Thursday, September 25, 2008

Technology Lesson

In our class, Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, we were subjected to Barry Wellman's powerpoint presentation as if it were an actual paper. What is wrong with that? Well, it is 116 slides long, has migrane inducing color combinations and will use more than 30 bullet points on one slide. It is enough to make one retire to a monastery in the Alps and dedicate ones life to recopying the works of Tufte on vellum. Without his notes, voice, or narrative it reads like a brief outline of network theory that also trots out some pretty hateful made up words like "glocalization." Must we do this to the language? It opens portentiously enough with the slide that says that there are three ways of looking at reality (yes, Michio Kaku, only three) and they are "categories," "groups," and "networks" with no explanation why any of those three would need to be exclusive of one another. Some views and theories actually feed and replenish one another. Jung himself would admit that he would be no where without Freud and would say that Freud's theories best explained human development. And Freud's later theories are certainly informed by Jung's exploration of mythology.

Wellman needs to ready read Tufte!


  1. Mr Cain (and the rest of the class) might be interested to learn that this set of slides was produced in conjunction with a course I give every year at the Sunbelt Social Network Conference. (I think it says so on my website.) So it is made for voice-overs and my emphases. However, a number of people asked for the slides, so I put them up. A reading of the intro chapters of my Social Structures book would show where the categories/groups/networks distinction comes from, and "glocalization" has been welcomed by many as a neologism -- see papers on my website and see Wikipedia. As to the color, the white on blue works well in a lecture setting with a projector; less well on a PC. I am not an Instructional Designer like Mr Cain, and don't have the resources to adapt this for his purposes. I've read Tufte, and partially disagree. But at least I know how to spell "read" (see Mr Cain's last line);-)

  2. Thanks for the spelling lesson. That is most gracious of you. The point of my post was that a powerpoint presentation is different from a paper because a presentation posted on the internet is out of context. I do think that current research shows that people can only read so many bullet points per slide.