OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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July 18, 2011

Open Educational Resources: A Definition
Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, July 18, 2011.

Late last week and over the weekend I became engaged in an online discussion about whether we should require that providers use open file formats in order for their materials to be considered open educational resources (OERs). This led me to rework the definition of OERs, as follows: Open educational resources are materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone. In this article, I explain the method I used to construct the definition, and my think regarding the precise wording of the definition.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Discussion Lists]

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The Audacity of Shaw: How Canada’s Internet just got Worse
David Eaves, eaves.ca, July 18, 2011.

Although Shaw has retracted a bit and clarified its intent, what we still see here is a cable provider employing usage based billing (UBB) in order to give itself a competitive advantage. To compete against Netflix, it has announced its own movie-on-demand service - but says that streaming its movies will not count against the (arbitrarily low) bandwidth cap. This, as David Eaves says, breaks what works about the internet. "The very reason the internet has been such an amazing part of our lives is that every service that is delivered on it is treated equally." See also Michael Geist, who makes it clear that it's competition, not congestion, that is driving providers into the usage based billing debate.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Bandwidth, Canada]

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Lurking or Legitimate Peripheral Participation
Christy Tucker, Experiencing E-Learning, July 18, 2011.

files/images/3227033901_e3e5f08d18_m.jpg, size: 11112 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Christy Tucker makes what I think is the very good point that lurking is legitimate participation, and not only that, that most of our participation in media is in the form of lurking (we just don't think of it as such). Consider these examples:
- "YouTube: Most of the time on YouTube, I’m just watching. I’m not creating my own videos, commenting, sharing, or bookmarking. I have a few videos, but I’m lurking at least 90% of the time.
- Kongregate: Technically, I am not a lurker on this gaming site by the strictest definition, since I do rate games. I read through the forums and chat  sometimes, but rarely jump into the conversation.
- News: I don’t get a newspaper in “dead tree” format; I get most of my news online. I read several newspapers and blogs, all of which have commenting or community features. Most of the time I don’t even read the user discussions, and I never add my own comments.
- Slashdot: I skim the RSS feed, but I don’t have an account and have never commented.
- Wikipedia: At one point, I contributed quite a bit (2500+ edits), but it’s been over a year since I’ve been active."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Gaming, YouTube, Video, Web Logs, Chatrooms, RSS, Wikipedia]

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Keynote slides on The Transformation of Government
Ross Dawson, Trends in the Living Networks, July 18, 2011.

Interesting set of slides - with the promise of a PDF to follow - from Ross Dawson on the future of government. I don't think we should consider 21st century government to be just an electronic version of the sort of government we have today. Why, for example, would we have representatives speak for us on the basis of where we live - and hence, potentially really misrepresent our views - when we could delegate much more reliable spokespeople - or intelligent agents - to speak on our behalf? And governments are going to have to cut through corruption and media manipulation in order to handle the really big problems of climate change, resource depletion and interstellar expansion. And why organize government along the lines of a hierarchy, when it could be unbundled and distributed? Children today are probably going to see some big changes in government in their lifetimes; people my age will be stuck with watching the collapse of the current order. Bleah.

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Controlling LEGO WeDo robots via Scratch on an XO laptop
Sameer Verma, OLPC News, July 18, 2011.

I played this at something like the 6-hour mark of today's Ed Radio broadcast (these summer days with few meetings and lots of coding time make for loooong live audio sessions). I wasn't expecting a lot, but now having seen this video, I want one. I think it's really useful and really important to help children (and adults!) be able to visualize the way computers detect the environment through sensors and make things happen in the real world through motors. Because, after all, when you come face to face with a robot, Lego or otherwise, it becomes a lot harder to dismiss it simply as 'virtual' reality.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Portable Computers, Video, Adult Learning, Visualization, Audio]

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Badges Swarm the Internet (and Intranet)
Josh Bersin, Bersin & Associates Analyst Updates, July 18, 2011.

OK, I'm not sure that the future of online learning is badges. But it would not be inaccurate to say that it's something like badges. Once teaching is decoupled from assessment and evaluation, we create the conditions where a network of assessment agencies can proliferate. There's no reason to suppose assessment need consist only of tests and exams - assessment can be any metric at all: number of posts, number of votes for a classification, connections created, whatever. I think the proliferation of metrics will be a good thing, because a focus on a single metric distorts our evaluations.

Consider, for example, the different outcomes when we rank universities by different criteria. David Kernohan looks at four metrics and comes up with four different rankings. "And there are thousands upon thousands of other criteria we could have chosen. But only the first is recognised as valid in the university funding method. Students are supposed to aspire to study at institutions in that first list, despite other institutions being 'better' depending on your choice of criteria. This strikes me as anti-competitive. It rewards inputs, not outputs. Would you choose a garage based on the quality of cars they serviced? Or how those cars drove afterwards?" The same applies to student evaluation. Relying solely on numerical grades is unwise.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Networks, Assessment, Online Learning]

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Ed Radio - Show Notes - 2011 07 17
Stephen Downes, Ed Radio, July 18, 2011.

Today's Ed Radio webcast was much longer than usual, coming as it did on a day I had no meetings or urgent deadlines and could spend my time coding away. It was also the first I actually kept show notes for. The content, though, is pretty typically Ed Radio. You can recreate the broadcast by listening to the audio from the original sources, below. Give yourself six hours.
- Clare Foster, Nightdreamer
- Somi - Jazz Fusion - Prayer to the Saint of the Brokenhearted
- Kristin Kelly, Books at All Costs, As heard on The Bob Edwards Show, July 8, 2011, NPR This I Believe
- Gabon - Tribal Treats (VHS) - Vyckos Ekondo - Noaghona
- Natalie Petouhoff, How to Build a Business Case for Social Media
- Via Jay Cross
- Natalie Petouhoff, How to Measure Social Media ROI
- Allen Watts on Life and Music, a furrycarlos production - via Documentally
- Natalie Petouhoff, How Social Media Benefits the Entire Company
- Gabon - Tribal Treats - Cele - Mikoukou Are Ghe Mbongo
- Audio from an interview with Gerry Bayne of EDUCAUSE Now about ds106
EDUCAUSE Now, Gerry Bayne, Jim Groom
- Susan Tedeschi, Can't Leave You Alone
- Graham Attwell, Sounds of the Bazaar at #PLE_SOU day 1
- Gabon - Tribal Treats - Nicole Amogho - Singa Soyi
- Gabon - Tribal Treats - Amandine - Bissi Le Ba Leya
- I Can Copy from wreckandsalvage on Vimeo
- Graham Attwell, Second day of Sounds of the Bazaar LIVE Radio at #PLE_SOU
- Gabon - Tribal Treats (VHS) - Ndjanambele du Gabon
- Stephen Downes et.al., Google Hangout
- James Clay - e-Learning Stuff Podcast #079: Turbo Telling
- Gabon - Tribal Treats (VHS) - Laurianne Ekondo - Wontchende
- What is a Community? - Via Nancy White
- Local Vocal - 90's Dance acapella medley mix - Via Luis Suarez
- The Word - 40 Noises that Built Pop - Posted by Rhodri Marsden
- Gabon - Amandine - Victime D'amour (Victim of Love)
- Google Analytics Tips, Tricks & Strategy from Higher Ed Live by sethodell, with Seth Meranda
- Gabon - Angele Assele - Amy
- Gabon - Annie Flore Batchiellilys - Je t'Invite
- November Learning Podcast Series, Creating Sustainable Change – An Interview with Jennifer Beine and Andrew Zuckerman
- Gabon - Alexis Abessolo - Ton Public
- MUTEMATH // ODD SOUL - Via Mashable, MuteMath Releases New Track Via Interactive Audio/Visual Remix Board
- Clay Shirky: How cognitive surplus will change the world, Via Noise to Signal http://www.robcottingham.ca/cartoon/archive/brains-and-balance-sheets/
- Gabon - Patience Dabany - Ewawa
- Matthias Rascher, Open Culture, Revisit Havana, the “Paris of the Caribbean,” in the 1930s
- OLPC News, Controlling LEGO WeDo robots via Scratch on an XO laptop
- The Fine Brothers, 7 Harry Potter Movies In 7 Minutes via
- Styx, Mr. Roboto

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Portable Computers, Video, EDUCAUSE, Podcasting, Google, Online Learning, Africa, Audio]

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That Girl in Pink
Benni Cinkle, Website, July 17, 2011.

Benni Cinkle is 'that girl in pink' who danced awkwardly in Rebecca Black's Friday video. What's really interesting is not just her video where she answers questions for the many people who wrote in to ask why she was so awkward and how long was her driveway. It's the website she's set up to convey her fame into good works - as The Awl notes, "she has danced (less awkwardly) with a flash mob for Japan relief, walked for cystic fibrosis, and auctioned her artwork to benefit the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity." But best of all, she has authored a 'book' (actually a three-page PDF) on how to survive the hating that can sometimes accompany online life. She writes, "within a matter of hours, I was singled out in the video for my dancing and publicly humiliated for my lack of talent. Overnight, I was renamed 'That Girl in Pink' and became the target of many cruel comments." She responded with goodness and openness and humour. It's a great lesson, and her book is, I think, a great thing to share.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Books, Video]

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Harry Potter Special: Evaluating Hogwarts Teachers
Annie Condron, TeachHub, July 17, 2011.

We went to see the final instalment of Harry Potter yesterday, a series of books and films with far more depth and sophistication than usually given credit for. This post looks at the teachers of Harry Potter, describing each with a brief paragraph ending with a brief summary of their teaching style. There is really only one teacher in all of Hogwarts I could identify with, largely because his greatest lesson was not in what he taught, but in how he lived.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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