Thursday, 5 March 2009

Conversation - tracking my interest back..

Takes me back to and allows me to reminiss about my ancient greek and latin days, It seems there may be an educational theorectical basis to such an approach, or at least an ideology or philosophy. Socratic methods seem to give this topic academic grounding, weight, credibility and kudos. A quick check of wikipedia reminds me of Cicero's dialogs, Xenophon, Plato and many others.....

An original interest in finding and sharing knowledge and information led me to a career in information and libraries. A long established interest in teaching & learning and a developing one in e-learning extends this original attraction as I believe teaching is all about reaching out and converting that information and knowledge into something deeper: understanding and learning. E-learning offers the opportunity to make even greater and faster 'connections'. Helping others to harness these connections and developing shared understandings also extends my original interest of helping others to access information.

These lurking interests or drivers heightened my interest in conversation when we were looking at the use of portfolios in education, whilst engaged in the art of chatting with peers via discussion boards and whilst producing my own weblog for the IDEL module last year. Conversations, all be them textual in nature (mostly), were held in these spaces, with myself in reflection or with my tutor via weblog or with peers via discussion boards.

Conversation is undeniably one way of sharing knowledge, cultivating understanding and facilitating learning and this is a method which suits my own style of learning. Digital technologies such as email, discussion boards, mobile texting and the development of web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs, wikis and social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter and Diig), make conversation online and across time and space a reality, which is ripe for exploitation within the academic arena.
Posted by Alison Johnson

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