Saturday 9 February 2013

Spimal tap: harnessing blogjects of the future to save the world! #edcmooc

Much as "spime" and "blogject" sound like pretty out there notions, I think it is more a matter of application of technology to some already established concepts where objects transmit data in real time via social media or other platforms where data is broadcast to a wider audience, sometimes in another digital form. Some of us created a list of blogjects to add to the smogged out choking pigeons. We found tweeting plants, texting and tweeting house plantstweeting flies, tweeting birds

I'm fascinated by the idea of blogjects. I can think of some really apocalyptic visions where blogjects sing about our demise as it happens. (I don't think the world will come quite to this)

One really interesting project is "Time and Tide Bells" a permanent installation of 12 bells positioned at strategic locations around the UK, from urban centres to open stretches of coastline. "The rise of the water at high tide moves the clapper to strike the bell. Played by the movement of the waves, the bell creates a varying, gentle, musical pattern. As the effect of global warming increases and sea levels rise, the periods of bell strikes will become more and more frequent, and as the bell becomes submerged in the rising water the pitch will vary."

One of the bells is in Aberdyfi, Wales. This is partly to commemorate the legend of the Bells of Aberdyfi which tells of the submerged kingdom of Cantre'r Gwaelod. It is said that the bells of this lost kingdom can sometimes be heard ringing from beneath the estuary waters on still nights.

This is where art, science, mythology and environmentalism intersect. I think the bells would make great blogjects. I can think of some interesting ways the music could be broadcast online by the bells themselves, they could tweet and I'm sure they could post images and mp3 files to their own facebook site.

edcMOOC is really reinforcing the idea that technology must serve a useful purpose in all aspects of life, especially education. For me, it's about the getting of wisdom and using the tools to that end.


  1. How can you engage in so many MOOC s? My mind would be spinning. Interesting stuff your learning over there in etcmooc Blogjects I get.Will have to look up spime. Hopefully with all this wisdom,we will use technology to the benefit of humanity and heal our planet.

  2. This is all edcMOOC this time Willa, spimes and blogjects, what fun! I'm very interested in our response to climate change, particularly from the mythologic perspective. Most of our ancient stories have tales that warn us about what happens when we lose our connection with the "natural world". Some god or other always smites us with a flood or other climate related event, then we have to rebuild with a new attitude. I hope technology doesn't distance us even more from the world in which we really live. My question is are we gaining wisdom with all this knowledge?

  3. Wow. I skipped the pigeon reading so hadn't gone down this road... but who needs to when you can read about other people's journeys? The time and tide project looks fascinating, it reminded me of the hight tide organ at Blackpool which I've seen but sadly never witnessed in action. I can definitely see how with recording devices and some thinking that blogjects could be created .. . (but I'd sooner have a day at the seaside)!

  4. I think I am etMOOCing largely on other people's journey's Willa! A legitimate way to MOOC. I think it's called connectivism.... I hadn't heard of the Blackpool organ. Yes, it might be a blogject candidate blogject. Whilst we are at the seaside, the geeks can hook it up. You should do the blogject/spime readings. You will impress your young students with your amazing hypergeekspeek if nothing else!

  5. There's a wonderful scene in one of George RR Martin's books, where some of the character's pole a boat across waters above a submerged city. He (George) creates a wonderful blend of mythology, science fiction and history in his Game of Thrones series. I'm completely hooked on it and am waiting desperately for the next one to come out. Participating in the edcmooc is a bit like his books because my radar for weird science and technology has just been heightened and I find I'm picking up on all sorts of weird stuff! Looks like it's happening across the moocosphere!

  6. Wow, some wonderful ideas in here Angela. This is a really exciting area and I tend to agree with you - how can we use technology in a smart way to help us sustain life on the planet? Using it wisely to help us understand and work with the complexities of nature would be a tremendous achievement.