OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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November 7, 2011

Women bloggers call for a stop to 'hateful' trolling by misogynist men
Vanessa Thorpe and Richard Rogers, The Guardian / The Observer, November 7, 2011.

files/images/Laurie-Penny-007.jpg, size: 14139 bytes, type:  image/jpeg I wonder whether I would be able to write forceful and opinionated posts online like this if I were a woman. Certainly I would need to develop much better filters, as from all accounts (and to my own observation) there is a widespread and pervasive attack-commentary that plagues women writers. The intent isn't to criticize. As the Guardian author writes, "It's a complete violation and it's meant to shut the people up. It's hateful and it raises the question, what do these men, or the people who are doing this, find so threatening?" I'm not so sure it has to do with being in some way uniquely threatened. I think the misogyny has its origin in the tacit permission given for such conduct in mass media. People's attitudes toward women do not arise from nowhere; they are shaped by the dominant conversation, and much of this is shaped by media messaging, where the diminution of women for political purposes and to sell products. This does not excuse the behaviour, which should be shut down when encountered, but it points to the need for a more comprehensive solution, one which addresses the propagation of hate in traditional mass media.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Web Logs]

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The elements of e-assessment
Sophie White, Association for Learning Technology, November 7, 2011.

There has been talk recently of badges and online credentials in higher education, but the name that may emerge as the winner in the long run is OCR - Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations. This is a British organization that has been working with schools to develop and distribute online materials in support of its widely used testing service. "Every year," as Sophie White writes, "more than three million students gain OCR qualifications." The service is divided into several components: Interchange, a secure portal for all exam related information; scoris assessor, an online paper marking system; Active Results, a scores analytics system; free A-level textbooks for schools involved in the program; and some pilot programs in e-testing. As usual, there's no 'secret sauce' that makes this all work; the keep is in the deployment of a set of related and appropriate technologies to a willing target market.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Great Britain, Portals, Assessment, Tests and Testing]

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What Can We Learn From Stanford University’s Free Online Computer Science Courses?
Seb Schmoller, Association for Learning Technology, November 7, 2011.

files/images/stanford-feature-250x180.jpg, size: 13493 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Though numbers have declined dramatically from last summer's peak of enthusiasm for Stanford's massive Artificial Intelligence course, membership is still large enough to crash servers and there is still a great deal of enthusiasm for the work. Seb Schmoller looks at what can be learned from the course so far in this article. What's interesting is how personal the courses seem to be, even though the scale by definition precludes any great measure of personal interaction. "If the AI course is anything to go by, what Stanford University has solved, with its short quirky and quiz-laden videos, is a way to give learners the feeling that they are receiving personal tuition, with plenty of scope alongside this for peer interaction." It's like a blend of the best from Khan Academy with our MOOCs. Schmoller writes, "the underlying model feels right; what is more, it feels replicable for different academic levels and for different disciplines." But can other institutions get the numbers to make the courses work?

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Interaction, Video, Membership, Tuition and Student Fees, Academia]

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Social Media Cyborg
L.M. Orchard, 0xDECAFBAD, November 7, 2011.

files/images/social-media-cyborg.png, size: 109962 bytes, type:  image/png I wrote about the service called IFTTT (If This Then That) last July. With the gradual but dramatic expansion of its capabilities it is beginning to get some wider traction. L.M. Orchard has set up a veritable maze of connections between his various services, ensuring that content published one place appears throughout his network. What's important, he writes, is that "I am at the center of these connections. I don't live entirely on any single service, and anything I care about is archived where I can easily grab it for backups or mashups. Should any particular service node in this web fail, I can probably do without, find an alternative, or build one myself." And eventually, the goal is to self-host this maze of connections, "to eventually replace as many of these nodes as possible with self-hosted or at least Open Source derived services."

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

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E-Book, In-House
Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, November 7, 2011.

The American Public University System has announced the launch of a new in-house publishing service that will allow it to distribute textbooks to its 85,000 students for free. The textbooks will be written by university staff and distributed digitally. According to this Inside Higher Ed article, critics are concerned about the quality of the planned works, and ownership of online materials created by faculty. But according to university staff, contents will be well-vetted, and faculty will be well compensated. And it may, according to the article, be part of a wider trend where "scholarship now can be easily packaged and disseminated, which has led to 'increasing pressure on faculty to assign their rights to the institution.'"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, United States, Quality]

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Going online way forward for education says Gordon Brown
Donald Clark, Plan B, November 6, 2011.

Coverage of a talk by Gordon Brown at the recent World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) conference in Doha, Qatar. Blogger Donald Clark was enthused by the talk, which he called "a brilliant analysis of global education and poverty that captivated the audience and gave the summit wings." I would imagine my own views accord with Browns on the need to take action on child policy and education, but I think I may have less faith in the capability of the leadership at the top to deliver. And when he says things like "I want all the technology companies, the Microsofts, the Apples, the Facebooks, the Googles to be involved in this project," I am more likely to favour a more democratic and grass-roots approach and to simply tell the large companies to support the work by paying their taxes. I looked for video of the talk, and from the conference generally, but resources were few, such as this canned set of interviews of keynote speakers.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Microsoft, Project Based Learning, Video, Leadership, Google, Blogger]

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Ed Radio Show Notes, November 7, 2011

- Ericsson - Networked Society 'On the Brink'
- How to stream & record Google+ Hangouts
- Charlie Schmidt's Keyboard Cat! - THE ORIGINAL!

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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