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by Stephen Downes
May 16, 2010

An extra Sunday newsletter, to make up for some of the recent (and forthcoming) travel disruptions.

Education in the year 2035: future scenarios
I'm a bit late getting to this - OK, really really late - but it's worth a look. Adam Warren writes, "The next 25 years? Future scenarios and future directions for education and technology (K.Facer & R.Sandford) can be found in the special 25th anniversary issue of the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (Jan 2010) and discusses the outcomes of the Beyond Current Horizons programme, a two-year exploration of possible educational futures commissioned by the UK's Department for Children, Schools and  Families." I checked and the full text of the article is available. Adam Warren, Telic, May 16, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

TWB Courseware
I am very supportive of Teachers Without Borders but think their online courses could be improved. Basically, the courses are page-turners and the Plone system operating them is very slow. The contents are also sometimes questionable; there is no interaction, and the material is very light. I don't have a direct suggestion as to how the community could help with this, but I do feel some support is warranted. Various Authors, Teachers Without Borders, May 16, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Qualms about the alignment project
It's not often that I post a criticism and the author says "Well, yes, I agree with you." But that's pretty much what happened with my comment on David T. Jones's alignment project. "Stephen is not alone in having qualms about the project," writes David Jones. "I have some as well." Worth reading as well is this follow-up post examining the concept of communities of practice that offers an alternative perspective on distributed organization. "The most interesting aspect of distributive leadership for me is its foundation on distributed cognition. Due to this foundation, leadership within distributive leadership is not a function of the formal leadership hierarchy within an organisation." David T. Jones, The Weblog of (a) David Jones, May 16, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Social Learning
Very nice discussion of the recent discussion around whether "learning is social." The discussion was spawned by Bud Hunt's post (even if you've already read it, go back and read the excellent comment thread). I argued against that in my summary. Claudia Ceraso summarizes and works with the discussion quite neatly, coming up with a conclusion with which I can agree: "Teaching is definitely social. Learning is probably not." Claudia Ceraso, ELT Notes, May 16, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

OpenID Connect
David Recordon comes out with what is essentially a long-awaited merge of OpenID and OAuth. "We've heard loud and clear that sites looking to adopt OpenID want more than just a unique URL; social sites need basic things like your name, photo, and email address." This is the sort of engine that is needed to underlie a distributed social network (see below). This article can be pretty technical, but the first part is fairly accessible. If you're doing social network or PLE work, don't miss this. Via WebMonkey's nice non-technical summary. David Recordon, Website, May 16, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

I ran across Ego - a distributed social network tool - while preparing for a talk in Argentina. Check this out. "It's a piece of social networking software like Facebook that allows you to manage your friends, your data and what you want to share with whom. But - unlike Facebook - there is no centralized server controlling the entire network. As a consequence of this, you own your data and can control what data gets shared not only with friends but with other corporations, etc." It's one of the viral communications projects under Andy Lippman at MIT's media lab, and doesn't appear to have gone anywhere, but they were certainly on the right track. David P. Reed and Polychronis Ypodimatopoulos , MIT, May 16, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Persona Editor Google Tech Talk
This is an older presentation from Marc Canter directly relevant to PLE design. The 'personal editor' is intended to support two-way APIs for services such as Amazon and the rest. This would create, he says, a "level playing field" for the small independents. Marc Canter, Marc's Voice, May 16, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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