Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective

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Social Software in Libraries: Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online By Meredith Farkas Edited by Rachel Singer Gordon Here is the first book to explore the growing phenomenon of social software and how these technologies can be applied in libraries. The social ties that bind. IBM today introduced new cloud and on premises social software to help clients better connect, collaborate and share information with key stakeholders inside and outside their organizations.

They want to bring social software in to their existing environments and they want to be able to use it to work faster, smarter and to take advantage of young talent that are used to these mobile and social tools," Welch says. The end of email. Enterprise social software provider blueKiwi announces UK launch.

Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective

The company says eIntranet combines social software and Web content management WCM in one enterprise application, and the familiar interface and Ektron's robust WCM functionality raise the daily value of the intranet for businesses. Not your father's intranet. In the past year, Mell says, social software platforms have emerged that can drastically reduce integration requirements, offering clients the functionality necessary to keep up with an increasingly social customer base.

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Making social more social: capable of far more than pokes, tweets, and zombies, vendors begin to connect with social software platforms. All of the current Demonstrators, at a high-level, can be conceived as a means to harness or catalyse interactive knowledge maturing processes involving relationships between individuals, social software tools and a work-based learning community.

One idea is to identify and externalise embedded and collaborative learning processes, and provide these as practical resources to the work-place community. To demonstrate this, and the other points above, we will now focus on one particular Demonstrator, which synthesises Digital Dialogue Game and Social Bookmarking and Ontology research, to break new ground in digital dialogue and semantic technologies through following the approach of DLD. This investigated the role of dialogue as re-usable knowledge, examined semi-natural dialogue as a means to align human and computer semantics, and explored the wider exploitation and adoption of dialogue games more generally.

Note that, initial work in AI and Education that implemented the first educational dialogue games was reported in , this was developed into internet-based CSCL tools realising the games during the early 90s, and now we are elaborating the concept further through the current generation of social software for learning. So we would argue that in this case, as far as dialogue games are concerned, the argument for 'design over technology' is indisputable. The sub-sections below develop and summarise some earlier research reported in Ravenscroft and Ravenscroft, Braun and Nelker Specifically, the prototype supports a community of practice CoP in collaboratively developing its understanding of a domain through interweaving the development of a shared information repository and vocabulary ontology with dialogues about them.

The CoP collects and bookmarks web resources around their domain and builds up the common multilingual vocabulary ontology , which is used to organise the web resources 'in action' through annotating them during the bookmarking process. Structured dialogues are used to: discuss and refine the ontology; critically discuss and assess the resources e. As mentioned earlier, these capture the thinking of co-interlocutors in a textual form which contains implicit semantic structure that: is a valuable representation of semi-formal argument, in a register between spoken dialogue and written discourse; and, a representation that can be easily searched and semantically processed in argumentative ways.

These can support innovative semantic processing, such as searching across dialogues for common disagreements or challenges related to particular topics and how these are addressed, or not, etc. So we could automatically diagnose misunderstandings, conflicts and disagreements within a community, or their representative ontology, to guide further interactions towards resolutions. The latter points are particularly valuable and important in the context of collaborative ontology development, gardening [1] and exploitation.

So, in this way there is a continuous connection between resources, ontologies and dialogue processes within the CoP. Aligning and visualising community dialogue and ontology development is potentially powerful. For example, if an ontology concept is not yet discussed or there's a disagreement on features or classification, the system could automatically stimulate a dialogue game to reach consensus or resolve the conflict, etc.

There are several other benefits in 'mashing up' the Social Bookmarking and Ontology and InterLoc tools to investigate learning as knowledge maturing that have been reported in Ravenscroft et al.

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Evaluation results have shown the difficulties of easily and directly amending ontologies Braun et al. Additionally, important dimensions of collaborative ontology development Braun et al. These stimulate users to have a dialogue with, and about, the developing ontologies to specify, clarify and refine the semantic features or degrees of certainty about their classification. This is achieved through specifying the pre-defined Moves and Locution Openers of the dialogue game in terms of the semantic relations and classifications that are implicit in SOBOLEO and supplementing these with attested and more argumentative, or critical, ones from existing dialogue games.

This is shown in Figure 3, that demonstrates how the dialogue game approach has been extended to scaffold the ontological classification of resources, related to 'Aqueducts' in this example.

Figure 3: Resources about 'Aqueducts' linked to a maturing dialogue game. This approach allows both individual users and the community to have dialogues with and about the ontology, and to construct more understandable and meaningful representations. Allowing the community to engage in collaborative dialogues about the ontologies in this sort of way aims to catalyse and crystallise knowledge maturing and social learning in relation to the domain and the users who are continuously developing their understanding of it. In other words, having a structured dialogue about the development and use of the ontology should actually help to 'bring it to life' and make it more consensual and useful.

This is an exciting and non-trivial exercise, because at a more general level, we are developing the means, through a dialogue game interlingua, to better align human understanding and communication with machine understanding and communication in the context of the semantic web. This is a big problem, that to our knowledge, no other research is addressing in a way that so directly links authentic users, who are not ontology or even technical experts, with powerful semantic structures that support their behaviour within a CoP.

Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective

These functionalities required the extension of SOBOLEO to support the creation, management, and sustainable storage of dialogues - as a searchable resource. Figure 4: A list of open dialogue games linked to the concepts in the ontology. A WidgetServer Nelker, , a messaging environment specially developed for easily mashing up and integrating independent software clients , is used to integrate these applications.

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And so performed dialogues are automatically linked to their related objects. For instance, when navigating to a concept in the browse area, the users can see a list of all performed dialogue games about this concept Figure 4. The user can have a look at the dialogue's transcript by clicking on one of the listed dialogues. Additionally, it is also possible to continue an existing dialogue game.

When a user re- starts a dialogue, a message is sent to all running instances of InterLoc. The user who has started the discussion and all formerly participating users are asked for participation in this dialogue game. For all other users only the list of dialogue games will be refreshed, but they are free to participate. This mashup for 'The collaborative development of understanding' was introduced and formatively evaluated within a training company called Structuralia in 2 phases separated by a period of two months of development which addressed the findings from the first phase.

This was a particularly complicated deployment and evaluation because initially the software was in English and had to be translated into Spanish, before being deployed wthin a Spanish context. The distributed 'live' user experience that involved 10 Alumni students aged between 45 and 55 associated with a vocational course in 'Classic Roman Civil Engineering', ran for approximately one month. The evaluation showed that the mashup and the two incorporated technologies were usable and understandable, but benefitted from significant guidance, animation and input from a facilitator in the company - to contextualise the activities and make them more meaningful.

And whilst users understood and used the straightforward functionalities, they did not advance to more sophisticated uses within the limited time period. The dialogue game translation performed well, leading to InterLoc dialogues that were of a reasonable length, well-balanced, coherent and demonstrating 'interthinking' and meaningful collaborative inquiry and critical discussion.

Also, some knowledge maturing activity was observable, according to phases 1 and 2 Expressing ideas and Distributing in communities respectively within this short time period one month that was implicit in the practice supported by the mashup of supporting and then storing the dialogue games. Setting these findings against the challenges implicit in this context and the formative nature of the evaluation, we gained some significant insights about the complexity of developing and deploying socio-technical systems within nuanced cultural contexts, that are reported in detail in Ravenscroft et al.

We argue that this holistic approach to learning design makes improvements or advances on various levels in the DDG case. Firstly, we have developed a successful and sustainable framework for realising reasoned learning dialogue that is still being taken forward and adapted to contemporary learning problems and technical contexts. Secondly, we have made significant advances to the theory of TEL pedagogies based on notions if dialogic and dialectic.

Thirdly, we have advanced principles for TEL interaction design of ambient pedagogy and experience design that are particularly relevant to the social software and web 2. Or, In brief, this DDG initiative has over the past 10 years, advanced: academic discourse in digital dialogue; provided innovative digital tools; and, had practical impact on pedagogies for TEL. Firstly, it has provided an overarching framework that helps to understand, organise and synchronise a complex multi-partner project. This is neatly captured in Ravenscroft Schmidt and Cook , which explains the successful execution of the approach and how it links user-centric design methods with an evaluation framework capturing the synthesis of the conceptual, technical and end-user perspectives.

Secondly, it has facilitated the deployment and extensive formative evaluation see Ravenscroft, et al. Thirdly, the emphasis on 'design, interaction and evaluation in context', within the relatively early stages of a four year project, has led to many useful insights.

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These have been about the usability and suitability of the particular Demonstrator applications and the complexity of developing socio-technical systems within work-based contexts and cultures. With regard to the latter, we have clearly recognised and problematised the necessary system-context 'fits', or methods for negotiating such 'fits', that are required to realise knowledge maturing. This approach of Deep Learning Design is motivated by the challenge of designing learning in the Web 2. Considering these means that inevitably other key dimensions will need to be considered, that are also emerging as important.

Two of these are the role of emotion - and related issues of motivation, and multimodal literacies. Technology is no longer something that we just use to perform tasks, but is now part of our emotional landscape, in terms of how we relate to it, or relate to others through it. Emotion is possibly the most neglected human dimension that we now need to embrace if we want to design truly engaging learning. Similarly, changes in literacy and the semiotic substrate of our communications are profound, so we need to re-think our learning design and practices based on the current and likely future semiotic landscapes.

We are only just beginning to sketch out and understand what these might be. For example, is text dead? And instead, will our learned communications become multimodal narratives, where future dialogues are more like collaborative films than oral or written text. And if so, how would that affect, for example, Vygotskyan approaches and frameworks?

This article has made the case for the original approach of Deep Learning Design, through demonstrating its applicability and power from research into 'dialogue games' that began over ten years ago to an ongoing flagship project in 'continuous social learning in the work-place'. Perhaps the key argument is, given that the pace of change of technology is unlikely to slow down, 'design' is a more powerful, flexible and future-proof notion than technical functionality.

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Nevertheless, this concept needs to be articulated in contexts where digitally mediated communication, in many forms, changes internal and external representations of knowledge in ways, means, and at speeds, that we have never before experienced. The projects referred to in this article address this challenge, and in certain ways, use designs to make the complex simple to realise well attested approaches to dialogue, reason and understanding. Foregrounded within this creation and development of meaning, is the relationship between deep learning design and context.

Deep learning design is, ostensibly, an approach for producing enhanced contexts for learning. Attwell, G. Bakhtin, M. Speech genres and other late essays. Austin: University of Texas. Boyle ,T.

A Dialogue and Social Software Perspective on Deep Learning Design

Towards a theoretical base for educational multimedia design. JIME, , 2. Accessed 2. Boyle T.