Apologies for the lack of posts but I’ve been traveling and did a lengthy talk at the Sloan Conference on Online Learning on the potential of Twitter to reinvent the traditional paradigm of learning and foster a new mode of academic discourse. I’m fascinated by Twitter – and by the resistance to it by so many faculty in higher education. It seems acceptable for their own professional development but far less use it in learning environments for students.
I’ve also been playing around with Dalton Caldwell’s project App.net, a user-supported platform that was funded through KickStarter a few months back. App.net is similar to Twitter with many of the same features but has a minimalist interface and space for 256 character messages. More importantly, it is a fee-based service designed to avoid the dilemma that Twitter finds itself in – having begun with an open API and now pulling back and limiting access to developers as it becomes more commercial. Twitter is still in the throes of an internal debate about its future but seems to be shifting toward an ad-supported model. As Caldwell argues, that means developers and users come last. Not good.
There are too many issues to cover here but the talk may be republished later. If not I’ll throw it up it here after I get through a backlog of posts.