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November 21, 2011

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Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop Images
Various Authors, Know Your Memes, November 21, 2011.

Speaking of LOLcats - since the deplorable incident in which students were casually pepper-sprayed by a police officer, web pundits have been expressing their opinions in the richly textured language of LOLcats. Via Mashable.

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Review of New Fordham Digital Learning Papers
Bill Tucker, The Quick and the Ed, November 21, 2011.

Bill Tucker reviews two papers released by the Fordham Institute on the impact of digital media on teaching, Teachers in the Age of Digital Instruction and School Finance in the Digital-Learning Era. The first, he writes, "outlines the varied roles that teachers play, including helping with motivation, social and emotional support, and stretching critical thinking and analytical skills. It concludes that the future is a much more differentiated field, with a smaller number of higher-paid, more empowered teachers acting in teams with a variety of specialized and lower-paid support personnel." Oh hey, that sounds familiar. The second paper "details how current school funding systems conflict with new forms of digital learning that cross school, district, and time boundaries." Via Jesse Moyer.

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Facebook is gaslighting the web. We can fix it.
Anil Dash, Weblog, November 21, 2011.

In my view, both Google and Facebook are trying to replace the open web with their own private networks. They want to do this, I think, because a closed and controlled web is more friendly to advertisers. To do this they must stop people from using the open web, or as Anil Dash says, to "gaslight" the web. He writes, "Facebook has moved from merely being a walled garden into openly attacking its users' ability and willingness to navigate the rest of the web. The evidence that this is true even for sites which embrace Facebook technologies is overwhelming, and the net result is that Facebook is gaslighting users into believing that visiting the web is dangerous or threatening." I'm not so thrilled about Dash's proposed solution, which is to ask "Stop Badware partners such as Google (whose Safe Browsing service is also used by Mozilla and Apple), as well as Microsoft's similar SmartScreen filter, to warn web users when visiting Facebook." Enlisting one giant to help fight another giant simply empowers yet another giant.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Microsoft, Books, Marketing, Google, Networks]

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Taking OER beyond the OER Community; my responses in the online discussions
Anil Prasad, Views, dreams & creative writings..., November 21, 2011.

Anil Prasad shares his responses to recent discussions on OERs hosted by UNESCO. "Taking OER beyond the OER Community is a joint initiative of UNESCO and Commonwealth of Learning (COL)," he writes. "The responses in this blog are related to the queries on the following two themes:- (1) Policy and capacity & (2) What works, what does not and under what conditions?"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Web Logs, UNESCO, Discussion Lists]

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OERU vs Pearsons vs OEU
Leigh Blackall, Weblog, November 21, 2011.

Good post from Leigh Blackall nicely capturing the role and impact of initiatives like OERu. "Places like OERU are potentially important alliances for small to medium sized institutions and private providers who will have to compete with the likes of Pearsons, Google or perhaps even iTunesU, who are clearly moving into this space." A collaboration like OERu creates the sort of scale needed by these smaller institutions in order to access the same sort of attention and market. And as Blackall states, "It's a no-brainer really, and why the formal institutions are so slow to recognise the opportunities here is staggering." Agreed. P.S. Leigh Blackall needs a job - you should hire him.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Google]

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BlogForever Interview
Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, November 21, 2011.

This is an interview of me conducted by Mike Joy for the the BlogForever Consortium, a project co-funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme. An audio version of this interview is available here. The interview explores the idea of creating a permanent archive for blogs.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, European Union, Web Logs, Podcasting, Audio]

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The Sandbox Manifesto: Life, Learning and Success on the Social Web
Angela Maiers, Weblog, November 21, 2011.

I'm not enthused by the wording of some of the points in this manifesto (some of them, like 'sand is for filling buckets', I don't even understand), but I am sympathetic with the intent. Anyhow, here are the points:
1 Sharing is Caring
2 Messy is Gooood!
3 IMAGINATION: your greatest asset
4 Sand is for filling buckets
5 Hugs Help and Smiles Matter!
6 Take it to the Community
7 Strangers are Future Friends
8 Be Remarkable!
9 Here you are the MASTER of your Universe!
10 PLAY is the Work!

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The Widening Academic Achievement Gap Between the Rich and the Poor: New Evidence and Possible Explanations
Sean F. Reardon, Forthcoming in: Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children’s Life Chances, November 20, 2011.

This paper shows not only that income inequality in society is a significant contributing factor to the achievement gap. "The achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is roughly 30 to 40 percent larger among children born in 2001 than among those born twenty-five years earlier. This may become a worsening spiral. "At the same time that family income has become more predictive of children's academic achievement, so have educational attainment and cognitive skills become more predictive of adults' earnings. The combination of these trends creates a feedback mechanism that may decrease intergenerational mobility." Redressing income inequality is an educational imperative, one that can't be papered over simply by firing teachers. Nor is it one that online learning - even in the form of free and open learning - can address all by itself. Motivation matters, and if you can't get ahead no matter what you do, you find other things to do with your life.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Adult Learning, Quality, Online Learning, Academia]

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Khan Academy: Out of the Screen, Into the Physical World
Tina Barseghian, Mind/Shift, November 19, 2011.

files/images/Screen-shot-2011-11-17-at-12.20.33-PM-300x225.png, size: 100245 bytes, type:  image/png I find it interesting that one of the influences of money on Khan Academy is to lead to a model that is much less scalable and much more selective in its enrolments. " Using part of a $5 million grant from the O’Sullivan Foundation, Khan is planning the next iteration of the Khan Academy, which will soon find its place in the physical world. ... it will take place somewhere between Portola Valley and Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley and will not be organized by grade level." Because kids in Silicon Valley are well known for their inability to access educational opportunities. There's a lot I like about Khan Academy - teaching elite classes to select students is something I don't.

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Stanford Opens Seven New Online Courses for Enrollment (Free)
Dan Colman, Open Culture, November 19, 2011.

files/images/stanfordmachinelearning-e1321598903897.png, size: 249649 bytes, type:  image/png Following from their successful Artificial Intelligence course, Stanford will offer seven new courses in January and February. They're open for enrollment today:
Computer Science 101
Software Engineering for SaaS
Human Computer Interfaces
Natural Language Processing
Game Theory
Probabilistic Graphical Models
Machine Learning

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Ed Radio Show Notes, November 21, 2011

This is what we played on Ed Radio today...

- Teachers Teaching Teachers Number 270
- Via Nancy White: David Wilcox captures the amazing and vibrant Jim Diers on asset based community development.
- Rory McGreal, Wayne Macintosh - YouTube video on Assessment and accreditation of OER: An Update
- Rebecca Black - Friday, as performed by Bob Dylan
- James Boyle on three frames for copyright
- How DS106 Changed My Life, by Giulia Forsythe
- via Mike Klonsky, OPD officer discusses viral copwatch video
- What's the ROI of e-learning? Skillsoft video via Helge Sherlund
- COOLCast - Nov. 17, 2011 - Learning in a Time of Abundance - Eric Duval
- John T. Spencer, Shift Happens: From Standardized to Common
- Gary Stager, Deeply Moving Historic Video by CMK 2012 Speaker
- Stephen Downes, CQU short video
- Lecture by Gary Hamel about management for the 21st century, via June Breivik
- Greek protesters clash with riot police units after 17 November commemorations - Video - via Teacher Dude's Bar and Grill
- Teachers Teaching Teachers Number 272 - City as Floor Plan with Ron Link, Andrea Zellner, Mary Ann Reilly, and David Wees
- Alan Levine, My ds106 Addiction
- Jesse Moyer, Edtech’s Ability to Revolutionize Teaching…In a Good Way
- Trevor Eissler "Montessori Madness!" - 321 FastDraw - Via Brain Pickings
- Via Open Culture, Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Decisive Moment
- Reports from Cyberspace at #NCTE2011

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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