OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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September 23, 2011

Education Experiment Ends
Miguel Guhlin, Around the Corner, September 23, 2011.

The question is enticing: "Can educators in the 21st Century be content experts, but media illiterate  and still be relevant?" And ther's a good discussion of the importance of media literacy that follows, with clips from the new media literacies and the meaning of literacy in the 21st century. But for all that, do we have a handle on what media literacy is, yet? I don't think we do - it's not just about not believing the experts (though it's certainly that) but also the wider set of communicative capacities needed in a dynamic multimedia environment. Ah, but who listens to me on this?

[Link] [Comment][Tags: New Media]

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Facebook Changes Again: Everything You Need To Know
Chris Taylor, Mashable, September 23, 2011.

Everything you need to know about the new Facebook:
- You’re going to get a Timeline — a scrapbook of your life.
- You don’t have to just Like something — now you can [verb] any [noun].
- Facebook apps need only ask permission once to share stories on your behalf.
- All “lightweight” information is going to the Ticker.
- You can watch TV and movies, listen to music, and read news with your friends — all within Facebook.
- Facebook has more users and more engagement than ever.
It's not that Facebook is trying to kill privacy - it's that it's trying to privatize it. I really really don't like the idea of web content being only available in Facebook (see below) and I don't like the idea of my lifestream being poured into Facebook. I'm getting close to shutting it down. See also Audrey Watters, who writes, "I think it’s clear that Facebook will be a force to be reckoned with in the future of student’s online learning efforts, whether we decide to let it into the schools or not."

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

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The Closing of LearnCentral.org
Steve Hargadon, Weblog, September 23, 2011.

files/images/LearnCentral_LogoSimple.jpg, size: 5004 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Blackboard - which has been getting some bad publicity lately (here and here) - has announced that it's shutting down the LearnCentral community. Steve Hargadon, a stalwart with the community, reports, "As you can imagine, this is a tough day for all of us who've been involved with LearnCentral.... As we all know, not every Web project succeeds, but you helped to explore the exciting combination of what we liked to call the "LC3:" a social network for educators, a personalized repository for collecting and sharing educational resources, and synchronous meeting capability." He says it was "the right decision" though I have to wonder. And what does Blackboard mean when it says "we will be focusing our community networking efforts on established and dedicated sites geared towards educators, such as wecollaborate.com, Classroom 2.0, EdWeb, etc."?

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Personalization, Project Based Learning, Blackboard Inc., Networks, Learning Object Repositories]

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Canada’s universities: The new Pier 21
Robert Campbell, AUCC - The University Commons, September 23, 2011.

Interesting statement about the central role of Canadian universities. "We should demonstrate community and social results, providing students with stepping stones for next steps, whether grad or professional schools, community engagement, employability, or research/knowledge – tracking, measuring, evaluating, and communicating this to our publics. This is our story: we recruit, teach, and train young talent; we produce knowledge; we create opportunities and benefit the community; we are the site for major public discussions." All this, an a funnel too. I'm sure he meant well, but the message still comes across as: "We are your judges, listen to us."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Research, Canada]

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Why Conservatives are Worried about a Growing Gap
Armine Yalnizyan, national Post / Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, September 23, 2011.

When even the National Post admits there's a problem with income inequality, maybe something will finally be done about it. "Rising inequality, in good times and bad, makes it increasingly feel like the game is rigged, destabilizing foundational values and expectations." This is exactly right. "A system that lets a small group gain more while the majority is forced to settle for less, despite ever-greater effort, is a prescription for trouble. No one knows the tipping point, but lock enough people out of the promise of gains and at some point, instead of stability and growth, you get social unrest."

Related, and more on the topic of education, Kelli McGraw writes, "There is no excuse for sustaining a system that provides some children with tennis courts, cricket pitches and drama theatres, when teachers at other local schools are penny-pinching to buy more whiteboard markers... It is disturbing to see people speaking in hushed tones around the issue of the Gonski Review, seemingly frightened to suggest that IT’S NOT ALRIGHT for some families to buy their way into status and social advantage."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Gaming]

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The Closed Web
Antonio Vantaggiato, Skate of the web , September 23, 2011.

"The Closed Web is here," writes Antonio Vantaggiato. Not that it's irreversible, and not that people aren't trying to keep the web open. But we can see the closed web on the horizon, and it wants us. "Scoble... loves a new Social Newsreader app from the Washington Post.... I go and see the video, and read the post, and understand. It is an app that sits on Facebook. That is, you can use the WaPo app *only* within Facebook."

"This is the worst a publisher can do, and I do hope the experiment fails. Sincerely. We were so happy with the (Open) Web. In it, a dream was made true. The dream of sharing without limits, without needs of proprietary software or hardware. Faced with an abysmal crisis, newspaper publishers are choosing the only road they know: that of closure, without recognizing the potential of the open." You know, it's only a short step from the closed web to the sort of web reserved only for the "man of means" - and which, like Harvard or Yale, is a prerequisite to any expectation of having any sort of impact in life.

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

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Schools for Tomorrow
Various Authors, New York Times, September 23, 2011.

I've spent a couple hours this morning listening to panel discussions from yesterday's New York Times Schools for Tomorrow conference. The conversation is very high level and - if I may say - empty. The moderators talk far too much, acting more as television interviewers than hosts, interjecting their own views and dominating the discussion. Huffington Post review and summary of the Summers talk.

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

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Ed Radio Show Notes, September 23, 2011

- The Jezabels
- Rob Watson media, Square Mile Launch, DemonFM Outside Broadcast
- Travels with Sheila, How to Make Papyrus Paper, Cairo, Egypt via Vicki Davis
- Andrew Flewelling, A Grace of Silence
- Letting students run their own school within a school! The Independent Project via Eric A. Tremblay
- The girl who silenced the world for five minutes
- You Ain't No Picasso, The Moor: “Warm Winter” & “You’ll See”
- LINE Communications, iPad for the UK Army
- Horst Jens interview with Jonathan Ragot on OLPC News
- New York Times Future of Education conference

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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