Gary Stager has launched a website titled The Daily Papert "to bring Seymour Papert's powerful ideas to our short attention-span culture." I have already subscribed to the RSS feed. He cites "three provocations" inspiring the work: Papert's legacy at constructionism conferences, Paprt's past work addressing of problems faced today by teachers and academics, and that "his half century of contributions to his major field of choice, education, is largely invisible." True, and having an online version of his 'day to day reflections' (and maybe an online reference library of his longer works, Gary?) would be of great help to scholars and practitioners everywhere.
I think that research is turning from the question of whether networks or collections of people self-organize (they do) to the question of how they do it, what the resulting organization looks like, and what enables the self-organizing. The picture remains far from clear, even after reading this item, but some patterns are emerging, for example, the 1-9-90 rule describing how a small number of people are responsible for most of the activity, and the suggestion that there is tyically a coordinating person, entity or object. The diagram above is from Kari Hintikka, who wrote about the premises and enablers of self-organisation. Here's a PDF of the full report.
NRC's own Rita Kop presents a summary and slides of analysis she has done with Helene Fournier on a recent MOOC, the PLENK 2010 course recently hosted here. She writes, "From the data (that we collected using qualitative and quantitative methods) it was clear that there are a number of issues that stand out.
- Power relations on the MOOC
- Confidence levels of novice MOOCers
- The level of presence of participants and facilitators
- The willingness to help by all involved."
For fans of Wikileaks who feel the concept should be applied to the higher education sector there is now UniLeaks, a whistleblower website fashioned in the same mold but focusing on colleges and universities. According to the Chronicle they have already collected an "entire e-mail repository" of a "large prominent university in the United Kingdom," so we could be seeing something soon. On the other hand, universities may be revealed to be no more than a nest of singing birds.
I've been working through JQuery: From Novice to Ninja (book site; I accessed it through O'Reilly's Safari; we have a subscription in the office). Anyhow, I hit one bit on JQuery widgets that was unclear in the book, did a quick search, and found this wonderful page on how to create them (what distinguishes a widget is that the code is self-contained, which means it can be safely run on any web page). Of course I'd like to run them just anywhere - on desktops, on mobiles, etc. but I don't think I can - I sent a Twitter request to the world for help on this, but I think widgets always have to have containers.
IMS has (finally) released the final (public) version of Common Cartridge 1.1. This is a specification that describes how learning resources can be packaged so they can be 'played' on various LMSs. Here's the spec as a PDF, here's a list of the organizations that are compliant, and here is the website for providing feedback.
Good paper looking at ways new technologies can help us assess in ways beyond the traditional essay or paper, taking account activities in a wider domain. Suggested assessment artifacts include professional work products, interviews, audio and video products, blogs and wikis. It is worth noting that while this article focuses on assessments within the course context, there is nothing that limits assessments to courses in particular, and that all public artifacts are raw materials for more general assessments that may be undertaken by third parties.
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