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February 09, 2007


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Tremendous post, thanks for all of it but especially for -- 'Not all of the "live web" is about the present tense.'

Yes indeed. I have a feeling I'll be coming back to this one.

Barbara Ganley

I agree with Brian that this is a fabulous post (which prompted him to write a fine one, too)-- you ask really important questions for me as a teacher thinking about how students bring these networked moments of unanticipated learning into their "formal" studies. Thanks!

You're touching, too, on vernacular creativity and communication along the lines of the powerful work of Jean Burgess in Australia. Do you know her work?


Bryan Alexander

Brian, thanks. The archive aspect of Web 2.0 - playful, vibrant - isn't getting nearly enough attention. I spoke to this at ELI; one of several topics resolutely failing to grab the audience.

And thank you, Barbara. "unanticipated learning" is a splendid phrase.
Off to check out Burgess -


"one of several topics resolutely failing to grab the audience": not so, unless I don't count as audience. And of course there's a long tail at work with live presentations, too, as you know well from your days in the classroom. Who knows what other audience members were grabbed and might be mulling over it even now.

Fine post through and through. My strong hunch is that this sort of thing is a core part of all informal learning, but the digital age makes it visible and more profuse in a way that can produce some interesting meta-effects, just as print and widespread literacy have. Accessing the traces of our own engagement with new intensity and multiplicity.

Bryan Alexander

I agree about the informal learning part, Gardner. But I remain disappointed by the conversation following that talk. My provocations didn't provoke. Your generous post seems to be the only long tail wagging from Atlanta. Maybe the podcast will get some more, Gardnerian responses.

Speaking of Web 2.0 stories, another one popped up just now. Steven Kaye is visiting our home in Vermont. He took photos of our goats. One such image earned a comment from another Flickr user, who, it turns out... raises goats. Goats to goats, farmer to hobby farmer, Web 2.0 connects us through these social objects.
The whole thing centers around this Flickry:


I said I'd come back to this post, and I did. And I still love it. Thanks.

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