Reaction to Alan’s Keynote at the Recent Faculty Academy

Alan Levine’s keynote address provided a very intriguing introduction to a range of recent technologies, most of which I’d heard of but none of which I was really familiar with. His conception of the art of teaching as Mashup/remix/reinterpretation of existing material really struck a chord with me. Still, I have to agree with Laura that the best quote of the presentation was when Alan said “You can’t figure this stuff out from the outside.” Perhaps it’s my particular learning style, but more often than not my attention doesn’t get captured by hearing or reading about some new tech tool. I have to see it in action.

Gardner had tried to talk me into trying twitter, but it was only when I saw the tweets (i.e. twitter posts) popping up on Alan’s screen during the presentation that I decided I had to give it a try.

What is twitter, you ask? It’s been described as micro-blogging, participating in a sort of on-line conversation with a network of friends where the posts are limited to 140 characters. The basic protocol is to briefly describe what you’re doing. As I write this, lblanken just tweeted, “playing with splashr,” and shauser said, “Just watched the history mashup [that Jim had referred to earlier in the twitterstream]. Not only did I laugh but, I learned stuff too haha.”

Twitter requires much less effort than blogging. If blogging is informal writing, twitter is informal thinking. The beauty of it for me is that following the twitterstream it’s possible to feel connected with your colleagues, even with a minimum of attention. It’s oddly compelling.

It’s also proven to be a great way to maintain the rush I felt from the Faculty Academy.

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