Social Conferencing.

Alt C used Crowdvine to get some social networking going during the conference – it was Ok, though I have seen better Social networks (mind you, I’d far rather Crowdvine than Ning!) I’ve just seen the website for Handheld Learning – which seems to be a very useful site – as it’s got some social tools (fora etc) but also the presentations / photos/ videos all on the same site. Useful info too!

Via Stephen Downes.

ALTC2008: Hans Rosling

Hans Rosling got the conference off to a fabulous start with a Keynote. He started from the premise that the hardest time to teach someone is when they think they know. The particular example he used was getting a group of students to select which of a pair of countries had the worst child mortality rates. Of the five pairs, students got, on average, 1.8 correct … i.e. worse than Chimps guessing, as he pointed out. Even Professors only scored 2.4. He didn’t seem to be too impressed with PBL – commenting that students don’t always end up knowing facts.

This, combined with the fact that numbers are remarkably hard to interpret lead him to develop (with his son & daughter in law) the wonderful Gapminder visualisation software, that I’ve mentioned several times before. He demonstrated (with the aid of a ladder & long stick)



some of the misconceptions (in this particular case the idea that “Western World = small family, long life & Developing World = large family, short life). Watching the change from 1951 to today dispelled that theory.
It was both entertaining & educational – a great opening!
(The keynotes are being recorded – so should be available)

Microblogging: F-ALT

Blogging from the F-ALT session – looking at Microblogging

Josie has just explained how F-ALT was born, following a number of twitter conversations with Scott.

Andy’s now talking about Twitter users; about 430 delegates have signed up to Crowdvine, but he thinks that only about 40 or so are active Twitterers.

Helen’s just discussing her use of Twitter & the fact it’s mostly for work related stuff, that she drops people who have too many trivial posts.

James Clay has just confessed to sending his 2000th tweet this evening; however, he thinks it’s going to die soon; (last year it was facebook, this year no-one has mentioned it!), how long will Twitter be here for. Laconi.ca will be the next big thing – Twitter is dead. Long live Microblogging.

Scott: It’s the wrong name, it’s not micro & it’s not blogging. It’s presence. That’s what’s important.

Frances: Twitter as a community – not sure that it’s a community, but an illusion of a community – but you only see what you see – who you follow & who’s following you aren’t the same set of people.

Suzi: Twitter as a technology & twitter as a community – will it be the same in 12 months time.

Graham: Follows people all over the world; esp. US lawyers; and also for sending tinyURLs … most useful.

Grainne: real mix of fun & serious; useful for sharing blog feeds.

James: Has put feeds into Jaiku; and then put Jaiku into VLE – which has enabled other staff to see useful posts.

James: Someone used it to take notes from morning session –

Last query – I came for a session about “Twister” – why wasn’t it???