Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Chance Favors the Connected Mind" #PLENK2010 in Sl Week Two

Check out this TED talk from Steven Johnson author of one of my favorite books, Everything Bad is Good for You. The talk is called Where Do Good Ideas Come FromHe starts of with a picture of a 19th Century Coffeehouse where he said that many ideas fundamental to our intellectual history arose. He says that a coffee house is where "ideas go to have sex." He says we should connect ideas rather than protect them. Under the right circumstances two people with half an idea each, get together and the whole is greater than the sum. "Chance favors the connected mind"

We connected again today for PLENK2010. 

So broadcasting Elluminate with Ustream didn't work out so well for the session. Multiple issues were apparent and I obviously need much more practice with the Ustream application.

So here is what I was trying. I was broadcasting my desktop on my Ustream channel. I had the #PLENK2010 Elluminate session open on my desktop. I had the url for my Ustream broadcast loaded as a texture on the media board in SL. I wasn't able to figure out how to display the UStream as a full screen so everyone in SL saw the whole web page, chrome, ads and all. Tonito consulted with someone who suggested that we alter the repeats per face menu in the texture tab for the display board prim. It worked to change the size of the display but didn't help to make the Ustream text chat any clearer. Plus no Elluminate audio was available. So pretty much a wash. Plus after a while the lag seemed to build up tremendously. Learning, learning, learning....

Looking for a new plan for displaying the Elluminate. Or looking for other ideas, generally. One suggestion was to invite one or more of the moderators to present in SL and invite others to attend. I thought it was a good idea and it might work at some point. Stephen, George, are you up for a visit to SL?

After the PLENK session proper we had a great discussion in SL of some of the days topics from Martin Weller's Elluminate presentation and the ensuing discussion. ( Although I was so busy piddling around with the tech I didn't focus on Martin much. I went back through the recording) We made a few more plans for PLENK2010 in SL. In the picture you see Tonito, 2B Writer, Sean, Sutah, and Telmea. I'd forgotten I had this Mystitools, DynaTable and chairs in my inventory. As each avatar sits, a new chair is created for the next avatar. According to the specs you can add 250 Avatars!!

Topics that we reviewed included the notion that George Siemen' mention, ie) Public intellectuals and the responsibility of publicly educated people to make their views known and to model critical public discourse. Blogging is the new salon where people meet to discuss and debate important intellectual issues. That is a bit of a problem when people rely on the forums in the Moodle. No matter how accessible the Moodle is, eventually it belongs to someone else and your ideas are going to get locked away. If you post in a Moodle forum you should also provide a link to your own blog, wiki or podcast where you can develop your ideas more firmly and have them available for posterity or at least for future learning experiences.

The other idea we discussed was a thread from the Elluminate chat. Some one said that nobody wants a 1/4 hp electric drill with a 3/8 keyless chuck. They want a hole. The professors at the University of Drills are the only ones who are interested in the History of Drills or the Critical Theory of Orifices. An argument for learning and education to be anchored firmly in authentic experience.

I talked to Fleep Tuque of Chilbo where the PLENK2010 in SL group is meeting. Fleep as usual is so supportive and thinks it is a good idea to add materials from PLENK to the Connectivism Reading Room. I'll see if I can figure what is required.


cyeager said...

I suspect you have read this comment from me in a previous life ;-) ... an old African proverb: when you want to go fast, go alone; when you want you go far, go with others ... the coffee house of ideas is a communal activity with others. The climate for thinking and exchange of ideas, I believe, also has much to do with fluency of new thinking and creativity ... and the coffee house climate may foster the creative climate.

Additionally, Press, or the group willingness to foster and accept new thinking also may help the creative energy flow. And writing of flow, a natural flow of ideas, without censure, offers a more divergent thinking climate ... ergo, more open trust in the exchange, or, as Johnson posits, the sexual exchange, of ideas. Convergence might be the natural conception and ultimate birthing of new thinking ...

Glen Gatin said...

I like old African proverbs. One particularly, has always been inspirational for me when thinking about instructional design and re-visioning teaching and learning with new online tools. The quote was used as a title for a book about a dialog between Myles Horton and Paulo Frierie. "We make the road by walking"

I often think of this concept when I explore new digital paths and strategies and try to develop those that support the natural processes of learning.