What Matters Now

Seth Godin writes about marketing, the spread of ideas and managing both customers and employees with respect. If you’re not familiar with his books, check them out here.

Seth’s newest ebook What Matters Now is a compilation (or is it a collaboration) of ideas and actions happening around the world.

Seth explains:

We want to shake things up. More than seventy extraordinary authors and thinkers contributed to this ebook. It’s designed to make you sit up and think, to change your new year’s resolutions, to foster some difficult conversations with your team.

Over 70 authors pitched in, and it’s now free to download here, or on Scribd.  Some great ideas to grab for education too!

Did you know that last year 1.2 million books were loaned out in developing countries through Room to Read?

Take one of the pages, and use it as a discussion starter with your students, or your next faculty meeting.

Timeline yourself – your past is with you

The Dismissal, 1975

The Dismissal, 1975

A cold night in, by the fire with my MacBook and playing with online sites gave me an insight into the digital future of our students.

We often talk about ‘digital footprints’ and the importance of digital citizenship in the learning experiences of our students. Students interact with music, movies, software, and other digital content every day. In fact, now it starts before they even know what is happening, with blogs, videos, and images online right from birth, put there by doting parents and family. But for us it’s a little different. “Digital” is something new in our lifetime.

I played with AllofMe – an online tool to ‘timeline yourself’.  I didn’t find much of course, because I haven’t been online for much of my life!! unlike the kids today who in 2050 could find memories of things long forgotten – the good, the bad and the ugly of who they were and who they wanted to be.

But I got a tiny taste of how it would be for our kids – AllofMe dredged up a snippet of myself in 1975 – the year that the Australian Library Association appointed it’s first Industrial Information Officer – me!!

I’m embarrassed to think how little I knew but how audacious I was to embark on that role. I set the position up, then left to raise a family.  I have no recollection of that issue of  The Australian Library Journal now.  But I do remember my tour of significant libraries around the country which I undertook as part of my information research.  I was even a guest speaker for an AGM   in Melbourne (perhaps at the State Library?) – my first ever public engagement  in my working life.

Must have said a lot of rubbish 🙂

Will Richardson Talks With Howard Rheingold

Is social media a new thing? No, not really – just an evolving use of media, an ecosystem of tools and a rich variety of opportunities. Now we are seeing great ways for students to collaborate. Listen to these two important innovators, and enjoy the conversation.

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Twitter to the rescue!

When you start a new academic year, things get extremely hectic. All the more if you are moving back into a new library!  So times like that you NEED good support from your local ISP Call Centre.

Late January saw me attempting to make the switch from ADSL to cable. After hours and hours of frustrating times on the phone, I finally vented my frustration on Twitter!

Twitter to the rescue!  I am amazed at what I have been part of  – the convergence of microblogging with service support from Bigpond!

I was encouraged by twitter colleague @mrsc2902 to follow @bigpondteam.  But even before I did, I had a reply to my agonised tweets from the bigpondteam.

I have never had such amazing and responsive service, as I had in the days that followed.  You try changing account details, or doing anything productive via a call centre. Even just navigating all those menus choices are a nightmare – then when you get connected – well that’s a whole new story! My story turned out to be the best experience I have ever had.

Suffice to say I have at least 18 DM in my collection – all rapid fire support for my problems.

Right, lets push this further – I fired off a few other queries last night about the actual plan I was on (yes, you guessed it, I wasn’t given any really useful advice). Hmm, no response by lunchtime – slower than before.  After another tweet for help, I was asked to provide a phone number and they actually called me direct to chat and answer and solve the remaining issues I had.

As I tweeted many times – awesome!

What is more amazing is this convergence of microblogging being used by an Australian company to monitor twitter chatter about their services, and their willingness to provide support at speeds way faster than anything I have ever encountered before. The two quotes below sums it up beautifully. The best service possible!

Cynical friend’s comment – ‘ah well, there are not that many people on twitter yet – so they will have plenty of time to help’.  Maybe!  What intrigued me was that it was happening at all.

Next post I promise will be more pedagogical – but for me getting my online access ramped up ready for this acadmic year was important 🙂

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How WE learn

So from the history of the internet to this refocussing on learning – a great interview from Michael Wesch about harnessing collective intelligence rather than teaching content. He is an advocate of ‘anti-teaching’, seeking too inspire with good questions. Google becomes a tool for testing possibilities. Social media is also about learning possibilities. But don’t get it wrong – it is also about more work! more commitment! more active involvement in collaborative learning. He also raises the use of RFID on a campus, for creating learning opportunities. This I like!!

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Collaborate visually

Howard Rhiengold’s short video ( from Howard Rheingold’s Vlog) summarises some pretty significant shifts taking place. I’d like to show this video to teachers who are pretty much at the stage of looking at YouTube videos but not much else. A good conversation starter, as you can have a tick list while they watch..do you do this? know about this? heard about this? Go on! Do some collaborating (visually) today!

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