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February 24, 2012

Facilitating a Massive Open Online Course
Stephen Downes, February 24, 2012, IMU-LS, Kuala Lumpur, online, via WizIQ

In this (nearly 2 hour online) talk Stephen Downes, one of the originators of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) format, described the organization and management of a MOOC, beginning with the arrangement of technology, organization of learning materials, communications with students, support tasks, and interaction with guest presenters. This talk is based on fifteen years’ experience designing and delivering web-based instruction, as well as knowledge amassed though the delivery of six MOOCs to almost ten thousand students since 2008.

[Link] [Slides] [Audio]

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files/images/Robert_Lindberg.PNG, size: 307278 bytes, type:  image/png
Scientific Method versus Engineering Design
Unattributed, Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, February 24, 2012.

This is an interesting thought - though students are taught the scientific method, they learn rather less of the methodology of the other half of STEM - engineering and design. This video suggests "a new way to introduce engineering into the K-12 curriculum by exploring the distinctions between science and engineering; between the natural world and the designed world; and between the scientific method and the engineering design process." From another perspective, it's interesting that in my experience a great deal of discord occurs when managers attempt to employ scientists as though they were engineers. "The Scientific Process involves exploring the unknown to come up with correct answers.... 'So where does an engineer start?' he asks. 'An engineer starts in an entirely different place. An engineer starts with a societal need. Absent a societal need, an engineer has nothing to do.' A scientist, on the other hand, can live in the natural world, exploring, without being expected to create new systems or solve societal needs." Interesting. A useful distinction.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Experience]

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New Global OER logo
Jonathas Mello, UNESCO / WSIS, February 24, 2012.

files/images/OER_Logo.jpg, size: 8450 bytes, type:  image/jpeg UNESCO has taken it upon itself to design a new OER (Open Educational Resource) logo, pictured here. "The new design creates a common global visual idea, representing "subtle and explicit representations of the subjects and goals of OER". The half-circle shape calls on the idea of a rising sun and upward direction." I don't know, it doesn't do a lot for me. But then again, I'm not sure OERs needed a logo to begin with. But I could be wrong here.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Branding, Open Educational Resources, UNESCO]

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SAP's Bold Move with SuccessFactors: Lots of Work to Do
Josh Bersin, Bersin and Associates, February 24, 2012.

More good reporting from Bersin, which is really on top of this story. "This week SuccessFactors and SAP announced their integration plans. Simply stated, the combined companies plan to move all their strategic talent management investments from SAP HCM and Business ByDesign into SuccessFactors, and build Employee Central (SuccessFactors' central directory product) into its core cloud-based HRMS offering."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Ontologies]

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3 Great Ways to Use Google+ Hangouts to Learn & Connect
Lisa Nielsen, The innovative Educator, February 24, 2012.

I've been working with the use of Google Hangouts to practice French. It works really well, and I like the unpredictable nature of the environment, where just any French-speaking person might join us. We're already calling it a great success. This post describes three uses of Google Hangout to support learning - taking a class, giving a performance, having a conversation. Watch more much more interactive video in the future - the only real limits are bandwidth and the capacity of participants' computers.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Google, Bandwidth]

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How To: Create A Blog. Every. Single. Step.
Heather Edick, Edudemic, February 24, 2012.

I'm sure this video has to be useful in some contexts. So I'm passing it along. "We walk you through the creation of a blog. From start to finish, this 15 minute video is a great way to kickstart that blog you’ve been meaning to start up."

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

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EDUniverse Launches
Doug Gapinski, mStonerblog, February 24, 2012.

Doug Gapinski writes, "Someday you will find me caught beneath the landslide in a champagne supernova in the sky. But until then, you’ll find me and the other members of the mStoner team on our newest site: EDUniverse." The site is intended to be "the best knowledge hub for brand, web, tech, and marketing professionals in higher and secondary education." It's not really my cup of (properly branded and marketed) tea, but if it works for you, enjoy.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Marketing]

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Guide to Using Free Apps to Support Higher Order Thinking Skills
Tony Vincent, Learning in Hand, February 24, 2012.

Well I'm going to pass this along anyways, despite having utterly failed to be able to read it. It's an eBook on supporting higher order thinking skills, and it's abvailable through iTunes. Maybe you'll have more luck - but I doubt it, unless you're using that magical combination of an iTunes account on your computer plus an iPad or iPod, or are using some additional eBook reader like Calibre. Which, frankly, makes no sense at all to me - why can't I read my downloaded book in (expletive deleted) iTunes? Now I don't know what sort of higher order skills Flashcardlet will develop, and frankly, by now, I don't care. I don't see why the World Wide Web, which works perfectly well, can't be used for these new-fangled applications like 'books'.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Apple Inc.]

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Personal Data Vault
Adam Curry, Weblog, February 24, 2012.

I like the phrasing - 'data vault' - and agree that this is an idea whose time has come. It was always a big part of any PLE concept I've tried to advance (it was very hard to explain to people, "no, I want it on the desktop, not in the cloud" ... "but why?" ... "because people should keep their own data" ... "but they can keep it on the web" ... etc. - but the point is, each person should have his or her personal data vault which they can keep at home and access anywhere, so that some company come along and sell all the data to the highest bidder. What would I keep in it, besides music, documents and media? My browsing history, my address book, my financial records, health and education information, to name just a few.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Privacy Issues]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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