OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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May 6, 2011

Want Social Media Results? Learn How To Use Data for Decisions
Beth Kanter, Beth's Blog, May 6, 2011.

files/images/4237886048_fa35af7648.jpg, size: 173617 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Everybody, it seems, is urging us to embrace data-driven decision making. The logic is inescapable - it is far better to base decisions on data than on intuition. But data is not the solid empirical basis it is often made out to be. It would be well worth reading R.J. Ackermann, Data, Instrument and Theory, or this discussion from Ian Hacking: "The common image of science remains a modified version of Enlightenment science. The humanities have clung to the Enlightenment image of science as a grand unifying intellectual adventure, one that strives to find the ultimate theory of everything... But science has become as multifloriate as the humanities. It has become the domain in which there can be stability without foundations, sharing without commensurabiity... It has become a domain in which there can be coherent action within a thoroughly disunified world picture." Words of caution well worth heeding.

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Agreement between DCMI and the FOAF Project
Dan Brickley, Libby Miller and Thomas Baker, DMCI, May 6, 2011.

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DMCI) and the Friend of a Friend Project (FOAF) have drafted an agreement creating "an opportunity for better integrating their vocabularies with alignments -- mutually declared mappings between semantically overlapping terms." It's an odd sort of agreement, consisting mostly of clauses reassuring DMCI that FOAF won't disappear, and allowing DMCI to take over if it does (I guess the same sort of fear did not exist in the reverse direction).

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5 Reasons Why Activity Streams Will Save You From Information Overload
Luis Suarez, E L S U A, May 6, 2011.

Luis Suarez loves activity streams. "They are probably one of the most fundamental, critical and relevant 2.0 capabilities that any company can turn into," he writes, "Call it ambient intimacy, declarative living or, my all time favourite, "narrate your work", Activity Streams will help, over time, reduce the amount of transactions and frictions you will be exposed to, provoking that opportunity for knowledge workers to be on top of the knowledge flow thanks to that openness, clarity and transparency of what's happening around you." I agree with this assessment, with the idea that they will actually reduce the in-box clutter that people suffer from, and that they can be used to support work, learning, and everything in between.

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Project #metaOER – Let's get to work
Unattributed, UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning Blog, May 6, 2011.

"Project #metaOER is an initiative to locate, select, tag, describe and centralize key Open Resources (i.e articles, ebooks, guides, etc.) about Open Educational Resorces in a simple way, using an Open Repository. The project will focus on constructing an open repository in which professors and researchers alike could potentially deposit educational materials for 'sharing, remixing, and reusing.'" Of this has to all be done manually - whether submitted, tagged or curated - then the project will fail, or at the very least, will produce only a partial and idiosyncratic view of the resources. Or at least, so all previous experience suggests.

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Imagination: Creating the Future of Education and Work
Rita J. King and Joshua Fouts, Website, May 6, 2011.

files/images/Driving-20-300x200.png, size: 75905 bytes, type:  image/png This is a projected funded by the Lounsbery Foundation and IBM, among others. It presents ideas supporting a post-school model of virtual learning. "Americans are currently faced with a shortage of jobs, but by 2018 the nation will be faced with a shortage of educated workers.... Americans will no longer be globally competitive as the domestic economy and infrastructure continue to collapse.... Can that be prevented, and if so, how? With the industrial era crumbling behind us and technological developments rapidly accelerating toward a hybrid reality that still hasn't fully manifested, the co-directors of this project, Rita J. King and Joshua Fouts, call this fleeting period between the two longer eras the 'Imagination Age,' a time during which humanity must imagine and then create, together, the systems of the new global economy and culture." Nothing really that hasn't been discussed in these pages before, but it's interesting to see the same ideas in a new light.

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QR Code Classroom Implementation Guide
Vicki A. Davis, Cool Cat Teacher Blog, May 6, 2011.

files/images/iStock_000016151847XSmall.jpg, size: 12840 bytes, type:  image/jpeg I am by ni means sold on QR codes and consider them to be at best an interim technology (by contrast, I think augmented reality (see below) is here to stay). But many people are interested in the idea, and some think it can be useful in a classroom. This post divides into three parts: first, to help you get ready to use QR Codes; second, to help you teach students; and third, seven ways QR codes are being used in the classroom today. "I think we should just take cell phones out and have them on our desk at all times," writes Vicki Davis. "When it is time for the test, they put their cell phones in a box on the teacher's desk and get them back afterwards. Let's harness the elephant in the room instead of pretending he isn't there."

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Responding to Negative Comments Online
Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, May 6, 2011.

Good infographic on different ways of responding to negative comments, with alternatives both for desired outcomes and worst case scenarios.

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Kinect and Game/Gesture-based Learning: Interview with Johnny Kissko
, Teacher Reboot Camp, May 6, 2011.

Interview with Johnny Kisko, a math teacher from Lubbock, Texas. "He has developed the K12 Mobile Learning website. However, in this interview we talk about his most recent community, KinectEducation, that gathers developers, students, and teachers to collaborate on integrating the Kinect software into the curriculum."

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Ha-Ya or community college?
Joanne Jacobs, Linking and thinking on education, May 6, 2011.

The concept is becoming much more widespread, almost mainstream. "Instead of attending a high-cost bricks-and-mortar college, debt-averse students are taking online courses, studying with freelance professors and using a portfolio of test results, essays and reports on activities to qualify for jobs without a college degree. It's Jane Shaw‘s fantasy of the future of higher education. It all started, Shaw writes, on May 28, 2010, when "Your Money" columnist Ron Lieber wrote about  Cortney Munna, a graduate of New York University who owed $97,000 in student loans and works for a photographer earning $22 an hour." I feel it.

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Creating a Personal Success Plan - A Sensible Alternative to Standardized Tests
Lisa Nielsen, The Innovative Educator, May 6, 2011.

Proponents of standardized tests say, "if not standardized tests, then what?" Here is a possible alternative: the personal success plan. It has two major components:
1. Provide a research-based, goal-oriented assessment and treatment tool that establishes student ownership of the value of his / her education.
2. Support students in their identification and pursuit of social, academic, and ultimately economic short and long-term goals.

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Augmented Reality
Neil Lynch, Primary School Tools, May 6, 2011.

files/images/09topps.190.jpg, size: 7354 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Everything you wanted to know about augmented reality, and then some. The Topps baseball card (pictured) is a great example of the sort of thing that can be done. "Using the technology, card collectors see a three-dimensional version of a player and can play elementary pitching, batting and catching games using the computer keyboard." The page contains numerous examples and links to a number of tutorials to help you create your own AR (augmented reality). I especially recommend the getting started tutorial if you're new to this field. It will introduce you to flARToolkit, the flash version of ARToolkit, the C-coded augmented reality library.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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