OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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September 9, 2011

The paradox of openness: in, against and beyond business-as-usual
Richard Hall, DMU Learning Exchanges, September 8, 2011.

This is basically what I argued at the OERu online planning session, though not nearly so eloquently: "we might reveal a paradox of 'open': namely that its very enclosure within business-as-usual, and our inability to think the unthinkable and step beyond it, is too often what is closes its practices to us." I have argued vehemently (PDF) against the enclosure of the open over the years (even using the word 'enclosure').

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources]

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Kids don’t play games for fun, but to tune their thinking
Dean Groom, Design for Learning, September 8, 2011.

In our connectivist courses there' always this 'pull' back toward traditional academia, and often what we are doing is interpreted through that lens. I'd much rather think of it more widely. Like Marc LeBlanc's "Eight kinds of fun":

"Playing the game is a sensation (finding pleasure in learning), fantasy (it’s make believe), narrative (the world has an unfolding story), challenge (there’s always something to overcome), fellowship (the game provides a social framework), discovery (living the game is unchartered territory), expression (the game gives kids a soap box) and submission (passing time)."

If a MOOC provides these eight dimensions of fun, then it has been successful. But if it falls back onto traditional ways of thinking and values - "about text and sharing links about knowledge" - then they are failing to live up to their potential. I will always support the playing of games, of immersive activities, or building robots, to support learning, and I'd like to see MOOCs become more like games - and more like (as Dave Cormier says) drumming circles, and less like college and university courses.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Gaming, Push versus Pull, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services, Academia]

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Begging Support for Feed2JS
Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, September 8, 2011.

I pay for hosting too (this website is hosted by me, privately, and not subsidized by any agency or employer), I know that it's an ongoing cost, and so I am more inclined than most to pass along Alan Levine's plea for support for hosting costs for his widely useful (and used) feed2JS service. P.S. in case you were wondering, it costs me $125 a month to host OLDaily (and also mooc.ca which I run on the same site), with another $25 for Ed Radio, and this comes out of my own pocket. Not that I'm asking for money. But this is what it costs to handle the traffic and offer the service free of advertising and managing of the message that would otherwise come as a cost of the hosting.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Marketing]

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DIY U: Getting Started With Self-Learning
Alison Cole, DIYU, September 8, 2011.

As I watch the discussions around OERu and this DIY learning activity at P2U, I realize that we are engaged in the "open education race", somewhat like the Space Race, loosely pitting traditional institutions against corporate interests, with various other interest groups playing various roles. This is a positive development, because it means there's actually some pressure on organizations to disrupt the existing model, and to be first to the objective of equitable and accessible education.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Accessibility, Online Learning]

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It’s the Inequality, Stupid
Marc Bousquet, How The University Works, September 8, 2011.

A theme from my talk Wednesday: if you look at societies that are struggling, they are the ones with the greatest disparity between rich and poor, the ones with the most inequality. If you look at societies that are succeeding in every metric, including education, these are the societies that have leveled the playing field. "If you increase workers’ purchasing power, that can create a stronger, more sustainable economy," Liebman told The New York Times. "Some say collective bargaining is antithetical to the economy. I don’t buy that at all. This was a statute that worked. It created the middle class. It created good jobs." Marc Bousquet was somehow allowed to crosspost this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, raising my estimation of that publication.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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“EdTech transmissions: We Control the Vertical and the Horizontal” at Maricopa College
Jim Groom, bavatuesdays , September 8, 2011.

files/images/5730938220_37088da122_m.jpg, size: 24351 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Jim Groom speaking at e-learning pioneer Maricopa College (I remember giving them NAWeb Awards back in the 90s) sounds like a potent mixture. Jim Groom writes, "I focused my talk on a few things: UMW Blogs, Jon Beasley-Murray’s Wikipedia Experiment, and the MOOC (in particular #ds106) as potential examples of change that is currently happening on the higher education landscape... What was cool about my freeform discussion of ds106 is that it marks one of the few times where the kernel of an idea emerged within a talk for me that went on to become something that I actually implemented and thought was awesome."

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

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Obituary for Michael Stern Hart
Gregory B. Newby, Project Gutenberg, September 7, 2011.

files/images/img4787d36d15a7471cb576966276311b43.jpg, size: 1895 bytes, type:  image/jpeg "Hart was best known for his 1971 invention of electronic books, or eBooks. He founded Project Gutenberg, which is recognized as one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects.... In July 2011, Michael wrote these words, which summarize his goals and his lasting legacy: 'One thing about eBooks that most people haven't thought much is that eBooks are the very first thing that we're all able to have as much as we want other than air. Think about that for a moment and you realize we are in the right job.'" His work lives on not only in Project Gutenberg, but in this blog, and in the lives and work of the millions of other contributors to the public internet whom he has inspired.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Web Logs]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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