As part of a course I am taking this semester, I’m exploring the Horizon Project, mostly focusing on their process for coming up with their technologies. I’ve been having lots of fun exploring the wiki, checking out some of the examples they provide for each of their technologies. One example of collaboration webs–a technology that will be mainstream in a year or less–is a very cool use of Pageflakes by the Writing Program at the University of Southern California. It’s an interesting mix of old and new. The content is old: the “topoi” are lenses for viewing an issue and they originated with Aristotle. The pageflakes site is very new and incorporates video, RSS, text and images. It would be a useful site for beginning writers outside USC.
I watched the classroom discussion video related to the topoi and laughed out loud as the camera panned outward:
It’s a chalkboard! A good, old-fashioned chalkboard! The writing prompt scribbled on the chalkboard is about comparing the coverage of news stories through the web and the mainstream media. But it’s scribbled on a chalkboard. I guess it’s a good lesson about using the technology that is available but it just struck me as an odd juxtaposition to the very 21st century technology being used to display the video. Here I sit in Virginia watching a video of a USC professor pointing to a chalkboard. Really a sign of the times in which we live where old and new exist side by side.