OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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December 7, 2011

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S is for Stephen
Ana Cristina Pratas, Mind Mirrors, December 7, 2011.

I was interviewed yesterday on the subject of new technology in research and the difference between 20th and 21st century learning. Some good stuff in here, even if I do say so myself.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Research]

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Buzzing about network graphs
Elizabeth the Thirteenth, Metafilter, December 7, 2011.

According to this post in Metafilter, "A hive plot (slides) is a beautiful and compelling way to visualize multiple, complex networks, without resorting to "hairball" graphs that are often difficult to qualitatively compare and contrast." See the diagram, above. I'm wondering what Tony Hirst would do with hive plots instead of the ubiquitous Twitter clouds.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Twitter, Ubiquitous Internet, Networks, Visualization]

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Many sensors + Imagination = The Internet of Things
Ross Dawson, Trends in the Living Network, December 7, 2011.

I'm running this post mostly for the image, above, as the text isn't that deep. Author Ross Dawson reference his keynote address, but provides us with no slides, audio or transcript, unfortunately. But I can fill in the gaps. The main point is this: sensor networks are poised to immerse us in a sea of data. They will also pose a tremendous infrastructure challenge. Yes, the government will set up monitoring stations to watch traffic, measure floodwaters, and all the rest of it. But the real change happens when the average person begins using sensors like these to tell them, say, that there is a person at the front door, that the washing is done, that the turkey has unacceptable levels of bacteria. It's sometimes called 'the internet of things', but this description looks at the hardware. What will it be like, really? Whomever solves this will invent web 3.0.

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

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Text Messaging and Teenagers: A Review of the Literature
Suzanne Porath, Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, December 7, 2011.

This paper is useful insofar as it surveys quite a bit of work on the use of text-messaging by teens and the potential uses of text-messaging in the classroom. I wish, though, that it had been sharper in its analysis, questioning (for example) whether a study of messages by 10 teenagers in the United Kingdom really showed (as claimed) that "teenagers' texts are not written in an unintelligible teen code," or whether we should really believe that "there were fewer incidents of textish in text messages than in the German-language daily newspapers." Certainly we could agree with the authors that "a thoughtful look at current school and district level policies related to mobile phones is needed" but we would probably not have had to do as much reading to reach this conclusion. Anyhow, this is the bets paper in a pretty light current issue of the Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, just out.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Great Britain]

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Facebook and subscriptions
Dave Winer, Scripting News, December 7, 2011.

As Dave Winer reports, Facebook has launched a 'subscriptions' feature using a button that looks exactly like the RSS button in wide use around the web. The Facebook subscriptions system is part of that 'giant sucking sound' keeping everything in-house rather than distributed across the internet. It's just part of the ongoing effort by Facebook and Google to kill the open internet. But as Winer says, "The answer isn't to stop Facebook, even if you could. The correct response is to use this impetus to get an open solution organized and developed asap so we're not all dependent on Facebook to get the news to people who want to read it." Agreed. More here (though the link was failing this afternoon).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Subscription Services, Google, RSS]

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Exploring open access in higher education: live chat best bits
Eliza Anyangwe, The Guardian, December 7, 2011.

The Guardian presents a bit of a disjointed article on open access by taking the 'best bits' from live chats by experts on the subject. Thus we have Matthew Cockerill from Biomed Central saying "There are many ways to make an open access journal economically viable but a paywall isn't one of them," Steve Carson from MIT's OpenCourseware saying "it forces a discussion of intellectual property and the mission of the university in the dissemination of knowledge with a bit of urgency," and Amber Thomas of JISC saying "we are improving the way repositories work together and nurturing low cost journal platforms."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Patents, Copyrights, Chatrooms, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), Learning Object Repositories, Open Access]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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