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by Stephen Downes
October 1, 2009

efest - eTLC2009
Selena at learning elearning has been providing blog coverage of the 2009 efest conference currently taking place in Palmerston North on New Zealand's North Island, including notes on the unconference and a talk from Derek Wenmouth (his blog). Selena, learning elearning, October 1, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

An Ecology of Adolescent Literacy
Doug Noon follows up on posts from Tom Hoffman "in which he eviscerates the new Common Core(porate) English Language Arts Standards." He writes, "I was intrigued by the inclusion of Elizabeth Moje's article, Reinventing adolescent literacy for new tmes: A commentary on perennial and millennial issues in adolescent literacy (in the bibliography)." The inclusion of an advocacy of critical reasoning was "a bit of blue sky at the end of the dreary Standards statetment." Related: Deb Meier writes, "Since the habits of using evidence and reason can't wait until we pour all the facts into children's heads, a good education must engage in both together. 'Even' 5-year-olds learn by reasoning about the world while trying it on for size." Doug Noon, Borderland, October 1, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

E-Learning Debate 2009
So there was a formal debate at Oxford yesterday around the question, "This house believes that the e-learning of today is essential for the important skills of tomorrow." I used to enjoy formal debates but more and more I have coming to believe (as Jon Stewart famously argued about Crossfire) they hurt more than they help. But that's just me. Looking at these summaries, I think they could have found speakers in favour who actually support e-learning, and have a wider view of it, not narrowly focused speakers who allowed the opposition to characterize e-learning as "doing compliance training, product knowledge and induction programmes." Of course, I would never have tolerated such a narrow question for debate, either - which is why I see these debates as more harmful than helpful (though I'm sure much fun was had by all). Clive Shepherd, Clive on Learning, October 1, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Vygotsky and Personal Learning Environments
In my own case, Vygotsky doesn't really inform my approach to, or theorizing about, personal learning at all. But he is hugely influential these days. And I see evidence of this all around, sometimes even in my own meeting rooms! "Vygotsky's theories suggest students should lead their learning and teachers simply assist... This links in well with the concept of Personal Learning Environments or PLEs. The idea that the student themselves creates a virtual space to manage their own learning, whilst allowing room for social networking as a support system." Jo Turner-Attwell, Pontydysgu, October 1, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Cisco to Expand Its Video-Conference Room With $3B Tandberg Buy
So I wonder how many institutions switched from Tandburg to Cisco videoconferencing systems, just to have this happen. Erika Morphy, E-Commerce Times, October 1, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Heading to Athabasca University
George Siemens is moving to Athabasca University. How this impacts projects I have on the go with him, I don't know yet. But I'm sure he'll make the most of this new opportunity and he joins an all-star team at the Alberta university. George Siemens, elearnspace, October 1, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Google Launches 9 New Ways to Search
I've been using some of the 'last hour' searches to keep track of developing stories. If you haven't looked at Google's new search features, it's worth a few minutes to familiarize yourself with them. Adam Ostrow, Mashable, October 1, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Curator Editor Research Opportunities on eLearning Learning
I have followed the development of eLearning learning with interest. Much like my own site, eLearning learning intends to collect resources from a number of different sources to provide a single (and hopefully useful) access point. This latest plan to come from Elearning Learning incorporates some things I have been talking about recently, such as events. But more importantly, it points to the big difference between Edu_RSS and OLDaily. Edu_RSS, the aggregator I have run off and on ovber the years, is fully automated. OLDaily is curated - you get the intervention of yours truly selecting items, animating them, and putting them into context. So far, eLearning Learning has been mostly an automated service. But it will need curators. And the question comes up - can eLearning Learning succeed as a commercial venture with curators? Will it pay curators? Can it rely on volunteers? Tony Karrer, eLearning Technology, October 1, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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