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The Hotseat Work

by Martin Doherty last modified Friday Oct 6, 2006 10:29
Experience the latest version of Hotseat environment for yourself at Hotseat Corner- our new public service. Just sign up and join in. Contact me for advice on how to get your organisation talking meaningfully on the internet.
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The Background.
Hotseats have been a part of Ultralab's collaboration strategies since the first specification for Oracle's Think.com online environment. At that time, in this software designed with children in mind,  we imagined pupils talking with pop stars and feeling that they had been in direct contact with their sporting idols. Great stuff all round for self esteem and developing all levels of communication in a SAFE onlinw environment.

When we developed the online communities for school leaders - Talking Heads and Virtual Heads - we used the Think.com environment and the Hotseat took on a new role. After much hard work on the part of the facilitation team, school leaders, policy-makers and, eventually, political leaders engaged in meaningful dialogue that marked a new level of communication between professionals involved in education of the young.

The Hotseat concept was further developed in Ultralab's innovative work-based degree programme - the BA Learning, Technology and Research where, on one notable hotseat event a guest engaged in deep debate with researchers in England from his tour of Australia's outback. The hotseat programme of practitioner and academic expert events is now a mainstay of the  Ultraversity project which is being copied across the university.

In 2005, from this close experience with the various hotseat variations we'd researched and deployed, I modeled a new appproach. The notion is captured in the diagram below.



The design represents a new level for hotseats that should make each event more vibrant and the final summary, always a time coonsuming aspect of hotseats,  more achievable. Users will have a much different experience from previous versions as they are enabled to see just where the activity in the hotseat is at its best. Of course there is much to do - everything from making the graphic interface work to improving the search capabilities - but we've made a start with the first release so that discussion can begin. Development like this is costly but some of our partners are  sufficently interested in the outcome to, hopefully,  help us mitigate the costs somewhat.

You can experience the latest version of Hotseat environment for yourself at Hotseat Corner- our new public service. Just sign up and join in. Contact me for advice on how to get your organisation talking meaningfully on the internet. Email: martin@ultralab.net










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