Week 2.0 – Weekly Round up – My top 6!

I aim to sift through all my tweets, my timeline, news papers and many of articles/blogs that I follow to bring to you my top news items.

This weeks round-up comes a little later than I hoped but it’s here at last inspired by:

You can’t expect to meet the challenges of today with yesterday’s tools and expect to be in business tomorrow?” Nelson Johnson

It’s been all about Social Media this week in the news and on twitter.

In the news we have Google+ incorporating lots of new updates and Facebook teaming up with PayPal to launch a new social money sharing app.   

On twitter we have a new round of discussions around using Social Media for PLN’s.


  1. Facebook teaming up with PayPal
  2. Top eLearning Tools for 2011

Blog Posts:

  1. Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) By Steve Wheeler
  2. You don’t have to Tweet to Twitter by Bill Gurley

Upcoming Events:

  1. Free JISC webinar: Strategies for success: Increasing the synergy between strategy and technology 

“The toolkit includes a range of checklists, case studies and good practice guidelines to help senior managers identify, analyse, assess and develop their current maturity level.”


  1. David Kirkpatrick on the Competing Futures of Facebook
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In with the New?

Blackboard announced their acquisition of  CerBibo, a Chinese online learning company which was set up in 2003 as a joint venture between Blackboard and CERNET, the China Education and Research Network.

China is seeing explosive growth in all sectors and education is no exception. This step gives us much greater flexibility in the kind of investments we can make as a company to support Chinese institutions. — Michael Chasen, President and CEO, Blackboard Inc.

This week is a big one for tablets both theBarnes and Noble Nook and

much anticipated Kindle Fire are launched in the US (still awaiting UK release dates).  Both the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet have a 7 inch, 1024×600 colour display, 1GHz dual-core processor, and available with Wi-Fi only.  They are both customized versions of Google’sAndroid 2.3 operating system although early reviews show that the Kindle Fire OS is sluggish, missing a dedicated home

Image representing Android as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

button (no news on Nook yet which is out a little later this week).  Both by default connect to online app and content stores specific to their brands, rather than Google’s Android Market.  So ok they’re no IPad with lack of 3g, camera, bluetooth and screen size but neither is their price tag at 1/2 the price.

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Week 1 – Top articles and posts

Web 2.0We all spend ages, reading scanning and making sense of the masses of information posted online.  Every Sunday I will post the top posts, blogs or articles for the week; to share these with others and hopefully enable to look at the year week by week:

Each week I will find a quote for the following weeks theme.  This weeks quote is:

“You can’t expect to meet the challenges of today with yesterday’s tools and expect to be in business tomorrow?” Nelson Johnson

To get this started I’ve chosen 4 posts which I believe introduce this theme nicely:

1. Social Media + Learning = much more than Social Learning
by Jane Hart, The Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies

It is clear that a huge number of people who have been using social media for their personal use have now recognised their value for professional use, and are also using the very same tools to address their own organisational problems – mainly because enterprise systems just don’t provide them with the functionality they require to do so. Forrester estimated this was around 47% business users in early 2011 and was likely to rise to 60% by then end of the year.

2. How Technology Can Improve Online Learning—and Learning in General
by Robert W. Mendenhall at the Chronicle of HE.

In an online environment that truly takes advantage of technology, the faculty role may change from delivering content to mentoring students. By using technology to measure learning, we can actually determine what students know and can do, rather than how long they spend in class. Technology allows us to fundamentally change the model to individualize learning, and in so doing improve learning and reduce costs.

3. Our Takeaways from DevLearn 2011
by Judy Unrein
Short taster, see full post for more:

…..eye-opening to see Aaron and Mike break down what tracking learning may well look like in the future. It’s much more granular and much more based on the activities the learner performs than the broad strokes we can measure with SCORM today. See some prototypes of activity stream-based tracking and even build your own at Project Tin Can; while this technology may not be in common use for another few years, it’s very interesting to think of how these new capabilities will affect our designs and the tools we use for development.

@bschlenker: "At the end of the day, it's not about the technology. It's about the people." At that's #DevLearn.

@bschlenker: “At the end of the day, it’s not about the technology, It’s about the people.”

4. Get Started with Web 2.0 and Global Learning | Asia Society.

“Universities and workplaces are increasingly looking for digital portfolios to learn about young candidates. Web 2.0 technologies make it easy to assemble multimedia material and publish online…

“You’re the new world, and I’m your Christopher Columbus,” raps one Tufts University hopeful. Another YouTube video shows a young person’s love of mathematical equations expressed through modern dance. Digital media projects about real-world issues will arguably have a competitive edge over much of what is currently out there.”

Over the next week I will be specifically looking for articles around the new challenges and era we are approaching in education and new tools and technologies.

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Getting started with SharePoint Collaboration Sites

Honk!!! Honk!!! Honk!!! :))) Health warning:  this isn’t a guide on how to press buttons in SharePoint!

So what is a SharePoint Team Site:

After many rewrites I currently define a collaboration (team) site as a site with a set of tools which enables you to create and share a collection of assets and activities that are united around a common purpose.   It is a place where you can collaborate, share information, have discussions and record your meetings all on the same topics or themes.   This enables you to have all information about say a project in the same place.

OK you think you want one of those?

Getting Started:

Step 1:  Forget you are using SharePoint!

If you were asked what makes a good site and what makes a bad site you would probably all agree on some of the same principles.

I am starting with the question what makes you want to engage with a tool or a site?  How many of you looked at a new social networking tool whether it be twitter or Google+ and thought I don’t get it! .. and didn’t return or only returned as you felt obligated too (all the cool kids are using it)?   To me I need a clear purpose and aim to continue to use something.  OK so i may visit out of curiosity, but what makes me what to continue to use it?

I would offer the same advice whether you are looking at creating a website, collaboration site, database, presentation.  Forget the tools for a moment – Put down the mouse and start planning.  Get it wrong and it’s hard to bring people back – get it right from the out-set requires planning and thought!

Step 2: Define its purpose!

Remember this is a collaborative tool!  For a truly successful team site it needs to have a reason for being – generally a process in place that could be improved by this solution. This is going to be different for every team in every scenario, but common themes could be along the lines of “this is where we keep our project documentation” or “go here to raise issues or get questions answered“.  I actually see this as the most important area when building a team site.  Without this users will simply not return after the first couple of visits – resulting in a site that falls swiftly into disuse and serves no real value.  You r primary goal has to be “Getting the users in, and staying in”.  Why not ask the users what they want!  What problem are you trying to solve?  Are you trying to lean manufacture your value stream?

Step 3:  Choose your tools and content wisely!

Why do you want this site – why will your users want this site?  What will be the content and why?  You don’t even need to include all the wizzes and bangs if what you serve up fulfils your purpose.  Just dumping information or tools  into your site and making it available is not enough.   Would you stick around to finish a meal if the starter is awful and the menu confusing?   The sites that have good content are the ones that make you laugh, think, cry, get motivated, provoke an ah-ha moment and most importantly make you want to come back for more.

Step 4:  Design your site with your users in mind!

Keeping in mind your purpose, keeping your menu options clear and the things that make a site a good site rather than a bad site – create a site structure and pathway.  What will your users want to get at first?  It’s not a jumble sale your user will not want to search for what they need… time is valuable!

Step 5:  Create and Communicate it!

If you’ve gotten this far and still think a Team Site is the way to go…. You should already have designed your site on paper so this should be the easy bit.

Remember your site has a purpose – you need to get buy in!  Communicate it’s purpose!

There are guides, blogs, videos, resources galore which can help you with using SharePoint or why not phone a friend?

Step 6:  Static content will kill your site…Keep reviewing and updating it!

Is your site working?  Do you have the visitors and interaction you anticipated.. who is engaging and to what level.    Has it been updated?   How many of us walk past our notice board because it looks the same as yesterday and missed an important message or ignored our company bulletins as they are never relevant to me then wondered why we didn’t know…?  This doesn’t mean we should change the page colours or menu just for the sake of it – there’s nothing more frustrating than when someone moves your cheese (well it was there yesterday).  What we should be aiming to do is reviewing our original purpose and ensuring our site meets this or whether our purpose it out-dated.

Why I wrote this post:

I was inspired to write this by  http://twitter.com/#!/lesleywprice who posted “#TMB11 #LSGWebinar companies are using #sharepoint to share information – how many use it effectively putting info up is not enough”  Here’s my point of view.

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Why Blog? Why now?

I have note books falling over my desk.  I feel the need to analyse and make sense of the world.

This blog exists to enable me to not only reduce my tree usage but to put my ideas out there, explore them, share them, and take hopefully become part of a larger community.

My intensive note taking helps me think and so I’m hoping that blogging will give me the opportunity to bring others into my thought process and that your  input will force me to make sense of my thoughts and together we may be able to navigate our way through our Wonderland (expect to see an Alice in Wonderland post soon – hugely in my mind at present).

So please, read, think, enjoy, share and contribute.


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