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.

Some simple tips for going green

Many of us are doing what we can in our own homes to reduce our footprints and be sustainable. What about the workplace?

Turning off lights, reducing paper-use, recycling office consumables and using public transport or car-sharing are all easily implementable options.

I love Friends of the Earth’s approach, but unfortunately the suggestions are UK based. Here’s some Australian links:

ecobuy

econatural

Flexicar

Carpool

CarbonMarket

REAP ecopaper guide

For more practical suggestions to go green at your workplace try these links:

Planet Green

Sierra Club

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

A fog of fear

The fog of fear

If we are coming to a crisis point on this planet, (and I believe that we are, but I also believe that crisis can be a catalyst for change), then reductive, linear ways of thinking are not going to deliver the transformation we need (Well, have they, yet?). For transformation on a planetary scale we may be required to create a bigger context than just you, just me, just your workplace.

A social network is non-linear. But is it an ecology?

The ‘ecologies’ of networks

Network Citizens (available as a pdf download from Demos) reports on the shift of power created by social networking and the rise of ‘network citizens’, who no longer respect hierarchical and bureaucratic structures.

The Network of Public Sector Communicators (NZ) blog has this to say about networks and public sector agencies:

Many public sector agencies view access to social networks, the likes of Facebook, Twitter and – incomprehensibly – LinkedIn, with what can only be described as either fear or deep suspicion. Some of them even go so far as to block access …As if, in the minds of the people that think blocking access to these sites will make people more productive (or protect them from themselves…), there is some sort of impermeable divide between what we do at work and who we are.

The message is clear. Understand the change that is happening inside your agencies. Ensure that you provide people the sorts of tools that will allow them to develop professionally and to invest and grow their social capital. Attempts to restrict the ability of your staff to build their networks (online or off) will only result in a disengaged workforce. (Networked Citizens)

The Future of Work’s Newsletter just arrived in my inbox. Interesting article about Social Networking’s maturity as a form of collaborative communication: Read it here – http://www.thefutureofwork.net/newsletter_1108_Notes_Social_Networking.html

Thanks to @jarruzza on Twitter for putting me onto this link: Towards Maturity, via Next Generation Learning

Noted particularly the identification of ‘Learner context’ as a key strand for success:

“Mature organisations are likely to have a greater focus on understanding the context of the learner, their motivations and environment. Understanding the learner context requires a fresh look on learner motivation, opportunities for informal learning, work life balance and opportunities to use new technologies for learning.”

FT.com – Personal view: How the Millennial Generation connects

Posted using ShareThis