by Stephen Downes
July 2, 2010
Signaling Important Document Paragraphs in WriteToReply – And a Possible Mobile Theme?
Tony Hirst discusses another first-rate idea: signalling the importance of each paragraph. It's one of these things that might catch on or might not - I think it would have to be based in something pragmatic, like say, you select a paragraph (or highlight a sentence) and it's stored in your repository, and the paragraph meanwhile earns a +1 in some database somewhere (and if read with that turned on, appears as slightly larger print than the rest). Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, July 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Learning Object Repositories] [Comment] [Tweet]
What HBR hasn't noticed: four reasons why management needs radical change
That sputtering and disguised cursing you hear is me reading Harvard Business Review. Every day I am finding stuff from that site that to me is so far off base I don't even know where to begin my criticisms. But this article is a good start. The author argues that HBS writers simply haven't noticed that the world has changed. That could be. In particular, HBS writers seem not to have noticed the following:
- workers are no longer semi-skilled and cannot simply be supervised and cannot simply be told what to do
- you need a committed workforce; you cannot expect sullen or resentful, morose or angry to do brain surgery or draw up legal documents
- customers are no longer willing to accept just anything; they expect quality products and customer service
- you can't just think of the workplace as a system any more; the 'parts' have feelings, the 'outputs' have social goods (or harms)
There's a lot more, in my book, but this is a good starting point.
Steve Denning, The Leader's Guide to Radical Management, July 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Quality] [Comment] [Tweet]
What China Can Teach Writing Teachers
The key think the 'common core' people get wrong is that there are other ways to see the world. This is drawn out evocatively by Clay Burell as he describes some recent work in Chinese literary theory. He writes, "Nisbett's whole point in this book of 'cultural psychology' is to show that modes of thought differ from culture to culture, that Enlightenment universalism is belied by the evidence, etc, etc. The point of the passage itself is to illustrate how unlike our abstract and essentialist Greek way of thinking is the Chinese, which resists hard categories and prefers, as Nisbett puts it, 'expressive, metaphoric language.'" Clay Burrell, Beyond School, July 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Books, Ontologies, China] [Comment] [Tweet]
Sakai Conference: Kamenetz Keynote
I haven't watched this yet, but Anya Kamenetz's keynote at the Sakai conference is an odd enough mix to be intriguing. Michael Feldstein gives the talk (which starts about 23 minutes into the video) a polite, almost enthusiastic, write-up. "The keynote," he writes, "provides a significantly evolved and refined version of her argument." In order to grow DIY U ("which I'm increasingly inclined to think of as simply a trendier and more provocative name for open education," he writes) we need to pay attention to content, socialization, and accreditation. Or, as George Siemens has said more clearly, we are creating open learning in three phases: open content, open classes, open assessment. Feldstein finishes with what I would consider the starting point of the personal learning environment project: "it's worth asking ourselves how technology can help scaffold learning experiences to foster a sense of autonomy, increasing mastery, and greater purpose." Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, July 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Assessment, Connectivism, Open Content, Experience, Project Based Learning] [Comment] [Tweet]
It's every bastard for himself, the last century hasn't ended yet
It's not simply because my photo is on page 9 that I think this issue of Today's Campus is worth a look. Because though the issue is set from the premise of edupunk, as Groom notes, "I marvel at how quickly the narrative of change in higher education is sucked into the seemingly irrefutable and naturalized logic of business innovation." Agreed. Maybe they weren't there, but the magazine authors - and Anya Kamanetz - fail to see is that edupunk is about counter-culture, not selling out. There are good reasons for that. As Tony Hirst says, "The disaster that happens when democracy is for sale is nothing when compared to what will happen when learning is for sale." Jim Groom, bavatuesdays, July 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Edupunk] [Comment] [Tweet]
Internet Archive Sets Fair-Use Bait With Open Library Lending
Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle has thrown down the gauntlet with his internet library. This is a service that provides online loans of in-copyright works. The small set of books he is loaning to start the service is designed to challenge. It includes works by open content advocates, 1998 computer books, orphan works, and so on. Eric Hellman, Go To Hellman, July 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Open Content, Copyrights, Patents] [Comment] [Tweet]
The educational significance of social media – a critical perspective
Is social media part of the future of education? I guess it depends on who you ask. Neil Selwyn argues, "Outside of the narrow 'Ed-Tech bubble' very few people are engaging with these discussions. We therefore need to move beyond self-referential self-congratulation and stimulate a new phase of discussion, dialogue and conversation about what social media is – and what social media could be – with everyone involved in education." Perhaps. Or it could be that people outside the narrow 'Ed-Tech bubble' aren't informed, don't know about the new technologies, and won't be a significant part of the future of education. This is especially the case is, contra Selwyn, the future of education means something other than fixed curricula and traditional methods. Neil Selwyn, Scribd, July 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: Online Learning] [Comment] [Tweet]
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