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by Stephen Downes
October 24, 2008

So You Want to Be an E-Learning Consultant...
Fabulous. Harold Jarche smasches the secrecy around rates of pay for e-learning services. Well, not so much 'secrecy' as 'keeping things close to the chest'. Best rates: business analytics and technological. Worst? Pedagogical. Jarche writes, 'Consulting competition is increasing, especially with baby-boomers taking early retirement and wanting to keep working. At this time there still seems to be a fair bit of work in more traditional e-learning, like course design and development. However, I believe that there are larger opportunities on the edges of e-learning. Informal learning with blogs, wikis, or podcasts outside the formal course structure or helping organizations foster communities of practice appear to be growing areas where e-learning skills are useful." Harold Jarche, Weblog, October 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

CEN Endorses European Metadata for Learning Opportunities
As Scott Wilson says, "It was a great week for course advertising in Europe last week." The metadata combines a learning opportunity object' with a 'provider', 'specification' (ie., qualification, credit, and level) and 'instance'. "The MLO document is still awaiting editorial comments before being prepared for formal publication by CEN; however a draft is currently also available here." Scott Wilson, Scott's Workblog, October 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Some Want to Move Backwards
William Draves writes, "Even in the U.K., where much of the new 21st century pedagogy is originated, one in five teachers want to bring back the hitting of boys, called 'caning.' See the story. There will be steps backward, and some people wanting to go backwards. So expect to see that. Fortunately we will see more people understanding that we have to move forward." I have said that people learn more from the example than from the content. Which leads me to ask what sort of lesson it is students learn from teachers who have such attitudes. And then - it occurred to me while driving on the highways of PEI - the source of bullying isn't such a mystery. It may be that students learn it from their teachers. If this is the case - and I would want to see some evidence for it - then it would suggests some strategies for ending it permanently. William Draves, Nine Shift, October 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The Mind of a Learner: Iron, Marble, Receptacle or Flame?
Analogies are fun. And it's not by accident that I characterize the 'group' as being similar to a bar of metal. "We are to regard the mind not as a piece of iron to be laid upon the anvil and hammered into any shape, nor as a block of marble in which we are to find the statute by removing the rubbish, nor as a receptacle into which knowledge may be poured; but as a flame that is to be fed, as an active being that must be strengthened to think and feel - to dare, to do, and to suffer. - Mark Hopkins, Induction address as president of Williams College, 1836." Good quote - but... to suffer? Those were harsher times. Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, October 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

On the Way to One's Campus Via Web 2.0
When talking about network dymanics, there's one word I want to remove from everyone's vocabulary: most. because it's not about number. It's not about accumulation. It's not about most read, most viewed, most popular. That's understanding the network the 1.0 way, understanding the network as some sort of instantiation of scale. They way broadcasters saw the world. But the world of the network is not about most. It is about things like point of origin, propagation rate, perspective, connections - not scale. Bryan Alexander, Liberal Education Today, October 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Free College Education, Scale, and Analogies
I agree with David Wiley here. You can't just create 'free' spaces at a university and say "this solves the problem of open access to education." As he says, "we need to be able to scale open education to everyone. Even if there were no entrance requirements at all, 100 tuition-free universities will bless some people's lives but will not address the larger problem. And the answer isn't to build more free universities." This is it exactly. And it's why I show such little patience with people who cite "the reality of their current positions." The reality of their current positions is irrelevant. There. I said it. Irrelevant. Irrelevant! David Wiley, iterating toward openness, October 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Effective Practice with E-Portfolios
Helge Scherlund writes, "A guide on effective practice with e-portfolios has been published by JISC in the UK." From the report: "An e-portfolio is a purposeful aggregation of digital items - ideas, evidence, reflections, feedback etc, which 'presents' a selected audience with evidence of a person's learning and/or ability." The system supports tools for updating and managing a repository. I don't have room to go through the document point by point - just as well - but for people who want a document that shows how the e-portfolio supports traditional learning activities (as defined by, say, Kolb 1984), this is your document. And you'll get well-supported insights like this: "The e-portfolio is central to so much. You cannot have lifelong learning or improved professionalism amongst staff without e-portfolios." Yeah, right. Via Helge Scherlund. Lisa Gray, JISC, October 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

The Amplified Individual

I get the point of 'the amplified individual'. But in the world I'm in, I'm pondering the implications of what life is like when everybody is apmplfied. The huge advantage I had because I had a website and newsletter and the rest has disappeared. So how do I now negotiate the online waters? Are there other advantages to be had? Ways of organizing? Ways of communicating? Harold Jarche, Weblog, October 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Goodbye College Diplomas
I'm not sure I agree with the timeline - change takes longer that we think - but I agree with the trend. There will be a time in the future when the system of college degrees is regarded as quaint. The real prof of your learning will be evident online for all to see, not locked inside a document of a few words and transcript numbers. And I think that's a good thing: when we reach the sea-change where we flip from universities determining educational outcomes to students determining educational outcomes, the presumptions behind educational technology will be challenged and also overturned. Tom Haskins, growing changing learning creating, October 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Something Smells Like Dirty Old Socks- Oh, It Is Plaxo's Comment Strategy!
Alan Levine has a problem I've encountered as well. "It's how they handle comments. If someone comments on my flickr photo as it is rendered in Plaxo the comment goes inside Plaxo. This morning, I got a comment from a former colleague to my ACDC in Excel post (why is it the silly posts get the comments) and that comment is inside Plaxo (behind a login) not on my blog." It's a strategy these sites deploy in an attempt to increase lock-in. But because I sign up for many social network accounts, it's just an annoyance. For the record, I too do not respond to comments posted in this way - I'll respond to a Facebook comment, because the entire comment appears in my email. But not the sites that require that I login to even view the comment (that's basically most of them: Plaxo, Quechup, etc). (By the way, for the same reason, I never replicate Feedburner links in this newsletter - you go straight to the resource, without visiting advertising central on the way.) Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, October 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Atlas of Cyberspace
Alan Levine sent this to CCK08: "For those interested in maps, networks, visualization, just came across a link to a PDF version of Atlas of Cyberspace, representing a now defunct valuable web site at 'Now imagine a website in early 2000 that contains "visualizations" ranging from geographical ISP backbone networks, over 3D virtual worlds, to screenshots of the movies Johnny Mnemonic and The Matrix. Imagine a website that featured Brad Paley's textarc, Judith Donath's PeopleGarden, as well as Ben Fry's master thesis Tendril." Various Authors, Website, October 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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