10:02 AM

I’m sitting on the tarmac of the Philadelphia airport. They’ve finally brought us to the gate, but there is apparently some kind of security breech in the airport, and they will not let us leave the plane until it is solved. So, I’m going to take the opportunity to do a little writing.

Cluetrain ManifestoMonday night’s keynote speaker will be Dave Weinberger. I do not know a lot about him, except that he was one of the authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto. Cluetrain was an extraordinary book that, although it was a business work, presented insights that apply to what, how, and why we teach.

One of the uniquenesses of this book was that it was first available over the Internet, before it went into print. I puchased the book as an audio file from Audible, and listened to it while driving to a workshop in eastern North Carolina. The other thing that was extraordinary about Cluetrain, was that it took a relatively new technology, the world wide web, and completely turned around how we think about it.

Their over-arching theme was that the web is not about publishing or online brochures as much as it is about conversations, that the true value of the Net is in people talking with other people.

Today, this has never been so true. The emerging blogsphere is where people are talking and listening. But today, our messages are being cast out into an information environment with new laws of nature, were messages are automatically linked logically, and form themselves into new and larger messages or information constructs.

For instance, go to http://technorati.com/tag/necc. Here you will find a range of blog messages that all have in common the word necc as a tag. In addition, there are pictures taken by people associated with NECC, as well as web links from del.icio.us and Furl. A construct of information that has value as much from how it assembles as it does from the individual authors, and photographers.

What does this have to do with teaching and learning. Well, that has yet to be determined, and perhaps we’ll explore and discover some implications at the conference. But the implications are there and I think they will be exciting. I certainly look forward to hearing Dave Weinberger speak.

Also, consider Small Things Loosely Joined, Weinberger’s latest book. I haven’t read it yet, but I hear it quoted very often.

3 thoughts on “Weinberger”

  1. Dave,
    Now I’m really kicking myself for not attending NECC. :O) I’ve struggled for the past few months with “do I go, do I not go”. I opted to stay back…in doing so, I purposefully kept my eyes away from what I’d be missing. To have Weinberger keynoting…that will be an experience.


    I just picked up Dave’s recent keynote at the Reboot 7.0 conference. Sounds like a topic that’s loosely outlined for his NECC presentation.

    Finally, take the opportunity on quizzing him. “What does Cluetrain say to education?” Throw your findings out on your blog and bring them over the the Cluetrain book study at http://pedersondesigns.com. I’m hanging on the refresh button this Monday evening!

  2. Two points, first getting perspective. Though Cluetrain makes a valid and important point about the need to see dialog as a major value of cyberspace, there is a larger and stronger model and perspective that has been around and visible online for over ten years, LEAP, which integrates the desktop with the webtop perspective, which is part of a larger perspective called CROP. In this LEAP model, dialog is one leg of a four legged stool that supports effective thinking. Effective thinking and community building requires that thinkers know how to effectively Look for information, Evoke response by their capacity to use a wide range of composition tools, Assess the reaction and feedback of the world to their composition and idea drafts through dialog and conversation, and Publish/Perform their completed works thru a variety of desktop and online systems. See overview at http://ceap.wcu.edu/houghton/Learner/basicidea.html

    Second, dialog for the school setting that involves cyberspace is also about protected dialog for our students. In teaching my university students about blogging I came across Mossberg’s recent Wall Street Journal column making issue of private viewing, and then ranking the big three blog creating services, Blogger, MSNspaces and Yahoo 360. This provides a glorious opportunity to plug your Blogmeister service. MSNspaces and Yahoo 360 have an approach to private viewing of blog sites that will unavoidably drag students and families past features they do not want and perhaps should not see. See blog-study.blogspot.com and my posting, http://blog-study.blogspot.com/2005/06/private-or-protected-viewing-of-blog.html
    and the prior posting to this one which responds to Mossberg’s other claims in ranking the big three blog creation systems.

    Cheers! Bob

  3. hey Dave –
    hope you’re managing to get a bit of rest between all the teaching at NECC!

    Just did a bit of research on the titles you mention by Weinberger, et al. The second is:
    Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web – and it was first published in 2002.

    Have fun –

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