushing hard to stay on top at the beginning, this has now been pushed aside in my struggle to find a job to pay the mortgage!

Isn't that sad? What I have been doing though, is spending some time with the SL Experiments group, run by Nergiz Kern. This has been enormously interesting to me and I can see how powerful education can be in an application like Second Life.

So I have spent a little time there, and I have also been doing what I do best on my own website and also on Nergiz's Second Life Experiments Wiki site. I can say quite unequivocally that I really love creating web pages! I could spend my entire life doing this. It is wonderful to know what I enjoy doing. It is entirely another matter to secure a job that pays enough for me to be able to sit back and really do this for the rest of my life!

I cannot say that I haven't noticed some stuff about Second Life in passing through the portal as it were... for one thing, they have some situations which they haven't managed to fix which are still happening after a long time period...

There is a lot of "unwritten" stuff going on. A "newbie" can enter SL with a lower than standard computer and have a miserable time with "lag." Also, there are little things like the following situation: if you teleport somewhere from a sitting position, you will look crippled somehow well after you have arrived at your destination, even though, you, the person it is all happening to, cannot see this! I am told that this has been a problem for some time. Another thing, I was in an area this afternoon and I was walking along a road. Before I could do anything about it, my legs and thighs were sunk down in the road and it looked like I was wading along!

It is obvious that there are several basic things which have to be learned, before anyone can really benefit from the experience in Second Life. Apart from the usual allurances which would entice anyone into the environment and perhaps make them stay in spite of the obvious problems with the experience they are having, it is a very exciting environment, where absolutely anything goes, but virtually! Having said that, there are two levels in the main "grid" - PG and Mature. Linden Research saw fit to create a Teen Second Life too, probably to siphon off any problems with underage membership. Be that as it may, it only serves as a separation point, the cut-off age being eighteen years of age.

But the really complex stuff must come later, like making your avatar move in a special way, growing wings or attaching objects. I saw a fascinating demo of a whiteboard, given by a software developer who is well-versed in JavaScript, which is fed by an external site off an iFrame. This is advanced manipulation of the Linden grid and very useful for education. I have to say that the simple things, like learning to make your avatar dance, is really very easy. What would be interesting would be to learn how to make the avatar interact physically with other avatars. And I know that this is possible. It's simple silly little things which I don't understand, like this: if you are dancing and want to IM someone at the same time, or even in Local Chat, how can you make the avatar carry on dancing as your keys leave the dance activation keys (F9 F10 F11 and F12) to type the message? Perhaps you have the avatar programmed to dance on a joystick gesture/mouse gesture and all of this is automated? Perhaps you have a speech-to-text programmed so that your fingers never have to touch the keyboard anyway... I don't believe this is what happens. Because I have heard people talking and using Local Chat and IM all at the same time as they are making their avatar do incredible things!

Apart from that, it is still a very interesting environment which I would still like to explore some more...