OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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November 8, 2010

The iPhone app is the Flash homepage of 2010
Peter Yared, MobileBeat, November 8, 2010.

Yes - this is is exactly what I think of them. "In the late 1990s, it was common for companies to spend $50,000 to $150,000 for a Flash homepage that looked like a beautiful brochure. However, they soon learned that Flash was cumbersome, slow to load, expensive to build, and hard to update, and moved on to HTML. Now only specialized, high-end sites are Flash only.... The exact same thing has replayed itself on the iPhone." Don't give up on the open standards.

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The Future of Work: As Gartner Sees It
Abhijit Kadle , Upside Learning Blog, November 8, 2010.

Much of this 'future of work as Gartner sees it' is the way I work now - and the future of education as I see it. Informal working, work swarms, simulation and experimentation, pattern sensitivity - it would actually be pretty fun to learn this way.

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It's New! It's New!
George Siemens, elearnspace, November 8, 2010.

George Siemens takes a stab at defining 21st century learning (agreeing with Dave Cormier that it's not limited to the 21st century). The skills include technical competence, experimentation, autonomy, creation, play, and capacity for complexity. He adds, "the pendulum-thinking mindset that is evident in Robinson's view is damaging in the long term. If a view of educational reform is defined by the current reality that it is reacting against, rather than a holistic model of what it will produce in the future, then we're playing a game of short-term gains, planting in our revolution the seeds for the next revolution that will push back against gains that we make now." I agree.

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Various Authors, SourceForge, November 8, 2010.

Interesting. "OpenGLM is an eclipse-based rich-client application allowing the graphical design of IMS Learning Design compliant learning and teaching flows by encapsulating the complexity of the IMS LD specification in a coherent user interface." See also this D-Lib article about the simple publishing interface, a new publishing protocol (that) aims to facilitate the communication between content producing tools and repositories that persistently manage learning resources and metadata."

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A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words; Importance of Images Within a Blog
Jenny Pilley, The Blog Herald, November 8, 2010.

Yes, I've been using more pictures in OLDaily recently. They make a huge difference to the readability of the blog, especially in RSS. Not every post has an image, because I want the images to be relevant and useful. In general, brands and icons get the 'small image' treatment, while cartoons, graphs and tables bet the large image treatment, so people can read them. Reasons to run images: to influence branding, to elicit emotion, or as a call to action,

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Learning From For-Profits
Jack Stripling, Inside Higher Ed, November 8, 2010.

Tensions between for-profits and non-profit educational institutions. On the one hand, a vice president from the for-profit Kaplan Higher Education argues "faculty at nonprofits need to embrace the data-driven assessments of teaching and learning that are commonly used by for-profit institutions." On the other hand, a journalist notes, "the biggest objection to [regulation] has come from the fact that The Washington Post would go out of business if Kaplan went out of business... Because The Washington Post money all comes from Kaplan."

Related: Richard Hall on on technology, outsourcing and the privatisation of higher education: "This is an emerging crisis of the public space, which re-focuses our need to raise major questions of technology-in-education. Where are the spaces for partnerships of students-as-producers, or communities-as-producers with institutions or academic staff? What is the idea of the university where HE seems to be focused on consumption of data, networks, learning, resources, and the curriculum, and migrating this consumption to the cloud? Who should control the means of production in HE?"

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Creating a Blogging Scope and Sequence
Kim Cofino, always learning, November 7, 2010.

Blogging is, of course, whatever you want it to be; there's no 'set form' of blogging. That said, Kim Cofino's analysis is a good starting point for talking about types of blogging, as she described forms as basic as the posting of assignments and links through journaling and complex analysis. For the record, the things she says are not blogging, are blogging.

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Electric current to the brain 'boosts maths ability'
Fergus Walsh, BBC News, November 6, 2010.

Wouldn't it be something if this actually worked? "Applying a tiny electrical current to the brain could make you better at learning maths, according to Oxford University scientists." See also Walsh's blog post. Here's the scientific research. Via Slashdot.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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