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by Stephen Downes
November 12, 2009

Speaking in Lolcats: What Literacy Means in teh Digital Era
The internet has introduced us to a world in which we can communicate with each other in a wide variety of media. Where formally we could only talk and sing to each other, now we can create videos, author animations, link to videos and images and cartoons, and more, mix and match these in a complex open-ended vocabulary. What it means to be literate in such an information age is fundamentally distinct from the literacy of the 3Rs, and teaching new literacy an evolving challenge for those of us still struggling to learn it. This talk looks at the elements of 21st century literacies, redefines critical thinking for the internet age, and suggests a redefinition of what we think of as 'core' curriculum. Presentation by Stephen Downes, Educational Computing Organization of Ontario, Richmond Hill, Ontario, [Link]

Open Education: Projects and Potential
The internet offers society the opportunity to provide access to a free or affordable education for all. This concept is known as 'open education' and is the subject of various projects, such as 'Open Education Resources' (OER) or the Open Courseware Project (OCW). This talk will look at the principle of open education, talk about major projects, describe the role played by educational technology, and outline some of the challenges. Presentation by Stephen Downes, Educational Computing Organization of Ontario, Richmond Hill, Ontario, [Link]

When Innovation Gets Difficult
David Wiley comments on innovation in institutions. "Imposing your will on bits and bytes is "easy." Leading an established institution through the valley of the shadow of reform and up the opposite bank toward innovation is "hard." But it is absolutely critical work, and precious few people are in positions that afford them opportunities to provide this kind of leadership." My own take on the reason for this is that the process that select for "leaders" select people who precisely are not innovative. The greatest predictor for promotion in an organization is obedience. Creative thinkers are filtered out early in the process. That's why I still prefer to work outside the organizational framework - life is too short to spend trying to persuade people conditioned to conformity. David Wiley, iterating toward openness, November 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Above-Campus Services: Shaping the Promise of Cloud Computing for Higher Education
The current issue of EDUCAUSE Review focuses on green computing, and in relation to that, includes this article on cloud computing. As the authors note, the idea o offloading computing services is not new - readers may recall the whole 'software as a service' (SaaS) rage a few years ago. Now we are also seeing 'infrastructure as a service' and 'platform as a service'. There are different sourcing models for these services - commercial, institutional, and consortium sourcing. Brad Wheeler and Shelton Waggener, EDUCAUSE Review, November 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Cloud Computing in Plain English
If you have been wondering what the buzz is about 'cloud computing', this video will give you the nuts and bolts in a fairly non-technical presentation. Lee LeFever, Common Craft, November 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Microsoft's Network for Educators
Microsoft's network for educatos appears to be gaining traction. "So far, 1.6 million educators from 59 different countries are participating in the online community, according to the company." These educators, which receive information and support from the company, become a powerful lobbying force, urging the acquisition of new programs and systems. Katie Ash, Digital Education, November 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Facebook and Twitter Come to Xbox Live This Tuesday
The question I have, of course, is why Facebook and Twitter need a special Xbox interface. Wouldn't it be better to simply give the Xbox web functionality? Perhaps - but it wouldn't be as profitable as providing privileged access to some (paying) online services. Next time you talk with someone from Facebook, Twitter or Microsoft, ask them about net neutrality on the Xbox platform. Because there's no such thing. Kevin Ohannessian, Fast Company, November 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Lawrence Lessig's EDUCAUSE Keynote
Lawrence Lessig spoke at EDUCAUSE and impressed with his message on copyright. Here is the video. D'Arcy Norman, Weblog, November 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Learning to share
Longish article but fairly good introductory-level coverage of open access publications. The focus is on the scholarship side rather than the teaching side. "Free, immediate and permanently available research results for all - that's what the open-access campaigners want. Unsurprisingly, the subscription publishers disagree. Zoe Corbyn weighs up the ramifications for journals, while Matthew Reisz asks how books will fare." Related: 100 open access journals for educators. Zoe Corbyn, Matthew Reisz, The Times Higher Education, November 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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