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It is an interesting development that GM recently decided to install Facebook status updates with their Onstar car communication system. Is this surprising? We can make couple of observations here.

First, Facebook is very much integrated into our lives, in particular with young generation. Young generation likes information immediacy and likes to connect with others anytime anywhere. So Facebook integration into the car technology is just another way of embedding ubiquitous pervasive technology in our lives. Moreover Australians spends more time in Social networks such as Facebook, twitter in number of hours per day compared to the rest of the world. So we must be heavy users of Facebook.

Second, we need to consider the history of technology evolution and use. The journey started with emails, and then came SMS and now social network sites like Facebook and Twitter. Now that our smart phones are integrated with 3G technologies, we can connect with Facebook anytime anywhere, so what’s wrong with the car technology embracing this?

Third, this is not a new technology. Already Ford with its Sync system has integrated voice enabled command technology for email access, weather updates, finding businesses nearby, navigation, emergency management with their car system. 70% of cars sold in US in the last two years have installed Ford Sync for only about $400 extra. So cars has already started to act like an information hub like iPhones, iPads etc. So GM is probably playing a catch up game to gain back their market share.

Fourth, though some of us may question the very act of Facebook status updates – they may find it silly, unnecessary and distracting. But to others these shared feeling and connectivity is very important. Often they are important for others poeple like journalists. These micro-contents often are first breaking news for natural calamity or disasters. So while driving, specially for long hours, it may be useful to have the facility to update status and respond to meesages using natural speech is attractive.

What about Australians?

On one hand, for Australians we love new technology. Ford only started to release the Ford Sync in Australia since 2009. So we need to catch up with the rest of the world using cars as information hubs. Early this year (during March & April) we superseded search engines like Google and social networks became the most visited sites by Australians. So for us, this must be exciting times.

On the other hand, we must be worried about safety issues. How safe are these tools? What about noise, music, kids shouting at the back or poor speech recognition – how much distraction will these create for drivers. the ability to use natural speech is welcoming, but how much training is required? Is there any research or data to show that these are not new distractions?

however at the end, it must be safer than using mobile phones and hands to update your status in Facebook.

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Recently I have been doing some readings on “digital citizenship” (thanks to Catherine MCLoughlin)  which is now being dubbed as “citizen 2.0”. In simplest terms, “digital citizenship” is the ability to participate in society online. In much the same way as education has promoted democracy and economic growth, the internet has the potential to benefit Society as a whole, and facilitate the membership and participation of individuals within society. Digital citizenship represents capacity, belonging, and the potential for political and economic engagement in society in the information age. The affordances that are brought about with internet and recent web 2.0 technologies on a broader scale – sharing, collaborating, networking, customizing and personalization enable new forms of civic participation, which may either change or replicate existing social relations. The social communication technologies like web 2.0 offer new channels for contacting officials, discussing issues, and mobilizing, then the network externalities or the benefits of bringing people together online exceed the satisfaction gained by the individual participants – creating what economists call “positive externalities” or spill over benefits.

Westheimer and Kahne (2004) suggested three types of citizens: responsible , participatory and justice-oriented. They also stated that these three categorisation is not necessarily mutually exclusive, but it was important to make them distinct.

The personally responsible citizens acts responsibly in his/her community by, for example, picking up litter, giving blood, recycling, volunteering, paying taxes and staying out of debt.

A participatory citizen actively participate in the civic affairs and the social life of the community at local, state and national levels. Participatory citizens need to understand how government and community organizations work, and they need to understand how to plan and lead meetings.

The justice oriented citizen is one who pursues social justice,  does not simply respond to a problem, instead works to find a solution to the cause of it. They also understand how to value and incorporate diverse and even opposing views when addressing the roots of social problems (Richards 2010).

 The interesting question is: We talk about graduate skills and generic skills – but what about digital citizenship?

Some of the generic and graduate skills like information literacy, ethics, professionalism that we have embedded in our courses are training students not just to be personally responsible citizens, but also aiming at participatory citizens. We do not do much towards training future citizens to be the Justice oriented citizens. Our curriculum embraces the traits and tenants of a personally responsible citizen by teaching students of how to build a good character – be honest, responsible, integrity, and law-abiding by engaging in individual character education and community charitable acts. We ignore important influences like social movements and government policy on efforts to improve society.  We focus on obedience and loyalty but fail to question established structures and programmes using critical reflection and action (Richards 2010).

However university teaches these higher order skills like critical thinking and synthesizing and evaluation. So, higher education instructors – what type of citizens do you aim to develop in your next course?

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Technology (A Special Report) — Business Solutions: Making Sense of Social Software

317 words

18 June 2007

The Wall Street Journal

R10

English

(Copyright (c) 2007, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)

Blogs. Wikis. Social networks. RSS. They don’t even sound like they belong in the office. (Well, maybe RSS.)

Yet “social software,” already well established among consumers, is beginning to make its way inside companies — even if most executives don’t know quite what to make of the phenomenon.

To its supporters, social software is a simple-to-use solution to many of the troubles plaguing office workers in an information-saturated age. It makes it easy, even fun, to share knowledge or collaborate with colleagues. It can reduce email overload and better deliver crucial information where it’s most needed. And all without the hassle and expense of the typical big software deployment.

Managers are curious but wary. They might know about blogs from the Net — and see them mainly as vehicles for unsavory gossip, unbridled opinions or unfiltered musings about foods, pets and hobbies. If they know about wikis, it’s in the context of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, where anyone can write — or edit or erase — anything on almost any subject. As for social networks, the most well-known is probably MySpace; enough said.

In this section, we try to help make sense of these tools, showing how they’re being used inside both large and small companies and providing some guidelines for fitting them into corporate life. We look at how some companies have taken the Wikipedia idea and put it to work collecting and managing their vast storehouses of business knowledge.

We also zero in on one of the most aggressive users of social software: International Business Machines Corp., which has put social software at the center of the way its employees work together, share information and find colleagues with like interests. If Big Blue is embracing it, how scary can it be?

License this article from Dow Jones Reprint Service

http://global.factiva.com/ha/default.aspx

Document J000000020070618e36i0000u

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Second Life

Second Earth

http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/18911/ 

The World Wide Web will soon be absorbed into the World Wide Sim: an environment combining elements of Second Life and Google Earth.

Comments: 

I’ve been working on how we’ll be creating learning experiences in virtual worlds, for technical training and sharing of knowledge.  At one level, this is happening right now — as WOW participants join together and share skills, and in SL as we n00bs pester the more experienced folks. Does the virtual environment change how we learn?  Definitely.  Some things that apply:

1.  You can be “dumb” and nobody can actually know who you are.  Makes experimental learning much easier.

2.  The “one to many” model of traditional education shifts to a much more decentralized model.  Multiple learners, multiple teachers.f

3.  SL offers a “persistent state” where the classroom or campfire continues to exist after we leave.  This allows for informal learning — students might linger after the class, or meet later for discussions. 

4.  Nobody knows that your second avatar is a dog.  Multiple personas allow you to be someone else when you’re learning, or experimenting with new skills.

As we integrate these new tools in learning and knowledge management, it looks like there will be lots of new thinking about how to make it work.

http://holoscape.com/u/

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Web 2.0 Comes To The Enterprise — What The Information Management Professional Needs To Know

August 2, 2007, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Eastern time

(6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. GMT)

Cost: $250

Teleconferences require an internet connection and a phone line. See technical requirements.

Register

Presented By:

Rob KoplowitzRob Koplowitz
Principal Analyst
Forrester Research, Inc.
G. Oliver YoungG. Oliver Young
Analyst
Forrester Research, Inc.

Description

Web 2.0 social computing tools like blogs, wikis, RSS feeds and tagging have proven to be tremendously valuable tools on the public Internet. These tools offer great promise in the enterprise as well. This seminar will cover the risk associated with unsanctioned use of these tools in the enterprise and the opportunity for bringing them into your enterprise is an orderly and controlled fashion.

Agenda

  • An evaluation of the risks associated with unsanctioned use of Web 2.0 tools.
  • The opportunity with these tools and how to pursue it.
  • The role of policy and change management.
  • High-level vendor landscape.

Vendors mentioned: Atlassian, BEA, Lotus, IBM, Microsoft, NewsGator, Oracle, Six Apart, SocialText, and Traction Software.

Related Research

CIOs Want Suites For Web 2.0

Efficiency Gains And Competitive Pressures Drive Enterprise Web 2.0 Adoption

Wikis Change The Meaning Of “Groupthink”

Technical requirements:

An Internet connection with a browser is required for the visual presentation. For the audio component, a separate phone line is required.

You will receive dialing and WebEx instructions via email prior to the Event.

If you have any problems accessing the teleconference presentation, please call the Client Resource Center at 1 866/FORRESTER (1 866/367-7378) or +1 617/613-5730 and identify yourself as a teleconference attendee.

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 Digital Learnig Communities- the Carrick project on Social software in higher education.

“In the complexity of competing study, work and social demands, university students face many challenges to their effective participation in, and engagement with, the university environment. The fragmentation of their time is often associated with a decreased on-campus presence. The Project’s primary aim is to increase undergraduate and postgraduate student engagement, especially peer-engagement and communal learning, through the innovative application of social software in university teaching. Drawing on design-based research approaches, we will devise a series of pilot studies across the three universities to examine ways that social software can provide students with opportunities to engage with their peers in a discourse that explores, interrogates and provides a social ground for their in-class learning.

This project is designed to promote and advance learning and teaching in universities by using social software to foster the development of digital learning communities. The project will produce: (1) an assessment of the communication and information processes and tools preferred by current university students; 2) a set of guides and exemplars, demonstrating strategies for engaging students in pervasive modes of learning and teaching with social software. ”

http://www.mashedlc.edu.au/about

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