November 14, 2006


Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: Barcelona Photos, Flickr [Edit][Delete] November 14, 2006
[link: Hits]

I have uploaded a very large set of photos from Barcelona (still have some from Castelldefels and Sitges to come, but this is the bulk of them). I'm really pleased with this set - grab a coffee, sit back, and let the slide show play in all its glory.

I now move into a period of change and transition. I have been required by my director to move my website off NRC servers by November 22, so you should expect to see some changes. I will be setting up at a new host and converting to a Drupal system. Concurrently, some of my work in e-learning, and in particular, OLDaily, becomes via this action officially a volunteer activity. A hobby.

That said, I have taken the opportunity to document this transition. The first part - Setting the Stage - is now available on my other website. I will be writing about what I do to set up Drupal, to work with distributed content, and to create a next-generation computing environment for myself. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Doug Belshaw[Edit][Delete]: Personalising Learning, [Edit][Delete] November 14, 2006
[link: Hits] I have come to despair talking to groups of educators - at one talk recently I said bluntly, "I'm talking to the wrong people." As Doug Delshaw summarizes, "The problem is, as Will Richardson mentions in his post Owning the Teaching... and the Learning, teachers have forgotten how to be learners: 'I hate to generalize, but the thing that seems to be missing from most of my conversations with classroom teachers and administrators is a willingness to even try to re-envision their own learning'" I'm not sure, honestly, that they ever learned. I once gave a talk (in an airplane hanger in North Bay) on personal professional development for teachers (Slides, Audio). maybe this the approach I should be taking in the future. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Steve Hargadon[Edit][Delete]: Nancy E. Willard Audio Interview on Internet Safety, [Edit][Delete] November 14, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] I haven't listened to this yet but I have been reading Nancy Willard's authoritative voice on mailing lists for many years. "Nancy keeps talking about the hard topics of safe internet use, filtering, online predators, disinhibition, and cyberbullying." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Katy Campbell, Richard A. .Schwier and Richard F. Kenny[Edit][Delete]: Conversation As Inquiry: A Conversation With Instructional Designers, Journal of Learning Design [Edit][Delete] November 14, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] The authors write, "In this paper we offer instructional designers' stories of practice through which we explore two interconnected theoretical frames using four lenses: reflexivity, voice, strong objectivity, and power/authority. These lenses themselves are woven together by the idea of moral action." I'm not agreeing with everything in this paper - I certainly don't agree that "learning involves shared thinking or understanding" and would question the proposition that it is "most effective if embedded in social experience." I'm also not comfortable with the idea of theoretical 'lenses' you can just pick and choose like different settings on your microscope. I agree that the design is 'messy' and that "this 'messiness'should not be seen as a problem to be overcome, but as a stimulating and creative environment in which relationships, rather than content, are at the center of the action." But does this paper get at that? I'm not sure. I want to think McLuhan, but I walk away thinking Mead. PDF; more papers from the current Journal of Learning Design are now available online. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Sean J. C. Lancaster and Paula E. Lancaster[Edit][Delete]: Technology Shaping Learner Dispositions, Australian Flexible Learning Framework [Edit][Delete]Australian Flexible Learning Framework [Edit][Delete]Australian flexible Learning Framework [Edit][Delete] November 14, 2006
[link: Hits] A 'disposition' is "...a habit, a preparation, a state of readiness, or a tendency to act in a specified way". Philosophically, we would consider a disposition to be an instantiation of a counterfactual property in an individual - it describes what a person would do if stimulated in a certain way. Why do I describe it like this? Well, thus understood, dispositions constitute the central idea in Gilbert Ryle's behaviourist theory of mind. So we should be asking, I think, whether we should measuring dispositions. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tim Lauer[Edit][Delete]: Google Earth Adds Additional Educational Content, Education/Technology [Edit][Delete] November 14, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] Tim Lauer reports, "Last week Google added quite a bit of new featured content to their Google Earth application. This includes historical maps from the Rumsey Maps Archive, two layers that deal with Africa, and imagery from the European Space Agency." What I really like is that this is showing clearly how to put the education into the application, rather than (as is much more common) trying to put the application into the education. Like this look at using Skype in education (by Jeff VanDrimmelen) for example. Instead of asking, "How can I use Skype in a classroom" we should be asking "How can I make learning part of the (everyday) Skype experience?" Related: Flash Earth, an mapping application built in Flash (not sure why we need that, personally). Also related: Google Earth Version 4 beta review by Scott Gilbertson. [Tags: , , , , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Josie Fraser[Edit][Delete]: Edublog Awards - Nominations Open, IncSub [Edit][Delete] November 14, 2006
[link: 185 Hits] The 2006 Edublog Awards nominations have opened. Nominations are made confidentially and "only current edubloggers are invited to nominate contenders." The usual set of categories, with some additions, including the inscrutable "Best research paper on social software within learning and teaching" (why not just 'best research paper'? Weird). Librarians, teachers, undergraduates and newcomers each get their own categories (nothing for graduate students, researchers or Zoroastrians). 'Best wiki use' is a bit of a stretch. 'Most beautiful blog' is gone, sadly - I never did win in that category but I always had high hopes. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Stephen Downes

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You know, the ones that appear in refereed journals of Outstanding Rank.

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Copyright 2006 Stephen Downes
National Research Council Canada


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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. - Stephen Downes