Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘bridge

If I had to guess, most neutrals reading my tweets and blog entries might think I am being negative or even alarmist.

I am neither. I am just providing critical responses to uncritical reports, uninformed newspaper journalists, snake oil vendors, etc.

Why do this? I have two views. One is this.
 

Broken bridge 1 by novellino09, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  novellino09 

 
I have travelled ahead and I see that the bridge is out. It is my responsibility to tell you not to take that route. I will use strong words and I might even try to block you. But it is up to you whether to continue on that path.

My other view is this.

Empire State Pigeon by ZeroOne, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  ZeroOne 

 

On certain matters, I have a bird’s eye view. This means I can see the bigger or different picture, and I can make out details even from a distance.

If I can help you see something you cannot, why would you not want me to point it out? If I can see that the bridge is out, do I not have a duty to inform?

So go ahead, dull your senses, and call me negative or alarmist. Just know this: If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Words do not matter; actions do.

 
I am stubborn about certain things. One is insisting that people change course should I sense trouble.

I do not see why some people would rather react to change instead of prepare for it. Perhaps they cannot see it coming.

Like a broken bridge, all the signs are there. But they coast along without a care thinking they can deal with it later.

By the time they do this, it is too late because their momentum carries them off the bridge. If they manage to stop, they cease on their journey forward.

No, I would rather read the signs and change my path if necessary.

Sometimes boring stretches at conferences can be productive. At the woefully tedious mass sessions at CGI2010 on Wednesday, I thought of one way to bridge Web 2.0 and 3.0.

Web 2.0 is marked by user-generated content, lots and lots of it, not particularly well-organized even when tagged by users. We still have to fish for information, be it archived or in real time. If Web 3.0 is the semantic web, then relevant information comes to us based on our context: Who we are, what we are doing, what we like, etc.

Location-based technologies might be a bridge between Web 2.0 and 3.0. If you tweet, take and upload a photo, or make a query, you can geotag your location. You are either manually inputting where you are or allowing a tool to register your whereabouts. When that happens, other people and their devices can find you and provide you with information or a service.

Here’s an example. As I was at the conference, I received email, SMSes and phone calls. Wouldn’t it be great if the people trying to contact me were notified of where I was, that I was not available and that I was bored out of my mind?

Of course I have a shared online calendar, but not many would refer to that as they may not have a handy link to it. Even if they did, it would require effort on their part to look.

But let’s say I tweeted where I was, embedded a photo in the tweet and mentioned how I felt (all of which I did). Then one or more tools that might not exist yet could then simultaneously update my calendar, my Facebook wall, my phone and email auto responses, etc.

So as I generate content about one event, people around me automatically get information that is relevant to them. The information could be “Where is Ashley and what is he doing?” or “What do you think of this session?”

When others generate content about the same event, with say a Twitter hashtag #boringconference,  I get that information relayed to me. I might then connect with others who think and feel the same way. We might then initiate an unconference on the fly!

This is not a pipe dream because I know this is happening with numerous but still separate tools today. But what really excites me is how this might provide opportunities for meaningful teaching and learning.

Imagine teachers gathering by common needs (e.g., how to deal with difficult parents) or interests (e.g., how to create the next generation of e-book), not because they looked for one another, but because  technology “match made” them. Imagine students with similar projects being connect with one another, content experts, and relevant resources.

The technology does what it does best: The nitty-gritty, tedious and low level tasks. It frees the user to analyze, evaluate and synthesize. No, the pipe dream is not what the technology will do. It is whether people will take advantage of such opportunities.


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