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by Stephen Downes
June 15, 2010

Free eBook - 20 WEBTOOLS Applied to Teaching
Today is a day for free eBooks, starting with Ana Maria Menezes on Webtools for Teaching. Richard Byrne summarizes, "Ana Maria Menezes has just published a 53 page free ebook titled 20 WEBTOOLS Applied to Teaching. In addition to some well-known services like Animoto, Ana Maria has included some lesser-known tools that could be particulary useful for ESL/ELL instruction. You can download the ebook from Issuu. I also recommend browsing through Ana Maria's blog, Life Feast, if you've never visited it. Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers, June 15, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Announcing the publication of Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Vol 1
The Writing Spaces Editorial Team has announced the publication of volume 1 of their free text. "Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Volume 1, is now available for free download. This open textbook collection includes sixteen essays written for the first year composition classroom, all released under Creative Commons licenses, all written by writing teachers for students. Topics in Volume 1 of the series include academic writing, how to interpret writing assignments, motives for writing, rhetorical analysis, revision, invention, writing centers, argumentation, narrative, reflective writing, Wikipedia, patchwriting, collaboration, and genres." Unattributed, Kairosnews, June 15, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The oPPreSSion of Pedagogy of the Oppressed and my narrative
Introduction to the 30th anniversary edition of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, from 2000. "Whereas students in the Third World and other nations struggling with totalitarian regimes would risk their freedom, if not their lives, to read Paulo Freire, in our so-called open societies his work suffers from a more sophisticated form of censorship: omission." We are very sophisticated in our censorship these days. Donaldo Macedo, Website, June 15, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

This is an interesting approach - Jeff Utecht is releasing his ebook free to people who get the password from his website. The password is in plain sight, so you won't have any problem seeing it. So the book is offered for free to people who have been reading him and supporting him, and costs the rest of the world money. The book is called Reach and "will walk you through how to get started in joining online communities and creating learning networks tailored to what you are interested in learning about." The book is a very quick read at less than 100 pages, and readers here would probably find it very introductory. Jeff Utecht, The Thinking Stick, June 15, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Carol Ann Tomlinson on Learning Styles
Response to Willingham's attacks on the concept of learning styles. Some good stuff here. Like this: "I believe Willingham clumps several bodies of somewhat different work into what he refers to as learning styles. For example, Howard Gardner does not think he's writing about learning styles when he talks about multiple intelligences nor does Robert Sternberg..." And, "he assumes a stance about what he calls learning styles that I don't think many educators recommend: a test-and-label approach to the topic. Does it make sense to give kids a 'learning style survey' and assuming that our preferences for how to learn are fixed? Absolutely not." And, "There probably is room for other interpretations, too. It may be that allowing students more choice in how they learn is effective in supporting engagement and achievement. It may be that engaging students in something that seems comfortable to them allows students to feel more in charge of their learning." Carol Ann Tomlinson, ASCD In Service, June 15, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language
Hans de Zwart's summary of Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language comes at a good time. It will be useful ahead during the 'syntax' section of the Critical Literacies course as we look at patterns. "Written in 1977 it is clear that this is a very 'seventies' book. The belief in what we in The Netherlands would call 'De maakbaarheid van de samenleving' (the ability to create/design/mold society) is very high. It was interesting to reflect on where I grew up and how much of that place was designed according to the same kind of thinking and ideals." Hans de Zwart, Technology as a Solution…, June 15, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Atlantic Workshop on Semantics and Services - Day 2
Blog summary from the second day of the workshop on semantic services. The talks were pretty spotty today as well, with some good stuff and some truly awful presentations. My take on this is, if you are unable to string together words to form a coherent sentence, you are probably unqualified to work in the area of semantics, even if you can code. Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, June 15, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The future of cloud computing
The pew people come out with a report on the future of cloud computing. This is another in a series of reports based on interviews with experts. "Many say there will be a cloud-desktop hybrid. Still, cloud computing has many difficult hurdles to overcome, including concerns tied to the availability of broadband spectrum, the ability of diverse systems to work together, security, privacy, and quality of service." Various Authors, Pew, June 15, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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