Saturday, February 26, 2005

Martha's Birthday

Martha's Birthday
Martha's Birthday,
originally uploaded by dougsymington.
Here's a picture of Martha and friends on her birthday

Thursday, February 24, 2005


originally uploaded by dougsymington.
Here's a picture of Kalin and Sam the lab taken during a hike at Thetis Lake.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Affordances for Distributed Learning

As indicated previously, this week at OISE/UT we've been asked to use the blogs we have for our class contributions. Specifically we've been asked to consider blogs as well as the "traditional" or threaded discussions we typically use for knowledge building in online environments.

The question I'd like to address in this post, relates to the "affordances" we need to make when working in either of these online environments.

What do you find are the affordances of blogs and the affordances of the discussion environment for different kinds of thinking:


Do they both support aspects of distributed constructionism? of distributed intelligence? please explain

While both dicussion groups and blogs support "distributed constructionism" it is my belief that blogs are a better type of interface for building and disseminating knowledge. I think there are a number of reasons for this:
  1. Blogs are forums that individual contributors (i.e., the "owner" of the blog in question) need to make work

  2. Even though the process of blogging may be a solitary pursuit, "public" posts are more likely to be thoughtful and pertinent to the topic(s) at hand

  3. Blogs are more likely to referenced by others and thus contribute to the "relationship" or "social" aspect of the "network" in question.

  4. While each blog may stand on its own, the more it is linked by others, the more popular and relavant it becomes to the others members of a given "community" of "network"

The Sagers

The Sagers
The Sagers,
originally uploaded by dougsymington.
Here's a picture of Sheena and Eric and the boys following their arrival at the Victoria airport late on Tuesday evening.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Distributed Cognition and Blogging

This week at school we've been asked to use our blogs to make our posts related to the week's readings. I like the idea of using blogs to reflect on the readings.

I've been trying to reconcile the notion of "public and private" as it relates to blogging versus posting to a collaborative forum such as the one we use at OISE/UT -- Knowledge Forum. My take on it is that they're both "private" in that participants must have a username and password to contribute to either forum.

Even though blogging is a solitary pursuit, the irony comes from the fact that I feel the whole benefit of the medium comes from posting to a larger audience. Unless or until I've got something to say "to the world at large" I'm probably better off reflecting and reading until I do.

I also know from personal experience that public posts with peristent links are valuable to me. I frequently look back on posts I've made over the years -- both for reference and to track my thoughts on a subject at a point in my learning.

That said, I think the "self-indulgent" nature of blogging provides a "think out loud" space for testing ideas and pushing the limits of one's knowledge. In this way the individual learner is more likely to be "reflective" when posting. This week will be very intereting when we get together in the group forum after having "blogged" in reaction to this week's readings.

I'm still posting to this interface and the one at OISE/U,T and have already asked "administration" if I can make my school blog "public" -- as always, watch this space for developments.