Three adoption patterns for educational social software

I've been reading and thinking a lot lately about how to drive more adoption of the social learning platform I'm building here at BYU,, and wanted to summarize some of the highlights of what I've learned. All of the patterns come directly from Ross Mayfield and Michael Idinopulos's writings so a big shout out to the great work they're doing at Socialtext.

Pattern 1: Launch Broad then Deep

Deploying Social Software in Universities: Go Broad then Deep

Michael Idinopolus wrote an intriguing post over on his excellent blog yesterday titled "Enterprise 2.0: Skip the Pilot."

I thought I'd repeat some of his arguments because it agrees nicely with an argument I've been formulating lately regarding deployment strategy for social learning software within higher education.

But first to his article:

In social media there's not one right answer

Great blog post that explores the advantages and disadvantages of different social media structures.

He explores when you want to follow ideas (when the community is small) or people (when the community is too big to follow everything).

He discusses the search/browse debate and concludes you need both. Different people tend toward one style or the other but both are needed for different purposes. Search is fast and takes you straight to content you're interested in. Browse, on other hand, tends to be slower but helps you understand the context and organization of the content better.

Assorted Links

I think I'm going to start doing "link posts" more often. I run into content I think I should write about here but then never have time to write a full-blown post. Onto the links.

Clay Shirky says Internet reduces needs for "experts" by lowering transaction costs

"Experts the world over have been shocked to discover that they were consulted not as a direct result of their expertise, but often as a secondary effect — the apparatus of credentialing made finding experts easier than finding amateurs, even when the amateurs knew the same things as the experts."

Web 2.0 Is the Future of Education

Lists 10 cultural trends which is pushing education towards a web2.0 model

A world without courses

Thought experiment how universities would work without actual courses. An interesting ideas. I've often wandered if courses are the best method for learning. I know I learn far more outside of class then inside the classroom.

Vygotsky's Social Development Theory -- more here

Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals.

How to become great? Research suggests:

  1. Focus on technique as opposed to outcome.
  2. Set specific goals.
  3. Get good, prompt feedback, and use it.

Thoughts, quotes, questions about how web2.0 is challenging traditional methods of education

Bandura Social Learning Theory

Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.

Get a Wiki: Why Your Organization needs a Wiki

Three Reasons:

  1. Everyone can participate
  2. Wikis flatten rigid hierachies and ease the flow of information. Bright ideas can come from anywhere within your organization. Wikis let everyone participate and help the best ideas to emerge. Wikis make it easy for large number of people to collaborate.

  3. A Wikipedia for your organization
  4. Just like Wikipedia documents the world's information, your new wiki will become the repository for your organization's knowledge. How easy is it to find information on your intranet? Change that with a wiki. Everything from legal documents, to meeting notes, to project collaboration, to pictures from your last party can and should be stored on your wiki. A wiki is a great place to store all the "stuff" your organization generates in a simple, easy, findable manner. Free information from the grips of the inbox.

  5. Low cost
  6. While there are plenty of commercial wiki companies that'd love to sell you a wiki -- and provide great value, there's no excuse for not jumping into the wiki world with the large number of great free open-source wikis available. Enthusiastic wiki-lovers the world over have banded together to create enterprise-ready wiki software. My favorite is TWiki but don't stop looking there. The WikiMatrix is an easy way to learn about the many wikis available.

    Thousands of organizations are using wikis. Read customer success stories from organizations using TWiki, Socialtext, and Confluence.

Enterprise 2.0 -- A Summary Post

I have long been fascinated by the new technologies, blogs, wikis, and so forth, that collectively make up what is known as enterprise2.0. I am fascinated by their promise to revolutionize, as email, how we work and how we communicate and I want to be part of developing these technologies. This post is a compilation of many of the things I've read about enterprise 2.0.