OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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November 17, 2011

Stephen Downes, Flickr, November 17, 2011.

Wednesday I went down the coast to Fredrikstad where I toured the 1700s fortress as well as the more modern city centre. The slideshow is especially nice.

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Taxonomy Boot Camp
Various Authors, Website, November 17, 2011.

files/images/Screen_shot_2011-11-17_at_12.23.01_PM.png, size: 63929 bytes, type:  image/png A large number of slide presentations are available form the Taxonomy Bootcamp, a conference of librarians and archivists held October 31 and November 1 in Washington, D.C. One session that caught my eye was 'Hierarchies & Polyhierarchies: Is More Better?" (though I was disappointed by the Intel slides from Sherry Chang ("Solution? Governance")). Gary Carlson's "Avoiding the Autobiographical Taxonomy" had some good laughs (and good examples).

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Openness + Analytics: Khan Academy Follows CMU OLI Toward Next-Gen OER
David Wiley, iterating toward openness, November 17, 2011.

files/images/exercise-dashboard-medium.png, size: 99432 bytes, type:  image/png David Wiley describes how learning analytics are being used to augment open educational resources. "I frequently describe openness and analytics as chocolate and peanut butter," he writes. "Both are tasty individually, but together their synergy is truly remarkable." In this article he summarizes the work by Khan Academy to integrate work researched at Carnegie Mellon. David Hu describes the process: "Conversations with the team led me to conceive of applying machine learning to predict the likelihood of getting the next problem correct, and use that as the basis for a new proficiency model. Basically, if we think you’re more than $t$% likely to get the next problem correct, for some threshold $t$, we’ll say you’re proficient" (note the long comment thread following this post). As Wiley summarizes, "Next generation OER, or whatever you want to call it, is not just about publication. It’s about continuous improvement – that little bundle of philosophies and approaches that has revolutionized just about every large-scale field of endeavor besides education."

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Various Authors, Website, November 17, 2011.

I got this by email: "I would like you to try SyMynd (at symynd.com). SyMynd is taking a different approach to education. Rather than building a LMS, SyMynd is built of social network approach and can be used by any teacher or university in world to create and share course material with your class. Or if you want to teach the world then with one click open your course to entire world for free or for a fee. Any teacher in world can use symynd without university or school adopting it.
Students can access courses from all over the world, and talk to students and teachers everywhere. SyMynd is Facebook for Education. Also see youtube.com/symynd." This is not an endorsement, of course, but the approach is suggestive of many of the things I've wanted to do with LMSs.

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Dreamworks Wants to Animate the Web
Tim Simonite, Technology Review, November 17, 2011.

Maybe Second Life was just ahead of its time? It's tempting to say so when watching the popularity of sites like Minecraft and World of Warcraft. And now, two more indications. The first is an article about Dreamworks's desire to "animate the web." According to the article, "that push will start next year, when DreamWorks will start to spin out its latest 3-D animation technology into the world of the social Web. That technology was developed in concert with Intel." And in the other story, an OpenSim provider is announcing that subscribers will be able to montize their virtual worlds. In their blog, they announce the opening of public worlds and the beginnings of in-world commerce. Both items via James OReilly on Facebook.

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DIY, says 'edupunk' star. Distortion and sell-out, say critics
Sarah Cunnane, Times Higher Education, November 17, 2011.

Good coverage of the debate between the people who created 'edupunk' and the author who appropriated the term, changed the meaning, and published sme boks based on the homogenized version of the concept. Did I mention I'm one of the 'critics' cited in the title?

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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