OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

[Home] [Top] [Archives] [Mobile] [About] [Threads] [Options]

December 24, 2010

47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom
Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers, December 24, 2010.

This list of 47 'alternatives' is useful in its own right. But Richard Byrne seems to have forgotton that the essential functionality of Google isn't the ability to view videos - it's the ability to create and upload our own. Hence 40 or so of these 'alternatives' really aren't that. So Vimeo and Blip (which I use) are useful alternatives, but CNN, Reuters and TED are not. Not if you want to create.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Unlocking the Mayor Badge of Meaninglessness
Umair Haque, Harvard Business Review Blogs, December 24, 2010.

There are some nice points buried in this column; it takes a bit to extract them, but I think I can capture them with two broad strokes:
- the 'social' in 'social media' represents society - not just the individuals that make up society, but the institutions they build
- these institutions are not ends in themselves, but are valued because what they signify, because of the meaning they represent

These are really good points. If we think of a neural network, there is a great deal going on over and above the individual neurons - not only structures that define the senses and emotions that power connections and the motor responses that result but also the static structures or 'memories' that we acquire through time and assume a causal agency of their own. The same thing happens in society, and the structures we build are much more complex and interesting than mere memories, but they acquire a causal efficacy of their own as well.

The other point that becomes clear in this article is that we can identify two types of network failure. The first has been described variously as 'alienation', 'disconnection' or 'dropping out'. It's when the individuals become of primary, even sole, importance over and above the institutions. The second, more incipient, failure is when these institutions become ends in themselves, losing the meaning originally attached to them. That's what happens, for example, when banks cease to perform a useful function in society, and exist only to drain wealth from it.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, December 24, 2010.

I wouldn't have thought that Alan Levine would be cowed at the thought of offering, with Jim Groom, an open online course, ds106, but I could be wrong. And whether or not he is cowed, this discussion of the potential form and structure of ds106 is interesting. Thus far, the course has no objectives, no schedule, and no synchronous environment like Elluminate. That could be better, as it allows the participants to be led through an exploration, or it could raise issues of its own. The nice part about this is, nobody knows!

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.