Steve Walker

Some less or more well-organised thoughts

Archive for April 2011

IBZL Futures paper

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‘Futurescaping Infinite Bandwidth, Zero Latency’, by OU colleague Simon Bell and me has now been published in the journal Futuresat: doi:10.1016/j.futures.2011.01.011 (to find the paper, copy this doi: address into the search box at http://dx.doi.org/. The doi (Document Object Identifier) is a permanent identifier, unlike a URL. The abstract is below.

Abstract

In the 1990s Castells analysed ‘the rise of the network society’ but this remains an ever-changing phenomenon. It throws up new concepts and issues. For example, no one foresaw what Mark Zuckerberg would create in terms of on-line social networks with the FaceBook project. Predicting the functionality and utility of the Internet is a mug’s game and yet it can be extremely profitable for those who ‘guess right’ and are able to influence the future applications and organisational forms of the network society.

Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband is promoted strongly by policy makers as underpinning future economic growth. NGA can be thought of as a potential future placeholder, the content and structure of which, while remaining tantalizing, is occupying many contemporary minds. In this paper we describe a process (Imagine/Triple Task Method) and an event structure IBZL (or Infinite Bandwidth Zero Latency), which explores potentially novel applications of NGA and provide some ideas as to the key components of the future inter-networked landscape.

In this paper we present the context of the IBZL initiative, review the ‘Imagine’ process as an effective method for ‘futurescaping’ and present some initial outcomes of the project.

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Written by Steve

April 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Posted in IBZL

Infinite Bandwidth, Zero Latency – OSRG/SIRG joint seminar

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For anyone around the OU at Walton Hall next week we’ll (Simon Bell, Clem Herman with Shaun Fensom of Manchester Digital, and Keith Straughan of UCMK) will be talking about IBZL at the following seminar.

OSRG-SIRG poster

Written by Steve

April 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Posted in IBZL

Learning Technology in context: a case for the sociotechnical interaction framework as an analytical lens for networked learning research

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Linda Creanor and I have sent the final (I hope!) version and associated paraphernalia of our chapter for the forthcoming collection for Springer: Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L.,  Hodgson, V. and McConnell, D. ‘Exploring the Theory, Pedagogy and Practice of Networked Learning’, following on from last year’s Networked Learning 2010 conference. The abstract is below. It might be possible to put a draft of the chapter in the OU Research Online (ORO) repository in time. I’ll leave that the IP folk.

Abstract

Persistent gaps between claims made for learning technologies and the reality of their use are in part attributable to widespread implicit technological determinism. While the concept of networked learning goes some way to redress this, a more systematic use of sociotechnical findings theories developed in the fields of technology studies and information systems can help us to avoid mechanistic accounts. We illustrate this with the concept of the ‘sociotechnical interaction network’ (Kling et al, 2003) from the social informatics literature in analysing case material from the world of transnational trade union education. This draws our attention to the social, as well as technological, accomplishments in accessing online learning activities and the ways in which learners draw on prior technological knowledge in overcoming difficulties they encounter. Such approaches are increasingly salient as educators seek to position learning technologies in learners’ increasingly elaborate sociotechnical environments.

Written by Steve

April 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm