Great post by +Jenny Mackness
on personal learning assistants.
On a tangent, this whole discussion has started me thinking about the integration of various types of automation with the human factor in communication and education. One of my observations in going through #NRC01PL
is that +Stephen Downes
has created a great deal of automation of mundane tasks for himself.
I am quite convinced that is necessary for his professional life and enables him to devote more energy to the important things. At the same time, there have been times during this MOOC where I have felt (and I am only speaking of my own experience here) that the automation has been a barrier to interaction and making connections.
Is direct interaction necessary for a good cMOOC? Perhaps not; there are connections made through indirect interaction and I am certainly learning things (otherwise I would not have bothered to stay in it), but the automation does something to the experience that bothers me, even if I can't quite put my finger on it.