iPad Lust and Clash with Ideology

I have been wanting an iPad for my graphic recording work but I just haven’t given in. (I’m also debating various ebook readers to cut down on paper. I have a book habit.) But I keep getting uncomfortable. George Siemens sums it up for me.

However, for those committed to openness, the iPad forces a clash between technolust and ideology. Perhaps we need a self-help group for people in a state of cognitive dissonance due to the impressive Apple technology, but less impressive stance on openness and end user control.

via elearnspace › iPad. Yes, it’s rather good.

InkWell.Vue Digital Habitat Conversations

(Reposted from the Technology for Communities blog)

Starting June 23rd for a couple of weeks, John Smith, Etienne Wenger and I will be part of a discussion about Digital Habitats on The Well’s Inkwell.Vue conference. Inkwell is a cool, public facing bit of the well (the rest is paid membership) that gives folks a chance to have an asynchronous conversation with book authors from or associated with the Well. We invite you to join into the conversation.

For those not familiar with the Well, it is one of the original and most enduring online communities. (I host the Virtual Communities conference there with Jon Lebkowsky!)

Inkwell is a great example of a “public facing space” for a private communities which is reflected in Digital Habitats chapter six as the “context” orientation. It gives outsiders a taste of the Well, which may invite them in, and it gives the Well a way to add value out to the world. Plus a few Well member volunteers get free review copies and encouragement to help stimulate the conversation, along with one or two designated conversation hosts. There have been some amazing conversations in Inkwell over the years, and it is now a Well tradition.

In preparation for the two weeks, the three of us thought it might be fun to record a short conversation to introduce ourselves. This is not what usually happens on Inkwell.vue, so we’ll see how it goes.

Some of the questions we raised and which might be fodder for the Inkwell conversation include:

  • Do you recognize yourself as a technology steward?
  • And if you recognize yourself in the role, does it make a difference in practice?  Are there consequences in terms of relationships, labels, or intentions that change as a result?
  • In your community do you see the tech steward  role as more individual or more distributed across community members?  What are the consequences?
  • What can we learn from long-lived communities like The Well?
  • How do technology stewardship practices vary across different socialcontexts?

Reviving Community Indicators – Learning

For long time readers of this blog,  you know I’ve been obsessed with “signs of life” from communities which I call “community indicators.” I haven’t posted any recently, but something spurred me yesterday…

This past week I was very grateful to be a supporter of Dreamfish’s online retreat for their inaugural group of Dreamfish Fellows. The fellows will be taking leadership/stewardship roles in the Dreamfish network and communities over the next six month. As the first group, there was not only the exploration of a new group, but exploration of the roles they will play. All online, because cost and distance made a face to face a less “sustainable” option.

One of the Fellows, Kate McAlpine  shared some of her work with the Caucus for  Children’s Rights, in Tanzania

She shared a draft paper which I’ve still to read, but this graphic just “rang my bells.”  You’ll have to click into it to read it, and I’ve included the PDF for ease.

This sure is a community indicator in my eyes, capturing (or “reifying” – definition below!) the learning of a community of practice over time. In this case, the indicator is learning over time, and a way to VISUALIZE and SHARE that learning. That is the bit that really stands out for me.)

Attribution: Kate McAlpine (2009) Caucus for  Children’s Rights, Tanzania.

CCR Graphics_15Dec09

Any community indicators showing up in your life? Should we start thinking about network indicators?

Definition Time….Reification from Etienne Wenger (Wenger, E.  (1998).  Communities of practice. Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.) gleaned by a paper by Hildreth, 2002

: …to refer to the process of giving form to our experience by producing objects that congeal this experience into ‘thingness’ … With the term reification I mean to cover a wide range of processes that include making, designing, representing, naming, encoding and describing as well as perceiving, interpreting, using, reusing, decoding and recasting. (Wenger, 1998: 58-59)