Tag Archives: networks

Balance and a river of information

Almost 2 years ago now, I had to seriously shift my attitude around online information. I was gullibly trying to read every tweet in my ’stream’ and diligently trying to keep my unread items on Google Reader at a handful. I saw these as pools of information and I wanted to hold on to the information that came into the pool. It was too much. The shift for me was seeing information as a river. Now, I’ll paddle along the stream, but when I get out, I don’t feel the need to pay attention to the stream of information that goes by. It has been liberating.

The key is finding balance rather than being inefficient as I tried to demonstrate in this 4 slide presentation I did for a Connectivism course:


That was the first assignment for the course and it helped me decide to drop out of the course as I tried to seek balance.

I think I’ve made a few points, but if I could make one more it would be that my life still lacks balance and I still spend too much time online… but 3 years ago I would have ‘wasted’ that same amount of time, or more, watching TV. In the wise words of the Comedy Network’s tag-line… to me my online life is ‘Time well wasted’.

~ The idea behind a post I’ve written in my head about 50 times… some day I’ll really expand on this idea on my Pairadimes blog.

The original post for the slide presentation is here: Connectivism, Relationships and Balance. But it is in the comments that the ideas behind the presentation really came out. 

Will Richardson ‘Almost Live’

So it didn’t quite work as planned, but then things seldom do.

I started to watch a recorded Will Richardson presentation and he had a backchannel going. I went to the link, but it had expired. I thought to myself, ‘wouldn’t it be great to start a new chat with some people and have our own backchannel conversation while we watched!’

 I decided to go on Twitter and invite others to join in and watch Will ‘Almost Live’ (#WillAlmostLive) with me. Patrick Larkin in Burlington, MA, USA joined me, Beth RG popped in, and Shannon Smith from Ottawa tried to join us. It was bad timing since although it was 8:30pm here in China, it was the start of a work day back in North/South America, and 11:30pm in Australia, where I seem to have most of my connections. 

Will Richardson said on Twitter: “@bhsprincipal @datruss Let me know what I say. ;)” – It would have been great to actually have him join the back-channel though I’m not sure I’d want to relive my own presentations in that way. 

Problems arose: Although I pre-loaded the video, (my connection here is painfully slow), it still stopped at about the 11 minute mark with over an hour to go. I couldn’t get the video to reload, and Patrick couldn’t get the slide show on Google documents. 

Solutions: Patrick Skyped me in and I copy-pasted quotes and points into the backchannel chat. I listened to Will Richardson’s Minnesota presentation from China, via a Skype call from Massachusetts, while Patrick in Massachusetts was getting the content of the presentation from China. 

We typed rather than talked so that we could listen to Will. We still had a good backchannel conversation. Although it wasn’t quite as planned, it was enjoyable to share in the learning. 

I still think this is a good idea. Why not run a conference session after the conference session? It’s far more engaging to have the backchannel running and sharing thoughts and ideas with digital colleagues. 

Asynchronous to the actual event, but synchronized to other learners. An ‘Almost Live’ presentation.