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by Stephen Downes
April 14, 2009

Network Platform Integration for the New Education
From the summary: "The brain of your child whom you entrust to standardized schools is the most complicated thing in the universe, with 100 billion brain cells none of which seem to be in charge. So explains Steven Strogatz (about the human brain) in the above video. He and Duncan Watts are introduced in this first of a five-part explanation of network theory." Judy Breck, Golden Swamp, April 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Site Gives Students Free Science Articles
This is a pretty good story (note that you'll be prompted to sign up after page one). A site called Scitable, by Nature Publishing group, "offers hundreds of free, peer-reviewed articles to college students, including those with non-scientific academic focuses." The site was originally announced in January; I covered it here. Dennis Carter, eSchool News, April 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

More On Core Knowledge
So there's this blog called Core Knowledge and since 2006 it has been campaigning in favour of, well, 'core knowledge', and incidentally, against teaching critical thinking as a discipline - the line being that critical thinking is based entirely on the facts of particular disciplines. As they say here, "If you want students to be critical thinkers - and to his credit Burell clearly does - what better way than to give them the background knowledge they need to grapple with precisely the questions he suggests?" In a post today, Burrell swings back: "If they're only taught to know the stuff, and not trained to ask questions about it, then whatever 'innate' critical thinking you say they're capable of at birth is still going to wither in schools." And, of course, there is always the question of whether there is a 'core' that everyone must know. Clay Burrell,, April 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Facebook Can Get You Fired, Dumped, And Yes, Evicted
Just for the record: having a wild party and trashing your rented house can get you evicted. Facebook has nothing to do with that. Facebook is just the channel - one of many, no doubt - through which your atrocious behaviour is passed on to the people with the power to evict you. Or fire you. Or dump you. So, people, quit blaming the consequences of your bad behaviour on Facebook. Related: Blog, Wiki, Tweet... The Real You?" Stan Schroeder, Mashable, April 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Towards a Process for K-12 Students As Content Producers
What does it mean to think of students as content producers. In this lengthy post examining actual student experiences as contributors to Wikipedia, John Concilus suggests that we have to think of 'contribution' not as an entire article, but possible an edit, a paragraph, or some other smaller change, and that they should be given credit for engagement or dialogue. "In our thinking we would not only be assigning credit to students who had "lasting" contributions. That would be a badge of honor, or a sign of exceptional work." John Concilus, The Education Bazaar, April 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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