OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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June 29, 2011

CIDA announces Open Data portal: What it means to Canadians
David Eaves, eaves.ca, June 29, 2011.

It's still a blank slate, but the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) 'open data' page is a good omen (and I'd like to see similar pages for all other government departments). As the Minister says, " Donors and partner countries must be accountable to their citizens, absolutely, but both must also be accountable to each other. Transparency underpins these accountabilities.... The Open Data portal will put our country strategies, evaluations, audits and annual statistical and results reports within easy reach." But it's more than just accountability. Putting this information into the open also plays a key educational role. It allows people outside government circles to be able to see how projects are designed and managed. This helps them prepare themselves for similar work either with government or with other agencies.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Project Based Learning, Portals, Canada]

files/images/socialcheese.002.png, size: 165410 bytes, type:  image/png
Here's why social business will not save your cheese
Sumeet Moghe, The Learning Generalist, June 29, 2011.

I was asked about the future today and I spent most of my time talking about identity. Why? This is what I mean. "People are just people. They don't have a corporate identity and a separate personal identity. They are who they are; they blog externally and perhaps blog internally too... enterprise systems seem to present themselves as a new network in a vacuum. The assumption seems to be that the enterprise network exists by itself as a prima-donna platform. The truth is that it doesn't - until the activity stream of the enterprise social network can include elements from both sides of the individual's social contributions, it will continue to miss out on the prolific contributors from the public web." Related: offline social networking still rules.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Web Logs, Networks]

Voices of #iste11
Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, June 29, 2011.

This afternoon I played a bunch of these videos on Ed Radio created by Wes Fryer under the general heading Voices of #iste11. Topics include $15 a month for Netbooks in New Zealand, A Lewis and Clark Story, Copyright advice for teachers, and a new Foursquare mayor.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Video, Philadelphia, Copyrights]

Notes from "What's New in Digital Learning Environments" webinar
Jeff Bohrer, BohrerED, June 29, 2011.

I was asked this morning during a meeting to sum up where I thought the future of learning technology was headed, and this echoes my remarks almost word for word (which is pretty cool): "The future is:
Interactive - ... technologies that provide feedback and options for adaptive learning.
Mobile - Users will demand unfettered access to LMS on mobile devices and tablets....
Social - ... learners can participate socially online for specific learning activities (without integrating with Facebook).
Personal - ... students would prefer to construct their own dashboard rather than use their institution's system."

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Online Learning, Cool]

What A Way To Go
Tim Bennett, Website, June 29, 2011.

"We're living a way that doesn't work." That's the message behind this film, What a Way To Go, which looks at what happens when the borrowed time we as a society have been living on runs out. "Bennett journeys from complacency to consciousness in his feature-length documentary, What a Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire. He reviews his Midwestern roots, ruthlessly examines the stories he was raised with, and then details the grim realities humans now face: escalating climate change, resource shortages, degraded ecosystems, an exploding global population and teetering global economies." Interesting video, freely available online, an example of how documentary is being disintermediated. For fun, alternate this video with segments from the student documentary Disconnected, which examines modern student life as it would exist without computers.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Video]

7 Tools Students Can Use to Create Music Online
Richard Byrne, Free Technology For Twitter, June 29, 2011.

Nice list of resources assembled by Richard Byrne enabling students to create their own music online. Probably the most interesting is Wolfram Tones, which, as he writes, allows visitors to choose samples from fifteen different genres of music on which to build their own sounds. Or there's UJame, which matches chords and background music to your singing - incredibly cool.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Cool]

Google Takeout Lets You Liberate Your Data From Google
Stan Schroeder, Mashable, June 29, 2011.

As Stan Schroeder writes, "this is just another Google service, which you log in with your Gmail username and password. It lets you easily take your data out of several Google products." Which is a good idea, of course. But the more it is automated, the better.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Google]

Online Games and Interest-Driven Learning are Transformative for Today’s Young Learner
Constance Steinkuhler, UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning Blog, June 29, 2011.

Great line: "Video games are just a Trojan horse for studying interest-based learning... games are just an easy context to learn about what it means when kinds are really engaged and interested in the subject matter." Short video.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Video]

Students at the Heart of the System
Various Authors, United Kingdom Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, June 29, 2011.

files/images/Empty-pockets.jpg, size: 35042 bytes, type:  image/jpeg White paper released by the British government describing planned changes to the higher education system. The paper transfers more of the responsibility for funding the system to students, via tuitions, opens the system to private providers, and regulates them via access to the student loan system. About a quarter of all student positions will be opened to competitive bidding across two dimensions, one being the quality of the students admitted, and the other being the quality of the academic system. An overall cap on total admissions remains in place. One good thing is that repayment of loans is via a tax on future incomes over 21,000 pounds. But as one commenter (John Clarke) asks, "Can anyone show me a developed country that has had 'success' opening up its HE sector to private market forces?" More commentary at Inside Higher Ed, von Prondzynski, comments on the Guardian. Also, Tony Bates on the privatization of the university system, and a quick summary where he remarks, "naming a document that sets out a policy based on students paying annual tuition fees of $14,000 a year as ‘Students at the Heart of the System’ smacks somewhat of the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s ’1984′." Too true.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Great Britain, Networks, Quality, Tuition and Student Fees, Academia]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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