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by Stephen Downes
January 25, 2008

Clean Your Computer Screen For Free
Because you're going to get this one from somewhere - you may as well get it from here. Perfectly safe link to follow. Unknown, Website January 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Learning to Research Vs. Learning to Think
This is a nice post on the nature of research and the research on research. The tag line, found in the Globe and Mail, is that a study found that "kids might not make the best researchers, even with a Google assist" ("tacitly suggesting, as one would expect, that there is still an important role for libraries and people who are information-seeking mavens, namely, librarians," adds Federman). Well OK. But then, Federman notes, "There's an old adage: seek and ye shall find. In the research game, this often means, ye shall find that which ye seeks." The reserachers have a very narrow definition of reserach, which amounts to 'finding the (one true) right answer.' And he asks, "when will the education system begin to teach an introduction to critical theory - issues of voice, power, marginality, inclusion and exclusion?" Quite so! Mark Federman, What is the (Next) Message? January 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Can Data Threaten Good Teaching?
This gets to the heart of the problem with 'data driven' educational initiatives as well as anything I've seen: "every time we hear of these data-driven solutions, we need to be prepared look closely to see what is being sacrificed in order to create 'reliable data'." The standardization demanded by experimental methodology risks breaking the very thing it is trying to improve. Unattributed, Tecaher Leaders Network January 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

An Aussie Podcast
If you don't have enough online listening to do (I hit my limit some time in 2004) here's news of an Australian podcast, EdTech Crew. Jo McLeay writes, "This is made by two guys Darrel Branson, (a.k.a. The ICT Guy), and Tony Richards from Learning - Thinking - Playing. From them I have learnt about a number of new things, including the proceedings of a conference called Powerful Elearning." Jo McLeay, The Open Classroom January 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

A Class Logo - A Small Part Of Building My Class Identity
Interesting exploration of logos for classes, but I am not convinced that a 'class identity' is particularly relevant to learning. Just my view. Graham Wegner, Teaching Generation Z January 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

The Case for Knowledge Translation: Shortening the Journey From Evidence to Effect
I have been looking at the concept of 'knowledge translation' in the field of medical education. This is essentially a methodology interested in ensuring that research results are 'translated' into practice. That said, the methodology has grown to include wide definitions of research results, an interactive process of communication, and the aiming of translation efforts at the wider medical community, and not just doctors. There are parts of the concept I like, and parts that I'm less enthusiastic about. For example, I am supportive of the exchange of knowledge and the development of community. But I worry about privileging some part of that community and communications efforts that go beyond 'informing' and 'persuading'. But all of that said - my impressions are at this point preliminary at best; I need to learn more. I would be interested in readers' experiences of, and opinions about, knowledge translation. More materials from Cochrane, University of Toronto, IDRC, CIHR, McGill. See also this useful guide, Demystifying Knowledge Translation for Stroke Researchers: A Primer on Theory and Praxis. Dave Davis, BMJ January 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

First, Kill All the School Boards
First of all, Canada has school boards, and it performs well in international evaluations, so it seems unlikely that the school boards are the problem. Second, invoking Prussia as a model of school reform invites objections that would run perilously close to Godwin's Law. Why raise 100 year-old comparisons when better models are so close at hand? Of course, such models do not involve either standards-based education nor top-down national control. Rather, what we see are strong public school systems, equitable funding, and local management within provincial frameworks. Via Tim Lauer. Matt Miller, The Atlantic January 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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