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On being an OU bore

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 3 Jun 2014, 11:25

Seven modules later and in four years I believe I have had ONE face to face conversation with a fellow student. A couple of weekends ago I sat with a friend who creates learning content for a national museum: I realise know what a bore I became as over two hours I fear I turned every conversation back onto learning in general and e-learning in particular. 

Finding like-minds online is one thing; having them in front of me is another. 

I've noticed something awkward too - a couple of friends with whom I share all sorts through Facebook who I see around town; in the past we'd greet eachother, catchup on personal and family news, even have a coffee - now we grunt, mention something we caught online and move on. As if by knowing so much more about our goings on that small talk is pointless, and more intimate chat now redundant and likely to be repetitive.

Returning to 'like-minds' and the value, even craving to 'let it all out' - this is where there is significant value in the residential school. It matters to have the opportunity to put your enthusiams and problems with a module in words and to see and feel the response from others.

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Design Museum

Social media and the nature of connectiond for learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 23 Oct 2011, 13:04

quote 16 May 11

Social networks tend to disproportionally favor connections between individuals with either similar or dissimilar characteristics. This propensity, referred to as assortative mixing or homophily, is expressed as the correlation between attribute values of nearest neighbour vertices in a graph.

Recent results indicate that beyond demographic features such as age, sex and race, even psychological states such as “loneliness” can be assortative in a social network.

In spite of the increasing societal importance of online social networks it is unknown whether assortative mixing of psychological states takes place in situations where social ties are mediated solely by online networking services in the absence of physical contact.

Here, we show that general happiness or Subjective Well-Being (SWB) of Twitter users, as measured from a 6 month record of their individual tweets, is indeed assortative across the Twitter social network. To our knowledge this is the first result that shows assortative mixing in online networks at the level of SWB.

Our results imply that online social networks may be equally subject to the social mechanisms that cause assortative mixing in real social networks and that such assortative mixing takes place at the level of SWB.

Given the increasing prevalence of online social networks, their propensity to connect users with similar levels of SWB may be an important instrument in better understanding how both positive and negative sentiments spread through online social ties.

Future research may focus on how event-specific mood states can propagate and influence user behavior in “real life”. — [1103.0784] Happiness is assortative in online social networks

We need everyone out there if everyone is going to be represented.


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