Open, Connected & Social “Repositories”

March 19, 2008

D’Arcy Norman and Brian Lamb were our guest speakers in Tuesday night’s ECI 831 class. They started out the evening by tripping us out with this wacky YouTube video
and then got into the topic of Open, Connected & Social “Repositories”. There was a lot of information shared, so I will just share a few points that really stuck with me.

Organizing Data
The old way of organizing data was to create data and store it in silos that were very complicated because of all of the metadata that was created to organize/store it. This just doesn’t make sense with the “information explosion” of today and therefore folksonomy is a better solution. I finally understand what a folksonomy is too (for those who are reading this and saying “What the?”, folksonomies are people working together socially to sort things out).

They stressed the power of tagging information. This has really changed how we find information.

Technology is getting much cheaper in most cases, however, higher education is still spending money – is this because the institutions like control and want to limit the use of Web 2.0 tools?

New Phrase
I liked a new phrase that emerged during the discussion “choice fatigue” – so much to choose from; where to start? I think this is a huge part of why there is a very slow integration of technology into educational settings. Educators are already overwhelmed with the things being piled on them and technology is just one more, but it is so complex and there is so much to choose from and learn about, that many teachers turn away from it and knock it down on their priority list. How do we tackle this choice fatigue? Ideas? Thoughts?


9 Responses to “Open, Connected & Social “Repositories””

  1. Dave Bircher Says:

    I think it still comes down to finding one little thing, trying it out and experiencing some success. Then repaet the cycle, share more ideas, problem solve and continue to take steps forward. It’s like all the books we get as resources for a subject, but never seem to use the ideas and activities in them. Instead, they collect a lot of dust. So start small and go from there.

  2. Alec Couros Says:

    If you want to learn more about choice fatigue, check out this talk from Barry Schwartz on the Paradox of Choice … one of my favorites –

  3. Travis Kelln Says:

    The term “choice fatigue” truly applies to my involvement in our course. There are so many technologies out there to choose from and to someone who is not up to date on these technology choices, it can be very overwhelming!! I have said to myself (on many occasions throughout this course)’are you kidding, another new technology’!! This course has introduced me to many technologies, some of them which I have now incorporated into my teaching and everyday life. . . technologies I would not be using had it not been for the course introducing them to me. I know I can’t handle using all of them, the inter-twining of technologies like some people can so my solution is to create my own personal comfort zone.

    I am limiting myself to a few technologies and getting familiar with all they have to offer. I have a tendancy to ‘ignore’ the others . . . I do not have the technological capacity to take on any more. Hopefully, little by little, my confort zone and familiarity of technologies will grow. If anything, this course has given me the confidence to at least try them.

    If we can introduce ‘reluctant’ educators to these technologies and have them experiment with them, their comfort levels will also grow. I believe this would be a huge step in the right direction.

  4. Rosanne Says:

    I’m not so sure that technology is one more thing piled on teachers. I think the issue is time and student access to technology. Most teachers use technology to take attendance, report on students, and communicate (emails). These are tasks that are performed on a regular basis or even on a daily basis. Teachers have very little time to learn and apply new programs especially programs that will not be used regularly. The most common comment is “I’ve forgotten how do it!” I know a lot teachers who would love to learn how to integrate web tools in English, Science and even Math. Most have the basic skills but it’s the time to “play”, which we spoke about earlier in the course. Student access to computers also impacts the pace of technology in schools.

  5. Todd Volk Says:

    Thanks for this summary Connie. It looks better than anyone I managed to jot down.

    As for choice fatigue, I guess we have to approach technology use like any other technique, skill, curriculum “fad” thrown at us. We have to go through it, choose what works for us, and focus on our choices. If we try to do everything, we’ll be overwhelmed and either give up or do a poor job at everything. Choices are great, we just have to be smart about them.

  6. coreyterry Says:

    Too many choices undermine happiness: Barry Schwartz.
    I don’t know, but there’s a lot to choose from? where does one even start, I felt very over whelmed when this course started and after speaking to Alec about it, I felt better, I set a goal to learn 3 new technologies well, and the rest can just wait!

  7. ccossar Says:

    That is a great goal, Corey! One that is attainable and reasonable and when I look at my own progress, something that I think I am working at between Ning, WordPress, Jing, and GoogleReader. I had hoped to do more customization, but I just haven’t been able to get my head around the programming aspect, but maybe that is okay, because as Todd says id we try to do everything, we will be overwhelmed.

  8. lgatzke Says:

    I tend to agree with Corey. We have to find our comfort zone and perhaps push ourselves just a little bit outside of it. Our working memory only allows us to take in so many bits of information at one time. I like the exposure we have had to many tools but I am glad we will have the collaborative wiki to refresh our memory about tools that we may have put on the back burner for now.

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