I read Lisa’s critique of the course’s technology tools where she discussed the environment of learning. Right on Lisa. This fits in with my experience as an information architect. The environment has a huge impact on individual and workplace mood, processes, and options for technology tool adoption (including resistance). I wanted to add some comments form my user environment.
While I have learned lots from this course which will have direct application on both my jobs, I really wanted to experience Second Life as a “formal” part of the course. This would have addressed Lisa critique of the lack of “Visual” stimulation. (CMAP does allow you to drag and drop visuals into the CMAP I learned form Mauri Ahlberg). I am intrigued with Second Life and want to explore it for the possibilities of incorporating into my teaching and company operating environment. But, like many busy people, I usually need a “course” to kick-start me in that direction as there are many other competing priorities. Perhaps Second Life is too “early adopter” for mainstream use in a course like this?
I have found the Friday UStream sessions particularly bothersome because I can’t get the chat room to appear after logging in so I have no idea what the others are saying. Stephen also said we could Skype in once we he ran it alone, but that experiment has not been repeated again. In any event, my computer at Work, (a dual core HP 6235 circa 2007) and my computer at home (Dell Inspiron 600m circa 2004) both have difficulty running Skype as it is a resource hog that starts shutting down other apps even when you do not have Skype running. I am to the point I recommended to George and Stephen on Nov 7 in a email that they may want to consider dropping Ustream in favour of Elluminate because Elluminate is more particpatory and has been more stable (Ustream has not worked 2 or 3 times to date.)
I have a love/hate relationship with the chat room and Elluminate. Sometimes the verbal discussion/presentation wanes so the Chat invigorates me, other times if find the chat causes me to miss the verbal point.
I think the Wiki should be editable by the students. There should be a section for each week that allows students to submit their own suggestions for readings instead of having to rely on the Daily or Google Alerts or people blogs. I view the wiki as a potential resources “portal” of at least a minimum literature on the subject. If the George and Stephen want to restrict editing on the outline Page to prevent their outline from being accidentally edited, why not add a resources link to an editable resources wiki page?
While the decentralized knowledge and network building is an interesting and valuable concept, I think there is a valuable opportunity here to build the course into a “portal” into the subject. It would be a place I come back to see what is new (using RSS feeds of course!) in the future.