OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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September 20, 2011

Open as in... doors, arms, ended?
Martin Weller, The Ed Techie, September 20, 2011.

Martin Weller announces the open access version of his book is is now available online. "This set me thinking," he writes, "I wonder what the open in open access means:
- open as in arms - it is welcoming, friendly even, particularly given the network around it (eg you can twitter me and tell me it's rubbish), it is not a product in a vacuum.
- open as in doors - you are invited in, like an open door policy to look around
- open as in ended - this is not to say I have an ongoing commitment to update it, but that the possibilities of the licence allow it to be open ended in terms of format."
Hm. I can think of a few more varieties of open: 'open sesame' (it's magic), 'open range' (it's populated by cows), 'open fourm' (everybody has an opinion).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Networks, Open Access, Academia]

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What do you think of cooperative learning?
Gary Stager, The Daily Papert, September 20, 2011.

I was drawn to this item by the Papert quote: "I think it’s very bad when students are forced to work in groups. But, when the collaboration comes around naturally, some of the best things happen." Which is essentially my feeling about the subject. But also interesting is the study Stager links to the post, which asserts that "the social component of PBL (problem based learning) is not a critical feature of its effectiveness."

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

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Major Publishers Join Indiana U. Project That Requires Students to Buy E-Textbooks
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 20, 2011.

So do you think universities are doing their students any favours by entering into deals with textbook publishers such that students are required to purchase books from the publishers? No, me neither.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books]

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files/images/britannica_comment.PNG, size: 11387 bytes, type:  image/png
Is the “Obamacare” Individual Mandate Constitutional?
Kermit Roosevelt III, Britannica Blog, September 20, 2011.

What's wrong with the image above? No, it's not my comment - that's just me being opinionated. It's the little drop-down that gives me exactly four commenting options: either with my Facebook ID, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail. I have accounts on precisely two of these four sites, I don't use Facebook to login, and nobody gets to know my Yahoo account. So I can't comment. Requiring that your commenters have some social media account is just wrong, and someone should tell Britannica this. Especially when it has it's authors sign articles with pseudonyms like "Kermit Roosevelt III".

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Yahoo!, Books]

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Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Time
Sean Carroll, Discover, September 20, 2011.

If you think you have a grasp on reality, try messing around with what you know about time. This article may begin with the assertion that "time is real" (others disagree) but it proceeds through a series of unintuitive assertions - that the future is as real as the past, for example, that everybody experiences time differently, that consciousness depends on manipulating time, that complexity comes and goes, and more. Unrelated, but from the same author, see also this post on trusting experts.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Experience]

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Google+ Is Worse Than A Ghost Town, It’s Not Even Haunted
Stowe Boyd, Weblog, September 20, 2011.

It's funny, but I actually use Google+. There's a lot I like about the system. But it may be that I'm an outlier; according to this article people are deserting G+ in droves. I can certainly say that the number of posts is slowing. Here's Dan Reimopld: "Google+ is dead. At worst, in the coming months, it will literally fade away to nothing or exist as Internet plankton." I think it may be premature to declare G+ dead. A lot of this talk is the result of commercial authors complaining about the site's identity policy. But a lot of it has to do with the lack of a data flow either in or out. So I think Google can revive the site by unrolling new features - a proper API, and inducements for the (so-called) influencers.

Update - I wrote the above this morning. By the time this afternoon rolled around, Google had quietly unveiled a proper Google+ search. Hashtags work. So, for example, here's all the #change11 posts people have written on Google+. Robert Scoble writes "the whole thing just changed." And Stefan Svartling observes, "We can now save our searches as new streams, and that means that we can get news that we really want to read easy."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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