OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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March 12, 2012

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What We've Learned About Games and Learning: An Interview with Kurt Squire
Henry Jenkins, Confessions fo an Aca/Fan, March 11, 2012.

This is a three-part interview (Part One, Part Two, Part Three) with Kurt Squire on games in learning. It's not the easiest read - Jenkins comes across as gushing, while Squire writes in an awkward and stilted style (the video in part two shows he speaks that way too). But the three parts offer numerous insights and nuggets worth mining - the way education privileges certain kinds of questions, the way games for you into systems thinking and push you beyond looking for simple explanations, the use of games to foster reflection, the use of games to foster social skills, collaboration skills and organization skills. And a lot more. It's good thinking even if the presentation is really really awkward.

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

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Unpacking Kony 2012
Ethan Zuckerman, My Heart's In Accra, March 9, 2012.

Why haven't I embraced the whole phenomenon of viral videos and mass social media campaigns? Philosophically, I argue that such phenomena, based as they are on number rather than connection, are more representative of old-style politics than the new. Additionally, as the current post demonstrates, they also suffer from the same failings. The old - based on mass, based on symbolism, based on mobilization - is unable to deal with nuanced and complex phenomena. In order to spread the word, to create a meme, to achieve mass awareness, a gross oversimplification is required. And as Ethan Zuckerman well understands, "these simple narratives can cause damage." He asks, "If we want people to pay attention to the issues we care about, do we need to oversimplify them?"

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Beyond Critical Thinking
Michael S. Roth, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 9, 2012.

critical thinking is about much more than debunking faulty reasoning, argues this columnist. It involves being able to learn. For example, we should develop modes of engagement "that allow our students to enter in the value-laden practices of a particular culture to understand better how these values are legitimated: how the values are lived as legitimate." Indeed, "If we humanities professors saw ourselves more often as explorers of the normative than as critics of normativity, we would have a better chance to reconnect our intellectual work to broader currents in public culture." I endorse this aspect of critical thinking. Most of what I do in my own work involves exploring, whether it be a new culture, new technology, or new way of seeing the world. My critical thinking skills are like explorer's gear, helping me see and understand and guide my way. This is not a new view of critical thinking - I've seen it expressed in various fora before - but it is a valuable one.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Patents]

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Weaving The Social Layer Across Your Organization
David Armano, Logic + Emotion, March 5, 2012.

You may remember a few years ago when these pages were full of web 2.0, e-learning 2.0 and the social layer. As documented by David Armano, these technologies have now made their way through pre-commercialization hype, the inevitable disappointment, and are weaving their way in to enterprise adoption.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: E-Learning 2.0, Online Learning]

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2012 Follow the Sun
Various Authors, Website, March 1, 2012.

From the website: "Australian Digital Futures Institute, Beyond Distance Research Alliance, Athabasca University, and our commercial partners are proud to provide this year's 48-hour, online learning festival at no charge to all participants. The theme of this year's conference moves beyond educational technology to examine knowledge development and exchange across the disciplines."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Australia, Online Learning]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.