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by Stephen Downes
November 10, 2008

Great Classrooms
Clarence Fisher asks what would constitute great classrooms. Here's what his students are replying:

  • Fun - many of the kids mention that a great classroom would be one where learning is fun.
  • Leave - A few students mentioned that they would like more field trips and opportunities to visit people at their workplaces
  • Reality - Real experiences. A number of the kids talked about a classroom being a place to engage with reality instead of practicing for it.

  • The second and third are elements I have touched on repeatedly. But I should perhaps add more of the first in my thinking. Clarence Fisher, Remote Access, November 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

    MOOCs, Connectivism, Humpty Dumpty and More - with Dave Cormier
    Graham Attwell writes, "Dave [Cormier] spoke about his experiences, so far, of the CCK MOOC on Connectivism and Connected Knowledge, the technological platforms being used to support participants, the tensions that exist within the course design and the peer support models that are being embraced. Dave's introduction led to a wide ranging discussion including the nature and furture of courses and communities, issues of scale, how to support learners, open accreditation and the future of open education - and ...Humpty Dumpty and Alice in Wonderland!" Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu, November 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

    Grading Student Blogging
    Honestly, I think that the whole idea of grading student blogging is to miss the point of blogging. You may say it's "inevitable" that staff will want to grade blogging - well, I say, don't cater to that, don't make it easier, don't give them metrics - make them do their own work, so that they are completely culpable for ruining writing for children and youth. Emma Duke-Williams, Blogging IT and EDucation, November 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

    I Read the News Today. Oh Boy!
    Large set of slides looking at the role and importance of numeracy in contemporary society. I think we can all support the idea of numerac, but i think we need to be more precise in what it means. If, for example, we are teaching differential calculus and trigonometry at the expense of a sound understanding of probability and statistics, we do our students a disservice, because the former will have little impact in their lives while the latter will be used constantly to deceive them. Darren Kuropatwa, A Difference, November 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

    Roy Pea at Becta's 6/11/2008 Research Conference

    The blue in the diagram is not background. It's the informal learning that we do in our lives, learning that dwarfs the formal (orange) learning, even during those times when formal learning is at its peak. For more on the Roy Pea talk, see Grainne Conole. Seb Schmoller, Fortnightly Mailing, November 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

    Planning to Share Versus Just Sharing
    I don't have much to add to Scott Leslie's post. He offers a set of well-considered observations to the effect that organizations that want to share should set about actually sharing, instead of deciding endlessly how sharing is to be done. "much time goes into finding the right single 'platform' to collaborate in (and somehow it always ends up to blame - too clunky, too this, too that.) And because typically the needs for the platform have been defined by the collective's/collaboration's needs, and not each of the individual users/institutions, what results is a central "bucket" that people are reluctant to contribute to." Scott Leslie, edtechpost, November 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

    Kicking Internet Pirates Off the Web
    Everybody is so concerned about punishing so-called pirates. What I want to know is, where is the action on real internet criminals? Spamming is illegal - why aren't we kicking spammers off the net? Phishing - how hard can it be to catch a person trying to get you to send them money? Kick them off the net. Those fake blogs that copy far more content than any file sharer, and do so in the hopes of misleading search engines: why don't we kick them off the internet? ISPs that illegally censor political or union content: why aren't they punished? Domain squatters and other corporate hack tactics: thy should be barred from access, shouldn't they? I would be more inclined to support the policing of the internet if there were any evidence of any intent to police actual crime, and not merely individuals and students and other mostly defenseless targets. Zack Whittaker, ZDNet, November 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

    Author Rights, Your Rights
    Scientists and researchers believe it is necessary to transfer their rights to publishers when they author a paper or a book. But this is not the case, and this video discusses alternatives. Dutch, with English subtitles. Dirk Visser, SURF, November 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

    Maybe Blogging Is Dead After All (or Our Conceptualization Is)

    I do not blog for Technorati ranking or Google page rank or anything like that. I blog on Half an Hour because it's a nice place to put my writings (which I had been writing - for an audience of zero - since my mid teens (and I have volumes of such writings as evidence)) and I would continue to blog here, with modifications for style, because this site is - and always has been - the place where I store my bookmarks (which is why I reference and cite each one).

    As Alan Levine says, "that is why I blog, to have my own personalized space to do whatever I feel like. Come tomorrow, this site could be all about fish recipes or embroidery or history of tin soldiers. But I am my own archive, and to me that is important. And more so, writing, writing, writing, helps you think, process, develop." I am a writer. And I will keep blogging because I will keep writing, and this is the best place to do it. I don't see anything changing that any time soon. Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, November 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

    New Guidelines for Fair Use!
    It's not a prefect guide, and it is of course intended for an exclusively American audience, but it is a step in the right direction, asserting that people in general and educators especially have the right to use copyright material under certain circumstances, and that the admonishment that 'the law is unclear' is insufficient reason to abridge that right. Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog, November 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

    At first I was just disappointed that bavatuesdays was accepting ads. And then I was dismayed to find that they were ads from Blackboard. And then I looked at the ads a little more closely, mousing over them... Jim Groom, bavatuesdays, November 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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    Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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