On April 25, Social Innovation Meetup #4, organized by Hivos and Kennisland, was held in Amsterdam. Theme: “Exploring Labs for Social Change”. Social innovation labs are very popular as instruments for “changing the system”. However, what actually happens in these labs? How do they help accomplish social change? What’s in “the black box”?
The proceedings were just published containing my paper: A. de Moor (2012). Towards Sheltered Communication Systems Design: A Socio-Technical Perspective. In Proc. of the 9th Community Informatics Research Network Conference, Prato, Italy, November 7-9, 2012.
Social media are powerful conversation technologies. However, exactly how social media afford and constrain complex social requirements in collaborative communities is still ill-understood. One of these requirements concerns the need for sheltered communication systems: systems that support and interlink spheres of stakeholder communication with different required degrees of opacity. We introduce our Socio-Technical Conversation Context Framework as a way to analyze and design such complex socio-technical communication systems. We use collaboration patterns grounded in this framework as conceptual building blocks to capture design lessons learnt about matching community requirements with enabling tool functionalities. We illustrate the approach with the “sheltered communications” lessons learnt in a Dutch case of developing an e-learning tool system for students with physical and mental limitations.
- Registration was difficult. No confirmation mail received. Amazing how much stress this generated. Even though all materials are open, also for non-enrolled, the sense of risking “not belonging” was strong. Is this one of the secrets of courses, and continued reasons of existence for physical universities?
- Managed after 5 times to enroll through an Android client, of all devices! Really experienced a thrill when I finally received that confirmation mail!
- Got an e-mail from an assistant to an earlier mail from me to the team that my application would be processed manually this weekend. No longer necessary, but nice to receive this human touch. They must be overwhelmed.
- Over 24,000 people enrolled! This is truly a Massive Open Online Course..
- A bot subdivides the masses into learning groups, clever! The bot mail didn’t say how large our group is or who my peer members are. Would be nice to get that sense of awareness. There is “the mother of all Google+” communities supporting the whole course. Each group has its own “mini mailing list” (ours is firstname.lastname@example.org) and is advised to start its own G+ community as well. Wonder if anybody will take the initiative? Normally, I set up these things myself, but now really too busy with too many deadlines…
- Many introduction mails from fellow group members coming in. I’ve also sent mine. Would be nice to have a mailing list archive for future reference, but also to check whether your own mails have actually been distributed, as I often do when sending mails to the Community Informatics Researchers mailing list.
- My introduction mail to the group bounced! Instructions in the bot mail said to “hit the reply button”, which I did, but apparently didn’t work. Now how do I introduce myself to my coursemates?
- I posted my problem on the general course G+ forum. Immediately got lots of encouraging comments. Nice to feel the buzz!
- Also a second attempt to introduce myself failed. More people seem to have that same problem of recurring bounces. It made me lament: “ Team: please help! Even though I have been admitted to the course, I know feel like an inivisible ghost, not worthy to be seen by my course mates…”
- One of the replies to my Google+ post helped: turns out the reply address was wrong. My introduction mail has been received. Feel so much belonging now
- (4 pm, Dutch time) Getting ready for our 1st live lecture, with 1080 classmates from all over the world, and counting…
- (4:05 pm) Yes, we’ve got live video, but I can hear no sound!
- (4:20 pm) I hate computers! Checked everything before start of class, YouTube worked fine. When the live stream started, I could see the video, but no sound! Spent a full 15 minutes checking the d..mn PC, finally having to restart it. So, virtually late for class even though physically I was in time!
- Getting introduced by the speakers to the main course ideas & team, really feel excited! Highly interesting speakers and themes ahead in weeks to come
- Student 2.0: switching from Google+ for video via Twitter for backchannel comments to Evernote for note-taking, and back!
- This course big experiment: how to move in #MOOCs from massive, one-way video presentations to small group interactions?
Today, Tilburg University’s Science Junction was launched:
The Children’s University aims to work together with regional schools to develop curriculums and teaching materials for more gifted primary school students from groups 7 and 8 (age 10 to 12). The goal: making knowledge available to primary school students, and to show how much fun science is.
The opening ceremony consisted of weaving a giant web between the participants, by having them throw around loads of balls of wool. Besides it being superbly funny and engaging, it also resulted (both in terms of process and product) in one of the best visual metaphors of The Web I have come across! See the weaving of the web in action at this photo stream.