I always felt that Martyn Lewis was unfairly pilloried in 1993 for opining that there should be more good news on the news. Is news meant to be a reflection of life, or merely a litany of human failing?
I caught an interesting story (in the car, as always) on Radio 4’s new technologies programme, Click On yesterday which typified, for me, the type of under-reported philanthropic instinct to which I suspect Lewis was referring. Chasing the idea today, I found the following video on YouTube which explains the story. You also get to see what must be a unique three-word sentence: Gateshead Granny Cloud:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/IXxYgpQhsrU?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
The originator of the idea, Sugata Mitra, explains a little more fully here on TED:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/dk60sYrU2RU?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
I heard a resonant expression today on Radio 4’s Click On*: “reconnecting people with their neighbours – with their community – with identities, perhaps that are stronger than their towns or cities.” The speaker, Andy Price, was referring to online communities in a conversation about individuals’ online contributions to their local newspapers.
While I wouldn’t describe my virtual connections as stronger than my 3-dimensional ones, I would defend them as being every bit as real. For example, if it’s true that you are what you read then influence, in the form of recommendations, reviews, links etc. is as likely to come from someone I may perhaps never meet than from a first life friend or colleague. I find this no stranger than the fact that I’ve have yet to set eyes on new neighbours in our tenement (whose door is two metres from ours) since they moved in four months ago.
It’s in the nature of peripateticism not to see most pupils for 80% of the week. Months can pass between sightings of colleagues with whom I apparently share a building. Yet those who participate in eduBuzz – by reading, writing or commenting – enjoy both heightened connectivity and instant access.
In that regard I hope, over the next few weeks, to follow as much as possible of the online course entitled Connectivism offered by George Siemens and Stephen Downes – which kicks off today.
* You can Listen Again to that broadcast until Monday 15th at 16:30. The programme also contains an interesting article on forensic linguistics.