Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Preserving Diversity and Avoiding Group Think

If all members of the group have the same shareable Group Learning Environment of authority rated, aggregated content, we run the risk of creating “group think” where all members jump on the bandwagon of the shared meme. When this occurs then the authority ratings will perhaps increase giving “juice” to ideas that the group is accepting without little diversity of opinion. It is equality important, however, for the members to pursue that own specialized P.L.E.’s of interest in order to avoid what has often been called “group think,” when all members agree with each other without expressing alternative opinions and views. Here is an interesting expression of this idea from William Gibson’s blog regarding the Amateur.

“Then send Pamela,” she said. “She understands all that. You have an army of people who understand all that. You must.”

“But that’s exactly it. Because they ‘understand all that’, they won’t find the edge. They won’t find the new. And worse, they’ll trample on it, inadvertently crush it, beneath the mediocrity inherent in professional competence. I need a virtual amateur for this. A freelancer.”

Perhaps we all become Amateurs learning from one another as we preserve diversity toward out goal of collective learning.

Sharable Aggregated Group Learning Environments

Sharable Aggregated Group Learning Environments. PLE and Group
News Aggregators for “Sharable” Group Knowledge base.

Content Process Master for CNL

As part of the planning phase for the group, it is useful to set up predetermined category feeds through the identification of key contributors and the tags that are useful for creating and feeding a sharable mash-up of content relevant to the group purpose(s).
If the group has a leader or moderator, s/he might want to take on role of content process master to help establish and identify evolving content. Or, the role of content master could be preformed or assigned just like any other task role in the group. The content process master will want to determine which news feeds to filter into their shareable learning environments. Robin Good has discussed the concept of news mastering and explained the basic strategies necessary to get started. He continues to demonstrate his mastery of news mastering with his prolific daily service on tools and concepts in social media and collaboration. Michael Kirkpatrick additionally provides a set of steps for getting up to speed quickly by creating a social media cheat sheet. Retrieved February 24, 2009 from

One tool which has been recommended for pulling all the relevant content together is Yahoo, Pipes.
Additionally, work in relation to communication measurement of Public Relations and Marketing, is providing another set of tools for tracking evolving relevant dialogs and perhaps establishing authority metrics. Recently, the focus has shifted from the older methods of measuring the “distributed” messages of marketers to new approaches to measuring the “non-controlled” content. As search engine optimization (SEO) and social networking becomes more a focus of product branding and messaging I see methods for tracking frequency, referral links and time on page, tracking conversations in microblogging streams such as on twitter.com and identifying the reach and trust of influencers in a market segment being used and refined. I believe we will begin to see new spin off in this field which can serve as models for content tracking, filtering and presenting perhaps through a “learning dashboard,” which make the latest, highest authority customized and delivered to whatever device, where ever we are at the moment.

Creating shareable group learning environment for members of a CNL group helps members develop a common vocabulary and knowledge base relevant to the group goals. By adding the same tags from RSS or Social Bookmarking aggregation, members stay current and have sharable, meaningful knowledge. The the group sharable environment builds upon the concept of P.L.E.'s. Downes, Stephen (2009) Online Learning: Trends, Models And Dynamics In Our Education Future - Part 2,
The personal learning environment is more of a conferencing tool than it is a content tool. The focus of a personal learning environment is more on creation and communication than it is consumption and completion. It is best to think of the interfaces facilitated by a personal learning environment as ways to create and manipulate content, as applications rather than resources
I believe we are building upon the concept of P.L.E. to create group shareable learning environments which require more of a personal commitment for a time and goals for interdependent learning rather than just a loose network of persons dropping in and out.