OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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January 26, 2012

Anonymous Commenting Fixed
I have finally tracked down and fixed a very annoying bug that was preventing people from being able to comment on posts anonymously. So now you will no longer need to be logged on in order to post comments.

Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2012
Stephen Downes and George Siemens, CCK12, January 26, 2012.

For those of you who never had the opportunity, or those of you who want to relive the dream, George Siemens and I are offering yet another iteration - our fourth! - of Connectivism and Connective Knowledge. This has been the smoothest launch of the gRSShoper technology yet (and it has been equally smooth for our sister course, Learning Analytics). Our first live online session is tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern - more information here and if you want you can sign up here. So we're looking forward to welcoming you whether you're an old hand or brand new to the process.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, Branding, RSS]

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Video of an XO-1.75 Directly Running Off a 10W Solar Panel
Christoph Derndorfer, OLPC News, January 26, 2012.

As the title suggests, this is a video showing an OLPC computer running directly off a solar panel. They suggest it might be the first computer able to run directly off a solar panel. The process is demonstrated with a 10 watt solar panel. In case you're wondering (I was) a 10 watt solar panel costs between $50 - $150. As can be seen here. And they make a good argument in the video about why they're still producing computers when tablets are so cheap now - they are pushing the envelop on power usage and screens that can be used in bright sunlight. Good points, both. Oh, and just for contract, it takes around 80 watts to power a MacBook Pro.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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‘Open space rewards consensus and punishes dissent’
jenny Mackness, Jenny Connected, January 26, 2012.

Interesting commentary about open spaces and dissent, following from some of Dave Snowden's comments in #Change11. As an aside - I don't get where this view that I have some kind of authority comes from. I have no authority. My academic credentials are from another field, and are inadequate anyways. I supervise zero people. I don't issue grades, pass or fail people, or impact their career prospects in any way. In theory I could maybe block some people from using one of my websites, but in practice I don't, and a determined person could probably get around any sanctions I would apply. The only authority whatsoever that I have comes from the weight of my words - and even then, I frequently remind people to disregard them, to weight their own opinions, and write their own words (preferably on their own website outside my scope and control). All this is in its own way a good thing. Because to the extent that I am in a position to punish dissent, I am weakened.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Assessment, Academia]

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Use Appointment Slots on a Google Calendar
Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, January 26, 2012.

There's a whole world in calendar technology that lies just outside my grasp. It's a world where when you set repeat events your .iCal reader knows to schedule them at the right time on the right day. Or it's a world where in Google Calendar you can set up appointment slots that other people using other calendars can fill by making their own bookings. I've done just enough calendar programming to know that there must be such a things as a calendar guru, and that I'm not one. If anyone knows a really good in-depth introduction to the elements of calendaring, I would be very interested.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google]

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Charts: Education Publishing Much Bigger Than You Think
Alexander Russo, This Week in Education, January 26, 2012.

Alexander Russo puts things into perspective: "Still trying to digest Apple's recently-announced foray into the textbook market? The education textbook business is big, notes Wired -- much bigger than most people understand. The biggest education publishers in the world -- Pearson, Reed Elsevier, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Thomson Reuters -- are most of them much bigger than the better-known book publishers like Random House or Penguin (owned by Pearson). They're bigger than AOL or the New York Times company. Only multi-platform companies like News Corp and Amazon have bigger revenue or profits, according to the piece. Scholastic, which sponsors this blog, comes in at number 10. "

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Thomson Corporation, Books, Web Logs, Online Learning]

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Photography for Elearning Developers - Why shooting in RAW makes sense
Sumeet Moghe, The Learning Generalist, January 26, 2012.

OK, I admit it. When I shoot digital photographs, I shoot in JPG. Not RAW, I don't even know what RAW is, nor what to do with it. All I know is the files are really big, and I have to do stuff with them. But now, maybe, after reading this article, all that will change. "The problem is that the JPEG file is just a snapshot of a moment in time - nothing more, nothing less. It doesn't capture any information about the light available for you to be able to make changes to the exposure of the scene or the colours without actually deteriorating the quality of your image. So each change that you make from the time that you start editing your JPEG file results in some loss in quality."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Image Software, Quality]

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Online CS courses: What does it mean, “willing to put in the effort”?
Mark Guzdial, Computing Education Blog, January 26, 2012.

Interesting question. David Evans describes the online course process as, "anyone who is willing to put in the effort will be able." Mark Guzdial asks, "What does it mean, 'willing to put in the effort'? ... How do you measure effort? I’m seriously wondering — what does it mean to put in 'enough' effort? Are we measuring cognition, or time, or somehow 'mental pain'? If you don’t have the prior knowledge, and have to go read lots of background literature, is that part of 'enough' effort? Is effort measured in terms of time-on-task? If we don’t know how to measure 'effort,' how do we know if our class is demanding too much 'effort'?" He makes a good point. It's like saying "You will succeed if you have faith" - a statement that is followed by explaining "You failed because you didn't have enough faith."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses]

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What does iBooks mean for the eBook/eTextbook industry?
Christopher Dawson, ZD Net, January 26, 2012.

A good reality check: "you can’t really say that you’re going to “change everything” when it comes to textbooks and announce that your partners are the 3 companies who already control 90% of the textbook market." That's Christopher Dawson quoting Audrey Watters.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Paradigm Shift]

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One policy, one Google experience
Various Authors, Google, January 26, 2012.

If you use Google you probably received a notice from the company annopuncing a new unified privacy policy covering all its services. It's a good idea, and Google has gone the extra mile in explaining and documenting the policy. Is it believable? It's hard to say, but there are no prima facie reasons to doubt what has been written.

Related is this report on 'Google Takeout', a tool to export your user data from Google services. But note that this is an export, not a way to access your content from other services. It drops the whole pile in one big .zip bundle, throwing up password checks along the way to discourage automated retrieval. What do I want? Simple - RSS in, RSS out. Let me put data in and out of the services as easily as that.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google, Experience, Privacy Issues]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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