Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections on a Busy Year – Part Three

I am certain as ever there are hordes of tools out there that do all the things I do in a much more time efficient way with a higher communication impact. But here are some reflections on trends I have seen this year.

Google Docs – I’ve been using this a lot for collaboration across and beyond our organisation. Challenge when tools arrived was to get other folk comfortable with this technology and happy to contribute in a crowd sourced way.  I’d predict much more use of tools like this across the public sector and folk become socialised to this way of working.

Twitter – In one way probably an enemy to joined up thinking – most folk who tweet think we hang on every post. I’ve been in a few meetings where folk think because they have broadcast something that everyone has read it and that everyone understood what it was about.   With those caveats Twitter remains a very effective way of following lots of change across range of sectors and sharing useful links

MOOCs – Massive Open On-line Courses There just has not been enough time in my diary to actively engage with one. Game changer this year has been Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Course with  more than 100,000 learners  taking part  and some more courses on offer this year this is really something to watch and take part in if you get the chance. Worth too just doing a Google Search for Stanford Mooc you start seeing huge range of learning resources the learners have created 

Aggregation Tools
These just get better and better and are great ways for getting most out of all the sources you follow and for re-broadcasting them selectively. I predict these will be big news next year as folk struggle to stay on top of all the information sources they now have access too.

Pealrtrees  - picked up on this about half way through year – for some topics I think this is better than delicious as a social bookmarking tool . Worth too checking out some of the collections  that are already there.

Simmering in background all this year and I’d expect more growth next year -
Infographics , Digital Storytelling , Growth of on-line schools , more interest in  national one computer per child and digital literacy projects

I have one confession though I’ve used Google Hangouts a couple of times but I still don’t really get Google+  I’ve got an i-pad 2 too and mostly use it as a flat screen TV

Finally a word of praise for Engage for Education.  I ‘ve been more and more impressed this year by the Scottish Government’s ability to use social software effectively .  The only slightly worrying caveat is that many of our stakeholders – teachers - are still looking for that paper copy of any information – I hope we can change this in the coming year.

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