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Reflecting on H818: The Open Studio

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014, 08:06

I'm getting a sense of deja vu as the rhythm of this module reveals itself.

Openness comes with some caveats. It is not everyone's cup of tea.

As people we may change or behaviour in different environments.

I am not saying that we as individuals necessarily behave in the same way in an Open Studio online (a virtual studio no less) than we do or would in an open studio, as in a collective in a workshop or 'atelier' that is 'exposed' to fellow artists -  but is nonetheless human interaction with all the usual undercurrents.

What I believe will not work is to put a gaggle of creators in the same room and expect them to collaborate.

The studios of the 'open' type that I am aware of are either the classic Renaissance workshop with a master artist and apprentices at various stages of their own development, or,  with a similar dynamic in operation, the 'occupants' of the studio are exposed LESS to each other and more to external commentators and contributors and this requires some formality to it .i.e. not simply 'the person off the street' but an educator/moderator in their own right.

Is H818:The Networked Practitioner too dependent on chance?

The foibles of a small cohort and the complex, messy, moments 'we' are in. Three years of this and, by chance only, surely, six of  us in a subgroup jelled. More often the silence and inactivity of the majority makes 'group work' a myth - partnerships of two or three were more likely. The only exception I have come across in the 'real world' have been actors working together on an improvisation - they have been trained however to disassociate their natural behaviours.

Some of us study with the OU as we cringe at the 'exposure' of a course that requires us to meet in the flesh - distance learning suits, to some degree, the lone worker who prefers isolation.

By way of revealing contrast I am a mentor at the School of Communication Arts

Modest though pivotal role given their format and philosophy - exposure to many hundreds of kindred spirits who have been there ...  a sounding board and catalyst. NOT a contributor, but more an enabler. 

We'll see. My thinking is that to be effective, collaboration or exposure needs to have structure and formality in order to work.

At the Brighton Arts Festival the other evening I wonder how the 80 odd exhibitors would cope if the Corn Exchange was also their workshop?

In certain, vulnerable environments, the only comment should be praise. Feedback is invited from those who are trusted.

A school setting is different again, as is college ... people share the same space because they have to.

Open Studio apears to try to coral the feedback that comes anyway from a connected, popular and massive sites such as WordPress, Linkedin Groups, Facebook and even Amazon. Though the exposure, if you permit it, is tempered and negotiated - Facebook is gentle amongst family and friends, Linkedin is meterd and professional in a corporate way, Wordpress is homespun while Amazon, probably due to the smell of money can be catty - and in any case, the artefact is a doneddeal, it's not as if, to take a current example, Max Hastings is going to rewrite his book on the First World War because some in the academic community say that it is weak historicaly and strong on journalistic anecdote.

We'll see.

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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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On using Twitter in Education

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 27 Aug 2011, 12:05

My concern, as I'm guilty of it as a blogger, is that it changes how you 'talk.'

My blogging voice is light and journalistic - it is difficult to escape this in an assignment, however many references I put on or re-writes I do.

A different mindset is required, literally wearing a different hat and taking a different approach from the start.

As a professional writer I ought to be able to write for different audiences. I'm not sure I can, indeed my voice has always bee the 'spoken word' for TV and Video with scripts design to visualise rather than say anything at all.

I find and consider Twitter to be an invaluable exercise in being succinct; stylistically this has to be a good thing.

However, as I found myself doing recently, something I wrote, after an edit, looked and read like x16 140 character Tweats strung together.

Surely engagement of any kind, a conversation over coffee, over lunch, Tweating or blogs, helps internalise and sought out issues and confusion in the student's mind. It is an activity even if it is being measured?

I wonder if a 'viva voce' in a video conference (Skype, Elluminate) wouldn't demonstrate the value of social networks in education, that it would be apparent that those who are talking about their topic in cyberspace are more likely to have formed some points of view of their own.

(49002)

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New blog post

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 10 Mar 2011, 16:44

Forget the needle in a haystack, this is worse.

Taking feed from Google Alerts, Linked In to various groups and vicarious bookmarking relevant blogs and newschannels I now find I am skim reading 100+ topic specif emails a day.

My reaction to this is to work faster, to skim reader quicker to cut, paste or screen grab on a nod anything that I like but need to give more time to ... later.

Though I've never been a comodoities trader that is how I feel, as if all this information is shouting at me for attention. From the hubub something must be percolating upwards, some sense of shifts and movements. I feel like a guy with his ear to the ground listening for the tremors of Web 2.0 as it transmogrifies into Web 3.0.

If you can't handle Web 1.0 don't bother, you're approaching it from the wrong end. Start at the end and once you can keep up glance back at what went before.

And these are the text based conversations

I've had two hefty meetings today already that spun around personality types, behavioural issues, the changing landscape of learning (the complete demise of libraries both the physical kind AND the digital) as everything gets atomised and washed away into the digital ocean.

And how so much of what makes us human is translated into online behaviours but cannot and does not replace the need for social interaction if and where you want to 'make friends and influence people.'

We may do a lot online, we may do everything online, but a face to face meeting will always be more emotional charged and emotional responsive. Which matters. We have to negotiate our way through a life of emotional responses however objective we think we are or need to be.

For the third time in a decade I find my blog persons splitting and multiplying. I don't think I'll be able to handle, even if I lay out a set of hats I can put on and take off I just find that they all start becoming a blur with the danger that these are not silos. One has already converged as e-learning, fiction and reading which makes reasonable bedfellows. Like books on the same wall, though too easily like paper filed in the wrong folder.

We'll see. It will attract some readers, put others off and maybe intrigue my regulars who clearly find something of interest. Indeed I'd suggest that variety has its value however quixotic.

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'Does WikiLeaks mark the end of privacy?'

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 Nov 2012, 09:35

Prospect%2520SNIP%25201.JPG

'Yes', says the new editor of Prospect Magazine, Bronwen Maddox.

I have much respect for this journalist having read her in Broadcast Magazine, the FT and Times over a couple of decades.

She adds.

'Yes, I see it, and I refuse to be distressed: the good outweighs the bad, and the change is unstoppable.' Maddox, 2010. Prospect January 2010

Two points I'd like to develop here: privacy and the unstoppable nature of advances caused by e-technology.

Exposure, disclosure and loss of privacy has been discussed in the blogosphere for a decade. I recall the debate starting in 1999 when Ellen Levey (now a director of LinkedIn) had herself featured in the Washington Post. She had spent 1998 blogging about every meeting she had, looking for connections and links and pondering the value of such actions. Since then we've had many people exposed for the things they share online. Facebook and Twitter are simply expressions of the same desire to 'share' with blogs, social networking and twitter different expressions of this.

Are people recording and storing Skype conversations?

Probably.

Especially anyone with an Ego or a mischief in mind.

'Unstoppable'.

There is no going back to a world without e-learning. Though e-mail might be transposed by texting. Though MySpace has been flattened by Facebook (and who remembers FriendsReunited?) Though Google has superseded Netscape - and Amazon no longer only sells books. And at any moment something new will wash over this digital ocean like a Tsunami. (Pinterest? Instagram? StumbleUpon?)

In relation to e-learning I think we've barely started to see or fully consider the profound changes it will make to educaton - those who are e-taught could leave others in the wrong century when it comes to learning and developing potential.

REFERENCE

Maddox, B (2010) Foreword. Prospect. January 2011.

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