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Twemes and Lifestream learning

June 5th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

I greatly enjoyed the Edumedia conference in Salzburg. Regardless of the formal sessions, what makes the conference is the people and the settings.
ON tuesday we organised an unconference session on the terrace of the conference centre. Or rather we did not organise it. In the best tradition of unconferencing it emerged or just happened. Anyway, the outcome was that Steve ‘Wiki’ wheeler, mobile Mark Kramer. Andreas the podcast Auswarter and a bunch of friends spent two and a half hours discussing the future of technology enhanced learning. The discussion embraced the meaning of mobility and mobile learning, motivation, informal learning, the future of education institutions, deschooling society, web 3.0, MUVEs, emotional learning and more. And thanks to a veritable plethora of recording devices edited highlights of our conversations will be released soon, I am sure.
Much of the discussion centred on mobile learning and, in particular, mico blogging. We were all intrigued by the success of our tweme at the Edumedia conference. The tweme (the word tweme is a mashup of twitter meme) was not an official conference initiative and all that had been done to publicise or explain it was a quick announcement prior to my keynote presentation on the first afternoon of the conference. Yet, despite the very limited bandwidth, a lively community and discourse emerged – see www.twemes.com/edublog08
I am increasingly intrigued by microblogging formats as a way of capturing the incidental learning which happens all the time. Incidental learning is heavily context specific and os based on social interactions.
Incidental learning is episodic but rapid and frequent. Our learning and knowledge base is constantly redrawn, challenged ro adjusted to take account of an on-going stream of incidental learning episodes. This might best be called Lifestream Learning. And twitter and other such microblogging formats offer a compelling way of both capturing and representing such a learning Lifestream. Even more, twitter allows us to express the emotions which as so intrinsically involved in incidental learning in social contexts.
Of course there is a danger of being overwhelmed by a river of data. We need further tools and approaches to filter, search and aggregate our learning life streams. Still more we need tools to assist us in representing such learning, of visualising our knowledge and of combining our own knowledge representations with those of others.
We do not have such tools at the moment (I sort of feel it should be something like the matrix). But being able to capture and represent a community shared lifestream such as Edumedia – even if it was just for two days and we will never experience the precise context again.

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4 Responses to “Twemes and Lifestream learning”

  1. BTW: Asking myself how long it takes until we all will have our twittered idendity on visit cards 🙂

  2. Hey Graham, it was a pleasure as usual to sit and talk informally with so many passionate people about e-learning in all its guises. Until the next time, and I will be looking out for some of the many artefacts of our unconference. Let’s not organise another one soon!

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