August 2007

Creative Collaboration & The Future of Education

by Andy Polaine on August 31, 2007

in General

Slime Mould

I presented my seminar on Creative Collaboration and The Future of Education at Urban Learning Space yesterday and very much enjoyed the Glaswegian hospitality of all the folks at ULS.

Although it would have been nice if I had managed to leave a little more time for discussion, I was really encouraged by many of the responses and questions afterwards. I gave me a sense that there are plenty of like minds out there wanting to try make some real changes in the system and philosophy of education that align better with the creative/knowledge economy and the Play Ethic.

Ewan McIntosh, in an amazing feat of very fast typing and live blogging, has some thoughts on the first part of the talk here, in which I went through Omnium’s projects and Creative Waves 2007 in particular. He also added some great links and thoughts about the second, Future of Education, part in a separate post.

The slime mould you can see above is a metaphor I used for lots of small trends that are developing in parallel suddenly connecting up and coagulating into what appears to be a complete, coherent organism (which is essentially what ‘Web 2.0’ is a case of).

It can happen suddenly and there is the potential for this to happen in education and completely upend things. I think the likelihood is probably that it won’t be as upended as it could be because of the established mechanisms for controlling that status quo. (I also talked about outlying villages and towns coagulating into suburbs and finally being absorbed into major cities as a similar, slower, example).

However, the change will happen in any case and the real challenge is to be asking the right questions far enough in advance to work out how to deal with these rapid changes. At present I haven’t seen much evidence of this from within institutions themselves.

Incidentally, I owe the use of the slime mould metaphor to Steven Johnson and his excellent book Emergence.

ULS will be putting up a podcast and the presentation material on their website soon, I’ll post a link when it’s up.

UPDATE: It’s not on the website yet but you can find the podcast by subscribing to ULS’s iTunes feed.


Break-time at Playpen

by Andy Polaine on August 16, 2007

Chocolate Milk Fight by imnotpolish

I’m going to take a few days off for a break, so I probably won’t be blogging for a couple of weeks. But stay tuned, there is much more to come as well as some more podcasts.

I’ll also be doing an online presentation for the AWARD Craft Interactive programme on the 27th August. It’ll be recorded and posted somewhere on Operator 11 for your amusement.

So, go play on a swing, drink some milk, have a chocolate milk fight (above) or do something educational like watching a cow milking demonstrations.

(Thanks to imnotpolish for the photo and amusing Flickr name).

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Two-Way Tangible Interface: PICO

August 13, 2007

PICO (Physical Intervention in Computational Optimization) by James Patten is a tangible interface that tracks small objects on top of it and can move them. There have been plenty of interfaces that react to real objects on top of them, but PICO is another step forward due to the computer being able to move around […]

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Postful ripped off

August 12, 2007

[UPDATE: There are several updates to this post, which has made it a bit confusing to read. I don’t like deleting posts, so it’s mostly persevered here as it played out. But please read the updates at the bottom of this post to see how this all got resolved.] A few days ago I posted […]

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Game and Watch

August 12, 2007

Whilst Googling around for some examples of Nintendo’s Game and Watch I came across the aptly-named Game and Watch site, which snapped me back to childhood memories straight away. Fire (pictured above) was the first one we had in my family – my brother got it for a present I think. I spent hours playing […]

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A balanced view of Second Life

August 10, 2007

I promised i would stop ranting about [Second Life](] and I will. Putting People First (the experientia blog) have a balanced post called Second Thoughts on Second Life. Not only does it provide some good links to hype as well as critiques, they basically lay down what it is good for and that is… trying […]

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British Telecom’s Lesley Gavin on Virtual Worlds

August 7, 2007

Okay, so the whole Second Life theme is getting rather a good going over on Playpen at the moment. I think I’m probably going to have to stop writing about it because it just drives me mad. The latest I’ve read is from The Tech Lab by the BBC. The BBC bills this “the world’s […]

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Data Visualisation Approaches

August 4, 2007

There’s a great post on Data Visualization: Modern Approaches over at Smashing Magazine. Some of them are pretty well-known, like Newsmap and (one of my favourites) We Feel Fine, but there are some newer and more unusual ones in there too as well as some good links in the comments. There seems to me to […]

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Send Snail Mail via E-mail

August 1, 2007

There’s been quite a bit of debate (and strikes) surrounding the privatisation of postal services. Whilst strikes has been going on, private postal companies have been (or will be) cleaning up. Much as I love writing by hand (I still do, most days), I don’t write letters much any more because of e-mail. Postful is […]

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Creative Collaboration and the Future of Education Seminar

August 1, 2007

I’m going to be giving a seminar called Creative Collaboration and the Future of Education at Urban Learning Space in Glasgow who have a number of really interesting projects concerning future ways of working, playing, thinking and learning. I’ll be presenting the Creative Waves 2007 – VIP project in detail, talking about the using a […]

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