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September 8, 2011

The MOOC Guide
Stephen Downes, Google Sites, September 8, 2011.

I have set up a Google site to author an handbook and guide to creating Massive Open Online courses. The guide is partially descriptive, partially normative. It is structured as a history of the MOOC, each chapter describing a pioneering MOOC or formative influence. I am opening up authorship of the book, and asking people who had experiences with MOOCs to contribute their stories, suggestions and resources. Just send me an email requesting edit access and I'll give you edit permission. Anybody can view the book in progress at the website, no login required.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Google, Experience]

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JSTOR Opens Access to Its Early Journal Content (Thanks, Aaron Swartz)
Audrey Watters, Hack Education, September 8, 2011.

files/images/jstor.jpg, size: 15274 bytes, type:  image/jpeg "Thanks, Aaron Swartz," writes Audrey Watters as JSTOR announces that it will open access to the academic journals in its library that are public domain (Aaron Swartz was arrested for attempting to download these public domain materials - coverage here and here). The Chronicle also covers the story, citing a JSTOR representative as saying this had nothing to do with Swartz (yeah, right, they were just accidentally enclosing public domain content all along and just happened to realize that maybe the content belonged to everyone, not just them). "We are taking this step as part of our continuous effort to provide the widest possible access to the content on JSTOR while ensuring the long-term preservation of this important material," Ms. Brown wrote. "We considered whether to delay or accelerate this action, largely out of concern that people might draw incorrect conclusions about our motivations."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Academic Journals, Open Access, Academia, Academic Publications]

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Free eBook on Learning Strategies
Ellen Behrens, aLearning Blog, September 8, 2011.

This post is worth a read just for the summary of Elliott Masie's "fundamental principles that hold in strategy after strategy in public and private sector organizations all over the world":
- strategy requires a complex process of deep thinking about the role of learning
- strategy develops the learning culture within the organization
- It is oriented toward action and requires visible outcomes
- Your learning strategy must be unique to your organization
- A learning strategy is about innovation
The post also contains some solid discussion from a half dozen learning leaders in corporate and government environments, and an extraction of some common threads woven through the case studies. Oh, and if you want, you can also read the Masie ebook.

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

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files/images/action_mapping_thumb.png, size: 28285 bytes, type:  image/png
Cathy Moore on Saving the World from Boring eLearning
Cammy Bean, Cammy Bean's Learning Visions, September 8, 2011.

Interview with Cathy Moore and introduction to the concept of 'action mapping'. You end up with documents that look like concept maps, but they depict goals, actions people need to take to reach the goal, and information they need to achieve the goal. Natural extension that come to mind are resources that need to be in place and subgoals and targets. It's not a replacement for a Gantt Chart. "Action Mapping is a way to brainstorm the activities. Then you can use whatever delivery format works best for those activities – could be face to face or online. Ideally, what we end up designing feels like a series of activities rather than an information dump."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Visualization]

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DTLT Today
Jim Groom et.al., Website, September 8, 2011.

Something to add to your RSS aggregator: "DTLT Today is a daily show covering all things 'edtech' at the University of Mary Washington, DTLT, and beyond. Hosted by Jim Groom, Tim Owens, Andy Rush, Martha Burtis, and an assortment of guests, it’s a hodgepodge of tech geekery, social commentary, and what Jim likes to call 'big thinking'. Join us each day for 15 minutes as we unravel the news of the day in a way only DTLT can." Not sure I can wrap my mind around Jim Groom and 'big thinking' in the same sentence ;) but the show is definitely worth a watch.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: RSS]

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Why #Connectivism is not a Learning Theory
Glen Cochrane, A Point of Contact, September 8, 2011.

The core of the argument is that that "Connections need to be driven by structure and intent in order for Educators to be able to grow, develop and describe successful networks... Taking into account the approximate quality of intentional learning, and the representation needed to interpret this learning into distinct educational networks, Connectivism is best situated to concern itself with the quality of access to distributed knowledge, not with how learners learn." The post is well argued and should certainly be considered for a response.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, Networks, Quality]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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