Learning Change

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Archive for May 5th, 2011

The First Wave of Science 2.0 Slowly Whimpers to an End

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Like social movements, business fads have a limited lifespan. Hunter Thompson’s immortal description of the end of the 1960s springs to mind when taking a look back at the rush to integrate Web 2.o tools and science, with that “five years” timeline immediately leaping out.

The Nature Network launched in 2006, organized around researchers in Boston, then went global in 2007, five years ago. It perhaps offered the high-water mark in terms of the irrational exuberance by publishers and other companies in building big Web 2.0 tools for scientists. For a time, the widespread adoption of these tools seemed inevitable, and business models were an afterthought when investing in revolutionary new technologies.

Five years on, reality has reared its ugly head, and, as is often repeated here at the Scholarly Kitchen, culture has trumped technology. It turns out that what works well for some cultures does not immediately translate into success in others. Rather than focusing on the needs of the research community, much of what passed for Science 2.0 was an attempt to force science to change — to make the culture adapt to the tools rather than the other way around.

Written by learningchange

05/05/2011 at 20:49

Posted in Science, Web 2.0

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Insightful Videos Exploring Why the Finnish Education System Rocks!

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Professor Thomas Baker wrote an insightful blog post recently about why the Finnish education system rocks, and included 5 YouTube videos sharing more insights and secrets behind their success. I did share some secrets about the Finnish education system way back in 2009, and although I have discovered more interesting things about this awesome learning ecosystem, I am going to refrain from spilling it out here, and have decided to dedicate this post to harvest a juicy collection of videos providing more authentic insights. This collection will hopefully be useful for you (and me), as the craze around the world to discover the Finnish education system is increasingly becoming a (wrestle) mania.

Written by learningchange

05/05/2011 at 20:25

Posted in Education, Finland, Systems

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Transdiciplinary Knowledge Production in Architecture and Urbanism: Towards Hybrid Modes of Inquiry

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The volume addresses the hybridisation of knowledge production in space-related research. In contrast with interdisciplinary knowledge, which is primarily located in scholarly environments, transdisciplinary knowledge production entails a fusion of academic and non-academic knowledge, theory and practice, discipline and profession. Architecture (and urbanism), operating as both a discipline and a profession, seems to form a particularly receptive ground for transdisciplinary research. However, this specificity has not yet been developed into a full-fledged, unique mode of knowledge production.

In order to dedicate specific attention to transdisciplinary knowledge production, this book aims to explore (new) hybrid modes of inquiry that allow many of architecture’s longstanding schisms to be overcome: such as between theory/history and practice, critical theory and projective design, the adoption of an external viewpoint and a view-from-within (often under the guise of bottom-up vs. top-down). It therefore offers the reader a mix of contributions that elaborate on knowledge production that is situated in the (architectural and urban) profession or practice, and on practice-based approaches in theory.

Written by learningchange

05/05/2011 at 20:00

Posted in Architecture

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Colonial-industrial training vs. democratic Web education: The experts vs. the people?

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Real global e-learning is when the world is empowered to collaboratively teach itself. This vision and opinion paper is based on the principles of the Global Learning Framework™. For years, the contrast of traditional e-learning’s top-down approach has clashed with the vast wave of collaborative learning that takes place every second and everywhere on the global Internet. Understanding the sharp contrast of academic dictatorial colonial learning management system (LMS) architecture with the public’s collaborative “search learning” practices of everyday Web learning helps us recognize the issues that e-learning silos created and then drives us into a new collaborative world.

Democratic learning (“search learning,” Web-based learning) is common people using the Internet to solve problems, discovering solutions, collaborating with students, and publishing results. All of this goes on while reshaping the knowledge base of the entire planet dynamically and in real-time.  It is free, fast, liberating, massively scalable, and unstoppable.  In democratic Web education, it is the free flow of the creative talent of the globe currently running through over 300,000 education Web sites that are ever growing, beyond the control of any LMS or industry standard.

Written by learningchange

05/05/2011 at 18:50

Using Social Awareness Streams To Learn What People Care About

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A recent paper called “Hip and Trendy: Characterizing Emerging Trends on Twitter” calls social awareness streams “a class of communication and information platforms”. Those platforms are social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and even Youtube. Any place that we post 140 word comments with or without links, comments, pictures, videos and links are social online water coolers.

We’ve learned to Twitter while watching our favorite TV shows or mourn together the death of famous people. Facebook is used for both personal connections, as well as business use for marketing and gaining brand recognition through the involvement of “friends” and “fans”.

A slew of studies have shown the global impact on information, communication and the media due to popular social networking websites. For example, information and news are instant. In real-time using Twitter alone, hundreds of millions of users can log in and learn the latest interests, happenings, events, news and even public attitudes and opinions.

Sure, there’s always a debate about whether all this access to information is healthy or even necessary. But in general, the world has adapted and certain technologies thrive on this constant instant access to us. For web design, online marketing, user experience design and content writing, social awareness streams offer the opportunity to discover trending topics, opinions, and new resources. Your target market is talking to you and all you have to do is tap into their discussion streams.

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Written by learningchange

05/05/2011 at 16:43

Manuel De Landa – Markets and Antimarkets in the World Economy

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One of the most significant epistemological events in recent years is the growing importance of historical questions in the ongoing reconceptualization of the hard sciences. I believe it is not an exaggeration to say that in the last two or three decades, history has almost completely infiltrated physics, chemistry and biology. It is true that nineteenth century thermodynamics had already introduced an arrow of time into physics, and hence the idea of irreversible historical processes. It is also true that the theory of evolution had already shown that animals and plants were not embodiments of eternal essences but piecemeal historical constructions, slow accumulations of adaptive traits cemented together via reproductive isolation. However, the classical versions of these two theories incorporated a rather weak notion of history into their conceptual machinery: both thermodynamics and Darwinism admitted only one possible historical outcome, the reaching of thermal equilibrium or of the fittest design. In both cases, once this point was reached, historical processes ceased to count. For these theories, optimal design or optimal distribution of energy represented, in a sense, an end of history.

Written by learningchange

05/05/2011 at 16:36

Posted in DeLanda, Market

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Guidelines for Leveraging Collective Knowledge and Insight

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Knowledge workers in any organization have a wealth of insights that are available to their organization to address the difficult issues the organization is facing. Drawing out those insights requires bringing knowledge workers together in meetings that are expressly designed to take advantage of collective knowledge. Over the years, as I have designed such meetings, I have come to rely on seven principles that work together to make the most of collective knowledge in conference settings as well as in-house meetings. The principles have been assembled from the work of many researchers and thought leaders. Where possible I have identified the sources.

Written by learningchange

05/05/2011 at 15:22

The structure of the Web

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Systems as diverse as the World Wide Web, Internet or the cell are described by highly interconnected networks with amazingly complex topology. Recent studies indicate that these networks are the result of self-organizing processes governed by simple but generic laws.

Written by learningchange

05/05/2011 at 15:15

State of Uncertainty – Innovation policy through experimentation

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This paper proposes a new model for innovation policy that clearly distinguishes it from industrial policy. We challenge the idea, implicit in much existing practice, that governments operate levers that affect innovation in predictable ways, and argue that innovation policy should instead be conceived as a process of discovery, required because the creation and exploitation of new ideas by entrepreneurs is by nature radically uncertain.

This calls for an institutional role we term the ‘experimental state’: where experimental processes are embedded in publicly supported innovative activity – without constraining the innovators within the rigid, pre-ordained coordinates of a traditional industrial ‘plan’ or ‘growth strategy’ – and where public activities are designed to ensure that the private discoveries they support are codified and disseminated, thereby reducing entrepreneurial uncertainty.

Written by learningchange

05/05/2011 at 11:38

Posted in Innovation

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Knowledge, complexity, and innovation systems

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The book addresses the relationship between knowledge, complexity and innovation systems. It integrates research findings from a broad area including economics, business studies, management studies, geography, mathematics and science & technology contributions from a wide range group of international experts. In particular, it offers insights about knowledge creation and spillovers, innovation and learning systems, innovation diffusion processes and innovation policies. The contributions provide an excellent coverage of current conceptual and theoretical developments and valuable insights from both empirical and conceptual work. The reader gets an overview about the state of the art of the role of innovation systems and knowledge creation and diffusion in geographical space.

Written by learningchange

05/05/2011 at 10:39

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