Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I have been looking at the 'Technology Enhanced Learning' project that is now part of Teaching and Learning Research. They have started some seminars and two of them are available online.

My opinion is that 'learning' is an adequate word even if used casually without formal agreement on what it means. I think the web is now widely accepted so even adding an "e" serves no great purpose. coming up with the term "technology enhanced learning" seems to be making it more complicated just to invent a subject. I recently found a tape of a Douglas Adams talk on Radio 4 where he explains that "technology" is a word used about something that is not working yet. So electricity is not technology. Nor is the web a lot of the time.

The EU seems to be the source of this new term so I have looked on Google and found a Cordis page explaining a bit more.

"With the shift towards the knowledge society, the change of working conditions and the high-speed evolution of information and communication technologies, peoples' knowledge and skills need continuous up-dating. Learning, based on collaborative working, creativity, multidisciplinarity, adaptiveness, intercultural communication and problem solving, has taken on an important role in everyday life. The learning process is becoming pervasive, both for individuals and organisations, in formal education, in the professional context and as part of leisure activities. Learning should be accessible to every citizen, independent of age, education, social status and tailored to his/her individual needs.

To meet these social challenges is a leading issue of European research on the use of technology to support learning in the 6th EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (2002-2006)."

Why not just accept that the web is part of this and stay with this as a description of 'learning'?

The seminars seem to be looking at research for designing learning environments. There is a lot happening on the web already, some of which can be described as informal learning. I think that engaging with the web in general could be a useful form of 'research'. There was mention on the video of 'the educational blogosphere' but I got the impression that the printed journals were the centre of the discussion and that 'technology enhanced learning' is on the way towards becoming another defined subject.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I have done a Google doc as a draft for next year. Thinking about online in reverse order makes more sense as it puts the digital print and then the bookfair after the online information.

This will make more sense later.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Information Today blog has a lot of photos and pretty full coverage.

Commenting on the keynote, Michelle Manafy writes

"I won't go into a lengthy analysis of my first impression of this sprawling and dislocated show (uh, right now I mean physically as the show is so far from the floor--but we'll see if I can draw larger inferences from this comment later). Anyhow, first take from the keynote: something we’ve been saying at EContent for a while now… content is not just that which is produced proactively AS content. This is too narrow a view and will limit the success of any organization. All organizations must view content as, in large part, a byproduct of doing actual work. Keynoter Thomas Stewart from the Harvard Business Review, sees three types of “knowledge”: instilled (yielding smarter products), distilled (knowledge turned into a product), and black box knowledge services (we know a lot about what we do and can help you do it too). I’d extend it to content, quite happily: knowledge collected as a byproduct of your employees’ work or better, as a byproduct of how your customers use your product, services, or even content can help you work better and offer them more."

So knowledge is in the context of work, or at least some form of activity. I'm not sure if the academics at the show accept this, but it makes sense for me.
This report from CMS Wire shows connections with Web 2

Found through Google News
The Information World Review blog is covering the main points from the conference. See previous post for link.

I have added a comment to a general post so I now know the first official blogger. I am not sure if the IWR blog will cover the free seminars tomorrow on social software, blogs etc.

More later. I have got as far as Easy Internet Cafe on High Street Kensington. So next post may be from the actual show.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Online Information this week. I am still in Exeter but plan to be there Wed and Thur.

I have done a draft article for OhmyNews.

Please add comments here if you have something to add to the draft. You may be quoted in an eventual story. Deadline over the weekend.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The November e.learning age includes an article by Donald Hunter suggesting that education is struggling to keep pace with student expectations about technology and presentation. Mobiles are assumed and Google is familiar. "Simply put, today's students learn differently to previous generations. They have come to expect information to be presented in timely, dynamic and entertaining forms."....."deep down we expect students to learn the way we did"..."what this adds up to is a paradigm gulf that separates students from the learning experience."

This is confirming the idea that I should just take a look at what is happening, rather than worry too much about the theory behind a design. I have so far more or less ignored the conferencing features in Acrobat 8. I still think the JDF for print is worth continuing with but I have written in the IPEX 2002 blog about imagining some time travel to move the world of print on towards 2008. More on this later. it may make sense eventually.

So I hope to spend the next few months observing what happens with forms of collaboration such as Breeze or now Acrobat Connect. It is not yet available outside the US. It seems to me to combine featurea available elsewhere. The whiteboard idea, videoconferencing and internet chat or phone are all available and have been for a while. I still prefer text but this is probably dated so is due for reconsideration.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

There are some reports coming out about the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco. I am struck by this photo of Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, by JD Lasica from Ourmedia. He looks the part for a solid business event. Last year Tim O'Reilley in a suit was not quite as convincing.

I am not sure how Google will be seen during the Online Information event in London. A couple of years back there was some resistance to Google winning an award. There is still some opposition from publishers to the idea of scanning books. But it is clear that Google is viable so there is a base of people working with them even if that is not an overlap with the entire Online Information world.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Recent posts in other blogs connect with learning.

In IPEX 2002 I have noted that the availability of Acrobat 8 is a defining moment for me in that I realise what I like about all the previous versions. The addition of Flash through Breeze or Connect is not really what I am expecting and I don't yet see it as engaging. Making the server support for collaboration in PDF avaiable at a price more people could consider would to my mind be more of a welcome change. The effect though is that I realise I am now ok with online documents as PDF replacing print. The PDF design on screen is familiar froma paper experience. Breeze and Flash are moving us into video and animation. I am slowly getting used to this and am not at all convinced that it helps collaboration.

Also on wifi Exeter I have come to think that wi-fi is not contributing to festivals in real space and time so mucgh as extending the normal web outside of space and time. Not sure how this works as learning but the effect of video on YouTube and Google appears to work as souvenir and promotion of future events. More on this later, maybe linked back here as learning.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I have now started another Google custom search engine on JDF. This is still a major concern. I may be going back in time but hard copy is still a lot of what is going on. The main group still stays as PDF-IS9000-quality-learning. JDF is not as widely known as PDF so could put this out of balance if added.

Google are linking to an article by Eric Enge on how to do this customising a search engine.seems somewhere between quality and learning so I will keep coming back to this.

The search engine approach is making more sense but I still don't understand the theory of it. The 'Network Management Learning' discussion has questioned 'communities of practice' as an explanantion of the web given the weakness of the links. Search engines are about as weak as links can get.

There is a lso a lot of theory about language and contested words. The ones that are interesting for me at the moment are






These will come up more in the swickis than in the Google customised search engines (GCSE may not take off as a term in the UK)

Google co-op? Surely it is a quoted corporate? It may not have done any evil as yet but there could be more pressure on it if the sales growth ever hits a bump. We just don't know. Meanwhile the ICA has a claim to the co-op word. Whether the ICA has taken web technology as far as it might is another question that can be returned to.

Chris Grey has written 'Against Learning(PDF)' in a way that prioritises education as in established structures and disciplines. A search engine about 'learning' is connected to online even without an e as in "e-learning" or some other new set of words. It may include informal learning or just adult experience. "Anti-performativity"

"Engagement" is a word Adobe use to describe a new platform including Flash as well as html, pdf and xml. My problem is that I don't usually find Flash engaging. Not just the annoying banner and popup ads. Flash paper is likley to be followed by a reader that moves PDF into Flash. Maybe some people will like this but there is no way to copy text out for your own comments or to combine with something else and construct new meaning.

Video is ok as such and I realise Quicktime files are usually larger but it is possible to edit them. Streamed Flash content has gone. Maybe this is good for content owners but it is not engaging.

I have yet to meet anyone from the London College of Communication who would not prefer to back to the College being known to be about Printing. Maybe the word 'communication' has yet to be explained and promoted. Maybe other words would help explore this. The 'Knowledge Based Economy' may have started with printing. Maybe earlier but print technology gave it a boost. I will try to check out the KBE again. It may just be mostly words but there may be some basis as well.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I have started some search engines with the new Google approach to customisation. I still think Eurekster and Swickis will survive as they are more like a network. The design tolerates muddle and ambiguity, at least the way I use it. The Google approach seems to be looking for where to concentrate for maximum traffic. This is not always the best way to make new connections or allow for changes.

On the learn9 site there is a diagram 'hello spiders' where the swickis more or less fit together.

The Google ones are just about four things -PDF, ISO 9000, quality and learning. There is an overlap but you would have to do the same search in more than one of them. this assumes I manage to build some influence into them eventually. So far they seem to largely follow the main Google system.

'Learning' seems to me to be a good term, the fact this is an online search engine is enough of a clue without using e-learning, or ICT, or technology enhanced learning or networked management learning or information systems or whatever is claimed to exist at the moment. Last week at the LCC Futures Conference there was a fairly convincing case made that most e-learning projects have failed in their stated intentions as designed. However in the discussion on web design and Web 2.0 there was frequent use of the word 'learning', just to describe something that happens in normal life. Normal life includes the web so the technical term may be 'blended learning' though 'learning' has a meaning for most people.

There is one about ISO9000 as I realise this is still important. The learn9 swicki gets more searches on this than I expected. The 'quality' one will have a much wider scope, including critique of ISO9000 and alternatives.

There is another one about PDF, a scope that includes print and web. As an Adobe fan, i try to keep an open mind about Flash but I think PDF will be a focus for a while yet.

Links to the new search engines-

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Trying out how to embed video. The link works ok in the previous post but I am inspired by an example on Buzzmachine from Jeff Jarvis.

So here is a copy of some YouTube code-

Email may not be junk. I recently got a newsletter from Epic that makes more sense than most of what I come across about e-learning. Steve Barden's article is headed "Latest Leadership Thinking – Let 'Me' Be Your Leader". It looks at how informal learning is taking advantage of technology.

"To a great extent I think the learning culture in many organisations has moved faster than the culture of training. Learners have taken to doing it for themselves through Google and a whole range of new online collaborative resources and tools. Informal learning has eaten into training territory on the back of this online expansion and significantly affected the learning culture."

It seems to me that YouTube could be included here. There is some mindbending rubbish but also some detailed instruction. Until recently, searching on "Bert Jansch" found almost nothing by Bert Jansch but several home videos of private performances. There is an extensive discussion including requests for detailed views of how a tune is played. See for example . The comments include some criticism that is then accepted, so don't take this as the best example for the little finger.

The discussion also covers the correct spelling of "Anji" or "Angie" quoting use over fourty years of history. "Angie" may be a different tune, only based on work by
Davey Graham. Since October 5th there has also been an extract from a BBC4 tv session. This may reflect the new acceptance of YouTube or it may not last very long. Suggest Bert Jansch fans check it soon.

If this is the "new thinking on leadership", we seem to be going back to some of the ideas around the "learning organisation". Energy from people directly involved in the process, that sort of thing. Maybe the Epic thinking is for practitioners and academics are finding "leadership" more interesting as a focus. YouTube could offer some stories for more than one approach.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I have added a poll at the Squidoo lens on W.E. Deming.

It asks if the Deming approach ever been tried in the USA?

It is known that Deming was listened to in Japan in the 1950s. Apparently he was listened to by Ford and others in the USA in the 1980s. Did they actually understand what he was saying?

Keep scrolling down, the poll is at the bottom of the page.
I am beginning to get stats on my Adwords program. Five actualk clickthoughs so far but lots of info on words that are used.

"search constructed knowledge" has had no interest at all so I have taken it out of the copy. Replaced by "learning with search". "Learning" has a following so this may work better.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Following Google University I have been thinking more about words and numbers and how to link in to advertising. Looking again at Eurekster it turns out they have started to include advertising so I have added this to each Swicki. I am about to get some actual stats on a global basis, well not global exactly but from the web as a whole. Previously trying to reach a UK audience has been confusing, all the stats show a 15% UK audience or close to this.

Information World Review is now covering 'Office 2.0' as well as 'Enterprise 2.0'. As the Wikipedia prefers 'enterprise social software' I have decided to add all the options to the learn9 wordcloud. They are each very small at the moment. For 'enterprise 2.0' there were 130,962 sites earlier today. The 'Enterprise Social Software' in Wikipedia showed up ahead of the ZD Net blog. 'Office 2.0' finds 215,755 but I think some are just about Office in general. 'Enterprise Social Software' finds only 45,012 but they ae mostly interesting, extended blog writing for example. 'Information 2.0' finds 461,301 but I can't see any pattern in this. It is a term for the Online Information show. i may add it if something else happens. I may take them off again, but it seems a good way to track some of the discussion through the conference phase.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

This photo from Google University at AdTech. I plan to compare this with the Online Information event later this year. In the UK normally you need the Privy Council to agree to the use of the name "University". Somehow the US approach is gaining strength that companies can set up a university as well.

More on the content later. A lot of it was round the idea of a 'quality score', mostly based on how relevant your advert would be to a particular search query. I am thinking about how this fits with other quality theory.

Meanwhile Google Video seems to have given up the struggle with YouTube and opted for the high ground and more academic content. UC Berkeley have deposited a mass of course records. I liked one about search quality but it took them a while to get the slides working. The video just rolls on, this approach is not very mysterious.

The Online Information event is around the theme of "Information 2.0". Not sure what this implies but I am trying to mix it around "Web 2.0" just to check out what the official information scene has to offer. Open Access Journals for example do not yet carry the same weight as the expensive ones but some form of knowledge exists just through search and the web in general.

I have put a comment on the official blog, following on from David Weinberger last year. The IWR blog seems to be questioning the "Web 2.0" term as suffering a loss of meaning over time. The conference in San Francisco will surely come up with something though.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Off to Adtech tomorrow, including the Google University. Almost entirely about advertising and stats analysis, I think. The use of 'university' as a word is a US approach, when applied to companies. Personally I think a Google University should exist all year round not just on special occasions. There is an online version so this is a case of 'blended learning'.

Meanwhile Cambridge University has come up with a new approach to A Levels. See 'Fast Forward to the Past' in the Guardian. There is a very short list of suitable subjects for a new 'pre-U' qualification for the really bright people for the top unis. 'Media Studies' is not on the list, or design technology or IT. Economics ok but not sociology. Too close to media studies probably.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Back in Exeter. seem to have been in Lancaster a while.

Written for OhmyNews about buildings and open space in Morecambe.

I didn't mention the buildings on the campus as they were not part of the schedule. 76 Church Street is currently in use for a mobile computer operation. Lots of personal computers on a network. Seems to work ok even in a Jacobean / Georgian context. So why is trhe university showing off InfoLab? For 40 years or so most of the buildings were hidden from the motorway. In the discussion on the KBE there was not much discussion on technology as such. What sort of equipment is inside the building? an IBM mainframe? Some sort of cooling device for a hot chip? Maybe they could have used an old building instead. Is the shape just rhetoric in another form?

viewed from Galgate

official photo

Friday, September 01, 2006

Yesterday wrong about the statement there are few people here from SE England. Allan Willimas is here from London Met. Paper on mobility but I missed it.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Day one of the Knowledge Based Economy conference. I am in the library where the web works ok but there is no coffee. Otherwise fine.

Conference has started well. the idea of knowledge is not limited to academic sources. Michael Hulme emphasised personal knowledge and collaborative knowledge creation through blogs and wikis. "The onus of critical judgement is thrown back to the individual."

John Urry commented that the role of the individual is balanced by a dependence on computers and electronic systems with 'a dark and dystopic side of systemic dependencies' liable to catastrophic failure. Not sure if systems will be seen with any encouraging potential but this is only day one.

Some discussion on whether the KBE is centred on London and the south east in the UK. One thing I notice is that the people attending are not from Oxford, Cambridge or London academic sites other than DEMOS. Not sure why this may be.

From the first workshop I discover that 'excellence' and quality are among the top issues in editorial coverage of higher education in the USA. Based on looking at 252 articles in the New York Times, LA Times and Washington Post. So quality could be a topic of interest for academics. The discussion suggested that most of the articles responding to journalists came from individual academics rather than any organised presentation by universities as a group.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I have started a topic on the Prolearn discussion space

forums and polls , then "Engaging SMEs in e-learning"

My paper is a bit off topic for e-learning but a lot could follow. I have put some questions about 'network management learning' at the end. I still don't understand most of what is written but it could be worked through later.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I have printed out copies of the paper for the IAS conference on the Knowledge Based Economy, so that is the final version this week.

PDF version now on the Learn9 site.
Also an open document. Open Office required but I am gradually getting used to it and I think most people should have access to a copy.

The slides PDF just as previously. About 2 meg.

Meanwhile I am trying to update an article on quality for OhmyNews. Previously i did one based on Quality Circles and mentioning ISO 9000 towards the end. I am trying to do another one leading on the latest ISO survey. This continues to show growth in China and slight decline in the UK. It has been suggested I should explain more about the background so this needs working on. Maybe I will get some ideas during the conference.

One problem I can't avoid is that I do not know anything about how ISO 9000 is used in China or an Asian take on quality. The journalism takes the form of asking a question. Maybe later others will send in reports to OhmyNews and the editors will shape something together.

Current version-

Continued growth in China use of ISO 9000
Mixed sector pattern in USA and UK

The ISO survey for 2005 shows continued growth in the use of ISO 9000, a standard for quality assurance and in the environmental standard ISO 14000. The two standards are connected by a common approach to auditing, systems thinking and learning through corrective action and system review. Growth continues strongly in China, where there is now the largest number of ISO 9000 certificates. Growth in the UK has stopped but there is interest in the specialised standard for medical equipment.

China now has 143,823 certificates, up by 10,000 from 2004. The ISO comments that "the strong performance of China, which is again in the top 10 countries for growth in both ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001 certification, and of India, which is again in the top 10 for ISO 9001:2000 growth and enters the top 10 for ISO 14001 growth, is no doubt partly linked to their increasing participation in global supply chains, in export trade and in business process outsourcing."

The standard may be seen as essential for getting onto the list of suppliers for companies that also use ISO 9000. There has not been much research on how the standards are used but given the current scale there are probably sites where the standard is being used creatively.

In the UK the number of certificates is now below 50,000 rather than above as in 2004. There had been a previous dip while companies adjusted to the revised version of the standard in 2000. The standard originally started as a UK standard (BS 5750) so some observers have suggested that the UK decline in use shows there are problems in maintaining the paperwork and that long term benefits may not occur. The 2000 revision calls for involvement by senior management in system review. It is possible that there has been some reluctance around this.

The ISO comments on the rising importance of services in the global economy. "nearly 33 % of ISO 9001:2000 certificates and 31 % of ISO 14001 certificates in 2005 went to organizations in the service sectors. The latter statistic also illustrates that good environmental management is not just for smoke stack industry and that service providers are accepting their social responsibilities in this area."

Japan is way ahead of China on the environmental standard - 23,466 compared to 12,683. The USA has just over 5,000. Japan has other approaches to quality but the support for ISO 14000 suggests that it is possible to use the methods as part of a management approach.

Figures are also published for two specialised standards based on ISO 9000. ISO 16949 covers automative products in the car industry. This replaces previous industry and company standards. In this sector the USA leads with 3,693 compared to 2,151 for China and 2,115 for Germany. The USA also leads on ISO 13485 for medical equipment with 1310 certificates, followed by the UK with 973 and Germany with 824. There has been a view that the USA has had no need to adopt ISO 9000 as quality policies already exist. This may change with the example of automative and medical. At least there will be some sectors with relevant experience.

I am unable to explain the mixed pattern across countries and sectors. There is very little information available on how the standards are used. Other reports for OhmyNews might help to give some background on particular countries or regions. The recent conference on citizen journalism considered 'best practices' so some quality theory could be relevant without getting too lost in ISO language.

There is some evidence on the web that ISO 9000 systems can work alongside quality circles and moves for improvement. Joseph Nebus has reported on a trip to Thailand where he had his first trip in an ISO 9000 certified taxi. He found much publicity for ISO 9000 also in Singapore as well as support for quality circles with 12% of the workforce participating.

By contrast, quality circles have almost disappeared in the UK. David Hutchins recently updated an article on his website originally from 1982, with this explanation-

"In the year 1998 there were reported to be more than 20 million Circles in China and in every country in the Far East. Both Toyota and Honda announced in 2004 that they are going for 100% involvement in Quality Circles in all of their plants worldwide.

Toyota and Honda are both making huge profits in their manufacturing plants in the USA, China is about to enter that market. At the same time, General Motors are reported to have lost $1.5Bn in the first six months of 2004, MG Rover was liquidated and the plant is now owned by the Chinese.
Ford also lost money and Chrysler are currently in deep trouble. Of course it is not all down to Quality Circles, it would be stupid to suggest that it was but they are part of the reason and that is good enough! Why do Toyota and Honda clearly regard the concept to be so important whilst the West completely ignores it? Who is right? ."

My previous report "Quality Control Goes Round in Circles" covered some background to this. One possibility is that the approach to quality circles has a consequence for the suitability of ISO 9000.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I have started up a home on US Cyworld. It takes a while to get used to this. Mostly for swapping music files etc. i guess but I am also interested in how quality ideas fit in. I found out about Cyworld through OhmyNews. The US launch is a new phase. I have started a 'quality club'. Unfortunately I can't load a text or graphic. Text ok but graphic falls over and then you can't save anything. I think the launch is official, not a beta site but still an issue there I think. Maybe I should be scrolling down to some other button.

I have written for OhmyNews a report on the latest ISO survey on 9000 and 14000. The growth in Asia contrasts with UK stasis. Hard to explain and I can't claim to know what is happening. OhmyNews and Cyworld may contribute a space for a discussion. They are based in Korea but gradually involving wider communities.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Meanwhile the OhmyNews Forum has been totally solid as far as I can tell. I have been back to sleep so am more or less on UK time now. The webcast worked ok for sound, then mostly stills a bit jerky. The slides were missing sometimes. Still, a lot will turn up later.

I think the move to start something in Japan will probably work ok. There may be more podcasts and video as things turn out.

The Korean base seems really strong in social terms as well as technology. My impression is they did less visits than last year to technology sites. But there was mention of wireless speeds as a government concern.

The 'knowledge-based economy' is a reality in Incheon.
Next week there is a space for my paper during the workshop on organisations as part of the Lancaster IAS project on the Knowledge Based Economy. It seems awfully soon.

the paper is intended for the conference at the end od August. I have redone the website more or less as a sequence so I will work some more on that.

I get the impression there is more readiness to look at quality and organisation, even as part of a critique of some rhetoric. There will be a look at cultural industries involving the local RDA as part of the conference so there must be some reality to it.

I notice Peter Checkland has a new book coming out - Learning for Action - that seems to be an introduction to other works, including information systems. I think I will add this in. I have always thougt that SSM was about learning but somehow the Department of Management Learning has rarely made much of a connection. And contrarywise. I can't remember anyone from Management Science being at the conferences organised by Management Learning.

The Institute for Advanced Studies is not based in a particular discipline so this could be a good chance to look at this again.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The OhmyNews Forum is about to start. They are eight hours ahead of UK so tomorrow is a bit sooner.

There is a story already with a welcome and comments from Oh Yeon-ho, founder and CEO of OhmyNews

"Two of the most prominent buzzwords in recent years have been Web 2.0 and UCC (user-created content). Underlying both concepts is the belief that collective participation will lead to an optimum solution or conclusion. In other words, decisions will best be made when there is truly mass participation through the Internet.

While giant corporations rush to find a way of commercializing these concepts, citizen journalism, I believe, represents the most developed model for Web 2.0 and UCC. It depends not only on the participation of the masses but on the participation of those who think critically and creatively.

Writing a news story requires a good deal of time and consideration. It is much more difficult, for example, than leaving a comment or posting a blog entry. Though we are an open platform accessible to everyone, not everyone can write a news story. Only those citizen reporters who are passionately committed to social change and reporting make our project possible. The main reason that citizen journalism has not grown and spread more rapidly is the difficult task of finding and organizing these passionate citizen reporters in waiting."

I think these issues are very relevant for my attempts to link ideas about quality and learning. Oh Yeon-ho speaks of the difficulties of "organizing" so there is an organisation aspect to what OhmyNews is developing. I think there is a quality aspect when he says that underlying both the concepts of Web 2.0 and User Created Content "is the belief that collective participation will lead to an optimum solution or conclusion."

To say that citizen journalism is "the most advanced model" for both Web 2.0 and UCC is a significant claim and is making sense so far.

The webcast could be about 2 or 3 pm UK time. Not sure if there is a repeat.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I have added a page about stats for the paper draft. The recent Deming SIG meeting on SPC reminded me that this an aspect of websites I often forget. The problem with the UK Acrobat Services site is that most of the audience is not from the UK. Nothing seems to change this. I started the US focus site with a ".com" and the first page of the suggests people go there if they are not in the UK. Not much difference, the process is not in control.

But the Swickis seem to be working ok in terms of getting searches more or less as expected.

'soft systems' is doing well on the learn9 swicki. I may try to look at this again. There may not be enough time for this at the conference but it could come up as part of looking at Deming on systems thinking.
I have started to look at Prolearn again. They are an EU project on professional e-learning. My impression is they have no problem in admitting 'quality' as an element in their thinking. They want to end up with methods that can be shared with people working in companies. That is not to stop them coming up with new research ideas of course. Just because they accept quality they are not restricted to a 'positive' methodology. Recent conference on social software. Links to blog. Links to blog conference. Maybe it is just another example of rhetoric to disguise a neo-liberal project. But I think there will be more to find on Prolearn that is interesting for the KBE discussion.
Later today there should be a guide to other blogs that I work on or at least a diagram as part of my learn9 website. This is about learning so one current idea is to make the blogs at least appear more coherent. I have tended to just start another one and then not continue.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Just had another look at M@n@gement. The site design has been updated. Much better, in my opinion. More space around things. Previously it looked to me that the list of articles was the only focus. Now it is easier to navigate the site. Also there is a search option, using Google. The only problem I find is the page with a form for submitting an article. At least this has a date - autumn 2006 - when nthe form will be available. This is consistent with a corrective action procedure.

Also the description of what they will accept mentions video, sound anything that fits. So far I can't find examples where this is used.
My paper proposal has been accepted for the Lancaster conference. Update needed for the website, maybe tomorrow.

The Swickis seem to be working. Somebody has pushed a relevant result for CMS up the list in the Anti-Performativity one.

Should be this one. Not sure if it will still be top of the list. This is about how to engage through CMS but I still don't know how people have followed this up.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It turns out my comments on the blog were not that relevant as the blog is only meant for an audience that already understands some Buddhist ideas.

The Coaching Buddhists website as more.

Phone conversation with Viramitra convinces me that things are more complex than I like to assume. Terms like 'Asian values' are not obvious in meaning as Buddhism can be western. I still think there is something about the approach to quality in Asia that is different to what I usually come across in the UK.
One theme that will probably come up in Lancaster is that on the web there are many 'weak links', so many that ideas around a 'community of practice' stop making much sense.

Recently a friend in Exeter has started to blog so I can experiment a bit in exchanging some words online and then check out what he makes of it in real time and space. The blog is here.

My first comment is that this is not yet much of a blog as such. It is a copy of an article. Also as it was originally written for a Buddhist audience it needs more explanation for the open world of blogging. What are the "Brahma Viharas" ? I have found a website through Google but need some confirmation this is along the same lines as the blog.

Western Buddhism is definitely a useful reference point, relevant currently for discussing OhmyNews and ideas about quality. Fortunately if I try to write about 'Asian values' and management theory the editors at OhmyNews can rewrite it to appear resonable. Making sense of this in a way that can work in the UK is going to be more complicated. There are a lot of Christians in Korea by the way. Generalising is problematic but that probably won't stop me.
OhmyNews have published my report on the Knowledge Based Economy conference coming up in Lancaster.

They have changed the headlines and rearranged the text so it appears a lot more sensible. I managed to slip in some of the argument I hope to include in a paper proposed for the conference. You do get a 'voice' with citizen journalism, that is a major point.

I am trying to think of the next few months as one event, maybe up to the Online Information show. Even if the 'paper' is not accepted, I will get some feedback and the words can take some other form.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Manchester as a Knowledge Resource

Conference to close with a return to reality

(this is text as submitted for OhmyNews)

An academic conference on the 'knowledge economy' will close with a keynote from Dr Cathy Garner, currently Managing Director of Manchester Knowledge Capital. It can be assumed that this will relate at least some of the discussion during the conference to a description of actual Manchester as it exists.

Themes include "Discourses and Narratives of the Knowledge-Based Economy" so there could be analysis of some claims as if they were rhetoric, intended to disguise something else. The conference description states that "The Knowledge-Based Economy (KBE) conjures a world of smart people, in smart jobs, doing smart things, in smart ways, for smart money, increasingly open to all rather than a few. It has become the dominant economic strategy for many countries, regions, and cities and is endorsed by many economic, political, and social forces. It has also been criticized for creating a digital divide, new forms of social exclusion, and restricting access to the intellectual commons."

There is a "critique" strand in academic thinking that tends to see any set of words as part of a neo-liberal project to assist globalising capitalism. KBE could be interpreted as just the latest version of this.

Some of these topics relate to the OhmyNews conference on best practices for citizen journalism, both about technology changes and associated developments in culture and social organisation. The 'ubiquitous dream hall' is clearly a showcase for the Korean IT industry but the main topic will be the practice of citizen journalism and wider access to 'the intellectual commons'. My own impression is that citizen reporters are just a part of citizen journalism and that the editors, software and organisation are significant elements. Studies of formal organisation are not always seen as interesting, but I think they remain relevant.

This will be the first major conference organised by the Institute for Advanced Studies, a new initiative for interdisciplinary and postdisciplinary research in Management, Social Sciences and the Arts & Humanities. The Knowledge Based Economy is the focus for the inaugural annual programme, a series of workshops leading up to the conference.

Previous conferences at Lancaster have included two about 'Management Theory at Work'. The idea that 'citizens' or 'practitioners' can contribute to such conferences is officially welcomed. See the recent article by Claire George. However this cannot always be easily reconciled with other views expressed. One closing keynote by Chris Grey argued that Business Schools could not and should not claim to offer any managerial knowledge, but should continue the university role of critique in society. Similar ideas are expressed in a PDF working paper 'Against Learning', available for free download from the Judge Business School in Cambridge.

One of the research clusters at the Lancaster Institute for Advanced Studies is around 'Performativity'. As described on the website,- "Organizations, institutions, nation states even global regions are often portrayed in terms of their performance. Performance itself can be viewed as institutionalised, ritualised, commodified even deified if the discourse pervading managing the public sector is anything to go by."

It is also the case that "Anti-Performativity" can be seen as having so strong a base in universities that it is a problem for practitioners to grasp where theory can be related to any form of activity. My own interest is mainly in quality systems. Since the book 'Making Quality Critical' by Wilkinson and Wilmott was published in 1995 it seems to have been difficult in the UK to relate quality assurance ideas with the study of 'learning organisations'.

The discussion around citizen journalism includes an aspect of 'critique' based on American pragmatism. At last year's OhmyNews Forum, Jeremy Iggers spoke about how he started an experiment in civic journalism in the U.S.

"At the time, I was finishing up a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Minnesota, and writing a dissertation about the ethics of journalism. One of the philosophers who influenced me most was the American pragmatist, John Dewey, who wrote about the importance of having a knowledgeable engaged public that played an active role in democratic life. My thought was that it would be a good idea to see what the newspaper could do to foster public participation, and to encourage better public understanding of important public issues."

There is a connection between Dewey's ideas on education and Deming's ideas on knowledge as part of his approach to quality. This may come up in the discussion about best practices for citizen journalism.

Whatever the reservations about 'performativity', there will also be pragmatic conclusions from the conference on the KBE, at least relating to Manchester.

On 7th January 2005 UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown opened the new North Campus Incubator Unit, part of the University of Manchester.

"What a pleasure it is to be in Manchester to see the huge changes taking place in this great city that led the Industrial Revolution and is now leading the knowledge revolution of the 21st Century," he said.

The Chancellor added that the university would be a future world leader and the city and region would become one of the most prosperous in Europe.

This could be seen as just more "spin" but there is some basis in reality.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The good news is that comments are now working ok on the Auricle blog. Not sure why this never worked for me before. I started a Talk topic at the Guardian instead. I will try to keep the Guardian one going enough not to be deleted. It should be a useful place for comments around . For the next few months I will be working around a paper for the conference on the 'knowledge economy' organised by the Institute for Advanced Studies at Lancaster. I don't think the paper will be accepted but it is a useful chance to sort out some ideas.

Meanwhile I am getting some response on the new swickis for learn9 and 'anti-performativity'. A swicki is a form of managed search engine that builds on feedback. I get stats on existing terms and new ones. At the moment 'anti-performativity' gets most interest. 'learn9' is not known, I guess. I think the 'critique' view is definitely part of the discussion, evn though i see it mostly as a block to linking ideas on learning and quality. Maybe during the conference someone will explain how a form of action would follow from 'anti-performativity' in the context of the knowledge economy.

I have also done a guide to several swickis as a hello for spiders.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

David Weinberger is still working on 'Everything is Miscellaneous', a book version of his talks from last year.

Apparently there will be about a year between delivering the manuscript in July and the actual publication. So "the book" is still in there. Cobbling together bits of blog will also serve some purpose, especially if something new crops up while the editors are still working on the text as delivered.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Still concentrating on IPEX, but this has carried over into learning.

"Web 2.0" keeps turning up as an explanation of what is happening. Print has to operate in this context.

However "Web 2.0" is still so loosely defined that it could involve anything. There could be a quality aspect, a learning aspect, and an aspect for communications or whatever print is part of.

I think this IPEX could clarify a few things so this blog could be sorted out soon as well.

"e-learning" has even been mentioned in the Bookseller part of the Saturday Review. So the Guardian is moving the bookish discussion online, even if slowly.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I am concentrating on IPEX at the moment. It could be an occasion when the print industry is definitely seen as part of a communications industry based on the web. My blog is still called IPEX 2002 but there is not much point in changing this.

I may seem to be going backwards. The new Acrobatusers website has more or less ignored print and pre-press in favour of 'knowledge work', more or less Acrobat for the desktop. I still think hard copy is part of the discussion. For one thing going back to publishing assumptions is useful even to think about online.

Also I am beginning to see PDF as only one option. It is possible to move in and out anyway. The PDF project has been to move documents from paper to web. this now can take many forms.

I have continued to move studies around quality and learning into journalism. There is a story at OhmyNews around 'comment is free', the new website from the Guardian. I think "citizen journalism" is going somewhere, and there is a related discussion about knowledge authority that will reach academic journals at some point.

This is an example of how the print context is relevant for a web discussion. I have tried to follow a story in Acrobat Services UK site about the ABC circulation certificates that could include 'digital editions'. So far no UK newspapers have 'opted in'. My current guess is that sites like 'comment is free' will allow print journalists to get more used to the web and some writing about news oprganisations in print and online will follow. Circulation figures and a business model will follow that.

Today the Guardian reports that the BBC is about to take on "web 2.0". This is confusing. Recently someone at Life Bytes said that "web 2.0" could mean anything. this turns out to be true. The BBC seems to think that "web 2.0" means working with Microsoft and Sony. Surely they are not into open source at all? Sony keep coming up with strange formats for storage.

So I think "web 2.0" could be a suitable topic for the conference on the 'Knowledge Economy' coming up in Lancaster. One debate seems to be about realism and linguistics. As in there really is a 'knowledge economy' or the words are used for some other reason ( a neo-liberal plot to restrict academic freedom for example ). When OhmyNews refers to Web 2.0 as part of their press release on working with Softbank on a site for Japan and expanding into TV, I regard this as realistic. They mean to do more or less what they announce. But "web 2.0" could also be rhetoric, and there seems to be some variety in how this used.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I have put about learning through games in the animX blog. Games are now well thought of. The Careers Day established that almost all work in animation studios is on short term contracts. No shame apparent from the panel in suggesting that about the only way in is to offer to work for free. By contrast there are still employment contracts in the games industry, even though most companies go bust.

Anyway, back to learning theory. The games as learning link came from Donald Clark's blog based on his talk about 'informal learning'. I guess I can cut and paste about three paragraphs-

I don't want to pit formal learning against informal learning. It's simply a matter of balance. We have far too much time, money and effort spent on the formal side, while the informal side receives little or no attention. It's not that there's a lack of ideas and opportunitiess at relatively low cost.

Level 1 - Word of mouth
1. Open office structure
2. Proximity and line of sight seating
3. Non-departmental seating
4. Staff area with relevant magazines
5. Budget for staff get-togethers
6. Brown bag lunches
7. Book club/Budget for books on Amazon

Level 2 - Word of mouse
1. Skills database or profiles
2. Intranet with workflow structure and linked learning
3. Online quality system linked to workflow
4. EPSS software
5. Email
6. Instant messenger
7. Discussion boards
8. Blogs
9. Wikis
10. Podcasting
11. Syndication

MMORPG is short for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game, see Wikipedia

This is another chance to mention the very welcome return of actual space connected to the web. Life Bytes has a site opposite the Odeon on Sidwell Street, Exeter. 01392 214214. Any budget for upgading the kit will probably depend on the games aspect. There will also be a training policy.

The 'word of mouse' list includes an online quality system linked to workflow. This is what the learn9 site is about. It has become a bit of a mess, but will be sorted soon.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I'm still thinking about the workshop on eduacation and the "knowledge economy". More later.

It is in quote marks as this is how the academics seem to think about it. I am trying to find out more about a "linguistic turn" and a "realistic turn". Can't make it out at the moment.
Mr Gillmor said that the rise of participation from ordinary people means that traditional media must stop lecturing and begin a real dialogue with its readership.

"There is the absolute democratisation of the media with the [ability of] anyone who has access to increasingly professional and cheap tools of production to publish to a global audience," he said.

"It has a big meaning for traditional journalists ... who have to shift from lecture mode into something more like a conversation. The 'former audience' know more than we do and once we embrace that, we can get in to some powerful journalism."

Extract from Guardian report on discussion at Al Jazeera forum

The same sort of change is happening with teaching and learning, so this will relate to actual lecturers as well.
The Guardian is soon to feature an online opinion discussion called 'comment is free'. Not sure when it will launch.

They recently hosted a discussion about 'citizen journalism'. I'm not sure they understand how far it could go. They mention the NUJ guidelines on "witness reporting" as if occasional photos are all this is about.

I have been posting to Guardain Talk about OhmyNews and also stories on AL-Jazeera. I think soon there will be a bit more clarity on how different forms of media can work together.

Meanwhile I will probably do more blogging and less on Talk.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I hope to contribute something to the meeting about 'education in the knowledge economy' in Lancaster later this week.

There is another event later on organisations and a conference in August. I might try to get a paper together, the deadline is in May.

I am interested in educational organisations. It seems a good focus for ideas about management, leadership etc.

The 'learning organisation' is one suggested topic for the conference. Could be linked to quality assurance.

One theme seems to be a critique of the idea of the knowledge economy as if it were rhetoric, some form of oppression through language etc etc. In some academic contexts it could be challenging to suggest that many descriptions of the knowledge economy are simply stating facts.