John Breslin from the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) came to speak at yesterday's CELT seminar. In his presentation, he looked at some popular applications from the "Social Web": blogging, wikis, podcasting, social networking, social bookmarking, etc., and examined the usage of these tools in the education domain.
John has an uncanny ability to make this topic accessibile and raptly engaging to any audience. There wasn't a seat left in the room, as attendees crammed in to listen. He spoke about the evolution of social networks, and outlined the importance of an object-centered sociality to faciliate meaning and communication, but also add value, so that "everything we make and do can connect us to other people". The session prompted much debate as to how the social web might benefit learning in Irish Higher Education.
If you'd like to hear more of John's thoughts about the phenomenon of online social networking, he also spoke on this morning's RTE Morning Ireland programme (1st May 2008). The podcasted version will be available on their site later today.