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by Stephen Downes
September 30, 2009

Moncton in Fall

It's fall again in New Brunswick, which means more spectacular scenery. Stephen Downes, Flickr, September 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Digital Culture and Education
Steve Wheeler links to the inaugural issue of Digital Culture and Education (it's dated May 15 but he links to it today; I'm sure there's an explanation), an open access journal "concerned with the changing demands of education and the especially central role of digital culture in preparing students for labor in the context of the 'knowledge economy'" The articles are pretty traditional - as in Look at me! Look at me! Self-representation and self-exposure through online networks by Kerry Mallan, for example, a literature review and then a study. Steve Wheeler, Learning with 'e's, September 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Lessons Learned from Creating a Social Networking Site for More than Just Socializing
As with other online resources (such as blogs, or virtual worlds, etc.) you can't just send students there and expect magic to happen. If you're going to use one of these sites in the context of classes or courses, then you need to created focused activities. Hence, the recommendations contained in this post and in the full report (PDF version) from Youth Media Exchange. For example: "Kids' interests need to be deliberately sustained and cultivated. Organizers sent personal emails to kids who participated more deeply. They featured exemplary youth-produced content. They sent periodic News & Updates." Unattributed, Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, September 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Are your students smarter than a computer?
"Automation – turning tasks over to a computer - is continuing to eliminate jobs," reports Board Buzz. This changes the nature of education and training - a lead-in to link to a report (HTML overview, full report in PDF) describing the characteristics of a 21st century education. "Districts must do a better job attending the application of knowledge and skills, going beyond simply teaching students to 'reproduce' what they are taught within familiar contexts, as well as encouraging students to develop broader competencies related to critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity." Unattributed, Board Buzz, September 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Three Future Directions of E-Learning
Here's another item from the RSS-less Learning Circuits magazine. Carliner's three trends are:
- A More Responsive E-Learning ("The use of systems to provide helpful advice during learning and to facilitate interpersonal communication is also likely to increase in the coming years.")
- E-Learning by Assignment ("David Merrill agrees... observes that much of that content in the workplace-both informal and formal-will be developed by subject matter experts, whom he labels 'instructional-designers-by-assignment.')
- E-Learning as a Way of Life ("e-learning will become part of the standard repertoire of all learning groups and most learning professionals, and will regularly be offered as one of the choices for presenting content. ")
The predictions are a bit incongruous; the first and third make sense but the second appears to be out of place. Via Tom Werner. Saul Carliner, Learning Circuits, September 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

In Memoriam: John L. Pollock (1940-2009)
I read quite a bit of John Pollock over the years - the books that made the most impact on me were Knowledge and Justification and Contemporary Theories of Knowledge. Here's his bio and his home page (which is overloaded as of this writing). I can't think of a better tribute than to link to this page, which contains a link to his Logic: An Introduction to the Formal Study of Reasoning, published online and free for all to read and learn. Brian Leiter, Leiter Report, September 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

21st-century skills: Downes's OS for the mind
Nice summary of my post on 'an operating system for the mind' for people who don't want to read the full length of my original post (I'm really really sorry about that, but I like to be thorough, you know...). "The bottom line: while factual knowledge is helpful, certain key skills are essential; they are a kind of operating system for the mind, which can then work with data from the outside world." Dave Ferguson, Dave's Whiteboard, September 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

K12Online09 LAN Party With Kathy Cassidy
It's a great event, but I don't think the organizers know what 'LAN Party' means. LAN, of course, stands for 'Local Area Network', and a LAN Party is what you get when you connect a bunch of computers together in a basement or living room, using ethernet - in other words, locally. And the reason to do this is not to have a chat or conference - you can just talk to people, they're in the same room - but to share in playing the same game, like Doom or Duke Nukeem (did I mention that the term is also very dated?). Nothing like that here - a video with kids that like blogging, a confersation, but no LAN Party. Various Authors, Ed Tech Talk, September 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Are We Ready for Google Wave?
Yesterday was Google Wave day - I still haven't gotten an invitation - I will admit, I'm getting annoyed. Mashable offers a complete guide to Google Wave (including a counsel of patience to people like me). And more from Alex Chitu. Jim Burke, Learning in Maine, September 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

If It's Not All About The Technology Then What Else Is It Not About?
Oh, this is a great argument. Brian Kelly asks, what are the implications of saying "it's not all about the technology?" He responds that it's like saying, "A computer's a computer, just like a fax machine is a fax machine – only nerds care about what goes on underneath the bonnet." Then the kicker: "But if this is true, what are the implications for accepting that we are in a postdigital age? Don't we then accept that our IT environment will be owned by the mega-corporations – Google and Microsoft... It strikes me that the postdigital agenda is a conservative one, in which we are asked to accept that we (in our institutions and in our working environment) cannot shape our digital environment." Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, September 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

This is interesting. When I first tried this it was inside a frame in the page, but I haven't been able to replicate that, so I don't know whether it was an artifact of Diigo or Spezify. Still, either way, you'll want to look at this search engine. "Spezify is a search tool presenting results from a large number of websites in different visual ways. We take web search further, away from endless lists of blue text links and towards a more intuitive experience. We want you to get a good overview of a subject, find useful information and be inspired with Spezify. We mix all media types and make no difference between blogs, videos, microblogs and images. Everything communicates and helps building the bigger picture." Randy Rodgers, Diigo, September 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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