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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

THE HALLWAY TO ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE as visual metaphor for the summer doctoral programme

From 15th until 28th of July I attended the Summer Doctoral Progamme of the Oxford Internet Institute which was this year at the Berkman Center of Harvard Law School. The program - - consisted of a rich mixture of plenary sessions, student presentations, personal contributions, social activities and plans for the future. I think it can be described most accurately as a storm, which slowly took hold of me and the other participants, and hopefully will have shaken some things up for good. The plenary sessions were the foundation on which further thinking, collaboration and discussion could be grounded.
The tutoring, by Faculty from the Berkman Center, the Oxford Internet Institute and the Queensland University of Technology, was superior and magnificently diverse. Lectures were at Austin Hall, which makes me feel like being in the movie Legally Blonde (Tagline: believing in yourself never goes out of style) or Harry Potter (which was actually shot at Oxford). Thanks to our Power Bloggers (some of them must have been sport journalists in their previous lives) and the technology of Berkman we also have the most magnificent news feed and wiki.

The 33 participants all presented a part of their work in smaller 45 minute afternoon sessions. These sessions were not so much meant to convince the others of the greatness of one’s work, but to get feedback and discuss various possible issues and options regarding the substance and methodology of the work presented.

Apart from fellow participants, each session had an assigned faculty member to give feedback as well. I had the pleasure of having Ralph Schroeder comment on my work (The bald guy in the picture on the right).


I took the liberty to map the essence of the various most excellent critiques of the faculty members of the research seminars on the picture of the hallway of our dorm (thanx Rachel for the pic). This Hallway is the ideal visual metaphor for our journey to get our ph'd. And: the rhetoric device of visual metaphor facilitates selection and integration of information, therefore making the message contents more memorable. I should not forget to mention Jonathan Zittrain, who should receive most credit for the contents of this visual map and it was great to learn from him how to make a ‘perfect’ presentation.

Besides, I just love pictures and think they make knowledge more memorable.

In any case please feel free to send me ideas, suggestions and critiques.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Finally the moment has come!

















On the 12th July we will celebrate the Premiere of the short movie produced last year for the visualisation course. Preliminary Program:

18.30: Meeting in front of USI
19.00: Dinner all together at Ristorante del Sole
21.00: Premiere in room 402 (Alari's)
22.00: Party on the terrace of the forth floor

(Thanx Patty for helping with staging of the lego figures and the lego-photo-shoot, thanx Amalia and Veronika for the Pictures during the movie shoot)