OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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February 7, 2011

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We Need an Internet Hero
Various Authors, stopthemeter.ca, February 7, 2011.

Seriously, when it's cheaper to mail a flash drive from Florida, and then throw away the flash drive, than it is to access data directly from your local internet, there is something fundamentally wrong with internet pricing.

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OERs: the good, the bad and the ugly
Tony Bates, e-learning & distance education resources, February 7, 2011.

files/images/Good-bad-and-ugly-225x300.jpg, size: 22158 bytes, type:  image/jpeg A really nice post from Tony Bates on open educational resources (OERs). The theme is 'the good, the bad and the ugly' and we'll get to that, but first, a nod to the motherhood statement ("open is good") and a caveat: "the word 'hypocrisy' keeps coming to mind when I hear wealthy institutions pounding their chests for ‘giving away' content that either the public through taxes or students through fees have already paid for, while their fees are such that they exclude all but the rich from their own programs and the accreditation that open content does not provide." He had me hooked with that.

Now for the three themes:
- the good: open content is good, but it is not learning, and is best used by students as part of a wider range of educational activities, or by teachers within a broader program context
- the bad: learning resources that amount to content dumps (examples provides); "Content needs not only to be contextualized but also adapted for independent or distance learning."
- the ugly: " the lack of design or adaptation to make it suitable for independent or distance study or for third party use. It is as if 40 years of research on effective practice in distance learning has all been for nothing."

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A Model Lessons Learned System – The US Army
Nancy Dixon, Conversations Matter, February 7, 2011.

The evolution of knowledge management depicted in this description of the US Army's system is typical of the evolution happening across the board. Through the last fifteen years we have seen a migration from the leveraging of explicit knowledge to leveraging of experiential knowledge to, finally, the leveraging of collective knowledge. There are five major elements in the resulting system: data collection; data repository; knowledge transfer process; implementation methods; and data mining and analytics.

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LMS Vendor/Textbook Publisher Partnerships
Michael Feldstein, e-literate, February 7, 2011.

So I suppose it was inevitable that we'd see an open-source/closed-content combination. That is what appears to be happening as MoodleRooms has signed a deal with Cambridge Global Grid for Learning. Michael Feldstein explains, "as far as I can tell, this partnership is roughly similar to ones that Blackboard has previously announced with McGraw Hill and NBC." It's good for MoodleRooms, it's good for the publisher. The ones who pay, of course, are the students.

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Did the Internet Kill Privacy?
Unattributed, CBS, February 7, 2011.

files/images/image7323198g.jpg, size: 15373 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Should this image be sufficient to get a teacher fired? I mean, really? The tone of the article is that it's a problem of privacy. "I think that's what is a constant tension in our society, is that we trade information that our parents and our grandparents would have considered private, for fun, for convenience, for that kind of thing." But in this case, I think it's a problem of prudery. I mean, really, firing a teacher for a photo of her drinking wine and beer while on vacation in Europe? Seriously? The problem isn't with the disclosures. The problem is with people who are way too zealous in their pursuit of some sort of misplaced moral purity. And actually - if the internet can cure us of that, then that's a good thing. Via Cynical-C.

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Open Educational Resources (OER)
Various Authors, WSIS Community, February 7, 2011.

Wayne McIntosh writes, by email: "UNESCO have established a social networking platform for OER community discussions with particular emphasis on building policy for sustainable OER futures.... This fills an important gap in the burgeoning field of OER -- namely focused international discussions on policy development for open education. UNESCO have listened to the feedback and comments from many OER practitioners around the world for a web-based environment for these open discussions - preferably a list which remains open and not 'closed down' after each scheduled discussion." No kidding! Long past time. You can't just go to the site to join - you have to email wsiscommunity-invitation@unesco.org for an invitation.

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The Most Accessible Media Player on the Web?
Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, February 6, 2011.

Tony Hirst links to what is self-described as 'the most accessible media player on the web' developed by the British government's Office of Disability Issues (ODI). I tried it out and it certainly seems to cover the bases - described video, captions, screen-reader support, big buttons (so nice for someone like me), toned interface, and more. What I didn't see, unfortunately, was a way for me to use the player to distribute my own media. So the 'most accessible media player in the world' plays exactly six videos. What's the use of 'the most accessible media player on the internet' if people can't use it? Here's on the player, and there's the player itself.

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7 Top Social Game Metrics for 2011 - The A.R.M Metrics Framework
Alberta Lai, Slideshare, February 5, 2011.

Some great analytics links submitted by Michelle Lange to the LAK11 Scope Forum. This first link not only details the 'seven deadly metrics', it draws out elements that are of importance to the commercialization of software, clearly identifying such factors as the cost of customer acquisition and customer retention parameters. It makes it clear that you establish a customer base first, monetize later. The unleashing the power article by Dave Sparks is an overview of the importance of analytics. And in Minimize Robot Traffic Adam Greco talks about reducing the number of false positives from crawlers, robots and even your own company's staff.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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