Read the post from Brian Lamb
Stephen Downes points to his post with the following commentary:
This would be pretty funny if it weren't such a sad commentary on our media, not merely for using a photo of Brian Lamb and his laptop out of context, but in pandering to a resurgent anti-computer and anti-networking sentiment. Lamb links to another story: "wireless network might be used by terrorists," the headline screams. Well, yeah. But "Terrorists might also use our bus service to move about the city undetected." What is with these scare stories? Are the authorities really losing control? And (given the ease with which they peddle these blatant fabrications) is that such a bad thing?
It made me think of the Berkman lecture I heard called "Legal Education in the Networked World" where there was a hot debate about whether laptops in the classroom were a good or bad thing. Are students just checking their email and tuning out or does the laptop help them think?
If you read down the comments on the flickr post, Darcy Norman says
could it be that students who use laptops in class are bored with the lecture, and THAT's why they do poorly? blame the internet! :-)
Reminds me of this slide from an old workshop I did on how to make technology trainings more interactive. That's how much we pay attention when we're subjected to a long one-way lecture. Notice how for the first ten minutes our attention rises, then plummets and doesn't regain its original height.
This makes me think of something Gavin Clabaugh said recently in a brilliant post about RSS.
With things like Blogs, Wikis, and social networking in general, institutions and organizations don’t quite know what to do. Even a recent call for organizational examples of “non-profit blogs” over at NetSquared failed to turn up more than a handful of nominations. The simple reason — despite the hype that “everybody must get blogged” — may be that the tools don’t fit organizational needs. The fact is that many organizations already have an “institutional blog” It’s called a web site.
With all due respect to Gavin, I think I disagree. I think of a web site as a one-way lecture where someone is talking at me. I think of blogs as a two-conversation where I'm engaging or paying more attention to the content. That could just be me and my own laptop induced add.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to replay the blogs versus web site debate (here, here, and here) and you should go read Gavin's post because there is some really good pointers about RSS and an excellent demonstration of Technology Stewardship:
Let’s get back to the question at hand. Philosophical points aside, technically and operationally RSS presents a series of institutional problems, challenges, and questions:
- How could or should I incorporate it into the enterprise?
- What were my options, what were the available tools and practices?.
- What role can it, or should it play compared to the myriad other information flows and sources?
- How would or could I balance its role against costs, both real and opportunity?
- What neat tricks could I do with it to enhance access to information?
- How could I use it to increase productivity?
- How could I use it to increase our knowledge and, thereby, directly enhance the work that we do?
- What is the institutional response to the need for some sort of reader or aggregator?