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by Stephen Downes
November 5, 2008

Keep Hope Alive
Last night, as I watched Barack Obama, I kept thinking to Jesse Jackson's speech 20 years ago to the 1988 Democratic National Convention.

You must never stop dreaming. Face reality, yes, but don't stop with the way things are. Dream of things as they ought to be. Dream. Face pain, but love, hope, faith and dreams will help you rise above the pain. Use hope and imagination as weapons of survival and progress, but you keep on dreaming, young America. Dream of peace. Peace is rational and reasonable. War is irrational in this age, and unwinnable.

Dream of teachers who teach for life and not for a living. Dream of doctors who are concerned more about public health than private wealth. Dream of lawyers more concerned about justice than a judgeship. Dream of preachers who are concerned more about prophecy than profiteering. Dream on the high road with sound values....

Wherever you are tonight, you can make it. Hold your head high; stick your chest out. You can make it. It gets dark sometimes, but the morning comes. Don't you surrender! ... You must not surrender! You may or may not get there but just know that you're qualified! And you hold on, and hold out! We must never surrender!! ... Keep hope alive. Keep hope alive! Keep hope alive! On tomorrow night and beyond, keep hope alive!
Jesse Jackson, 1988 Democratic National Convention Address, November 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Media Literacy Education Heuristic
What takes the place of authority (as a directing, guiding and regulating principle) when authority is eroded by technology? While most people expect unrestrained chaos to rule, my own position is that this function can and should be served by critical reasoning and reflection on the part of the student. Authoritative governance is replaced by self-governance, and self-governance is based on literacy and reflection. So I think these slides from Renee Hobbes on the subject of media literacy are relevant to the employment of technology in learning (and think that I may explore this area of thinking more after our Connectivism course is done). Christopher D. Sessums, Weblog, November 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

How to Model Deliberate Practice in the Classroom
I oftent talk of teaching being 'modeling and demonstrating' (rather than 'information transfer'). But what does that mean? Modeling and demonstrating what? This post is a good insight into this. Things like goal-setting and self-reflection can be explicitly demonstrated. "While natural talent may be overrated, deliberate practice is not. In fact, deliberate practice is the place where self-reflection, work ethic and ambition all meet." (We will ignore the Dale's cone/pyramid diagram in the sidebar). Thomas, Open Education, November 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

CCK08: Iterative, Appreciative Change
This is a nice set of notes from today's online session with Nancy White in our Connectivism and Connective Knowledge course. We had Nancy White in for a visit and in her engaging style she talked with us about how new technologies change current practices in communities - and how communities can adopt new practices. "If you're looking for the nuts and bolts of the ideas, skip down to the "Change Ideas" list near the bottom of this post. This was the collected brainstorming of the group on how to make change happen." Experiencing E-Learning, Christy Tucker, November 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

How to Contract Consultant Developers
From time to time I wonder whether I could create software by contracting developers overseas. It still seems like a lot of work, though, not to mention a considerable risk of investment. This article seems like a good guide to contracting development work - something more and more institutions - and individuals - are looking at as applications are developed and shared rather than purchased (licensed) and 'supported'. David F. Flanders, opening walled gardens, November 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Fredericton Et Moncton : Villes Intelligentes
Kind of neat to see both Moncton (where I live) and Fredericton selected as among the 21 most 'intelligent' cities in the world. It's a fairly narrow set of criteria: "availability of broadband, its use amongst the population, ability to innovate, ability to build a knowledge workforce, and ability to make citizens aware of tech initiatives." Jacques Cool comments (in French, naturally - intelligent cities are multilingual - *grin*). Jacques Cool, Ze Cool Blogue, November 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

My First Keynote (Part 1)
One of the things that really delights me in this field is seeing people who have taken to these new technologies and new approaches achieving genuine success. I've seen it a number of times with colleagues I almost envy, so widespread is their impact and their reach (every time I feel a twang of competitiveness, I remind myself that I already have a great career, I don't need another, so I can celebrate someone else finding success in the marketplace). Anyhow, now I am seeing it again as Zaid Ali Alsagoff gives his first (no doubt of many) keynotes. Zaid joined me for my two-day session in Malaysia earlier this year and was a huge asset as we led a group of educators though numerous web 2.0 technologies. His slide shows and resource lists have been receiving acclaim, and that's what his talk is based on. Zaid Ali Alsagoff, ZaidLearn, November 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

YouTube and Jordan School District Policy
This is Jordan, the school district in Utah, and not Jordan the country. Darren Draper introduces his topic: "As online video becomes more prevalent in educational settings and elsewhere, leaders within our district have struggled to form related policy - particularly when it comes to copyright (you should know going in that our district has one of the strictest copyright policies I've ever seen). What follows was my attempt to explain the issues as I have come to know them." Readers will find by the end of this short essay a set of simple principles that allows them to use YouTube without violating strict IP policies. Darren Draper, Drape's Takes, November 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Metaphysics and the Representational Fallacy
Yes. This is so what I want to say: "philosophers [or others] all too often argue from claims about language to conclusions about non-linguistic reality. The 'representational fallacy' she refers to is 'a general philosophical tendency to place too much emphasis on the significance of language when doing ontology' (p. 14), or as she elsewhere puts it, 'a general strategy of reading metaphysics off language' (p. 7). She argues that philosophers committing the representational fallacy are blind to otherwise plausible theoretical options." Reviewed by Matti Eklund, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, November 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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