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May 11, 2011

What polegją Massive Open Online Courses (MOKO)?
Ilona Buche, Pontydysgu, May 11, 2011.

files/images/logo_klein.jpg, size: 14161 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Here's news of another MOOC, and a few variations on the acronym - MOKO and MOOK. Ilona Buche, writing in Polish (via Google translate), describes her participation in #OPCO11, the first German-speaking MOKO, organized by Claudia Bremer, Ralph Müller, Detlef Krömker, David Weiss and Jochen Robes, called Zukunft des Lernens (or via Google Translate, Future of Learning). "The open course is intended for all who are interested generally in the future of learning in the media company in the future of media supported learning and the future of learning. The course content current and future trends in education, made possible by the use of new media, supported and promoted and the challenges arising from the use of media in our society."

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PLE Presentation Canadian Institute for Distance Education Research
Rita Kop, Weblog, May 11, 2011.

Rita Kop writes, "Last Wednesday Helene Fournier and I gave a presentation to CIDER, the Canadian Institute for Distance Education Research in which we elaborated on our research related to Personal Learning Environments. You will be able to find the Elluminate recording and files here. As the sound quality was not super, I tidied up the file and you will be able to find the slidecast here." I've been borrowing some of their work for my slides, so I think the presentation is definitely worth a look.

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Writing Argumentative Essays
Jennifer Verschoor, My Integrating Technology Journey, May 11, 2011.

Help Jennifer Verschoor and her class in Argentina and vote on one of these three student videos describing argumentative essays. Verschoor writes, "I need your help to choose the best video and to show my students the importance of having their work published even if there are some mistakes." I'd say the second objective is a lot more important than the first.

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$20 Laptops for Students from Google: The Questions to Ask
Vicki A. Davis, Cool Cat Teacher Blog, May 11, 2011.

files/images/2536358399_c16896768f.jpg, size: 84705 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Forbes reports on a plan by Google to rent laptops to students for $20 a month. The idea is that this is a testbed for potentially more lucrative corporate computer rentals, and helps potential future customers become more comfortable with life in the cloud. It's also, I would say, a way to get people used to the idea of paying for Google online applications. Vicki A. Davis raises a series of cautions about schools signing on for the service, mostly to do with privacy and lockdown and computing for young children. Also, bandwidth, which I think is the potential dealbreaker. Consider what happens today at tech conferences, where bandwidth breakdowns are routine. Unless Google figures out how to break the ISP logjam and offer bandwidth at commodity prices, cloud computing will remain in the future.

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Google Prediction API - Machine learning for your business
Unattributed, Google, May 11, 2011.

files/images/predictionapi-128.png, size: 3462 bytes, type:  image/png Artificial intelligence is being commoditized. "Tap into Google's machine learning algorithms to analyze historic business data and predict likely future outcomes... Learn patterns from historical data. Google's machine learning algorithms can automatically recognize trends in data you load into Google Storage for Developers." Thanks Jason Hines for the link. Here's how to get started (caution, may eat the rest of your afternoon).

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Jukebox Hero
Unattributed, ASCD, May 11, 2011.

Cool. "With the National Jukebox, the Library of Congress is now streaming thousands of speeches, comedies, and musical recordings from the early 20th century (including Sony's entire pre-1925 catalog). Political speeches, comedic skits, popular music, and operas -- recordings are accompanied with biographical information about the work and album artwork." See also Miguel Guhlin, Rachel Maddow, and the Chronicle (which of course complains that some content may be offensive).

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Twitter and Facebook Both Quietly Kill RSS, Completely
Jesse Stay, Stay N Alive, May 11, 2011.

I'm not sure what to make of recent rumblings about Twitter, Facebook and RSS, but it doesn't sound good. For them, I mean. Mostly, the links to RSS feeds on user pages are disappearing. The feeds are still there on Twitter (I checked) but may be disappearing; "Twitter recently stopped supporting basic authentication over RSS in favor of OAuth." With Facebook, well, it was never easy to find the RSS feed, and this service appears now to have disappeared completely. No surprise there. I agree with Marshall Kirkpatrick's reaction: "There should be an easily accessible feed, public or authenticated, for anything that happens on the web. It's really important. I am very upset about this and feel like yelling at someone about it." Me, I say: if I can't share, I don't want to be in your service. See more discussion (and the above image) on Dave Winer's site, and more on the Blog Herald.

P.S. on the other hand, there's the point made on Google's API page: To prevent abuse, Google places limits on API requests. Because (and I know this from personal experience) remote services (aka spammers) will slam the services with millions of requests.

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What is the scaffolding for learning in public?
Keth Kanter, Beth's Blog, May 11, 2011.

Beth Kanter writes, "Maybe the scaffolding for learning in public for an evaluation goes something like this:
- Transparent: ... make learning products visible
- Emergence: ... signaling to your networks
- Engage: ... having a conversation around the insights
- Co-Create: ... the conversations lead to co-creation."
I liked the illustration that accompanies the article, but the proposed scaffold needs work. The word 'emergence' is used incorrectly, for example. But more, the model seems more to be a marketing model than a learning model. What is it to engage, for example? It's more than just "having a conversation" - we could talk about conversation models, like SWOT, or conversation metrics, and more. But more importantly, participation in a conversation is the act of creation, even co-creation, and we want to talk about that (in ways that do not entail that all creation be co-creation, because then it's impossible to have a conversation).

But more to the point of the post, what is the scaffolding for learning in public? What is the pedagogy of open online learning - or of learning in general? It's popular to think of a hierarchy, or of stages, or of a process, or some such thing. But my own thinking more and more focuses on multiple simultaneous activities based on the six critical literacies (as always, the taxonomy is a a guide, not a definition), as depicted below, keeping in mind that the 'languages' can be anything, including 'editing', 'creating', 'sharing' and the like:
files/images/criticalliteracies.jpg, size: 15539 bytes, type:  image/jpeg

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, , May 11, 2011.

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