OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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April 27, 2011

Scientific Realism
Anjan Chakravartty, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, April 27, 2011.

An excellent new article has been posted in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy under the heading 'scientific realism'. Scientific realism is "typified by an epistemically positive attitude towards the outputs of scientific investigation, regarding both observable and unobservable aspects of the world." The article outlines three major dimensions of realist commitment, arguments in favour and against, and some 'foils' or alternatives to scientific realism. Educators should read this latter section carefully, as most contemporary approaches to education would be characterized as anti-realist. For a different perspective, the old article is also available. Via Gabriele Contessa.

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Not With A Bang: The First Wave of Science 2.0 Slowly Whimpers to an End
David Crotty, The Scholarly Kitchen, April 27, 2011.

files/images/393774336_6a120c18b7_m.jpg, size: 15220 bytes, type:  image/jpeg It takes a wealth of links and supporting data to get to this conclusion, but get there David Crotty does, with a logic that is irrefutable. "The clear trends are:
- moving away from corporate-backed social networking tools for scientists
- abandoning expensive efforts with little hope of monetization
- moving toward smaller, user-created and controlled networks
Web 2.0 hasn't failed for science - it has merely failed to live up to the initial hype and failed as a get-rich-quick scheme."

The evidence, I think, is significant. Here's just part of it:
- Elsevier's 2collab closed April 15
- Connotea is being overrun with link-farm spam
- Nature's flagship blog Nautilus closed April19 after most of the bloggers left last December
- National Geographic is taking over Scienceblogs, which never recovered from the Pepsi scandal

See also Geoff Livingston, 5 epic social (media) failures, via Kristina Schneider.

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Open Data
George Siemens, elearnspace, April 27, 2011.

George Siemens notes, "Recent funding cutbacks to this movement in the US – see Death of Open Data? – indicate that, in spite of commonsense and democracy, there is nothing inevitable about openness." Indeed. See also yhe Open Knowledge Foundation's overview of open data.

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15 Fantastic Ways to Use Flipboard
Vicki A. Davis, Cool Cat Teacher Blog, April 27, 2011.

files/images/13719160141_sNQH2.jpg, size: 23569 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Vicki A. Davis lists 15 things you can do with FlipBoard on the iPad. Note, for example, that you don't have to follow people to get good value out of Twitter (ironically, "many now who are unfollowing on Twitter en masse as they try to improve their Klout score" - if there's a score, there's people trying to game it) - you can read tweets from lists or hashtags instead (Davis writes, "My favorite Twitter based flipboard magazine for educators is from #edchat. Just type #edchat in the search and scroll down to follow the hashtag"). You can also add Google Reader, your blog, classroom blogs, Diigo groups (Davis: "the educators group on Diigo is one of my favorite go-to places for information") and yes, OLDaily.

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Farewell, Kindle. Buh-bye, iPad.
Marc Bousquet, How the University Works, April 27, 2011.

I think sometime in the last week or two I mentioned low-cost tablets being widely deployed in the developing by next year. Next year is here, or will be after Asus can restock after selling out the first day after launching their transformer tablet. See also Wayan Vota: Eventually tablets will facilitate more personalized and interactive learning (love the image with this one, below):
files/images/tablet-computers.jpg, size: 243983 bytes, type:  image/jpeg

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YouTube Founders Acquire Delicious From Yahoo
Adam Ostrow, Mashable, April 27, 2011.

files/images/yahoo-delicious-sale.jpg, size: 31545 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Interesting. From Mashable: "The future of social bookmarking tool Delicious is no longer in doubt. Yahoo has sold the site to YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, where it will become part of a new company the pair has created called AVOS. According to an FAQ about the deal, Delicious makes it clear that user data will be preserved and that the new team will 'add new features and grow the service overall.'"

More acquisitions: VMWare has for some reason acquired SlideRocket. Also, Desire2Learn has acquired Captual. Pearson has acquired Schoolnet. And speculation continues about potential purchasers of Blackboard.

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Connectivism & the Relationship Era
Ari Bancale, A Gamer's Guide to Real Life, April 27, 2011.

Interesting and creative exploration of many of the ideas involved in connectivism and connective knowledge. The page includes a Prezi presentation that, among other things, identifies four connectivist layers: net potential, synergy, relationship and communication. Additional text follows, examining these layers. But where, asks the author, does gaming fit into this picture? "The gaming era is now being born from the connected minds of the kids who either just dropped out of the dysfunctional educational system or got their PhD's in their mid-20s. In the coming years, more and more people will be playing games not just for fun but for work."

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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