Will ‘Cloudworks’ work?

Well, I haven’t managed to locate a recording of Grainne’s talk yet. In fact – this is an open question for anyone who can answer it – is there somewhere on the CCK08 site where all past recordings are stored? If there is, I haven’t yet managed to find it. It would be useful to be able to return to some of the presentations.

In the absence of having heard Grainne – I have read her papers and had a quick look at the Cloudworks site.

I have to say that I’ve got my doubts about how successful this site will be and I’ve been trying to sort out why I’ve got this ‘niggly’ feeling about it. The site looks great and doesn’t everyone want and need access to ideas for their teaching?

If I have understood this correctly, then the idea behind this is that people socialise and share around an object. We see this in Flickr (photos), Youtube (videos) Slideshare (presentations) – incidentally, I really don’t like slideshare much, but that’s another story – so the idea behind cloudworks is that people will socialise and share around ideas for teaching.

As I see it, Flickr, Youtube and slideshare work well because they share ‘finished’ objects. People don’t have to do anything with the photos, videos and presentations – only enjoy and appreciate them. Whereas an idea for teaching is of absolutely no use unless you do something with it and without the sharing of that process, then I think a resource of teaching ideas is of limited use.

I might have missed this, but although I can see the possibility for commenting on the teaching ideas uploaded onto Cloudworks, I can’t see any discussion possibilities. Of course, Grainne might have explained this is her talk (which I haven’t heard) or it may be that you have to be signed up to have access to discussion – but without the discussion I’m not sure how successful the site will be.

It seems to me that Cloudworks needs to incorporate both the sharing of objects idea from Flickr etc. and the sharing of discussion from social networking sites such as Facebook. Each teacher’s context is so individual that whilst a resource of teaching ideas can be a help and time saver, the resource still has to be adapted for the individual context and I suspect that’s where most of the help is needed and those are the ideas that most teachers would like to interact around.

7 thoughts on “Will ‘Cloudworks’ work?

  1. rashmi October 24, 2008 / 12:30 am

    Why don’t you like SlideShare? Just curious…

    And don’t worry, we won’t take offense, we like honest feedback.

    Rashmi
    SlideShare cofounder
    http://www.rashmisinha.com

  2. jennymackness October 24, 2008 / 7:52 am

    Hello Rashmi – I’m sorry – I should have made myself clear. Never thought for a minute that a Slideshare cofounder might read my blog post 🙂

    As a tool, it’s great! I notice it’s right up there in Jane Hart’s top ten.

    It’s the way it’s used that is a problem – often revelaing the worst in powerpoint presentations. A good PPT has little on it and it’s what the speaker says around it that makes it a valuable aide memoire. George Siemens has this off to a fine art. But this approach can’t be taken for sharing online without any audio (I know that slideshare does offer an audio option, but it doesn’t seem to be used very often).

    I find that slideshare presentations are very often made up of loads of densely packed slides which are meaningless if you haven’t heard the original presentation. Is there a notes option with slideshare? That would help, if people used it.

    So it’s not a problem with slideshare – but with the actual presentations.

    Jenny

  3. Rodd Lucier October 24, 2008 / 1:15 pm

    Although there wasn’t mention of commenting on Cloudworks products produced by others, the use of a common template would make such projects easily recognizable, shareable and editable. I think that’s what makes the WebQuest model of rich project development such a useful framework.

    Another benefit to the tool Grainne shared, is that it walks teacher-designers through a thoughtful process of building a lesson, unit, or course. Educators are forced to consider a relevant lesson components from expectations thru roles and activities.

  4. Pingback: Jenny Connected?
  5. jennymackness October 24, 2008 / 10:44 pm

    Thank you George and Sasa for your help. That’s great!
    Jenny

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