OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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August 4, 2011

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Innovation in Education: Where is the 21st Century University?
Unattributed, Innovation in Education, August 1, 2011.

If your missing me (I've been on vacation the last few days) try this video as an alternative. "On the heals of a highly successful eduTweetup Boston, Emerson‘s Mike Petroff joins the program to discuss innovation in education. Spotlighting many of the same examples showcased at the Friday tweetup event, the show looks at real world examples of success in the market today. From social media’s role in student success, to opencourseware and new in-class educational models, the show discusses what works, why and how to scale it. "

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Twitter, Video]

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gRSShopper 0.3 Pre-Release Release
Stephen Downes, gRSShopper, August 1, 2011.

OK, just before I take off for a month's vacation, here's a brand-new release of gRSShopper code (I haven't even updated the site yet, and won't have a chance until I get back, so this is the only place to get it). It's the same basic gRSShopper, except the harvester is much better, picking up dozens of tags and modules not accessible by other aggregators. Also, I've written an installer. Yes, a freaking installer! Which works in testing!

So, if you want to try gRSShopper, do the following:
- get a website, note the domain, and get a MySQL database, note the database name, user and password.
- get the gRSShopper code grsshopper3.tar.gz and place it in your CGI directory on your website (the .tar file will expand into a bunch of files - put the files in your CGI directory, don't create a separate grsshopper3 subdirectory)
- edit the top section of grsshopper.cgi and enter the site URL and database information (also edit data/default.site with the same information if you want; the site will be microseconds faster)
- run cgi/admin.cgi -- the site will auto-install. Scroll to the borrom of the page, click on the link, which will take you to an 'Error - Login' screen. Login with userID Admin password Admin
- customize to taste. Actual help information when I get back. :)

p.s. the [Login] [Register] Javascript links on the admin pages are broken, ignore them or fix to taste.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Accessibility, Customization, RSS, Tests and Testing]

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What is code? A conversation with Deleuze, Guattari and code
David M. Berry & Jo Pawlik, Kritikos, July 31, 2011.

I work and think in code a lot, and while to professional programmers I may be a dabbler, being able to write programs that do things for me allows me to see the world in a different way. But what is code? "Code is described as many things: it is a cultural logic, a machinic operation or a process that is unfolding. It is becoming, today's hegemonic metaphor; inspiring quasi-semiotic investigations within cultural and artistic practice... it has become a narrative, a genre, a structural feature of contemporary society, an architecture for our technologically controlled societies (e.g. Lessig) and a tool of technocracy and of capitalism and law (Ellul/Winner/Feenberg). It is both metaphor and reality, it serves as a translation between different discourses and spheres, DNA code, computer code, code as law, cultural code, aristocratic code, encrypted code (Latour)." It is all of these, and yet none of these. I'm really hesitant to read too much into code - much of its mysticism, to me, derives from the power those who code wield over those who cannot, and as such, is a mysticism easily dissolved though education. Like most mysticisms.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Universal design for learning
KerryJ, KerryJ's Neotenous Tech, July 31, 2011.

Nice post highlighting the advantages of accessible learning (also, dig the nifty presentation pack on her about page). It should show us that we need to design for diversity generally. "We make assumptions that all people who are ‘normal’ have brains that function in pretty much the same way when doing certain tasks. Yet research shows that multiple areas of the brain fire up when doing tasks and the degree to which particular areas fire up varies like a thumbprint." This means looking at the different aspects of the educational experience and thinking about how to serve diverse needs. See also David Rose's presentation, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) .

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Accessibility, Research, Experience, Online Learning]

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Periodic table of videos
Derek Wenmoth, Derek’s Blog, July 31, 2011.

This is a neat idea, but I don't think it goes beyond that. Basically (as you can see from the illustration) it's a periodic table of the elements expressed as a set of QR codes. Presumably, when you scan the code with your mobile, you view a video about that element. It would have been nice were there links to the videos behind the images, but it's not happening on the Flickr photos (though if you dig around you can find the periodic videos website and project pages, which are definitely worth a visit). Anyhow, it all made me think of an analogy. The periodic table, as composed of QR codes, is just gibberish to me. And in exactly the same way, the periodic table, as traditionally displayed on classroom walls, can be so much gibberish to students - just so many coded numbers and letters, without context.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Flickr, Project Based Learning, Video]

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Various Authors, Website, July 31, 2011.

This is interesting. "Talkwheel creates a visual roundtable collaboration platform to allow groups in enterprises, e-learning and social networks to interact more effectively than anywhere else online."

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

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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