Geeky Summer School

bobotyA bit of a while back, I went to the Technology Enhanced Learning Summer School (Tagged TELSS09 on Twitter, Flickr, SlideShare) in Slovakia.  In the long, dry period before getting my expenses reimbursed I’ll note a couple of memories of the week that lodged.

The talk by Erik Duval stuck out as particularly TED-ish.  He polished the old chestnut about the historical scarcity of information and how the resulting all-you-can-eat habits overhang into the age of information abundance.  The challenge, as I recall him putting it, is not to produce information but to filter it to match the type of stuff you like.  The reason I don’t follow TechCrunch any more is that I pass it through the GuardianTech filter to improve the signal.  I might miss the odd story there but with the time spared I can stretch to a more diverse bunch of sources.

I guess the next challenge will be to connect you to the stuff you’d appreciate but wouldn’t normally stumble across. That is, the value of the source is given by the inherent interest of the stuff it feeds you divided by the probability of finding it otherwise.  That’s non-trivial.

The other thing that tickled me was the phrase ‘Personal Learning Environment‘.  I thought this must be another name for Virtual Learning Environments like Moodle at first.  However the stream of associated terms — tagging, feeds, peer-to-peer, blogs, podcasts, wikis and mashups — made it all sound mighty familiar.  Back home, they’d call it ‘social media’.  Fascinating to see the same technology used from an alternate perspective with different aims.

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