OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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November 23, 2010

Why Bother Being Open?
David Wiley, iterating toward openness, November 23, 2010.

David Wiley has long argued for the benefits of open (as distinct, he notes, from "free"). But he also argues the counterpoint pretty well. He lists a number of benefits identified from OpenCourseWare (the chart alone is worth the visit to this post) and notes, "The use of an open license in no way contributes to people realizing this very lengthy list of benefits or the benefits mentioned in the prose. Everyone one of these benefits would be realized by users even if MIT OCW were published under full copyright... Why are we investing so much in the use of open licenses if open licenses don't enable the benefits we care most about?" For me, it's all about making the content accessible. And accessible, to me, means mostly "non-commercial" and "protected from commercial enclosure".

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Blended Learning: A Report on the ELI Focus Session
Veronica Diaz and Malcolm B. Brown, EDUCAUSE, November 23, 2010.

A white paper on (*yawn*) blended learning. "Blended learning mixes F2F and non-F2F activities, some performed synchronously, some asynchronously. As such, blended learning provides the flexibility to address a broad range of curricular and institutional needs, opportunities, and goals... More concrete definitions of blended learning, ones that are appropriate to your institution, college, or department, need to emerge from local curricular and institutional goals and priorities." The main impact of blended learning is to keep the riff-raff out by imposing (however minimally) a residency requirement. There's no such thing as open blended learning (at least, I've never sen evidence of any).

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The World Bank's First Foray Into Serious Gaming
Bob Hawkins, Educational Technology Debate, November 23, 2010.

I played Evoke but was distressed at some of the political messaging in it. That said, the reviews of the game, looking at participation rates, have generally been positive. "By the time the EVOKE adventure ended, 19,324 people from over 150 countries registered to play, far exceeding expectations. Players submitted over 23,500 blog posts (about 335 each day), 4,700 photos and over 1,500 videos. The site received over 178,000 unique visitors and 2,345,000 page views with time per visit averaging over eight minutes."

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The Web is (not) dead...if you believe Scientific American, not Wired
Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, November 23, 2010.

More on the defense of the web. "The reason the Web has remained open is because Berners-Lee, and the Web consortium, have protected the founding principles. Is society so crass that it won't stand up for ideals that go beyond a profit motive? Many more truly human benefits, as well as commercial successes, can come from an open Web than from a commercially controlled Web."

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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