Sunday, September 28, 2008

Connectivism week 4 - NZ perspective on the internet

The focus for this week is on the history of the social web which I have some familiarity with. This timeline provides a good overview along with ppt slides – part 1 (142 slides) & part 2 (125 slides) which provide a visual accompaniment to the text. All of this provides a really good explanation of how the internet developed and especially its roots which are summarised in the beginning of the slides in part 1 (which is new learning for me). Again, I would have appreciated hyperlinks in some of the headings and slides but the information is covered in the reading as well.

A bit of a nostalgia trip for me as I remember listservs, the first emails, my excitement at clicking on the first hyperlink, the psychedelic web pages of the early 1990s, the first blog & read, using pubsub before moving on to bloglines when it folded etc. WWW less then 20 years old & my kids rely on google instead of using the library (sigh). An alternative to follow up is the history of the internet from a New Yorker’s perspective by Fred Wilson.

Also had a browse through a new book from the CPIT library called Glut: Mastering information through the ages by Alex Wright which tracks the pre-history before above slides by Scholz.
An interesting read that tracks the way in which humans have grappled with organising large amounts of information. Methods used to store and retrieve information include stone age jewellery (& string quipu), the role of monasteries during the dark ages, the first ‘encyclopedias’, use of ‘trees’ to describe genealogy, create taxonomies and a glimpse into how the present ‘information age’ will develop into the future.

Plus over the weekend, had a read through a another new CPIT library book ‘Connecting the clouds : the internet in NZ’ which provided me with some fascinating NZ history & helped to provide me with a better understanding of the role of the internet within the NZ context. The ‘no.8 wire’ ethos permeated much of the book providing me with affirmation that passion with a bit of luck often goes far in bringing about change from the grassroots up. This book is also available online as a wiki which links to a timeline of the internet in NZ. A great example of the way books providing another method by which networks connect, form & produce new knowledge.

Quote for the week from Scholz, “The future of networked sociality is clearly linked to the anticipated two billions cellphone users of the near future. They will make the one hundred million bloggers look marginal. “ which provides me with lots of incentive for working on my mlearning project.

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