by Stephen Downes
March 25, 2009
What Did SXSW Offer K-12? It's On Twitter.
Coverage of the edupunk panel discussion in particular and SXSW generally. One quote from me is bound to be repeated: "SXSW is really about film, media, and popularity," he says. "All those things K-12 education is not. I thought it was a fun thing to go to. Once." At least people got a link to my ed-guerilla video. Lauren Barack, School Library Journal, March 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Twitter, Edupunk] [Comment]
Live From the OK State Superintendent's Dropout Summit
This is pretty cool. I was reviewing items for inclusion in today's newsletter and found myself right in the middle of the Oklahoma State Superintendent's Dropout Summit, watching someone presenting from a flipchart at the front of the room. In real time (sadly, most people will only see this after the fact, and miss the effect). There's also a 'Cover It Live' box on the blog post, an interface I really don't like at all (though I like the concept, and it let me catch up from the first half of the meeting). I think Wes Fryer should use his caps lock key less often. ;) This is all still pretty awkward, but there's so much potential here to really plug people in to a wide variety of events and meetings on the fly. Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, March 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Newsletters, Cool, Web Logs] [Comment]
Instructional Designers at Work: A Study of How Designers Design
There's a certain amount of tedium involved in reading this paper (and the next; see below) but there is something worth digging out and highlighting: "Our interviews appear to confirm the findings of Kenny, Zhang, Schwier, and Campbell (2004) that instructional designers do not do their work by following established models, nor by basing actions on theory. Instead, our designers' tactics suggest they view design as an 'ill-structured problem' (Jonassen, 2002; Schon, 1987) or 'wicked problem' (Becker, 2007) with many possible solutions, which they pursue with a large repertoire of social and cognitive skills." Which really forces the question of whether our discipline should continue its ill-founded focus on (this person or that's) theory. Also, again, as with other CJLT papers, ridiculous citations to the (putative) 'literature'. If you're going to cite someone for "wicked problems", at least cite Rittel and Webber's (1973) formulation, a source even a quick look at Wikipedia would reveal as more authoritative (in this topic) than Jonassen, Schon or Becker. Dennis Dicks and Cindy Ives, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, March 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Wikipedia] [Comment]
A Framework for Identifying and Promoting Metacognitive Knowledge and Control in Online Discussants
I know some people will find this useful, which is why I'm linking to it, as it is a detailed - some might say exhaustive - list of references and citations in ed tech literature related to metacognition. Metacognition is basically the process of thinking about thinking. The paper identifies three major forms:
1. Declarative knowledge about self and strategies;
2. Procedural knowledge about how to use strategies;
3. Conditional knowledge about when and why to use strategies.
Of course, these correspond with three major categories of knowing generally: knowing what, knowing how, and knowing why. These are associated with three major skills: planning, monitoring and evaluation. And that, basically, is the framework for metacognition proposed by the authors. I personally found the paper tedious and pedantic, overflowing with needless references to half-baked and unoriginal theories.
I'm sorry to be so critical, but consider the discussion and table of nine separate theories that follows the observation that "typical representations of MC are based on the argument that it is comprised of two components or dimensions." (Table 1) If the authors weren't so intent on citing the (dubious) "literature) and would simply get to the task at hand, linking to the people they actually depended on, this would be a really good ten-paragraph blog post. As it is, the reader has to dig through a load of extraneous material (and it's not even linked! for goodness sakes). And for the record - this is more a criticism of the journal, which demands that people write this way, than the poor authors, who waste weeks of their lives complying. Elizabeth Murphy, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, March 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Ontologies, Linking and Deep Linking, Web Logs] [Comment]
Analysis of 100M CC-Licensed Images On Flickr
There are 100 million free images in Flickr, made so with Creative Commons licenses. Three quarters of them are licensed using the 'non-commercial' clause (including 9,290 of my own). The remainder, about 24 million images, can be used more restrictively, in commercial contexts (I really dislike the annotation of "commercial use" as a "freedom" - it is not a freedom, it is rather a use that restricts the freedoms of others). Michelle Thorne, Creative Commons, March 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Flickr] [Comment]
The New Buzzword
This - Adobe Buzzword - is new to me and I must confess I actually uttered "wow" out loud as I seamlessly went from my free PDF word processor to my free Adobe Connect meeting. Adobe has definitely launched something special here - I just love the way the menus are set up, I am pleased at how well copy and paste works with external applications, I appreciated the photo upload. The load time takes a bit, but this may be a function of being beta. And Google has nothing like Adobe Connect to ,merge with a collaborative document authoring too like this. Geetha Krishnan, Simply Speaking, March 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Google] [Comment]
Repository Software Survey, March 2009
interesting look at features common across major repository software packages, including DSpace, ePrints, Fedora and others. Via Peter Millington. Various Authors, Repositories Support Project, March 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Learning Object Repositories] [Comment]
Last.Fm Kills Off Third Party Mobile Apps
Some people will recall me advising developers not to build platform-specific apps. Here is an example why. Oh, and I checked - Last.fm is still working in Canada. Stan Schroeder, Mashable, March 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Canada] [Comment]
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