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September 27, 2011

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Google in Education and Chromebooks (Sept 2011)
Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, September 27, 2011.

Wesley Fryer has summarized quite well a number of the talks from the Google Geo-Teacher Institute in Lewiston, Maine (just a few hours down the road from me!). "125 million education users now for Google Apps for education," he notes. It's hard to overstate the impact Google has had in this space. I use it every day - for calendaring, to keep track of MOOC statistics, to author documents and sites, to read my RSS feeds, and (once in a while) to search. Here are Fryer's summaries:
- A Real Tipping Point? Vision for Individualized Learning in Maine
- This is a big map! (Giant Traveling Maps from National Geographic)
- The Fourth Part of the World by Toby Lester
- Giant Traveling Maps project from National Geographic
- Digitizing Student Portfolios with an iPod Touch [video]

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google Chrome, Apple Inc., Project Based Learning, Video, Podcasting, Google, RSS]

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This Is The New Delicious
Unattributed, Edudemic, September 27, 2011.

files/images/Screen-shot-2011-09-27-at-1.50.17-PM-285x175.png, size: 82896 bytes, type:  image/png Delicious.com - originally del.icio.us - used to be a great social bookmarking site. It was the original home of hashtags. Then it was purchased by Yahoo and left to languish. People forgot about it. Then Yahoo decided they didn't want to run it any more. They sold it to YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who made the site over. Now, as this article suggests, it looks beautiful. They've introduced 'stacks', "a collection of links built around a common theme." Stacks are, says Richard Byrne, "essentially multimedia previews of links that you have organized according to the tags you assigned to them." And Tony Hirst remarks, "Suddenly, it seems like 2005 again…"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Yahoo!, YouTube, Video, del.icio.us]

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Stimulating reflection through engagement in social relationships
Kamakshi Rajagopal, Steven Verjans, Jan Van Bruggen, and Peter Sloep, Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Awareness and Reflection in Learning Networks, September 27, 2011.

files/images/intercultural_communication.PNG, size: 303164 bytes, type:  image/png Good article, well written. I have said in the past, "To teach is to model and demonstrate; to learn is to practice and reflect." Too little is said about the last part of that, the reflection. This article addresses that need. It argues that social interactions with others assist in the reflection process. "Such interactions can create the setting for misunderstandings, needing clarification and explanation, and consequently leading to situations where learning can take place. The resulting dialogues creates a possibility for negotiation of common ground between the speakers."

But not all social interactions create the conditions for learning (one needs think only of flaming and bullying, for example). Some important things need to be in place:
- there needs to be sufficient and relevant differences
- the environment must allow these differences to be explored
- dialogue partners need to trust each other
- they also need the skills to express themselves
The article also explores the technical considerations for tools intended to promote this interaction: they need to scaffold the needed behaviour, enable observation of the behaviour, provide instruments for self-assessment, and provide user control over the artifacts. Via. Here is the direct link to the PDF. Here is the Handle link (which will probably break first).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Interaction, Bullying, Online Learning]

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Invisible Learning, Aprendizaje Invisible
Mitch Weisburgh, PILOTed, September 27, 2011.

files/images/4045460273_dd693fb47d_m.jpg, size: 50331 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Mitch Weisburgh provides a useful English summary of the recently released - in Spanish - book Invisible Learning. The focus of the book is a necessary examination of the learning that takes place outside schools, the 'invisible learning'. "Whatever they are doing, they are learning, but what and how they are learning is invisible to the formal education system. There is thus a whole new environment of learning outside of formal education, including through social networks, games, and searching, with students playing, discussing, finding, and sharing information. The question is not, 'Are they learning on the Internet?' It’s 'what are they learning?'"

files/images/4045460273_dd693fb47d_m.jpg, size: 50331 bytes, type:  image/jpeg As Weisburgh explains, The book explores the roots of what makes learning invisible:
- schools are not adapting the technologies that students are using
- students are doing much more advanced tasks in non-school environments
- the skills and capacities acquired different
- these skills are not being explicitly taught
- many of the competencies learned are not tested
- lack of attention by those in the educational system
These are all great points. It may be students know less math today than in the 1970s, but I have to wonder how much programming (say), web design and videography the 1970s students knew.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Books, Video, Networks, Online Learning]

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Son of Nicecasting Tutorial: Now With Voiceover
Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, September 27, 2011.

When I'm on the road, I use my Macbook to send audio webcasts to Ed Radio, and it is, frankly, a bit hit and miss. With some luck, this tutorial, along with the preceding tome, will make it more hit and less miss.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Apple Inc., Audio]

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Did you know about DSPACE and PANDORA?
Judy O’Connell, HeyJude, September 27, 2011.

This is a quick post that updates readers on the DSpace and Pandora initiatives. The former is a type of open source repository software institutions can use to manage their digital resources. The latter is an Australian implementation, "Australia’s Web Archive, which is a growing collection of Australian online publications, established initially by the National Library of Australia in 1996, and now built in collaboration with nine other Australian libraries and cultural collecting organisations. The name, PANDORA, is an acronym that encapsulates our mission: Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Source, Australia, Learning Object Repositories, Academic Publications]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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