E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

Learning

Second Life in 3600 Seconds – A Great Overview to the Metaverse World

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Ha! And then they say that twittering hasn’t got any value add to knowledge workers. That is funny! Earlier on today one of my Twitter friends, Beth, from Chronicles – The life and resources from Beth, shared a twittering with a Web link to a superb overview presentation on one of those topics within the realm of social computing that more and more people keep talking about over and over again: Second Life. Yes, that is right, without that particular comment from Beth in Twitter I would have missed on one of those presentations around Second Life that is just worth while going through if you would want to know a whole lot more about this particular application and get to find out where most of the hype is coming from.

In the past, you would remember how I have been creating a number of different weblog entries around the subject of virtual worlds, the metaverse, Second Life and how it is shifting slowly, but steadily, the way we interact with other knowledge workers virtually, specially in the knowledge sharing, collaboration and learning environments. Well, Second Life in 3600 Seconds is one of those presentations, shared in Slideshare, that will certainly not only provide you with a good overview of why you may want to pay attention to Second Life, but it will also show some of the first initial steps to get going and some key concepts to keep in mind while you try out and experiment further.

I am really glad that Beth has shared this hat-tip today, because whenever someone coming over to me asking for a good overview of what virtual worlds are and how they operate, this is certainly one of those presentations that I would be more than happy to recommend to others. It has been put together by Eduservfoundation, the folks from eFoundations, and it surely makes for an interesting and educational read. Worth while the 3600 seconds, don’t you think?

Oh, and if you didn’t have enough check out the very helpful resource that Beth has put together as well in Chronicles around the subject of Second Life. That one is a worth while read, too, for sure!

And, finally, if you want to get hooked into Second Life, but do not have a good excuse for it, check out this particular piece of machinima that Beth shared as well over at her weblog. Very nicely done and kind of making you want some more, don’t you think?:

Thanks much, Beth, for the hat-tip and for the lovely links and resources you have put together regarding Second Life and the metaverse. I am sure I will be making use of them quite extensively. So, thanks for those! Well done !

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I Taller de Podcasting de Canarias – Y lo Mucho que se Aprende de los Expertos

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Sí, ya sé que vengo un poco tarde con el post sobre el I Taller de Podcasting de Canarias que tuvo lugar el 17 de marzo y que ya comenté en su momento, pero como lo prometido es deuda aquí tenéis una descripción de cómo fue el evento y de lo que aprendí durante las varias horas que estuvimos absorbiendo conocimientos, un montón, como dicen por aquí, del fascinante mundo del Podcasting.

Pero vamos por partes. Primero, hacer referencia a toda la gente que atendió el evento y que ya han creado sus respectivos artículos comentando cómo fue el evento. Segundo, por supuesto, las fotos del evento que podréis encontrar en Mangas Verdes, gracias a nuestro reporteros gráficos más dicharacheros: Manual Almeida (¡Vaya pedazo de cámara que se gasta el colega!) y Víctor Ruiz. Y luego, por supuesto, el agradecimiento a Octavio por haber habilitado la sala Luroa. En fin, un buen grupo de gente que se molesta y se preocupa, y mucho, porque todas estas tecnologías emergentes tengan su propio espacio en Canarias y los demás podamos explorarlas con comodidad y bastantes conocimientos para probarlas sin ningún tapujo. Vamos, de lujo.

Y, como siempre, lo mejor es siempre estar conectados y enchufados con los expertos en la materia con los que poder aprender bastante sobre el tema antes de lanzarse de lleno a explorar el medio. ¿No creéis? Y eso es prácticamente lo que hicimos los asistentes disfrutando de los conocimientos y consejos de gente que lleva mucho tiempo en esto del podcasting como Fran J. Saavedra, de Crónicas de Esperantia, o Charlie, Miguel y Pino del equipo de Canarias Burta. El evento en sí puede que no tuviera una altísima participación, pero lo cierto es que los que fuimos lo disfrutamos mucho, no sólo por lo didáctico del evento, sino porque parte del propósito fue también dar clases prácticas sobre lo que es el proceso de creación del podcasting y su correspondiente publicación en la red. ¡Increíblemente fascinante lo fácil que llega a ser una vez que te pones a la faena!

Y quizá fue éste el aspecto que más me llamó la atención y la que más me ayudó a dar ese empujoncito final para la creación de podcasts dentro de no mucho tiempo, la verdad. El gusanillo siempre ha estado ahí, desde luego, pero la charla por parte de Fran, Charlie y Miguel ha sido la que al final va a tener su fruto y me va a lanzar al mundo de los podcasts.

Como habréis podido ver si leéis este blog con regularidad, en el pasado ya he comentado cómo había participado en una serie de episodios con diferentes podcasters, pero siempre desde la perspectiva de invitado y nunca desde la perspectiva de productor de los diferentes episodios. Bueno, ¡pues eso va a cambiar y muy pronto!

Quizá ése sea el gran éxito del I Taller de Podcasting de Canarias. El hecho de que después del evento ya he empezado a poner las cosas en su sitio y estoy preparando el lanzamiento de mi propio podcast, que, por cierto, va a tener un poco de todo. En formato híbrido, haciendo podcasts tanto individuales como colaborativas, tanto en inglés como en español, tratando varios de los temas sobre los que ya llevo un buen tiempo comentando en los diferentes weblogs que mantengo: Gestión / Administración de Conocimientos, Colaboración, Comunidades, Educación y las Redes Sociales o el social computing.

Ahora sólo me quedan ultimar los detalles finales, como echar un vistazo a Pamela-Systems y en particular Pamela para Skype y decidir cuál es la mejor opción, y empezar a dar los primeros pasos. Habrá que ver cómo irá todo al final, pero lo cierto es que estoy bastante ilusionado con empezar ya que me va a permitir poder conocer a mucha gente que ya llevo leyendo durante bastante tiempo. Veremos a ver qué tal se nos da. De momento, agradecer, de nuevo, tanto a Fran, Charlie y Miguel, como a Octavio el haber organizado tal evento por primera vez en Canarias y que sepais que el gusanillo estaba ahí desde hacía tiempo, pero lo habéis despertado y con muchas ganas! ¡A por ellos! (Uy, perdón, ese último comentario pertenece a otro contexto 🙂 )

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Arriving in Charming Budapest

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As you may recall from last week, this week and till next Monday, I am actually in Budapest, Hungary, attending the University event with the European team from IBM‘s Global Business Services Learning and Knowledge, getting to know face to face a whole bunch of the folks I have been interacting with virtually for a number of months. Yes, I know, an interesting event to say the least as I will be able to place some faces behind the voices, IM conversations and e-mails I have been having for quite some time now.

The event is supposed to get started tomorrow afternoon although registrations are starting in the morning. Then over the next couple of days, it is going to be a pretty packed agenda with very little time for anything else, including some team building activities in the evening, so I am not sure I would be able to create any other weblog entries at least till I am done on Thursday afternoon. Thus I have decided to venture now and share a few thoughts on my first experiences coming to Budapest for the first time and share some of the pictures I have already taken about this incredibly fascinating city. Here it goes:

1. Too much of a long trip!: Yes, indeed, having to take three planes in the same day to get over here is just way too much. My ears are still buzzing and pretty much stuck, despite all my efforts to get over it!!

2. Quite disappointed with Wi-Fi networks at airports in general: As I have been mentioning in my twitterings, I guess the world is way far far away from offering competitive (Not even free options) prices for making use of Wi-Fi networks while waiting on connecting flights. Not a chance that I would pay for two or three hours worth of broadband what I nearly pay on a monthly basis. *That* is just out of the question. Period. So much for making broadband widely available to everyone… Sigh

3. Taxi drivers need to understand that when they are told that the suitcase they try to grab is rather heavy they should be paying attention. We know better. We packed those suitcases, you know!?!?! Now I have got a broken suitcase ! Double sigh

4. Second major disappointment: This time with the hotel broadband services. Not only are they rather expensive (25 Euros for 24 hour connection! Yes, you are reading it right, 25 Euros per day!), but the actual broadband connection is as flaky as I never thought it would be for the price I am paying! I haven’t been able to access most Web sites I normally get to access, Twitter included, GMail, a whole bunch of behind the firewall Web sites through VPN, or even my weblog! (Where there are a whole bunch of comments and trackbacks I need to get to, but can’t! So bear with me while I try to get that sorted out). I hope I am able to post this one entry, but so far I must say that it is far from ideal !

And all this in an era where most knowledge workers are mobile, travelling all over the place, and need to have that pervasiveness to stay in touch with their peers, friends and family than otherwise is going to make things rather difficult. Already got several thousand RSS feeds to catch up just because the broadband connection has been rather unstable all along. Sigh. I guess I was just asking for too much this time around. Yes, indeed, there is nothing like one’s own home wireless connection that you know it just *works*.

5. Lovely beer: Yes, indeed, I just had my first couple of pints and although I do not remember the name of the lager, it surely was nice! I need to pay much better attention next time, but if all beers are just like the one I just had, I think am going to have some good fun from here till next week! 🙂 heh

6. Sex offerings: After a lovely light dinner with a pint or two of that nice lager, I decided to go for a walk in the surroundings of the hotel, voted as “best view” hotel in Budapest, and while I am walking alongside the river in a rather cold evening the first thing I get offered is just that: sex. Yeah, like you are reading it right there. I got here less than 3 hours ago and I am already being offered some sex… Hummm, no hard feelings to anyone of my friends out there, but that scene reminded me very closely of Amsterdam.

I decided to walk further and continue enjoying the scenery, in case you are wondering. See above for a whole bunch of reasons why 😛

7. First glance of what promises to be a wonderful place to enjoy for the remaining of the week: As I was taking that walk in this cold evening, I got to enjoy some of the different ancient buildings (Still need to learn the names and all as well -Reading some books about them at the moment…) and the spectacular lighting effects that have been put together. They have clearly reminded me that I need to buy a much better digital camera if  I would want to do them justice ! And big time!

You will have to get over here to judge for yourselves, but I have taken the liberty of taking some photos of some of the stunning places I have been checking out thus far so that you can get an idea of what is awaiting you over here, in case you may have never visited Budapest.

8. I am tired: I guess that is a no brainer since I have been up this morning since 4am GMT and it is pass midnight, local time, so instead of sharing with you some further details, I am actually going to leave it over here and share with you below some of those, above mentioned, pictures I mentioned of some of the stuff I have seen tonight. Hopefully, there would be a couple more weblog posts about my experiences over here, but there is a good chance that I may just be able to share some of my twitterings all along, specially if the broadband connection is good. We shall see.

Have a good one everyone! And hope to be able to weblog some more soon! (If you do not see me weblogging away, not to worry, you know where I will be. Yeah, not there actually either! You bad bad bad folks!! :-D)

 

(More to be uploaded over here)

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Informal Learning by Jay Cross – Part Deux

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No, that is right. This is not the second take from Jay Cross on Informal Learning. Actually, this is a follow up to a previous weblog post that I have shared over here not long ago where I actually included the links to three video clips stored in YouTube by Jay Cross himself in which he gets to talk about Informal Learning. Quite some interesting stuff! Well, it gets better. Much better. Not long ago, I discovered another video clip that Jay has put together. I found it through the Learning Technologies 2008 weblog that Don Taylor currently maintains and if the first three were really good ones this other take is just as good. If not better.

It lasts for a bit under 10 minutes and for those folks who are interested in finding out some more about what Informal Learning is all about, and how to get a good and descriptive overview, this is certainly one of the best options out there. In it you would be able to find out how Informal Learning is "everything that is not Formal Learning". Yes, I know that is going to sound pretty much like common sense, but Jay has got a good point actually. Informal Learning is something that we are all going to be making use of all the time, as opposed to formal learning where it has got a much stricter set of rules that would need to be followed. One of which is a specific and fixed period of time for that type of learning. It is not necessarily a continuous process, like informal learning is.

One of the things though that I have enjoyed quite a bit from the video Jay has put together is the fact that he establishes a very close connection between Informal Learning and social networks, the latter becoming really key and paramount for the success of the former. Because after all, "The most powerful instruction technology ever invented is human conversation". Does that ring a bell? Anyone? Yes, indeed, social networking at its best! Who would have ever thought about that, right? Something so relatively simple, yet so powerful, and underutilised. Get involved with your own social networks and pimp up your own informal learning while at work. I doubt it would ever get better than that!

Check out as well his recommendations on how different businesses can adopt informal learning techniques by improving the way conversations flow with some real and concrete examples of what businesses could make use of. With some really good quotes as this one: "Learning is an act that you do yourself [..] People can train you but they cannot learn you".

Finally, the last part of the video tries to address the mix of Informal Learning with Web 2.0, i.e. "the participatory Web" and how they are actually coming together quite nicely by helping address growing issues like when the baby boomers generation starts making its way out of the workforce. Certainly, making use of social computing and Informal Learning you have got a pretty good chance of being able of retaining most of, if not all, of the knowledge from those baby boomers before it is too late. So what are you doing to retain that knowledge? Are you making use of social networks and Informal Learning to address some of those different issues? Here is the embedded video from Jay so that you can get to check it out for yourself. Totally worth it the 10 minutes he has put together. Thanks much, Jay! Lots of great stuff in there! Thanks for sharing it with us all!

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Reminder of How Much Things Are Changing – Did You Know?

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Oh boy, I am shattered! What an incredibly busy week this has been thus far, folks! One of the busiest  I have been having in a long long while ! Thank goodness it is Friday and just feel like I could do with some well deserved rest and start enjoying the weekend a bit sooner than expected. I was thinking about creating another weblog entry where I could share some of the thoughts that have been going on in my mind over the last few days from stuff that I have been reading, but somehow I feel that my body and my mind have got other plans and just want to get the … out of here!

However, I thought I would create this particularly quick weblog entry where I would want to share a video from YouTube that I have found in several other places, Tony Karrer’s weblog being one of them, about how fast things are changing for us all at the beginning of the 21st century. There are lots and lots of things that I could share about the impact that video clip has had in me, after watching it. Humble is probably one of the words that comes to mind, amongst many others. However, instead of me just sharing some more thoughts with you on the subject, I am just going to embed the video over here and let you alone watch it. You will probably find it just as educational, enlightening and thought-provoking as I have found it.

It is just amazing that this presentation piece has been put together quite some time ago and is making the rounds all over the place nowadays. I guess … What comes around goes around… Have a good one, folks! Signing off for now…

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Wikipatterns – Getting the Most out of Your Own Wiki Experience by Learning from Others

(Previously, on elsua – The Knowledge Management Blog at ITtoolbox)


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Over the last few days I have actually been reading off my RSS feeds on a new offering put together by the folks over at Atlassian, the same guys behind the fine Confluence wiki engine, that I wish it would have been made available some time ago. Yes, that is right. I am talking about Wikipatterns that Stewart Mader has put together with his team and which he announced over at Introducing Wikipatterns.com a couple of days ago. What fantastic resource, indeed !

Reason why I mentioned above that I wish Wikipatterns would have been made available some time ago is because it would have been a really nice and handy resource that I would have been able to reuse for the several podcasting episodes I have been doing lately with my colleagues from ibm.com over at IBM Shortcuts around the subject of wikis and getting the most out of them.

Yes, that is right. I have mentioned this in the past, although over at my other Internet weblog. For the last couple of months I have been participating in the IBM ShortCuts podcast sharing a number of different tips on making the most out of social computing tools, and lately, have been talking a bit about wikis and how different teams and communities can make the most out of the whole experience.

And this is exactly why I would have loved Wikipatterns would have become available sooner so that I could leverage with some of the great stuff that has been shared over there. But what exactly is Wikipatterns you may be wondering, right? Well, it is, of course, a wiki page where a number of different patterns have been put together that detail how you can get the most out of wikis with the least effort possible. That is, with this particular offering you can read all about the dos and don’ts of participating in a wiki. What is good for the team or the community and, much more interesting, what is not that good for your team or your community when making use of a wiki.

However, what I really like about this particular Web site is the fact that for the first time there are a number of different roles identified from different wiki users. So by observing pretty close how the rest of your team is collaborating in such a shared space as a wiki you have got the opportunity to identify those "people patterns" or "people anti-patterns" and be able act upon them if you may need to. Not only from the perspective of helping find the most active and participative wiki collaborators, but also those other folks you would need to watch out and perhaps act upon them at some point in time.

Impressive, eh? You bet! I think that Wikipatterns is going to be one of those services that will prove incredibly useful for all of those businesses that are still struggling with the adoption of social computing within the enterprise as it would allow them to get the most out of the already existing collective knowledge and experiences put together by other knowledge workers who have been making use of wikis for quite some time already.

So Wikipatterns is the perfect Web site to point people to, who may be a bit skeptic about the whole thing of sharing knowledge and collaborating in an open environment where everyone is at the same level and encouraged to add content on top of each other’s content. Like I said, I wish this offering would have been made available several months ago because I would have been able to make use of it to convinced a few on why they may need a wiki, or not, instead of having to do it the hard way. Either way I am hoping that Wikipatterns continues to grow further showing, and demonstrating successfully, to people how wikis could become one of the most powerful collaborative and knowledge sharing environments to date.

And all of that, not to worry, without you having to worry about anything. Just leveraging on the already existing experiences from different knowledge workers. Way cool, eh? I now just wish I can find some time to help out and add some further content to it, because there more there is to it, the much better it would be for everyone else to learn how you can improve your own wiki experience. I already signed up (Only takes a couple of minutes!) and I am surely looking forward to find some spare time to add further up into it… How about you? Are you ready to share your best, or not so best, wiki experiences?

Let’s do it!

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