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Beyond Assessment - Recognizing Achievement in a Networked World
Jul 11, 2014. 12th ePortfolio, Open Badges and Identity Conference , University of Greenwich, Greenwich, UK (Keynote). Share

Beyond Institutions - Personal Learning in a Networked World
Jul 09, 2014. Network EDFE Seminar Series, London School of Economics (Keynote). Share

Beyond Free - Open Learning in a Networked World
Jul 08, 2014. 12th Annual Academic Practise & Technology Conference, University of Greenwich, Greenwich, UK (Keynote). Share

Extended Artificial Memory. Toward an integral cognitive theory of memory and technology
Lars Ludwig, Kluedo, Jul 11, 2014

Lars Ludwig wrote to tell me about work he has done on the possibility of extending memory with machines. "This thesis is a contribution toward an integral cognitive theory of memory and technology. It, furthermore, develops a theory and prototype for technologically extending mind (memory and thinking)." I didn't have a chance to read the whole dissertation, clearly, but what I read was enough to pique my interest - for example, his discussion of the various and different meanings we have for the term 'memory'.

Report: Open Access to Journal Articles Gaining Acceptance from Researchers
Leila Meyer, Campus Technology, Jul 11, 2014

More evidence of the increasing acceptability of open access research. "The report, "Taylor & Francis Open Access Survey, June 2014," is the second annual survey of journal authors on their opinions toward open access publication... Compared to last year, the survey found that attitudes toward open access are becoming increasingly positive... the number of respondents who strongly agree that 'pen access offers wider circulation than publication in a subscription journal' increased from 38 percent to 49 percent."

21st Century Literacy: New Initiative Makes the Case that Learning to Code is for Everyone
Mimi Ko Cruz, Berkman Center for Internet, Society, Jul 11, 2014

You have to admire their capacity to win research grants. "With a recently awarded $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the researchers (an interdisciplinary team of researchers from MIT’s Media Lab, the University of California’s Digital Media and Learning (DML) Research Hub, and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society) aim to engage a broader range of young people in computer programming by building on their interests in areas such as music, dance and sports."

Net Neutrality Offensive
Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Jul 11, 2014

Academic groups are (once again) stressing the importance of net neutrality. “I think it’s hard to downplay how important free, open and readily accessible internet is to colleges and universities throughout -- including the students, the faculty, the administrators and staff that have to run the institutions.”

Sorry, Folks, Rich People Don't Create The Jobs
Henry Blodget, Business Insider, Jul 11, 2014

Or, put another way, education does far more to create jobs than rich people. That is not to say that we do not need people to make investments or start companies. We do - we need both. But only as a part of a healthy and functioning economic ecosystem that is working toward something larger than mere generation of wealth (such as, creating happy lives for its citizens, building a social and cultural institutions, advancing science and researcher, pushing the frontiers of discovery). Via Doug Belshaw.

How to Create Your Own Illustrated Characters in PowerPoint
Tom, The Rapid eLearning Blog, Jul 11, 2014

I wonder what the 'completion rate' is for this bit of learning. Does it even matter? It help my attention right to the end, and I think I might try creating animated characters using PowerPoint some time in the future. The video is by Daniel Albarrán.

Microsoft joins key industry groups to deliver on promise of the Internet of Things
Kevin Dallas, The Official Microsoft Blog, Jul 11, 2014

If you're not watching developments in this arena, you should be. How do we "get the benefit out of the more than 212 billion 'connected things' IDC predicted we’ll see by the end of 2020?" The time is now to think about (say) how things will help us learn and how we'll interact with them. Microsoft is joining the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the AllSeen Alliance to create this infrastructure. Maybe these will have education working groups, or maybe it makes sense to form an 'Education of Things' alliance. More.

PersonalizED :: A Guide to Personalizing Learning in the Classroom
Mary Ellen Beaty O’Ferrall, Sara Henschell, Margaret Roth, Fieldmarks Blog, Jul 11, 2014

According to the authors, "Personalized learning is an instructional philosophy intended to address the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, and cultural backgrounds of individual students to create an environment and experience that best facilitates their learning." This post is a fairly good overview of personalized education. It's worth asking, though, as you read through, how this account is distinct from personal learning, where people create learning according to their own needs and interests, rather than having something created for them.

Links and Resources

(presentations include slides and audio recordings)
RSS Feed:

Key Articles

Scholarly Articles

Cites:294 Educational Blogging (Local copy)
264 Learning objects: Resources for distance education worldwide (Local copy)
134 E-learning 2.0 (Local copy)
126 Models for sustainable open educational resources (Local copy)
88 The future of online learning (Local copy
75 Learning networks and connective knowledge (Local copy)
70 Design and reusability of learning objects in an academic context: A new economy of education (Local copy)
59 Resource profiles (Local copy)
40 Learning networks in practice (Local copy)
33 Semantic networks and social networks (Local copy)
35 An introduction to connective knowledge (Local copy)
27 Design, standards and reusability (Local copy)
23 EduSource: Canada's learning object repository network (Local copy)
22 An introduction to RSS for educational designers (Local copy)

(Cites from Google Scholar for an H-Index = 14)

Recent Popular Articles

The Purpose of Learning, February 2, 2011.
The Role of the Educator, December 6, 2010.
Deinstitutionalizing Education, November 5, 2010.
Agents Provocateurs, October 28, 2010.
What Is Democracy In Education, October 22, 2010.
A World To Change, October 19, 2010.
Connectivism and Transculturality, May 16, 2010.
An Operating System for the Mind, September 19, 2009.
The Cloud and Collaboration, June 15, 2009.
Critical Thinking in the Classroom, June 5, 2009.
The Future of Online Learning: Ten Years On, November 16, 2008.
Things You Really Need to learn:

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Skype: Downes

About Stephen Downes

Stephen Downes is a senior researcher for Canada's National Research Council and a leading proponent of the use of online media and services in education. As the author of the widely-read OLDaily online newsletter, Downes has earned international recognition for his leading-edge work in the field of online learning. He developed some of Canada's first online courses at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba. He also built a learning management system from scratch and authored the now-classic "The Future of Online Learning".

At the University of Alberta he built a learning and research portal for the municipal sector in that province, Munimall, and another for the Engineering and Geology sector, PEGGAsus. He also pioneered the development of learning objects and was one of the first adopters and developers of RSS content syndication in education. Downes introduced the concept of e-learning 2.0 and with George Siemens developed and defined the concept of Connectivism, using the social network approach to deliver open online courses to three thousand participants over two years.

Downes has been offering courses in learning, logic, philosophy both online and off since 1987, has 135 articles published in books, magazines and academic journals, and has presented his unique perspective on learning and technology more than 250 times to audiences in 17 countries on five continents. He is a habitual photographer, plays darts for money, and can be found at home with his wife Andrea and four cats in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.


Stephen Downes travaille pour le Conseil national de recherches du Canada, où il a servi en tant que chercheur principal, basé à Moncton, au Nouveau-Brunswick, depuis 2001. Affilié au Groupe des technologies de l'apprentissage et de la collaboration, Institut de technologie de l’information, Downes est spécialisé dans les domaines de l'apprentissage en ligne, les nouveaux médias, la pédagogie et la philosophie.

Downes est peut-être mieux connu pour son bulletin quotidien, OLDaily, qui est distribué par Internet, courriel et RSS à des milliers d'abonnés à travers le monde. Il a publié de nombreux articles à la fois en ligne et sur papier incluant The Future of Online Learning (1998), Learning Objects (2000), Resource Profiles (2003), et E-Learning 2.0 (2005). Il est un conférencier populaire, apparaissant à des centaines de manifestations à travers le monde au cours des quinze dernières années.

Vision Statement

I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.

This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence. This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward.

Canadians who gave their lives in service in Afghanistan

Hundreds of my IAAF Track & Field Photos from Moncton 2010

My calendar

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