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by Stephen Downes
October 23, 2008

Integrating the Internet Into the Classroom
Presentation on why the internet should be integrated into the classroom punctuated in the middle by an argument from a number of teachers in favour of banning communications tools from the classroom. Not sure how well all the audio comes out. You'll definitely hear me, in way-over-amplified voice, wondering why. Presentation by Stephen Downes, PEI Tecahers' Federation, Charlottetown, PEI, [Link]

Laptops Vs. Learning
Sounds like the conference I was at. "I am sure," writes David Cole, "that the Internet can be a useful pedagogical tool in some settings and for some subjects. But for most classes, it is little more than an attractive nuisance." During my talk, after a long diatribe from an audience member about students' use of technology in class showing a lack of respect for the teacher and the environment, an audience member's cell phone went off. I asked, "Should I take it now that all of you who have your cell phones turned on are being disrespectful to me? Is that a reasonable response?" David Cole, Washington Post, October 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Grab Yourself a Cup of Coffee and Get Comfortable - We Have a Story for You!
Why would Blackboard request a court to allow them to place a spy into the Desire2Learn Fusion user conference? Why would a court grant such a bizarre request. Strange, strange. As Seb Schmoller says, the other side isn't talking. So we are left to wonder. Press Release, Desire2Learn, October 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Mapping Dublin Core Elements to Sakai 'Resources' Metadata Fields
I'm sure someone out there has a very good explanation of why the Sakai fields had to be different from the Dublin Core fields. Although this may make sense: "And in place of the familiar DC elements "Rights Manager" and "Rights Owner", Sakai offers "Copyright Status" (associated with a drop-down menu offering a slew of optional settings) -- which I suppose is intended to address the problem of how a resource stored in a Sakai worksite may eventually be used by others." Catherine Howell, EDUCAUSE Connect, October 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

My K12 Online Presentation
Alec Couros, who pioneered an open class last year, posts: "My presentation "Open, Connected, Social: Reflections of an Open Graduate Course Experience" has now been posted to the K12 Online Conference. View it here. I hope you enjoy." Alec Couros, Open Thinking & Digital Pedagogy, October 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Dave Snowden revises and reprises his conditions of complexity. Including this one: "Constraint is key to understanding complexity, it governs the transition between the three ontologies. Increase constraint and you create an ordered system; do that inappropriately and you create the conditions for catastrophic failure; remove constraint and the system is chaotic. Lightly constrain the system, while allowing it to be modified by the actors within it and you enable evolution and the emergence of meaning. Managing constrains is one of the things you can train managers to do, and measure their capability and effectiveness." Do I agree with that? I don't know. How do you constrain them. Who does the constraining? With networks there can be natural limits, which prevents them from being scale free. But I don't think this is what Snowden means. Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge, October 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

New Offerings Provide a Gateway to Learning 2.0
Well they're all getting into the social web now. "According to the announcement, Saba Social will incorporate comprehensive social networking tools..." And " Neulio 2.0 allows you to "tap the power of social media for your organisation." Essentially, Neulio provides a low-cost hosted platform for sharing content in a structured manner, whether that's for training, customer information or performance support." Clive Shepherd, Clive on Learning, October 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Hands-On and Minds-On Activities
Deb meier writes, "I think there's a weak case for this broader education in terms of our economic strength. But there's absolutely one for our continued existence as a democracy. And, at its heart, is to be able to "imagine" not only one but many futures, and to see the patterns and connections between them, and to wonder "what if" we did x instead of y, and what kind of knowledge would help me sort through my decisions?" Of course, if you block access to messengers and phones and Skype and everything else, there isn't an argument for democracy either. Deborah Meier, Bridging Differences, October 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Teaching for Change in a Culture of Compliance
OK, I admit I'm a bit unhappy because I was arguing with teachers this afternoon. This article is on point about the subject of dispute. Doug Noon writes, "I'm not interested in indoctrinating anyone. My only agenda is activating some gray matter, and acknowledging the value of participating in public discourse, none of which is emphasized in any official reform agenda." But it's not clear to me that all teachers are like that. Not that they actually want to indoctrinate students. But rather, they are too feeble to resist being used as agents by those that do. Doug Noon, Borderland, October 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Open Educational Resources - Government of Canada
Canadian government agencies are beginning to produce more and more open educational resources. I am collecting them, starting with the ones I saw here at the PEI Teachers' Federation conference. If you know of other open educational resources produced by Canadian government agencies, please send me a note. Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web Wiki, October 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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