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by Stephen Downes
April 26, 2010

Critical Literacies Online Course
Announcing "Critical Literacies", an open online course starting June 1.

About 15 years ago I realized two things. First, I realized I needed to prove that it was possible to offer a worthwhile course online. My colleagues at Assiniboine weren't convinced. Second, I realized that people learning online would need a good foundational knowledge of critical thinking.

So what I did was to post something called Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies. Over the years, it has been my most popular work – much more popular than anything I've done in online learning. You can find it here, in its relatively new home. I keep meaning to update it (and, in fact, I've just assembled the whole thing into a document).

This course in critical literacies builds on and expands that idea. It is at once a demonstration of a possibility of online learning, this time a connectivism course. And it is an attempt to articulate and demonstrate those critical thinking capacities that are needed in a new electronic multimedia world.

If you would like to subscribe or contribute to the critical Literacies Course, Register

There's a lot more to come... Stephen Downes and Rita Kop, Critical Literacies, April 26, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

In Defense of Public School Teachers in a Time of Crisis
This is an excellent essay defending public education that deserves to be shared. "As critical and public intellectuals, teachers must fight for the right to dream, conceptualize and connect their visions to classroom practice. They must also learn to confront directly the threat from fundamentalisms of all varieties that seek to turn democracy into a mall, a sectarian church or an adjunct of the emerging punishing state." Henry Giroux, The Freire Project, April 25, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

A fresh look at instructional design
Seb Schmoller passes this along. "Further to yesterday's successful ALT/eLN webinar with Cathy Moore and Patrick Dunn, here is a link to ALT's Open Access Repository which contains the Elluminate recording and the presentations used in the session." The ALT Open Access Repository as a whole is worth browsing through. Cathy Moore and Patrick Dunn, ALT Open Access Repository, April 25, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

That Ontario Group
What I like about this is that it isn't a group of teachers teaching, it's teachers learning. "I'm totally at a loss to explain why it works. I know how it works – it's the old adage that the right people for the task are the people that are there. Somehow, this group, or a subset of them, just comes together at the right time and the magic happens. For this, I am so grateful. I learn so much from this group on a daily basis." Doug Peterson, doug – off the record, April 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

E-Learning 2010
Education Week has a long and pretty good look at e-learning in the U.S. K-12 sector. It's a series of articles that leads readers through the traditional issues - hybrid learning, delivery methods, and accreditation. It's worth persevering, though, for a look at e-learning enrolment caps in Wisconsin and Oregon, expansion and limitations, sustainability and a good look at "the wide variety of virtual schools and online-learning programs available involves understanding the type of operational control." The series ends with a look at personalization and custom learning, but you get the sense that the writers aren't there yet. Various Authors, Education Week, April 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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