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  1. Ken Allan April 10, 2009 at 10:17 pm |

    Kia ora Britt

    As I write a comment to a post, I could use Pattie Maes’ 6th sense to determine if the blogger is going to understand my diverse point of view or appreciate the length of comment I usually submit. Having gleaned the information accurately, it may transpire that I don’t write any comment, never mind the length of it.

    I concur with what you say about Facebook and its settings. So it is also with many settings on a blog app. I wonder how many bloggers understand well the different adjustments that are possible in the brand of blog app that they use.

    For my part, I use facebook to keep in touch with family (all over the globe) and to share news and pictures of that news with them.

    I also use Flickr with another global group of great friends, and I have no doubt that we all learn things through the use of these apps and what they convey. But I don’t use either apps for formal instruction purposes, and I don’t share my Facebook account with my students either.

    But getting back to Pattie Maes, I also wonder about our own remaining 5 senses. We use these, each in different ways, to ‘feel’ our way through life – developed sensitivities that permit us to make judgements on our observations. What is going to happen when we become dependent on the technology to give us the gen on things?

    We already have worms, virus and spyware invading our computers. Who’s to say that these bugs won’t be around when Pattie’s vapourinventions become reality, deceiving us over which choice to make?

    Some of us may well revert to the other 5 senses, just to check and make sure – so what would then be the point of the technology other than to obtain a second opinion.

    Or perhaps our pets might be better at discernment than we are by that time. We may end up using them in the same way as canaries were put to use down the mines to check on fire damp, or how sniffer dogs today are employed to identify possible contraband.


    Dear friend and sweet companion we have grown
    To know your comforting and curious grace
    And all the impasse you have borne with lone
    Acceptance of our all too human ways,

    Always there, rarely aggressive, but sage,
    Quiet, and so appreciative of our home
    And homely offerings. In this complex age
    Of hi-tech communication we’ve become

    Much less aware than you of what a look
    Scent or sound can mean to one’s consciousness;
    We may read about these gifts in a book
    But proffer little thought to your awareness;

    And this acceptance that your sense admits
    Forgives our senselessness and dearth of wits.


    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  2. Sue Waters April 11, 2009 at 3:58 am |

    I can understand the reasons why not if you were dealing with school age but my understanding is you are talking about adult students?

    My work is with mainly adult students but I do have a couple that are 16/17. I have absolutely no issues with connecting with them inside Facebook and encourage them to add me to their account. Why? Because at the moment this is their preferred method of communication. I used to say send me an email which never happened. Now in FB they will contact me by leaving messages on my wall or sending me emails.

    This has meant that they now contact me when need help (even with other lecturers work) plus also telling me what they are up to when they have left the college. Where as once they had left I didn’t hear from them again. It has meant I’ve been able to get to know them more as people, and what interests them, as just opposed to students.

    My approach with FB is I only use it professionally as I would any other online site. Plus they are aware that I let them do the contacting and aren’t interested in checking up on them.

  3. Jason Strong April 18, 2009 at 3:48 pm |

    You might be interested in the book FEED, by M.T. Anderson (the book is marketed as young adult fiction, but the concepts are absolutely relevant to the horizon of technological advances). Pattie Maes’ innovative product can be viewed in an entirely different light after reading this book. I, too, appreciate the 6th sense in a guarded fashion.

    I do not presently use Facebook as an instructional tool, and actually only opened by account in the last week. I doubt that I will use it as an instructional tool, but I do like the idea of creating my own social network via Ning as a meeting grounds for my students. Perhaps I want too much control of the Read/Write web as I incoroporate it into insruction, but right now I prefer the idea of being the administrator of our social network, rather than simply a participant. I imagine my perceptions will change as I take the first step toward creating a network online learning and reflection center for my students, but for now I want to be the one holding the keys for entry.

  4. Ken Allan April 21, 2009 at 9:03 pm |

    Kia ora Jason

    Thanks for the lead to Anderson’s book, FEED. I will follow this up with interest.

    You may well be interested in some blurb about working with online communities. This has recently gathered some interest on my blog. My gut feeling is that we (teachers and instructors) are just scratching the surface in using technology for communication to do with learning and collaboration – there are a lot of myths about.

    Catchya later

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