OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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June 9, 2011

Is e-learning the food-bank of education?
Tony Bates, e-learning and distance education resources, June 9, 2011.

files/images/Food-bank.jpg, size: 52807 bytes, type:  image/jpeg If we're going to use the food analogy, as the title of Tony Bates's post suggests, then what I would say is that what we have now is an economy in which the only place you can get food is in a restaurant, where it's prepared and served for you, sometimes by high-priced chefs, but usually by underpaid and overworked assistants. The world of online learning and OERs may be, as Bates suggests, nothing more than food banks for the needy. But what I want to see is a combination of grocery stores, kitchens and cooking lessons. Talking about tuition and "ability to pay" does nothing to address the fundamental problem of further education in this country and worldwide: it's too expensive, because it was designed for people with expensive tastes, who can afford to eat out every evening. Witness the ridiculous proposal to launch the New College of the Humanties, a high-priced extravagence which, if it becomes the model for higher education,means that education again becomes the preserve of the rich. As Eagleton writes, "The money-grubbing dons signing up at the £18k a year New College of the Humanities are the thin edge of an ugly wedge."

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Open Educational Resources, Online Learning, Tuition and Student Fees]

Why Augmented Reality Is Poised To Change Marketing
Sam Ewen, Mashable, June 9, 2011.

files/images/augmented-reality-360.jpg, size: 63762 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Again, if you think you've got a handle on the technology, you are running behind the times. Augmented reality is on the verge of making a big splash. "What many startups, hackers, corporations and tech artists are creating ... is also a teaser for what media and communication experiences will look like in the near future." This article looks at augmented reality, projection mapping and Kinect hacking. And these will definitely impact learning. As Aaron Silvers says, augmented learning is everywhere learning. "The ability to add virtual elements and layers onto your physical surroundings provides opportunities and new challenges to how we think about simulations and learning activities and how we design them for mLearning." See also (related): When everything is smart.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Project Based Learning, Simulations, Experience, Online Learning, Hackers]

files/images/44vz.png, size: 348013 bytes, type:  image/png
Chris Brogan's Webinar Format Is Engaging and Interactive
Nancy Duarte, Duarte, June 9, 2011.

I've been playing a lot with audio recently, not where anyone can really see, but rather on my web radio station (average number of listeners: zero - and that's fine with me). I'm not sure what will come of it, if anything, but I will definiettl say I have a renewed appreciation for good audio quality - not just the technical side of it, but the quality of the voices, the clarity of the speaking, variations in tone, content, speaker, and the rest. What makes, for example, this webinar so good, and this recording so bad (sorry David, nothing personal). It's not just the Jedi ears 9which wouldn't show up on audio anyways). And don't blame the content; if an Apple End-User License can be interesting, anything can.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Apple Inc., Quality, Audio]

The Invisible Hand is a myth too
Dave Winer, Scripting News, June 9, 2011.

I resubscribed to Dave Winer recently and I must say I'm really enjoying the new Dave Winer. There's a sense of history and perspective to his writing that wasn't there, say, five years ago. This post is a case in point, reminding people that freedom of speech is not an absolute and that Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' of the marketplace is a myth. Both have to do (in different ways) with network structures, and network structures are not a given. We build them, we shape them, we determine how they function. "We need to have a collective consciousness that isn't completely insane." Quite right. And sometimes - sometimes - when we tweak the rules of how our networks operate, it's so we can keep ourselves on an even keel, preventing the disruptions, distortions and disturbances that impair, rather than aid, cognitive function.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Networks]

Our Metadata Overlords and That Microdata Thingy
Eric Hellman, Go To Hellman, June 9, 2011.

files/images/board.jpg, size: 11986 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Eric Hellman is a bit sceptical of the new initiative. "On June 2, our Metadata Overlords spoke. They told us that they'll only listen when we tell them things using a specialized vocabulary they've now given us at the schema.org website. Although we can still use our stone tablets if that's what we're using now, we're expected to migrate to a new Microdata Thingy, assuming that we really want them to pay attention to our website metadata supplications." Well, yeah, it's a bit high-handed. On the other hand, we've been needing embedded metadata forever now. Microformats didn't catch on, RDFa had a niche following - maybe this will turn the tables. If this gives us a widespread implementation of an open graph, then there is plenty of goodness there. On the other hand, do read the notes below the video.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: HTML5, Schemas, Resource Description Framework, Video, Semantic Web, Google, Metadata]

Numbers Matter: Let's Provide Open Access to Usage Data and Not Just Research Papers
Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, June 9, 2011.

Because colleges and universities are not distributing usage data, the sector "is failing to demonstrate how collectively we are making use of innovative IT developments " - whether in the area of social media, institutional repositories or in other areas " - to support its teaching and learning and research activities." So argues Brian Kelly, suggesting that the failure to support its position with data leaves the sector vulnerable to attacks like "Universities spending millions on websites which students rate as inadequate," which Kelly described last year. " "Let's open up access to our usage data," he argues, "so that the value of use of IT across the higher education sector can be demonstrated."

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Research, Learning Object Repositories]

JISClegal podcasts about Recording Lectures and Screencasts
Adam Warren, TELic, June 9, 2011.

This will apply especially to British readers but will be of interest to the wider lecture capture community. "JISClegal have released a series of seven short videos, orginally presented as a live webcast. They cover the legal, technical and accessibility issues, and include an instructional 'How To' segment, panel discussion and Q&A with experts from JISC Legal, JISC Digital Media and JISC Techdis." The seven videos range in length from 4 to 32 minutes.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Accessibility, Great Britain, Video, Podcasting, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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