OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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September 21, 2010

OER Recommender Call for Feedback
David Wiley, iterating toward openness, September 21, 2010.

David Wiley passes on a request for feedback from Joel Duffin and Justin Ball of this OER Recommender. "How useful are the recommendations? How easy is it to include them in your site? How easy is it to style their appearance or control the collections from which recommendations are drawn? " Well, I can say one thing: I hate - just hate - search engines that convert my query for 'Downes' into a query for 'down'.

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Rocks and Minerals
Karen Ogen, InTec InSights, September 21, 2010.

files/images/rocksandmineralsbbc.bmp, size: 20815 bytes, type:  image/x-ms-bmp Just to follow up on my Twitter rant this afternoon, in which I wondered aloud why education has so many different theories, as opposed to pretty much any discipline that is not fiction, which has just one main theory. Take geology, for example. Can you imagine the educational equivalents of these basic teaching cards? "Learning... not learning." Or "test the characteristics of several types of learning." Or "an interactive video to see how knowledge is formed."

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Rankings: a case of blurry pictures of the academic landscape?
Pablo Achard, Inside Higher Ed, September 21, 2010.

Rankings and recommendations are becoming all the more important in e-education, but ranking remains an elusive goal. Pablo Achard writes, "The image of the academic landscape grabbed by the rankings is always a bit out-of-focus." Quite so. But then he adds, "This is improving with time." I fail to see the improvement. He writes, "This toughness to obtain clean and comparable data is the main reason for the lack of any good indicator about teaching quality." Yes. But also, there is no agreement on what would even count as data. We're a long way away from any consensus. I agree with Malcolm Grant. "The basic problem is that there is no definition of the ideal university... On teaching, there are simply no robust data on which global comparison can be made."

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Curriculum Renewal: There has to be a better way
Dean Shareski, Ideas and Thoughts, September 21, 2010.

Good post on the difficulties facing curriculum reform in Saskatchewan. The scenario will be familiar to many: "The government mandated a new curriculum, cut staff at the ministry level and asked them to write a brand new curriculum. To my knowledge, many of these were written by one individual. The results is a document that is thin on resources, and supports outside of the big idea/outcome and some supporting indicators." The problem is, the government will turn around and say, "well we tried progressive education, but it didn't work" and then purchase the entire program from Kaplan or something.

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Are You Using BlogLines? You May Need to Read This Post…
Luis Suarez, E L S U A, September 21, 2010.

If you are reading this feed using Bloglines - and according to Blogline stats, 1,495 of you are following my two main feeds - then you probably already know that Bloglines will be shutting down October 1. This post from Luis Suarez is a good description of what Bloglines subscribers ought to be doing as the zero hour approaches.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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