Full Circle Associates (Nancy White)

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A place to capture and share ideas and links about online interaction, community, distance learning, distributed CoPs from Full Circle Associates
Updated: 11 years 8 weeks ago

Time, Collaboration and Perspectives

November 27, 2006 - 6:07pm
Over and over again when looking at barriers to collaboration, learning, even DOING, a lack of time rises to the surface. Sometimes, I'm not sure how to talk about time. Is time an excuse? A resource? A mindset?

Here is a short video to put it in a different perspective.

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Another Group's Technology Configuration

November 27, 2006 - 1:52pm
I love these kinds of articles as they give context to tool selections and configurations. Communities (and teams, groups, whatever-word-you-want) don't pick and use technology in a vacume. Who is playing, what activities need to be supported and the individual and group preferences matter. So thanks Ryan, for sharing your Office 2.0 Experiment. And thanks to all the commentors who added additional richness and ideas.

What is your group's technology configuration?

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Taillights in the Snow

November 26, 2006 - 7:55pm

After a nice, slow holiday weekend (with not too much work nor blogging) we took our son back to University up in Bellingham. I'm glad we went early before the snow fell deeper and road conditions deteriorated. Later today it took a friend of our son's three hours to go 5 miles on this very same stretch of road, between all the traffic of students returning and road conditions. They have 14 inches up there and school has been cancelled for tomorrow.

Monday is PLAY DAY in Bellingham tomorrow!
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Happy Thanksgiving - Some Joy

November 23, 2006 - 6:52am
Via Liz comes a perfect video for a family holiday. From my house, in the USA, I send you warm greetings for our US Holiday, Thanksgiving. I'm thankful that we can connect via words and images, for the insights you offer directly and indirectly that help me think better and deeper, for the glimpses of human compassion in a digital age and, like in this video, joy.

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope for at least a moment today you have a moment of unfettered joy.

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Pecha Kucha in Seattle

November 23, 2006 - 6:11am
Brady Forest and Bre Pettis, pals here in Seattle, are organizing a great sounding evening here in Seattle next week. They are calling it Ignite Seattle. At first I was confused, as I work with a volunteer group called Ignite which focuses on encouraging girls to explore tech careers and take tech classes in high school.

This has a tech edge, but men are allowed too. ;-) It is an evening of play, exploration and thinking. Here's their introduction.

Come to Ignite, a short-form, almost-unconference event. Seattle needs the occasional gathering of the geek tribe to spark new ideas and keep the mojo fresh. Be a part of it!

What we have:
The date: Thursday, December 7; Starts at 8PM
A bar to call our own for the night - LowerLevel
No cover
One stage, two rooms
Wifi throughout

What you provide:
Ideas that need bouncing around
Projects you can’t put down
Musings you need to set loose

Now one part of this is Pecha Kucha , what looks to be part peformance art, part knowledge or idea sharing. 20 slides, 20 seconds on each slide. Hmmmm, tempting to throw my hat in and play.

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More Audio from my Australian Adventure

November 22, 2006 - 4:08pm

A few more podcasts from my time in Australia are up. I am still avoiding listening to them. Denial? The photos are pretty funny.

Welcome to LearnScope - PowerPoint Slides, Audio, Pictures: "International online facilitator and founder of Full Circle Associates, Nancy White, conducted a speaking tour across Australia during October 2006. Nancy was in Canberra on Friday 20 October and conducted a presentation and workshop before an enthusiastic audience.

1. Presentation for managers - with the emergence of more individually focussed tools that enable connection, how do we find the balance between the individual and the community? (1 hr duration)

2. Workshop for practitioners - the eight competencies of online interaction. (1.5 hrs duration)

You can download Nancy's PowerPoint presentations and listen to MP3 recordings of both her presentation and workshop below.

The Nancy White national speaking tour was organised and sponsored by the E-learning Networks Project of the Australian Flexible Learning Framework.

For more information on Nancy's speaking tour, trip and adventure to Australia, visit her blog http://australianoctober.blogspot.com/index.html

Nancy White's ACT PowerPoint presentations
Nancy White's ACT MP3 audio recordings

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Evolving Distributed Power In Online Communities — CooperationCommons

November 20, 2006 - 2:35pm
Evolving Distributed Power In Online Communities — CooperationCommons

If you are interested in facilitation, power, and network effects, go check out this post from the Cooperation Commons blog. There are pointers to a variety of group decision making processes. It is a bit of an answer to my question last week about how to reduce the tyranny of groups.

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Aid Workers Network - Blog Aggregator

November 20, 2006 - 2:13pm
news aggregator | Aid Workers Network
offers a great eyefull of what it is like as an aidworker in international development. This is a new features of the AidWorkers Network site, relaunched earlier this year. I really have intended to do a review, but you know the excuses...

But that should not stop me from a quick pointer to a good resource.

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Finding solutions to group tyranny

November 17, 2006 - 12:34pm
I was scanning civil society stuff and stumbled upon a link to Paul Resnick, Mark Ackerman and Cory Knobel's workshop wiki at University of Michigan for a workshop on content management systems. (Drupal, it appears, int this case.)

I was interested because I'm working on a project that is adopting Drupal, but what intrigued me was the end of the page, where they talk about how this will be done in groups. Now group work often creates a grading conundrum in education settings. How do you value both the collaborative work and the individual contributions? I thought they had an interesting approach:

SI 631 PEP Workshop Grading

All of the deliverables will be graded: Deliverables 1-5 will count 10% each. Deliverable 6 will be 30% of the grade. Deliverable 7 will be 20% of the grade. Your team as a whole will receive a grade on each of these deliverables. Team members will also be asked to evaluate each other's performance, which may lead to raising or lowering of grades for individual team members. Tags: , ,
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Game Dialogue Transcript: “Everywhere Now: Kids, Games, and Learning”

November 16, 2006 - 4:19pm
I just started taking a peek into the transcript of an online dialog about games and learning and it looks very interesting. First, the content interests me about learning - beyond kids, to everyone. Second, you don't see dialog transcripts cleaned up and shared out much any more. In fact, I've noticed a decline in the use of web forums in some of my networks. Finally, I noticed it was a "dialog of experts." What does that mean anymore?

Anyway... this caught my eye. It is part of the MacArthur Foundations new digital learning initiative.

Game Dialogue Transcript: “Everywhere Now: Kids, Games, and Learning”
Sixty experts, three weeks of dialogues, led by “Ecology of Games” MacSeries editor Katie Salen, on the future of kids, games and learning. Check it out…

For three weeks this fall more than sixty experts drawn from the world of game development, design, education, sociology, and media studies came together in a series of online dialogues to discuss and debate the future of kids, games, and learning. The transcript of these conversations reveals a wealth of ideas, references, hopes, fears, misconceptions, and competing pedagogies--the words are raw and unedited and make for a fascinating read. "

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File Conversion Website Zamzar

November 15, 2006 - 11:30am
Via Barry Dahl comes a pointer to Zamzar a free web based file conversation site that launched late in October. Mmm... looks interesting, useful and, well, time to PLAY a bit!

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A Group's Technology Configuration

November 15, 2006 - 7:00am
Jim Benson shares his company's distributed collaboration configuration - the set of tools and processes they use to work regardless of who is "in the office!" Where's William? "In order to maintain cohesion, the group uses the following types of tools:


1. Skype - Most holy Skype allows us to have a common stand up meeting every day at 9 am in Seattle and 6 PM in Paris. It allows the group to have immediate voice, IM and file transfer contact any time of day.

2. Trillian - As nice as Skype is, being in constant contact on Trillian gives us a great depth of historic tools. We can text chat and search or organize those chats in a number of ways.

Project Management

1. Version One - We have started using Version One an un-cheap Agile Project Management tool that allows the entire team constant access to everything in our release plan. The system holds all features and tasks to be created and tracks responsibilities, estimates, hours work, velocity and all those other Agile niceties.

2. GHS Wiki - Still under development, this Wiki holds the written record of GHS processes. Our coding standards, our tool sets, what to download, where to get it, how to install it, what we do with it. Of course, this will always be a work in progress.


1. Groove - Previously a Ray Ozzie package, now Groove is part of Office 2007. In the first part of the project, Groove helped us finish key tasks well under budget by keeping GHS completely transparent with our client. All documents were on Groove - which is a peer to peer system - so the moment we saved something in Word, the client received it. The nice thing about Groove is that since it is peer to peer, it is also invasive. When something is saved, they get an alert. This is very different than something being on Sharepoint or Jotspot, where the client has the luxury of ignoring things.

2. del.icio.us - While the group is researching things on-line, bookmarks are tagged and then form a common research repository for the group.


1. Subversion - Our source control is very important. The development tools should be commonly available so that our distributed team never is estranged from the code.


So Seven Simple Tools create a bedrock upon which William can spend 10 weeks in Paris with minimal impact to the project. Of course, we've had some growing pains easing into things - but in 20 years of consulting I've found all new teams and projects have an initial period of adjustment.

The kicker is that on Thursday, I'm going to Hong Kong for three weeks. William and I come back to the States on the same day. I'll still be there for our morning scrum at 9 am (10 PM in HK). I'll still be working just as William has.

But these technologies have allowed flexibility. William can share Europe with Ryan and I can be there for my family obligations in HK."How aware are teams/groups/networks of their technology configurations? Who stewards them in your life? How consistent are they across the membership? I expect teams to have fairly tight consistency, and networks to have just enough to connect members.

These are the sorts of questions we have started to surface in the "who-knows-when-we'll-finish-it" report on Technologies for Communities, so it is great to read Jim's description of his. Thanks, Jim.

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Synching Collaborative Applications - My Offline Life

November 15, 2006 - 6:48am
When Groove first came out, I jumped for joy. It offered a collaboration toolset, with some really cool features, that could be used offline and online. So many of my colleagues around the world did NOT live in an "always on" world. Still, Groove presented challenges of synchronization because my network not only often had limited online time, but also limited bandwidth AND the members had diverse cycles of coming online. This created havoc with the older versions of Groove. I called it synchronization hell. I know this is something that they have been working on, but Groove then also floated into the more costly range. Most of my network looks for tools that have the word 'free' attached! That said, Groove was one of the few offerings that even paid attention to offline work and synchronization. I was a Ray Ozzie fan and I think he has brought some good sense/ideas since Groove was gobbled up by Microsoft. (Oh, and you can no longer buy Groove standalone. In 2007 you can by Office Groove, so alas, that will probably fall even farther out of cost availability for my networks.) Anyway... I was happy to see Brady Forrest blogging that Zimbra Adds Offline Use of Their Productivity Apps. EDITED LATER: I was also happy to see that Anne explains how they do that magic synchronizing! Time to go check it out, particularly noting that they appear to have separate pricing options (but not posted on their site - grrr) for non profits/NGO and government. And they have an open source base. Have any of you used it with a group? Have stories to tell? Recently I have been thinking about this dichotomy of online/offline life. It is not always a useful split. I'm interested in thinking about bridges that allow online tools and "stuff" to be more seamless with our offline lives. Are tools one way? Tags: , , , ,
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A new blog I'm going to read...

November 14, 2006 - 4:10pm
We Have Always Done It That Way. I followed a link from an email list and started reading. Liked what I saw. Then I saw the authors and I recognized a few... YES! Good folks. Way to go Amy Smith, David Gammel, Jamie Notter, Jeff De Cagna and Mickie Rops. Uh, oh wait a minute. Last post -- August 26th. Sob! Come back to blogging here, y'all!
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What I missed: Mind Camp 3.0 Discovery Slam

November 14, 2006 - 2:56pm
Due to insane travel, I missed Mind Camp 3.0. I've been a MindCamper since the start and on the org committee, but this fall I was too maxed out. Here is a little taste... Mind Camp 3.0 Discovery Slam Grass Beatbox. I love the eclectic, and the Discovery Slam is a MindCamp haven for it! Tags:
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What Live Chat at Presentations Actually Looks Like

November 14, 2006 - 12:51pm
Friday Dave Cormier and I did a remix of my (now boringly familiar to you, dear blog reader) "8 Competencies" theme. Dave brought in two key pieces: the K-12 education context and his idea of Rhizomatics in learning. Now what was cool was we were the last set of speakers, and the group had a few days to get used to a projected chat "back channel." We strongly encouraged those who WISHED to, to participate. Because it was projected behind us, I'm not sure WE used it productively. But reading the transcript, it looks like some people did. And as expected, some found it distracting and potentially rude to the speakers. I can say, I did not find it rude. :-) But I understand that frustration. That was why we intentionally invited everyone to close their laptops when we did our second session, which was a World Cafe style conversation on taking the learnings from the conference back to the classroom.You can see the slides, the chat transcript and the podcast here --> The Eight Competencies of Online Interaction: What Should We Be Learning and Doing?. [EDIT: The audio on that site is down - alternate here at EdTechTalk.]You can find the whole event evaluation here, including comments and ratings on our sections (the last two - 8 Competencies and Percolatage, which was the World Cafe session.)This is pretty darn tranparent. Without even being there, you can see front channel, back channel and evaluation. Feedback was present in conversation, chat, blog posts, tags, external blog post RSS feeds, flickr feeds and the formal evaluation form.I used to think of most of these tools in terms of conference capture. All of a sudden I'm also seeing them in terms of conference evaluation. I'm not sure what the metrics are, but qualitatively, it offers an interesting slice of insight. But not all voices are represented, so we have a ways to go to get the full picture.Tags: , , ,
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PregTASTIC Podcasts

November 14, 2006 - 10:02am
Another example of non profit use of audio. The PregTASTIC Podcasts are part of a larger online community for pregnant women sponsored by the March of Dimes. Tags: , ,
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Worth Repeating: danah boyd's definition of social network sites

November 13, 2006 - 9:23am
The term "social networking" applied to sites, just like the much abused word, "community" is worth clarifying. danah boyd's piece apophenia: social network sites: my definition, does just that. I've copied the definition, but the really interesting stuff comes after where danah looks at the "edge cases." And of course, I always think the interesting things happen on the edges!I would like to offer my working definition of 'social network sites' per confusion over my request for a timeline. A 'social network site' is a category of websites with profiles, semi-persistent public commentary on the profile, and a traversable publicly articulated social network displayed in relation to the profile. To clarify: 1. Profile. A profile includes an identifiable handle (either the person's name or nick), information about that person (e.g. age, sex, location, interests, etc.). Most profiles also include a photograph and information about last login. Profiles have unique URLs that can be visited directly. 2. Traversable, publicly articulated social network. Participants have the ability to list other profiles as 'friends' or 'contacts' or some equivalent. This generates a social network graph which may be directed ('attention network' type of social network where friendship does not have to be confirmed) or undirected (where the other person must accept friendship). This articulated social network is displayed on an individual's profile for all other users to view. Each node contains a link to the profile of the other person so that individuals can traverse the network through friends of friends of friends.... 3. Semi-persistent public comments. Participants can leave comments (or testimonials, guestbook messages, etc.) on others' profiles for everyone to see. These comments are semi-persistent in that they are not ephemeral but they may disappear over some period of time or upon removal. These comments are typically reverse-chronological in display. Because of these comments, profiles are a combination of an individuals' self-expression and what others say about that individual. This definition includes all of the obvious sites that i talk about as social network sites: MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Cyworld, Mixi, Orkut, etc. Some of the obvious players like LinkedIn are barely social network sites because of their efforts to privatize the articulated social network but, given that it's possible, I count them (just like i count MySpace even when the users turn their profiles private)." Tags: ,
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Conversations about Children and Online Safety

November 12, 2006 - 1:54pm
This past week at the New York State Association of Independent Schools Education Technology 2006 Conference (what a mouthful, eh?) there were many sessions and thoughtful conversations about the safety of students in this online-infused world. The issues are complex: there are the duty of care issues in schools, with local and federal laws, a school community's moral responsibility to it's members, and then things like lawsuits from families, especially in a litiginous society like the US. I'm not sure what to think or do yet. I have to engage in the conversations about this. In fact, that is probably the most useful thing any of us can do - talk to each other (including kids!) about it. My kids are young adults and we talk about this stuff, but I don't have to confront some of the things my friends with younger children are seeing. So I may see it in a different light. I tend to cringe at some of the more strident responses and knee-jerk legislative reactions like DOPA, but I don't want to minimize the problem. One of my online friends works in the youth online space and has started a blog about the issue. Barbara has lots of thoughtful things to say - you might want to take a look at The Watchful Eye. The stories she tells send chills. We need to be proactive. The thing I find really useful that Barbara has started to surface is that the distributed network afforded by the internet allows predators to support each other anonymously, without personal relationship, by sharing kiddie porn. This is outside of the (hopefully) self correcting boundaries of a community. I know I'm not being very clear here - not allowing sufficient time to write this out, but I wanted to try and "tag" that thought in Barbara's piece. This is where we look at the strengths and potential threats of networks. They are not all value neutral. My one caution to all of us is not to separate totally the online and offline world; it's risks and our actions in response. Yes, the only world makes an easy channel for predators to get to kids. But it is the world, as a whole, that creates conditions where predation exists. We can't separate the two. Nor should we address one and ignore the other - at our peril. Tags:
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