Stephen's Web

[Chat] [Discuss] [Search] [Mobile] [About] [Archives] [Options]


by Stephen Downes
January 22, 2009

NRC PLE Project Job Opportunities
The NRC's Personal Learning Environment (PLE) project received formal approval today, and job postings have been announced. I will be managing this project.

The R&D activities will focus across two dimensions: how access to a wide variety of learning opportunities can best be managed in an online environment; and how technologies can be assembled to best provide seamless access to a large variety of educational resources and services. In essence, the scientific problem is one of designing an educational infrastructure based on future best practices and then developing an educational application that will work within that infrastructure.

The positions, which are for three years, include:
- Researcher specializing in education and pedagogy
- Researcher specializing in art, design and new media
- Researcher specializing in library and information management
- Technology specialist with an emphasis on database support
- technology specialist with an emphasis on application development

We also have two positions open for computer support staff on another project - see the full employment listing. And that's not all. We have more positions opening up in the near future as we staff additional positions and projects - I will be announcing them on this site.

Free the Facts!
Even though I think the author's understanding of science is hopelessly out of date (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was published in 1962, for heaven's sake) I still think it's work a look as the sort of argument that can be advanced in favour over open access (we don't need Popperian science to make the case, it just provides colour). (If you're wondering what's wrong with Popper: he says scientific theories are based on falsifiability, but falsifiability itself depends on facts, which results in a circular justification - if confirmation doesn't work, falsification doesn't either, and if confirmation works, we don't need falsification). Dave Gray, Flickr, January 22, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

The Best of the Tech That Teaches
I read this week that BETT was "quiet." Not a good thing for a major educational technology conference. That said, the BBC news picks what it sees as the most interesting innovations showcased at the conference. Nothing you haven't seen before: a classroom in Second Life, the Intel Classmate, Microsoft Surface, face recognition, 3D modeling, and a portal (a portal?) for teahcres planning field trips. Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC News, January 22, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Design, Resources and Affinity Spaces
I'm not in total agreement with this paper - the hand-wave, for example, to dismiss the possible impact of corporatism on game-players ("her politics cannot, for us, automatically be seen as 'uncritical' if she does not agree with our politics") - but there are enough good ideas to reward a careful read. Such as: "When a word is associated with a verbal definition, we say it has a verbal meaning. When it is associated with an image, action, goal, experience, or dialogue, we say it has a situated meaning. Situated meanings are crucial for understandings that lead to being able to apply one's knowledge to problem solving." And: "Affinity spaces are well-designed spaces that resource and mentor learners, old and new, beginners and masters alike. They are the "learning system" built around a popular culture practice." And: "We believe that learning how to produce and not just consume in popular culture, as Jade did, is one good way to start the critical process." Via Derek Wenmoth. James Paul Gee and Elizabeth Hayes, Game-Based Learning, January 22, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

NFB Makes Films Free Online
Something that's long overdue, but no less welcome for it. "The NFB has an amazing collection of Canadian films, and it will begin the process of making them available online for free. So far, it looks like free access will be restricted to Canadians, but we can hope they will open up this treasure trove to the world." Please, NFB, open them to the world. Canadians all know about The Cat Came Back but people the world over should be able to share in this treasure. CBC coverage. Rick Schwier, Rick's Cafe Canadien, January 22, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

OpenID and Name Authority
"Imagine a Web where everything you did publicly was linked by the very fact that you were represented by a URL exactly like your blog post, or your photo on Flickr, or your post on Twitter, or your correction to that Wikipedia entry, or your research paper in your institutional repository for that matter... think of the possibilities." Exactly. And if you - the user - choose the identity you will use (so that you can have one, or more than one, public persona) then issues of privacy are allayed as well. Paul Walk, Weblog, January 22, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , , ] [Comment]

The Proof Is in the Pudding - Corey Smith
This won't work for everyone. But it's still a good example of how a post-DRM world works. "Corey was a high school teacher. Playing gigs on the weekend. Marty Winsch (now his manager) was booking a venue. Was there any way to make headway, for Corey to support his wife and two kids playing music? Absolutely said Marty. But first they had to release the equity in Marty's recordings. They had to make them free on his site. To everybody.... Which they did. In 2007, Corey Smith grossed $1.7 million. This year, not even half a decade into Marty's management of the act, Corey's going to gross $4.2 million." Via Techdirt. Dave Kusek, Future of Music, January 22, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.