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by Stephen Downes
November 16, 2007

On the way to Groningen I had tgo change trains at Zwolle. I was just walking through some houses, turned around a corner, and saw this...

Click the link for a shot from Groningen. Stephen Downes, Flickr November 16, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Addicted to Audio?
Here are some interesting thoughts:
Visuals + audio = persuasion
Text + silence = learner control
Narration narrows cultural appeal
Cathy Moore adds: 'Also, narration puts a cultural stamp on your materials. A Flash that could be global gets a blatant 'Made in America' label when I narrate it." I still remember the 'learn Spanish' CD I bought once. It sounded like an Atlanta baseball game. It's a nice accent, but distracting when learning Spanish. Cathy Moore, Making Change November 16, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

School Textbooks Rife with Errors, Tentatively Approved
Remember how people were questioning whether Wikipedia is accurate enough for students to use? "Proposed math books for elementary school children and their teachers have resulted in one computation that publishers would just as soon erase - 109,263. That's the number of errors that were uncovered in proposed math textbooks that are under review by the State Board of Education for distribution to schools in the fall of 2008." Oy. That's one figure Wikipedia would have a tough time matching. Via Joanne Jacobs. Terrence Stutz, Dallas Morning News November 16, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Re-Writing for Proseminar
I like student writing, and especially David Wiley's students. Rob Barton asks, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to sue, what is its legal standing?" Kristy Bloxham breathlessly states "Connexions isn't just about creating a collection of bite-sized informational chunks. It's also about fostering a quantum leap in the evolution of literacy - something akin to the development of the first written language or the creation of the printing press" (I don't think the breathless part is bad, I would just rather see it applied to the wider field of e-learning, rather than to a specific product like Connexions). Writes Wiley, "The twist (there always is one) is that they were to write as little of the paper as possible. You see, wholesale plagiarism is discouraged, but weaving together a coherent piece from ten or fifteen different extant sources is tough..." David Wiley, iterating toward openness November 16, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Twittero, Twittero Wherefore Art Thou Twittero
here's why peer-to-peer messaging is better than site-based messaging: " Twittero, Twittero, wherefore art thou twittero? Deny thy server and refuse to crash; or if thou wilt not, be but sworn to never crash again, and I'll no longer blog." Heh. Vicki A. Davis, Cool Cat Teacher Blog November 16, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Second Life Education Wiki
"Linden Lab's official resource for educators in Second Life." Contains links to lesson plans, a list of institutions and organizations in SL, competitions, mailing lists, and forums. Various Authors, Linden Labs November 16, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Connectivism 101
George Siemens is in Fairbanks, Alaska. That is worth a post in itself. I like what he says in this slide show: that the theory of connectivism developed in the manner the theory states learning occurs. He also has slide shows on the organizational impact of network learning, as well as practical connectivism. George Siemens, Slideshare November 16, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Collective Intelligence
RealMedia video (in the age of YouTube, seeing a Realmedia video seems so... quaint) of a discussion of collective intelligence - though I was intrested in the remarks on patterns. "The patterns he uncovered in the data collected from his name badges and from email and more traditional documentation, demonstrated the significance of social dynamics in workplace productivity. Certain individuals acted as information bottlenecks; others as polarizers, group thinkers, or gossip mongers. Pentland shared information about these patterns of communication with individuals. Related technology might be able to detect depression by examining a person's patterns of socialization." Machines could probably detect depression - and other illnesses - in communications patterns. But for now, experts could probably do so more reliably and quickly. panelists are Thomas W. Malone: Patrick J. McGovern, Alex (Sandy) Pentland and Karim R. Lakhani. David Thorburn, Moderator, MIT World November 16, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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