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by Stephen Downes
March 6, 2009

The Micro-Sociology of Networks
This is a very good slide presentation on how networks and sociology. According to David Armano, though technology doesn't change human nature, it changes human behaviour, because it gives us the capacity to communicate effortlessly and instantly. This gives rise to networks, and networks have come increasingly take the place of institutions in the function of major roles in society. Don't miss this; it's lavishly illustrated with diagrams that will make much clearer and intuitive some of the more complex concepts often discussed in these pages. David Armano, Logic+Emotion, March 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Aggregation Types : eLearning Technology
Yes there are different aggregation types and it's probably work putting them into a typology of sorts (not that useful, just enough to give you a vocabulary to use to talk about them). This is placed into the context of a question posed by the Wall Street Journal: "What kind of journalism can my staff produce that is different and valuable enough that people will pay for it online?" Most aggregation doesn't fit into this classification. And in particular, topic-based aggregation almost certainly doesn't - while pattern-recognition might. Now, Tony Karrer says, "I think of Stephen as being one of the biggest topic hubs out there." But this isn't the case - though I write on a topic, I am not a topic hub.

The distinction is critical. There's a lot on the topic of online learning that I don't cover - and there's a lot of stuff from outside the field (properly so-called) that I do cover. Because I am doing pattern recognition in a network, rather than aggregation around a topic. That's why I haven't tried to build a community around my site, why I encourage people to start their own blogs and whatever, why I sent people away from here every chance I get. Now - does this monetize? It's certainly better than some automatic aggregator centred around a topic - but I'm really not sure I could make a living at it based on content sales alone. And that's the important thing - there might not be a type of content different enough and valuable enough that people will pay for it online. Tony Karrer, eLearning Technology, March 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Hewlett OER Meeting in Monterey
What's interesting about this confrence is that they used Cloudworks, software developed by Juliette Culver, to "create a conference experience that persists." Did it deliver? Have a look - does it feel like you were there? Patrick, Open Content Holistic Research Environment, March 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Illich Makes a Come Back at Last!
This post refers to videos of 'scary school nigtmares'. "Every night Pinky tries to get some sleep, only to be kept awake by a bizarre school building slideshow. Words by Ivan Illich, author of Deschooling Society." More information on the Pinky Show website. Leigh Blackall celebrates the videos: "Aafter 5 years of edublogging, I have seen no more than 5 people reference Illich's Deschooling Society and discuss its DIRECT references to networked learning, and only 2 references to his wider work on institutionalisation and humanity generally." Leigh Blackall, Learn Online, March 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

A Fourth Age of Sports Institutes
One of the neat things about the Connectivism course we offered last fall was that we got to see the concept applied in areas we never really imagined. This is a case in point as Keith Lyons offers a lengthy and detailed slide show, A Fourth Age of Sports Institutes, which is well worth a look. Keith Lyons, Clyde Street, March 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The Genteel Unteaching of America's Poor
According to the author, "In too many schools, too many students suffer an education of drill and memorization but are deprived of high-level thinking activities, of intellectual discussions, of opportunities to synthesize information and respond creatively -- elements that form the basis of education for other students in other schools." Kylene Beers, National Council of Teachers of English, March 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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