Posts made by Richard Schwier

I like your notion of listener, but I wonder if it suggests that the "listener" is cognitively active? We don't really know, do we, although it is a fair assumption given that someone takes the trouble to attend a conversation. I've been partial to the term "spectator" because it emphasizes watching and doesn't make assumptions about the investment individuals are making. All the same, they're an important part of any learning landscape, whether it is in a classroom or online. I was quite shy during my early years of university, but I was learning like mad, and soaking up everything I could.

It's never too late, Emma! Thanks for this wonderful contribution. I also have both kinds of devices and I use them both in just the ways you described. I particularly love your description of what you're looking for in a book -- something that captures you and refuses to turn you loose from beginning to end. I think that's a critically important point. A good book is a good book, and it is the story that makes it good. Even in non-fiction and many of the best academic books I've read, it is still about the story. There is a narrative thread that we can follow from beginning to end, and the quality of the writing stands out. In e-writing, I think we need to remember this and keep it at the forefront of our work. We have so many new affordances, and particularly varieties of media available to us, that there may be a tendency to write a book that is choppy. We can add diversions, examples, asides, and take the reader in a bunch of directions. But we may also lose the narrative thread. This probably means we need to pay extra attention to staying inside our own story as we write. Obviously, you've got me thinking, Emma. Thanks for coming to the party!



Bye for now...

It's time to say au revoir, but not really. 

Thanks to Sylvia's leadership, Scott Leslie's generosity and terrific videoconference, Hilda and Diana's hard work, and your great contributions, we are already well along the way to creating an e-book to capture and share the wisdom that came out of this conversation over the past two weeks.  Sylvia provided a great post in a discussion thread below that detailed how we can move forward.

But we need YOU!  Could we persuade you (nag or cajole) to take a look at the Google docs that Hilda and Diana created and see what you can add?  We consider this a project we can continuously update, so it can keep changing for a long time, and we will find a way to keep reminding you.

When you create your first e-pub, share with us what you learned from the experience.  When you trip across a great book or resource, share that too.  If you hear about a project that might benefit others, share it.  If you know of a piee of software that might help somebody, toss it into the Google doc.  

We will be grateful for your input, and of course, we will heap lavish amounts of credit and praise on you for anything you contribute.  You are the authors.

Here are the Google docs.  Dig in! 

Google Docs

  1. Rough, messy, but still organized
    This Google Doc is to organize chapters, pull relevant quotes from the SCoPE discussion, add links to media, keep track of authors, etc
  2. Clean, readable, and always a work in progress

And as always, and on behalf of the team that managed the conversation over the last fortnight, thank you so much for joining us and for sharing your ideas.  See you on the other side!



Such a cool story, Susanne!  It reminds me of a study done on museum users from a long time ago -- the 1980s I think.  Anyway, the research found that there were three kinds of museum patrons, and they classified them as Strollers, Studiers, and Streakers.

I designed some touch screen kiosks for a local cultural centre in Saskatoon in 1986 and 1990 -- yes, using the big 12" optical videodisc technology that was the bleeding edge of technology and the time. I loved working on the project, but enjoyed even more going back to the centre and eavesdropping on kids and parents who used the displays. Hard to believe, but one of those projects is still running today, 22 years later.  I think the secret to its success was exactly what you described -- it invited kids to explore, and it didn't present a bunch of static information.