OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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March 21, 2012

What is Dart?
Kathy Walrath and Seth Ladd, O'Reilly Radar, March 21, 2012.

Interesting development from Google: Dart is a scripting language used to make it easier to author and maintain browsing operations currently performed by Javascript.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google]

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Enhancing Digital Infrastructure to Support Open Content in Education: announcing 15 new projects
Various Authors, JISC, March 21, 2012.

It's boom time for funding for open education projects. Here, JISC listrs 15 p[rojects that will now see the light of day (out of 34 proposals submitted). "They are Rapid Innovation projects using open innovation methods: plenty of blogging, lots of user involvement, and they are driven by delivering new tools and functionality. One of them - from Open University, which adds a "tracer" to OERs to "find where they go for attribution, research and remix" seems to me to be a bit controversial.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Project Based Learning, Research, Web Logs, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)]

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How do I find Waldo with Mathematica?
Stack Overflow, Various Authors, March 21, 2012.

I've used the "Where's Waldo" puzzle as an example often enough in my talks that I would be remiss in not listing this item. In it, a computer language called 'Mathematica' is used to find Waldo agaoinst the busy background. The mechanism is pretty simple (sort on the colour, filter for the stripes) and could be extended for other features (hat, glasses, etc). One commentator suggests using a Boltzmann machine to find Waldo.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Wikipedia]

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Launch of the Why Open Education Matters Video Competition
Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, March 21, 2012.

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Ed, Creative Commons and the Open Society Institute launched the Why Open Education Matters Video Competition. Personally, I think it's a bad idea. The money poisons the cooperation that normally exists between open content advocates. And it gives a disproportionate voice to the funders, who have now introduced their own line-up of open education 'experts' who will be the judges: Davis Guggenheim, Nina Paley, Liz Dwyer, Anya Kamenetz, James Franco and Angela Lin. As Dave Cormier comments, "in this list we have 5 of 7 people who have made part/most/all of their careers working behind the copyright firewall." The proponents defend the contest - Rory McGreal writes, "I think funders can have altruistic motives and this is as far as I can see. And, this helps to promote OER recognition (so, yes it is partly advertising)." I don't agree, and I don't see how McGreal's comments here could be true. Money buys influence, people jump to do its bidding, and nothing demonstrates this more clearly than a contest.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Open Content, Video, Marketing, Copyrights, Security Issues]

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Comment on Downes’s ‘Knowledge, Learning and Community’
JimS, Jim's iFacilitate Blog, March 21, 2012.

Interesting description of my work that while accurate perhaps gives me more credit than I deserve. "Downes’s perspective seems to be an amalgam of constructivist, connectivist, and constructionist thought... This apparent synthesis attempts, at once, to settle the differences between the various schools of thought with a single unifying theory." Yes, there's a single theory, but I'm not trying to "settle differences", I'm just trying to get it right.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Constructivism, Constructionism]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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