Swimming Instruction

Last post I wrote about some fabulous projects that bring sharing and learning into communities, making our cities more vibrant places to live and work. This post, I’ll be sharing a few online initiatives. These fabulous websites feature a plethora of resources that you and I can access, anywhere, anytime, completely free!

The Khan Academy was just recently announced as a (very worthy) winner of Google’s Project 10^100, a two-year search for creative, crowd-sourced solutions to improving the planet:

Idea: Make educational content available online for free
Project funded: The Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization that provides high-quality, free education to anyone, anywhere via an online library of more than 1,600 teaching videos. We are providing $2 million to support the creation of more courses and to enable the Khan Academy to translate their core library into the world’s most widely spoken languages. (read more about the winners in GOOD)

What is brilliant about this site is the content, which is really top notch, covering subjects that appear in various countries’ standardized tests. Even better, each lecture is delivered in a nice bite-sized format but without “dumbing down” the content.

Wiki’s offering, World University, has a mission to

provide a free, wiki-based education platform and, through facilitating the development of broadband worldwide, to make our service accessible to under served parts of the world.

I can’t comment about the quality of the content on this site, but it looks a bit rough and unpolished, and I couldn’t work out how to navigate to any of the subject offerings on my particular area of interest, the visual arts.

A less formalised way of learning is the Forum Network, a collaboration funded by PBS & NBR public media service. This site is less about getting a formal education, and more about

protecting and projecting the public voice and…informing and inspiring that public voice to foster deeper understanding of and engagement in the culture, education, politics, science, and literature of our time.”

A quick search on “visual art” brought up several really interesting lectures which I’ve bookmarked for watching later.

Finally, the mother(father?) of all that is the online lecture, TED. TED’s mission is to

build…a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

TED started out as an annual conference, and has grown hugely since 2006 when lectures (largely focussed on technology) were first published online. Over 700 talks are available on the website, and once you have endured the ad that appears at the beginning of each lecture, you are in for around 18 minutes of intelligent and inspiring entertainment. Some of the lectures may even blow your mind.

Spiral image

Is this the future for Knowledge Management?

In 2025, every individual in every organization uses their own personal computer for both personal and work applications. Almost all information is Web-based, with organizations’ proprietary information only accessible through authorization software. E-mail has disappeared, replaced by a virtual presence application that includes instant messaging, screensharing, voice/videoconferencing, filesharing, calendaring, tasklists.

The KM department still manages the purchase of external information, though almost all information in 2025 is free; information producers have realized that their business model is to apply that information to specific customers’ business environment, in consulting assignments, rather than trying to sell publications. Most of the mainstream media were nationalized after they went bankrupt using their traditional business models, and now operate as public services.

Most of what the KM department does now is trying to facilitate more effective conversations among people within the organization and with people outside the organization, including customers. They facilitate many meetings that use the virtual presence application, especially those that involve more than five people. That facilitation includes organizing the meeting, distributing advance materials, facilitating the discussion (conflict resolution, staying on schedule etc.), and even recording, editing and publishing the meeting as appropriate. They run courses in effective conversation, meeting and presentation skills.

I am a great admirer of Dave Pollard’s thought provoking posts, so I really don’t have anything to add to this one.

Read Dave Pollard’s post

crab colony on Bruny IslandWhat does this really mean?

Is it possible to have a truly democratic space on the internet for everyone to contribute?

I have been Twittering for a few months now, and have found this the most open place to contribute my own or hear other’s point of view. You can be highly political, or not. Its up to you.

However, the limitations of 140 characters may not work for all. Also it can be hard to keep on track. Pretty, shiny, juicy tit-bits of information contantly pop-up and its easy to be diverted.

Here is something newish: Open Forum (http://www.openforum.com.au/content/learning-change) This is what they say about what it is:

OpenForum.com.au is a non-partisan site that aims to stimulate focused discussion on social, political, economic, ecological and cultural issues facing us today.

The site accomplishes this in two significant ways; by promoting time-limited (and often outcomes-based) discussion on forums, and through less formal blogs, written by and for users of the site.

Now a collaborative thinktank is a great idea. They go on to say a little bit more about the site:

Open Forum is an independent collaborative think-tank built around an interactive discussion website hosted and moderated by Global Access Partners (GAP). It provides a platform for focused dialogue on social, political, economic, ecological and cultural issues and challenges.

The Forum is registration-based and enables participants to make connections, share their opinions and concerns, test their ideas, raise and discuss specific topics, suggest solutions and ultimately contribute to policy development and economic outcomes for government and business, as well as the democratic process in general.

With support from the Australian Government and a number of industry partners, the forum operates as a powerful web-based consultative mechanism enabling access to and by, key people in our community.

Sounds SERIOUS, doesnt it? Obviously, there will be no 140 characters mini-posts showing up here. Also, if you don’t have a post-graduate degree, political affiliations or connections with the movers and shakers of Australia, chances are you will be too intimidated to post here. Yes, you’ve got to have balls.

Anyhoo, back to twitter, here’s a post that interestingly, twitter put me onto.

Twitter the forum killer. Read it and join up, now!