OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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October 26, 2010

The Future of Open Educational Resources
Stephen Downes, October 26, 2010, OER in the Disciplines, London, UK, via video


OER in the disciplines: a joint Subject Strand conference
Various Authors, Subject Strand of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and JISC , October 26, 2010.

I really like what they've done with this. It's the agenda and programme for the 'OER in the Disciplines' conference I made a video for. You can see the regular version here, but the page also has a link to the version authored using Google Docs. As a presenter I was told "You can edit as you see fit." The result is a document that is a really good summary of the topic, with background and links to related resources. Perfect! That's how to produce an OER.

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The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2010
Shannon D. Smith and Judith Borreson Caruso, with an introduction by Joshua Kim, EDUCAUSE, October 25, 2010.

"The idea of using the Internet as a giant storage drive in the sky has not taken long to catch on among computer users," write the authors of this large study of American undergraduate computer users. "Many of today's undergraduates are already cloud-savvy information consumers, and higher education is slowly but surely following their lead." The study also documents a shift in ownership from desktops to laptops, widespread use of library websites, presentation software and learning management systems, along with text messaging and social network services. Use of technology for course collaboration peaks at around 50 percent for online word processors and bottoms out at 30 percent for virtual worlds and second life.

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Project Rome for Education
Various Authors, Adobe, October 25, 2010.

Adobe has launched something called 'Project Rome'. From their email: Project Rome is "a new technology from Adobe that contributes to positive 21st century learning through the power of content creation and publishing." There's the website, a corporate announcement, and a video. I tried out the free demo web app, which takes some getting used to. There's a lot to Rome, and it looks like you could be very creative with it. On the other hand, will a design tool that outputs in Flash and PDF be enough? Will people be willing to live with the idiosyncrasies of the Adobe interface (double-clicks that don't select; you must press the 'select' button, cursors that disappear under screen elements, etc.).

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A Student-Led Movement for a University Open Access Policy
John Willinsky, slaw, October 22, 2010.

Description (as the title suggests) of a student movement at the University of British Columbia in support of an open access publishing policy. The work was "a natural extension of their work with the student-led organization Universities Allied for Essential Medicines [which] was able to convince UBC in 2008 to adopt Global Access Licensing principles." In their work on this project they encountered numerous closed journals, which suggested the follow-up. Via Open Education News.

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A Superintendent Leading Change
Will Richardson, Weblogg-Ed, October 22, 2010.

Will Richardson writes, "I just wanted to share this 40-minute or so "interview" that my local superintendent Lisa Brady did with me last month and is now airing on local access television here in Central NJ. Nothing too much new here from me, but I think it's great opportunity to hear a school leader in the midst of shifting a traditional school to a inquiry-based curriculum grounded in technology and online social learning tools talk about some of her thinking around making those changes. Would love to hear what you think."

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History of Philosophy Podcast
Peter Adamson, Kings College London, October 19, 2010.

Peter Adamson is only on the first few episodes of what could number in the hundreds over time, if his objective "to tell a continuous story" of philosophy through history is realized. It's a grand ambition (and I love grand ambitions) and will become a really useful learning resource over time. The great thing about podcasts is, not only can we listen to them while we do other things (like write newsletters) they also provide the correct pronunciations for names (like Thales). The podcast is nice and clear, the information authoritative, and the narrative interesting.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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