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by Stephen Downes
January 27, 2009

How to Choose the Right CMS for Education
If you think I'm critical in my posts, consider this zinger at this article lobbed by Dave Cormier: "I think that's the worst article on that subject I've ever read." Of course, Cormier has spent a little time of his own working with CMSs, so he has some background here to rely upon. My own take on this is that the choices are probably among the three listed: Drupal, Wordpress or Moodle. They all have their quirks. Joomla is popular, and makes an attractive fourth choice. Dave Cormier, Dave's Educational Blog, January 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Year of Future Learning - an Experiment
Martin Weller emailed a number of people connected with the Connectivism course and related initiatives with this proposal. "Here is what I have in mind: A loosely coupled, distributed research 'project'. We declare 09 the 'year of future learning' (#YOFL or #FLY - take your pick)... This is a means of aggregating existing resources and events by tagging them - in the Weinberger sense, we may as well put our leaves on as many branches as possible, so for instance there will be sessions at Northern Voice and Alt-C which could be made part of the YOFL simply by adding the tag." For my own part, I already aggregate resources and post the results every day. It's a good practice, which I encourage. There's no substitute for hard work, which this is. But I don't think it needs a special tag. Martin Weller, The Ed Techie, January 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

How to Convert Your PowerPoint Presentation Into an Elearning Course
I really like the Cathy Moore presentation, Dump the Drone, included as a part of this post. I'm not sure of her sources, but it reads much like the advice-for-journalists texts I read in the early 80s. That's not a bad thing: the advice I read then was solid and helped in part build a career for me. Anyhow, Tom Kuhlmann takes the slides and converts them to a Flash-based e-learning unit. I don't think it's an improvement. Yes, the slide show is no longer linear, and you have to find the right thing to click on in the slide. That doesn't (in my view) improve the experience, it just makes it annoying. Your experience, though, may vary. Tom Kuhlmann, The Rapid E-Learning Blog, January 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

On the Sustainability of OER Projects
Good post on the sustainability of OERs that reaches what was effectively my own conclusion when I studied the same issue a few years ago: "Unlike purchasing computers or licensing an LMS, with OER we are not buying a solution, we are building a solution. In doing so we are investing in the people of the institution, and can obtain a new kind of ownership: a grassroots, shared ownership of the learning materials cultivated by access to and encouragement of open and shared learning resources." Jared Stein, Flexknowlogy, January 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

The Surprising Intelligence of Our Emotions
Chris Sessums says the emotions "are often translated into prophetic feelings that serve as a handy cognitive tool." Maybe, but it is important to treat them as you would any other sensation, that is, with a hearty scepticism. Just because the ice looks safe, doesn't mean it is. Don't follow your emotions (or your hunches or instincts) blindly, and use common sense. Understand the strengths of your neural net (pattern recognition) along with its critical weaknesses (inference). Christopher D. Sessums, Weblog, January 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Economic Implications of Alternative Scholarly Publication Models
Seb Schmoller summarizes a report identifying significant savings - in the hundreds of millions of pounds - that would be achieved using open access publishing instead of the current journal subscription publication model. The analysis is comprehensive - see the diagrams in the report describing in detail the process models describing the different approaches. Seb Schmoller, Fortnightly Mailing, January 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Share Creep
This post should probably be called "shame creep." Andy Powell writes, "shame might not be the right word for it, but there is some level of discomfort around my digital identity and it's impact on my real-life relationships." People are quite properly hesitant to presume that others will be interested in what they write (that's why self-promotion is so widely found to be distasteful). At the same time, there is an inherent value in working openly and in modeling what we believe to be ethical and productive behaviour. Andy Powell, eFoundations, January 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

ELI Podcast: From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-Able: Experiments in New Media Literacy
Michael Wesch has achieved wide popularity for the video experiments in web anthropology he has conducted with his students. "How can we use new media to foster the kinds of communication and community we desire in education?" he asks. "This presentation discusses both successful and unsuccessful attempts to integrate emerging technologies into the classroom to create a rich virtual learning environment." Gerry Bayne, EDUCAUSE Connect, January 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

ELI Podcast: The 2009 Horizon Report
People interested in the process will want to listen to this podcast. "The session is moderated by Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer for The New Media Consortium (NMC).... The annual Horizon Report, a joint publication of the NMC and the ELI, highlights new technologies for teaching, learning, and creative expression. This session reviews the research and process behind the report." Actual discussion of the report starts about half way through the podcast with Bryan Alexander taking the stage. Gerry Bayne, EDUCAUSE Connect, January 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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