OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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September 30, 2010

Small Change
Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker, September 30, 2010.

Malcolm Gladwell talks social revolution as only a popular book-writer can. "What happens next is more of the same. A networked, weak-tie world is good at things like helping Wall Streeters get phones back from teen-age girls. Viva la revoluciĆ³n." Actually, the first 10,000 hours (*) is just what it will take to get good at what you're doing. Then the work to create social change really starts. And this path - unlike your learning - is not nearly so direct nor so certain. And I think that if you're not a part of the current social revolution - and I might add, pretty much every book-writer is not a part of it, they having opted to side with the large publishers - then you don't really get where this is going. I actually enjoyed Anil Dash's response more. "The problem with Gladwell's premise, though, is that it's wildly anachronistic to think that the only way to effect social change is to assemble a sign-wielding mob to inhabit a public space."

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I'm Not Waiting
Bud Hunt, Bud the Teacher, September 30, 2010.

Bud Hunt is not waiting for Superman. "Now, there's plenty of work to do, and it's hard and scary and painful and dangerous. And some of us won't make it. But it's good and important and noble work, and it's worth doing. And the television these last ten days hasn't been helping. It's been getting in the way. So I'm turning it off and moving on."

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10 reasons NOT to ban social media in organisations
Various Authors, Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, September 25, 2010.

This is a fun exercise that has been a while in the making. In the video below, Ron Desi gives "10 good reasons to ban social media in your organisation." The 'reasons' are, of course, farcical, but they do beg the question of why organizations would allow, much less pay for, access to social media. The corporate e-learning community has leapt to the challenge, with 18 sets of responses constituting, together, dozens of reasons to embrace social media in the organization. (Sorry about all the annoying flashing blinking and moving advertisements, even in Firefox - that's one of the problems of linking to commercial e-learning sites).

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People's Open Access Education Initiative: Peoples-uni
Various Authors, Website, September 25, 2010.

files/images/front20diagram-b-3.gif, size: 75448 bytes, type:  image/gif Peoples-uni is a very interesting online learning initiative. It uses open educational resources and volunteer tutors to provide low-cost ($30 per course) learning online. The focus is on public health courses, which are normally over-subscribed or overly expensive. So fare they've run three semesters with about 100 students each time. There is an option that allows people to donate, which will allow a student to enrol for free. The organization is based primarily in Britain and Nigeria, and is a UK registered charity.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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