OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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January 21, 2011

e-learning outlook for 2011
Tony Bates, e-learning & distance education resources, January 21, 2011.

Tony Bates on the future: "The growth of fully online learning (i.e. online distance education) continued at a rapid rate (over 20% last year), and increasing online enrollments will certainly continue through 2011. However, as the market approaches saturation, the rate of growth of fully online courses will level off, and this is likely to happen fairly soon... What I am hoping for 2011, though, is that this increase in the quantity of e-learning will start being accompanied by some major innovations in teaching, as instructors, instructional designers, and institutions begin to understand better the unique features of new technologies"

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The 3P Learning Model
Mohamed Amine Chatti, Ongoing research on Technology Enhanced Learning, January 21, 2011.

files/images/3P2BLearning2BModel.png, size: 123914 bytes, type:  image/png I think there's a lot of overlap between Mohamed Amine Chatti's "success factors" and mine (which I would lable 'autonomy', 'diversity', 'openness' and 'interactivity'). He maps these across personalized learning, informal learning, lifelong learning and network learning, a set of categories I don't think is particularly useful. The 3P model, he writes, " a vision of learning characterized by the convergence of lifelong, informal, and personalized learning within a social context. The 3P learning model encompasses three core elements: Personalization, Participation, and Knowledge-Pull."

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considering OAI-PMH
John Robertson, John's JISC CETIS blog, January 21, 2011.

OAI and RSS have always represented two sides of the same coin, two visions of content aggregation and syndication. The difference between the two approaches is that RSS uses a static file that is served by a web server like any other content page, while OAI - Open Archives Initiative - requires its own server to accept enquiries, process search requests, and deliver customized reponses. It's a pain for aggregation sites because ther have to set up the whole query-response process. And it can't be used by smaller hosts because you have to have the server capacity to handle any number of requests and queries. Why do we have two such systems? It's the old "I'll find it myself" versus "we'll do the fining for you" mentalities. More here.

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Self host, pay host, free host - we lose
Leigh Blackall, Weblog, January 21, 2011.

Part of Jim Groom's #ds106 course involves the setting up and configuring of your own domain. It's not something I can really do, as I did all this ages ago. While this has produced some good results , the concern is that the result may be nothing more than a large number of abandoned domains. "If even 50% of those then decide to let that site's fees slip and the content go into the extinct URLs, not only will Jim's record of DS106 be compromised, but the longer term asynchronous learning will be impacted." True, but I don't think centralized services - not even open services OurMedia, a great site which I helped to build - are the solution in the long run. The time will come (not so long from now) when we run our own internet services off our home server (much the way we supply our own telephony end point, instead of relying on payphones).

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files/images/lastfm_360_graph_white.png, size: 139107 bytes, type:  image/png
Reconstructing the structure of the world-wide music scene with Last.fm
Tamás Nepusz, sixdegrees.hu, January 21, 2011.

What's really interesting about this diagram is that we can see what we notmally think of as 'genres' of music emerge naturally as distinct clusters. To search for bands or explore in much greater detail, try the interactive map.

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MrDinHK, Kellett School ICT Blog, January 21, 2011.

I used to doodle a great deal - mostly detailed maps of fictitious cities - but I was never interested enough in mathematics to follow the train of thought in this video. Though perhaps if my teachers had shown me how to make stars (which would have fed directly into my other great doodle topic - fictitious flags - then I might have been more interested in math, and learned more. Because though dividing numbers over and over is pretty boring, making things with many parts isn't. (p.s. if stars don't interest you, how about doodling in binary trees?

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$2billion for OERs could end the textbook industry as we know it...
Dave Cormier, Dave's Educational Blog, January 21, 2011.

Well this is interesting: from the press release, "U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Education commit $2 billion to create open educational resources for community colleges and career training." I'd love to have my work funded under such conditions, but in Canada it's the opposite - I actually have to seek out permission, which is frequently not forthcoming, before releasing anything, much less making it free and open (this newsletter and my open source software allow me to skirt the very edges of that policy). So why does Dave Cormier think this could be the end for the textbook industry? First, government support removes the risk from using a Creative Commons license. Second, it's enough money. $2 billion will actually produce a measurable amount of educational content. And third, it's not the only game in town. Other open content initiatives are springing up all over. Cormier writes, "We really need to do this, I think, and I applaud the government for taking a run at it. I just hope they engage the open community for help. Please. We're all out here." I agree.

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Wolfram Alpha opens up API, makes it free for personal use
Erez Zukerma, DownloadSquad, January 21, 2011.

On the heels of the Wikidata post from yesterday we learn today that Wolfram Alpha is opening up its API for personal use. Here's the API page and here is a link to an API explorer.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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