Uh oh – Google said huh?!

I just got an invitation to suggest a presentation for a Boston conference called “Campus Technology 2009.”  Now I’m way out of this game – just not off the email lists yet – so this is of no practical significance to me. But what caught my eye was the string of buzzwords in this sentence:

Campus Technology is especially seeking presenters with expertise in Web 2.0 and 3.0 (including cloud computing and worldware), the latest instructional tools and learning infrastructures, development and optimization of digital campus communities, immersive learning and new-age student services.

OK – step one was to find out what “cloud computing” is and Google and Wiki were of immediate help there.

Cloud computing is Internet-based (“cloud”) development and use of computer technology (“computing”). The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet (based on how it is depicted in computer network diagrams) and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals.[1] It is a style of computing in which IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service”,[2] allowing users to access technology-enabled services from the Internet (“in the cloud”)[3] without knowledge of, expertise with, or control over the technology infrastructure that supports them.

Oh good – still a lot of jargon, but it makes some sense to me. Love it when techies go poetical!

So i moved onto “worldware” and ran right into a stone wall! What the heck are they talking about? See I googled it and the first link was to a site about interior design and the second one to a site about World War I – you know “worldware” = “world war,” the dummy obviously couldn’t type. Hey Google, sometime I type correctly – mqybe you just don’t know everythng yet! Or maybe there’s nothing to know here. 😉

Hmmm.. wonder how “immersive learning” fares. Sounds like a new name for learning by doing – well, the first link took me to this explanation from Ball State University:

Immersive experiences extend learning beyond the classroom. They allow students to collaborate on projects with faculty members and communities throughout Indiana – or around the world – in ways our students call “life changing.” These seminars and projects usually involve groups of students of different majors working together – just as in the workplace – and result in a product, such as a film, business plan, product design, or exhibit. Through this collaborative process, our students sharpen their teamwork and communications skills, make contacts with businesses and industry professionals, and create a portfolio of work that will help them move ahead in the job market after graduation.

You know, much as I hate jargon – we tend to give old things new names so it looks like we’re doing more than we’re doing – that one does sound interesting to me. Maybe we’re getting closer to figuring out that learning shouldn’t be some isolated, abstract activity that takes place in a sterile, abstract environment – that instead it has to take place all of our lives, continuously, and in the real world. Of course by the time we get that figured out and working smoothly we’ll probably be ready to just download stuff directly to our brains, but . . .