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by Stephen Downes
April 16, 2009

Providing Learning in Social Networks
Overview of the network approach to learning. New material, new slides. I place network learning in perspective with games and simulations, and describe it as an approach to be taken when we don't know what we want our students to learn (eg., in a complex or changing environment). I then overview the Connectivism course and gRSShopper. I then talk about future work, such as serialized feeds, the personal learning environment, and state based learning design. First 30 seconds of so (the intro) are low volume; the rest is fine. Presentation by Stephen Downes, Symposium on Advance Learning Technologies, Gagetown, NB, [Link]

Learning Options in Failed School Environments
This is an unusual article for this blog, but that said, it's a nice listing of 'alternative' approaches to learning when the formal school system 'fails'. It includes short accounts of such options as free-choice learning, action learning, project learning, and others. What characterizes all of these, in my mind, is that online learning makes each of them much more viable than would have been the case otherwise. Winter, One Laptop Per Child News, April 16, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Help, My Degree Is Underwater
Another article drawing links between the recession and learning. The only thing that changes, in my view, is the advisability (or not) of going $100K into debt to obtain a degree. The education is always worthwhile (yes, even in philosophy or arts; don't let anyone convince you otherwise) but the economics of the education system are rather less so. A degree is becoming, again, something only a rich person can afford - and something a poor person can't afford not to have. We need to redress education economics, while underlining the value of an education for all people in society. Emily Bazelon, Slate, April 16, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

How Do You Use Open Courses? Tell Open Culture
Jeff Cobb writes, "Dan Colman over at Open Cutlure is asking people to comment or e-mail in about how they are using open courses. As readers here know, I write quite a bit about open education, and I'd like to know the answer myself. So, this is a brief post to encourage readers to head over to Open Culture and tell your story." Jeff Cobb, Mission to Learn, April 16, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Digital Education
Education Week is, as David Snyder says, "blog-happy." Thus we see the launch of the latest blog in their stable, Digital Education, by by Katie Ash and Kathleen Kennedy Manzo. "Katie Ash is a writer and Web producer for Digital Directions and a co-author of Education Week's "Motivation Matters" blog. Kathleen Kennedy Manzo has been covering curriculum and standards for Education Week since 1996, including federal, state, and local policies, instructional materials, and teaching practices." Katie Ash and Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, Education Week, April 16, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Journalism Online: Time to Start Paying for Online News
I fundamentally disagree with this article, the tenor of which (as the title suggests) is to argue that we need to start paying, on some sort of subscription basis, for online news. It's not going to happen. Even if the pay sites manage to lobby to close down free online news sources such as the CBC or BBC, I feel confident I would get all the news I need from my social networks. This is especially the case given that so much of what constitutes traditional news is not what I need, consisting as it does of press releases, marketing content, and manufactured crises. Still, that's not going to stop some organizations from trying to charge for news. Fine with me; they're just writing themselves out of the internet conversation. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, April 16, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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