by Stephen Downes
March 2, 2010
Nine Information Alternatives to the Now Defunct Training Magazine (now 10 after fix of omision)
Already missing Training Magazine? You wouldn't be if you were reading this newsletter - or any of the other
eight nine alternatives suggested by Karl Kapp.
March 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Information, Newsletters]
OCWC Raises $350k – Shouldn't I Be Happy?
David Wiley is wondering whether the Open CourseWare Consortium is good value for money. It just raised $350K from contributing universities. "I have to continue to ask myself... If the hundreds of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on determining a governance structure, drawing up incorporation documents, establishing a board of directors and traveling to board meetings, forming subcommittees, setting definitions (that exclude projects like Connexions), etc., had instead been spent on publishing more OER, wouldn't the world be a better place?" David Wiley, iterating toward openness, March 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Connexions, Books, Open Educational Resources, Project Based Learning, OpenCourseWare] [Comment] [Tweet]
Social snake oil
"Social learning is being picked up by software vendors and marketers as the next solution-in-a-box." So notes Harold Jarche, who sees this as the next six-figure grab by enterprise software vendors. "Perhaps PT Barnum was right," he says, "and there is an innate desire to buy some magic potion to solve all our problems. Why are businesses buying their productivity tools from traveling circuses?" Jay Cross comments, "I watched vendors hi-jack the term eLearning, and I don't want to see it happen to social or informal learning." Jane Hart also comments. Harold Jarche, Weblog, March 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Enterprise Software] [Comment] [Tweet]
Contribute to our open database of educational projects
Creative Commons is generating an "Open Database of Educational Projects and Organizations." In this post Alex Kozak asks for contributions. "We'd like to continue supporting this database to help researchers, advocates, and learners find educational projects, analyze trends in online education, and become more effective advocates for open education." Alex Kozak, Creative Commons, March 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Online Learning, Research, Project Based Learning] [Comment] [Tweet]
This is a very interesting project, a service that will test your repository implementation. It's a bit hard to wrap your head around at first (at least it was for me) but basically you give it the URL of the services you want to test and the list of files you want to test it with, and it will act like a user, executing the services, and will return a bunch of metrics. "Each of your selected input files will be passed through the services you have selected and a variety of service and server-level statistics that can be automatically measured will be logged in the system." [ref] Which is a great idea, really. The service is brand new and has just opened for public beta. Various Authors, JISC, March 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Branding, Learning Object Repositories, Project Based Learning] [Comment] [Tweet]
Is programming "technical"?
Here's an interesting thought: "If you understand an idea, you can implement it in software." Is this true? If so, we would also have to assert: all ideas can be implemented in software. Which seems false on the face of it ('growing wheat' would be an obvious counterexample) unless you allow the implementation to be a simulation. The way to make sense of the assertion is to think of writing software as a form of writing. And mathematics as a form of writing. The expressive, combined with the syntactical and the grammatical. So, is the thought then true? "If you understand an idea, you can implement it in software, write it, or describe it mathematically." Is it even still the same question? Daniel Lemire, Weblog, March 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Simulations] [Comment] [Tweet]
Educational metadata standards – recent international activity
Quick post outlining a resurgent interest in educational metadata standards. The planets must be aligned just so, because there has been work in Dublic Core, IEEE-LOM, and ISO Metadata for Learning Resources (MLR). Irvin Flack, e-learning standards, March 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Metadata] [Comment] [Tweet]
So what are your options when presenting in Second Life? This is particularly relevant because I'll be presenting briefly at a conference in Second Life next week. If not the usual PowerPoint slides - which Alan Levine feels is "perversely wrong" - then what? Audio only? Really, that's the only practical alternative - it takes me maybe 15 minutes or so to make a slide, but would take days to create the equivalent 3D representation. Audio I can handle - but yeah, you need "that great FM radio voice." Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, March 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Audio, Second Life] [Comment] [Tweet]
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