I lead the Learning and Performance Support Systems program at the National Research Council, a multi-year effort to develop personal learning technology and learning analytics. I am one of the originators of the Massive Open Online Course, write about online and networked learning, have authored learning management and content syndication software, and am the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily.


  • Association of Medical Educators of Europe (AMEE) E-Learning Symposium, Glasgow, Scotland, September 6, 2015.

  • Ghent, Belgium, March 30, 2015.

  • Chang School Talks 2015, Ryerson University, February 23, 2015.

  • Hackademia, Online, to Brazil, March 16, 2015.

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Import Blackboard Common Cartridge into WordPress


It's hacks like this that make the world great. What we have here is basically a PHP script that read a Blackboard-produced common cartridge (the URL is hard-coded and inaccessible to me; you will need to substitute your own), creates an array of resources from the manifest, gets the resources as necessary, and then saves them as WordPress posts. There's no guarantee that this script would work on any cartridge other than the one which was tested. The point is, if you create resources using open standards, people will find a way to use them creatively. Even if they come from Blackboard. Related: Importing Moodle into WordPress.

Today: 344 Total: 344 Tom Woodward, Bionic Teaching, 2016/06/27 [Direct Link]

Talking numbers about open publishing and online learning

I think I've always known this, but Tony Bates, who has a foot placed firmly in each camp, has the data to support it: "open, online publishing will almost certainly reach more readers than a commercial publication or an academic journal." FWIW this is probably the one and only time I'll ever be lumped in with Justin Bieber and Donald Trump. Good plug for the BC Campus Open Textbook Project.

Today: 306 Total: 306 Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, 2016/06/27 [Direct Link]

Six centuries of secularism


Interesting thesis: "by elaborating mechanical processes and spelling out how things worked – in striking contrast to the well-documented secrecy of the guilds – writers began to transform the mechanical arts from personal know-how into scientific knowledge... The world of the crafts – like that of politics – lost its magic; it broke free of its yoke to the divine.... Because secularisation subverted the notion of cosmic and metaphysical order, the rise of how-to books sowed the seeds of a more open and tolerant view of humanity."

Today: 276 Total: 276 William Eamon, Aeon, 2016/06/27 [Direct Link]

Staying Human in the Machine Age: An Interview With Douglas Rushkoff


This is one of the better lines I've read today (applies equally to the internet and to Brexit): "What those of us unversed in Marxist theory at the time didn’t realize was if you get rid of government you create a very fertile soil for the unbridled growth of corporations." Rushkoff, of course, is talking about what happened to the world of the internet he talked about in Cyberia. "Cyberia lay the philosophical foundation for the internet as an opportunity for a new kind of liberation. Rushkoff argued that the web could generate a new renaissance by birthing a technological civilization grounded in ancient spiritual truths. But a different story emerged."

Today: 134 Total: 826 Andrew O'Keefe, Singularity Hub, 2016/06/27 [Direct Link]

Remix culture and education


This post defines 'remix culture' and what it means to education. It is a follow-up to an earlier piece on digital literacies in remix culture. "Remixing is the act of taking previously created works or artefacts and adapting them in some way," writes Steve Wheeler. I woukld have used the word 'other' rather than 'previously created' because items found in nature can also be part of a remix. And as Wheeler says, even though some schools may see it as undesirable, "Remixing is a creative process. It takes imagination to adapt an existing piece of art or music into something new or apply it in a completely different context."

Today: 144 Total: 714 Steve Wheeler, Learning with 'e's, 2016/06/27 [Direct Link]

Next Play for LinkedIn - an ePortfolio in every classroom


I think you can view this article on LinkedIn without signing into LinkedIn - if not, please let me know. Kathryn Chang Barker writes, "LinkedIn can and should be in every secondary and university classroom in the world, but it needs to add one more tool – an ePortfolio." I have no doubts about the benefit of an ePortfolio - or, morewidely construed, a Personal Learning Record - but does it have to be on LinkedIn? That said, the appeal for Microsoft has to be undeniable. "Already Sony is working on an education and testing platform powered by blockchain. Already Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg have produced personalized learning systems with algorithms.  Already machine learning is managing our curriculum and careers.  This is a chance for LinkedIn and Microsoft to create an innovative space in the middle of these innovations."

Today: 155 Total: 837 Kathryn Chang Barker, LinkedIn, 2016/06/24 [Direct Link]

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.
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