Monday, January 7, 2008

Computer Mediated Social Networking: Dunedin Conference 2008

The University of Otago in Dunedin is hosting an international conference: Computer Mediated Social Networking. The conference dates are 11-13 June 2008, and the closing date for submission of abstracts is 27 February 2008 although somewhere else on the web site the date is the 15th February. Seeing as this conference is in my home town, I have no excuse for not going or submitting a paper abstract.

The theme of the conference is "
to explore issues in the context of social networking such as formation of online communities and how collaboration and cooperation can be achieved. Additional topics of interest include:
  • Facilitating effective structure in a Social Network environment

  • Agent-based simulation for studying the dynamic behaviour in on-line societies

  • Issues and solutions in modelling virtual collaborative environments

  • Integration of various communication tools such as Wikis, Blogs, Discussion Boards etc.

But I am not quite sure how to approach this. My PhD e-mentoring research does not lend itself to this because the work is one-to-one rather than about developing a community.

I could write about my endeavors to develop an online midwifery community but do not have enough data to support a paper about this. I could look at the midwifery-research community I belong to, but that would mean a fair bit of work which I do not want to commit myself to because it will interfere with my PhD research.

The other option is to look at the community of learners I was a member of with regards to the course I did, facilitated by Leigh Blackall and Bronwyn Hegerty. What particularly interests me is the personal effect on learning of having access to a community of practice via resources such as blogs, wikis etc.

The other thing is 'allowing ' open access to education programs. Leigh and Bronwyn encouraged people to join the course and have access to teaching materials without enrolling. This encouraged people to get a taste for the program which has resulted in further enrollments. So this effect of open access could be explored with relation to communities and education.

What do you think, Leigh?

Image: Dunedin Railway Station

1 comment:

Leigh Blackall said...

Hey Sarah, my post about this here.

If you have more to add, love to hear it. Then we should probably move to a wiki to key up the proposal...