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by Stephen Downes
October 6, 2009

Intelligent Communities Summit - Day One
I spent the day today at the Intelligent Communities Summit here in Moncton. This is my blog summary of the event. It's quite long - two keynotes and three panels. The topics mostly revolve around technology and innovation - not my usual fare, but some readers may find it interesting. The photo is from my MacBook because I forgot my camera. Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, October 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

How to build a meandering river in your basement
This may seem a little off topic, but I was struck by what a fantastic class project something like this represents. It's interesting (at least, to a certain set of people), it's really hard, and yet, there are examples online, and no matter how badly you do it you will always have something to write about. The project models the best aspects of hands-on experimentation, scientific write-ups (there are journal papers) and modelling. This, to me, is what online learning is all about (and yet, you're not working on the computer at all, hardly). Related: Travelogue of an Armchair Traveller is a website that came to my attention when they used one of my photos. This is a great suite that finds unique locations around the world and then collects photos people have taken of that location. Again, this strikes me as a great sort of learning activity.
Anne Jefferson, Highly Allochthonous, October 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Would You Please Block?
Here's an article you should probably clip and save for people who want you to blog websites in schools. "What we've decided is that we will no longer use the web filter as a classroom management tool. Blocking one distraction doesn't solve the problem of students off task – it just encourages them to find another site to distract them. Students off task is not a technology problem – it's a behavior problem." Meanwhile, from Teach Paperless, "Last week a Twitter Pal told me, 'You should have seen our district's librarians cheering because they got Wikipedia blocked.' To which I responded, 'You should have walked into each library, grabbed all those World Books and Britannicas, and set fire to them in the parking lot. Same thing.'" Bud Hunt, Bud the Teacher, October 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Insidious pedagogy: How course management systems affect teaching
I recognize Lisa M. Lane's name through the Connectivism course, but many more people will recognize her name from quality work such as this. I wonder whether her experience with the course informed her views here. She argues that Content management Systems (CMSs) "are not pedagogically neutral shells for course content." Indeed, "a CMS may not only influence, but control, instructional approaches." And "Few instructors are consciously aware that CMS design is influencing their pedagogy." This is a good paper, well-argued, and I agree with the conclusion. Lisa M. Lane, First Monday, October 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

First impressions of Google Wave
I have a Wave account. But, you know, none of the people I want to cooperate with have accounts, and I don't have any invitations to get them in. So, for now, it's just a glorified content editing tool - and as that, not a very good one. Hoping for better down the line. This, meanwhile, is Liam Green-Hughes's response: "Hype aside, as this is often no more than a distraction, my first impression is that this potentially is a very useful tool. I am looking forward to the system being opened up so anybody can register on it and use it, then being able to try it out on an actual project with many other people." Liam Green-Hughes, Weblog, October 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Create It in Your Hand, Share It with the World
Notes for a talk by Tony Vincent describing how he uses his handheld to create, and more importantly, why to create: "Creating is reorganizing elements to form a new functional whole. In order to create, you have to evaluate. But in order to evaluate, you must be able to analyze. In order to analyze, you have to understand. And to understand something, you must be able to remember things about it. So, creating is the ultimate activity." Related: Cartoon Planet: A Pedagogy of Change. Tony Vincent, Learning in Hand, October 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

12 ways social media are screwing with bad work habits
OK, I get where Janet Clarey is coming from with this list. But if you get over your habit of casual lying, if you get over the fact that you're supposed to be afraid of your boss, if you get over worrying about being somehow less than perfect, there's no problem. It's like those scare stories about Facebook being bad because everyone can see your lewd drunken behaviour. The real problem is the lewd drunken behaviour - you should do it less, and other people should become less judgemental. Janet Clarey, Brandon Hall, October 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Discovering Magic
"Wouldn't it be a little magical if, when you signed up for a new site, the site said something like, 'We notice you have a profile photo on Flickr and Twitter, would you like to use one of those or upload a new one?'" Or wouldn't it be a little disturbing? If you have wondered at all about what impact your various identities on various social network sites are having overall, you want to look at this article, which describes the development of new technologies that are linking them together. Of course, commercial, marketing and other services have bveen able to do this for some time, what's changing now is that this is becoming more widespread and more common. Glenn Jones, A List Apart, October 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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