Network learning – Social Media helps us learn

teachlearn

Some interesting thoughts in an article titled “Social Media’s Effect on Learning” over on a WSJ Blog.

Some snippets:

“Bilingual people aren’t cognitively smarter, but they are more cognitively flexible,”

“Practice at constant switching improves an aspect of their cognitive abilities.”

“This is much like what people do when they’re updating their Twitter status, instant-messaging friends, or answering text messages and emails while they’re doing something else. Dr. Kuhl said this multitasking, where people are stimulating new patterns of sequential processing, could then reap the same benefits as bilingualism.”

“If not .. then networking online is at least acting as a brain innovator.., promoting new paths of discovery and interactivity in the brain.”

Read full story.

Me, We and the Network – shout-out

On of my ‘Network‘ friends, Nancy White, from Full Circle Associates in the States, has been out here in Australia doing some presentations. Here’s a snippet where my ‘We‘ friend Mike Seyfang and I get a shout-out in her Keynote at the Learning Technologies 2009 Conference held this week in Qld.

It makes me think a lot about what I said regarding Social Isolation over on my Lifekludger blog recently.

[audio:http://media.dnwallace.com/mp3/Snippet-Keynote_MeWeandtheNetwork.mp3]
Shout-out by Nancy White

Nancy White
Keynote: Me, We and the Network
Learning Technologies 2009 Conference

The power of you – or of me, is mighty. But when and how do we tap into the power of “we” – bounded groups, or networks which flow beyond our personal lines of sight. What practices enable us to utilise the power across these three forms?

Learning Technologies 2009 Conference Podcasts from both days available now at http://bit.ly/2zq7yv

The Social Internet as Social Assistive Device

The social web offers a means of engagement that trascends the technology and transforms lives.

Strangely or not, I tend not to see myself as disabled. Maybe that’s why I tend to focus on sharing more about what I’m doing than who I am or what I think about disability specific things – whatever those are.

It’s possibly also why when I refer to people with a disability I use the term people ‘living’ with disability. After all, tha’s what I’m doing. It’s also the focus I put on the possibilities technology can and does offer to enrich that ‘living’.

Besides which, I’m just a practical sort of guy.

I’m not the best at conveying what I feel either about what runs deep and not most elequant expressing what I really believe.

Sure I’ve had my lucid moments on issues I’m passionate about, which you’ll find within the years of posting here, and on my other blog – like Social IsolationCo-presence and Barriers. Generally though words get in my way. Thankfully others don’t have the same problem.

Just recently I came across a post by Lauredhel titled “On ambient intimacy and assistive devices” that had me saying “yes, yes, yes; that’s what I wanted to say to so many people so many times”.

In part she writes about being social …

The internet is the virtual watercooler (or coffeehouse, or playgroup, or pub) for people like me, isolated due to disability. And I’m fed up with able-bodied folk slamming electronic community as a meaningless half-life. I’m sick of internet use being constructed as a signifier of a person as a pathetic loser worthy of mockery. And I’m over ignorant pundits reviling the rise in electronic community as The End of the World as We Know It, a one-way highway to the inevitable disengaged, apolitical fragmentation of society.

And in an analogy to be physical assistive devices… ”

People who use wheelchairs, for example, use wheelchairs. They get around in them. Wheelchairs are useful, value-neutral objects. People are not “bound” to them; they’re not “condemned” to life in a wheelchair. The use of a wheelchair doesn’t mark a person as either a sinister or pitiable caricature. And above all, people are not synonymous with their wheelchairs. They’re people who use a mobility device, a tool. (emphasis mine)

The internet may be many things, but it is also my social assistive device. And that’s not tragic, or threatening, or worthy of scorn. It just is.”

Do yourself a favour and read the whole thing on her blog “Hoyden About Town

Thanks Lauredhel. This so underlines why I have felt strongly for nearly 30 years about technology as a tool in general, why I think the connection and openness that a social web enables is important and points to why I keep persisting with the idea that is Lifekludger.

Dave

Second Life, the ABC and Virtual Social interactions

UPDATE: The Producer of the show sent me the audio and I’ve snipped out music and commercials. You can listen here.

sl.jpg

Just like Laurel, I was asked on the ABC Radio Tuesday night to talk about Second Life (SL).

Evidently the show was about online relationships, not just SL, but I didn’t know this beforehand, not that it worries me. Unlike Laurel, who got bombarded with the sex and Second Life questions that seem to titillate the main stream media, I tended to focused on what SL offers me in terms of adding to the fabric of my life, the creative expression and particularly how online social networks of any kind hold the potential to lessen the effects of social isolation for a variety of people.

Second Life, as a visually rich environment full of a diverse range of people can give an opportunity for equally rich social interaction. Just like the physical world….only a different geography.

Pixels are people too.

It was interesting to be in discussion with the twitter crowd, particular thanks to @mpesce, @nickhodge & @silkcharm, before, after and as the show was on air and get comments and encouragement from them – another group of social interactions.

The show was streamed live but I don’t think podcast. However I’ve been in touch with the Producer and have a disc with the whole show on its way to me. Will see if I can make it available.

Dave