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by Stephen Downes
May 8, 2010

Buenos Aires Meetup
Audio recording of our meetup session May 7 in Buenos Aires. About 20 teachers were there at Colegio Las Cumbres. In the end, the discussion centered around the key issue of whether to give guidance or let students discover on their own. No slides.

Presentation by Stephen Downes, MeetUp, Buenos Aires, Argentina,

The End of Books
Short talk given at the Buenos Aires Book Fair on the release of 'The Facebook Project'. I wrote the preface for the book (here's the pdf of the full book. In this talk I consider the effect of the end of books and raise the question of where we will locate our culture, our values, our myths and our facts. The recording includes a question and answer session. No slides.

Presentation by Stephen Downes, Festejar con Libros, Buenos Aires, Argentina,

Would Dewey, Piaget, Montessori, Friere get published today?
Would Dewey, Piaget, Montessori, Friere get published today? The answer is no, not in journals, according to Doug Holton, and I don't think I disagree. Education journals (and most journals) stick to a fairly rigid formula that actually defies innovation. "They would be rejected for not having p values and effect sizes, or because they discuss new and innovative theories and practices without devoting enough attention to past philosophers or empirical findings." Doug Holton, EdTechDev, May 8, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

All education is DIY
"Honestly there are all kinds of pitfalls in DIY education," writes lex Reid. And at the same time, all education is DIY education. "I joke from time to time that the problem with higher ed is its mini-me pedagogy, where professors are always trying to turn students into versions of themselves," he writes. "But maybe that's exactly what we need in a strange way. If students need to be become self-directed, intrinsically-motivated learners, then that's what professors should be able to model and reproduce because that's what we are." Which is pretty much the point I was making this week. Alex Reid, Digital Digs, May 8, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Comparing Higher Ed to Wall Street
Interesting: "The peer review nature of higher education accreditation has an inherent conflict of interest similar to the ratings agencies." I'd like top deny that, but find myself unable. I also watch the dance between government and education - government increases grants and loans and other aid to students, colleges and universities raise tuitions and keep all the money for themselves. And so up and up we go in an unsustainable spiral. "The California-based for-profit higher ed company has seen its revenue from Pell Grants grow by 38 percent in the first three quarters of this fiscal year compared to the last one, he said. Anyone from DeVry? Forty-two percent increase, Shireman said. ITT? Strayer? One by one, he ticked through a list of publicly traded companies, pointing out the increasing amounts of federal money the institutions were collecting." Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, May 8, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Right to Hack, not to Flash
There is, of course, no right side in the Great Flash Debate. I have always been frustrated that Flash is basically closed, and that I can't simply hack out some interesting Flash applications. So it is contrary to the spirit of the web. But Apple, in simply deciding, by fiat, that it will not allow Fash on ots platform, sets a horrible example. What next will be banned -- RSS? Javascript? A platform vendor should not have the right to dictate what will and will no run on the platform. Once it's in my hands, it should be mine to hack around with as I please. Related: Alfred Thompson, Point them in a direction and get out of the way. Mark Guzdial, Computing Education Blog, May 8, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Bill Murray Reads Poetry at Construction Site
This is being a good role model - Bill Murray reads poetry at a construction site. "We initially encounter Murray reading lines from Billy Collins' Another Reason I Don't Keep a Gun in the House. Next up? Lorine Niedecker's very pithy poem, Poets Work, and then, of course, a little Emily Dickinson." Dan Colman, Open Culture, May 8, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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