OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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April 26, 2012

Testing a New Interface

I'm testing a new WYSIWYG interface in the newsletter authoring software today; it will give me much greater control over presentation and format, including colour and font. Please let me know if you experience any difficulty reading the new style posts.

Responding to Responses to “What Automated Essay Grading Says To Children”
Bud Hunt, Bud the Teacher, April 26, 2012.

Bud Hunt says this is a 'mixed message': "Your thoughts and ideas and writing are so important that, rather than investing in other people to mentor you and nurture your abilities, I’m going to have you put your words into a machine so I don’t have to be bothered to look at them." Well, maybe not so much mixed. Anyhow, this post if a follow-up to the "strong" responses to that original post on automated essay grading and is more fully thought-out than the first, though ending up in the same (and IMHO correct) position: "the fervor with which I suspect machine grading of writing will be adopted suggests the real problem – we don’t actually want to read and write with our students."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Mentors and Mentoring]

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Number Line Is Learned, Not Innate Human Intuition
Jonathan Kantrowitz, Education Research Report, April 26, 2012.

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This interesting argument reflectes one of the difficulties inherent in developing a science of pedagogy: understanding just what people know and how they know it. Efforts to create such a science are, in my opinion, confounded by folk beliefs about what is basic or innate to human knowledge, things like words and language, numbers and math, time and space.Take the number line, for example - the representation of linear space in equidistant intervals represented by a sequence of numbers. Now I don't think the concept is innate - nor I think should anyone who has studied pre-Cartesian science and mathematics. But many people do, and view them as foundational or fundamental to education - and so research such as the study described here seems revolutionary. "Our familiar notions on 'fundamental' concepts such as time and number are so deeply ingrained that they feel natural to us, as though they couldn't be any other way," added former graduate student Cooperrider. "When confronted with radically different ways of construing experience, we can no longer take for granted our own. Ultimately, no way is more or less 'natural' than the Yupno way."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Research, Experience, Paradigm Shift]

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4 Reasons Why the Bonk MOOC is So Interesting
Curt Bonk, Inside Higher Ed, April 26, 2012.

Curt Bonk is offering a MOOC starting in just a few days and has managed to attract the attention of Inside Higher Ed just before it launches. You can find it here (be prepared for a surprise). Here are the 'four reasons':

  • it was designed and is taught by a specialist in course design and how people learn
  • the subject matter matches the delivery method
  • the people who sign up for the course are also those who work in the area
  • the course shows off Blackboard at its best

Sheesh, until the fourth point, I would have thought the author was describing CCK02 from four years ago. I guess Curt Bonk has better connections with Inside Higher Ed than George Siemens or myself.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, Traditional and Online Courses, Blackboard Inc.]

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The Problem with TED Ed
Shelly Blake-Plock, Teach Paperless, April 26, 2012.

Good discussion on why TED-Ed (mentioned yesterday) may not be the right approach for schools (or education in general). "In life, we learn lessons by trial-and-error.... TED -- in the form it is presented online to the masses -- is not about doing. It is about watching. Listening. Consuming. Maybe leaving a comment or sharing a link to improve your TEDCred score." Definitely don't miss the discussion in the comments (which make the post worth linking to). For example, from Ira Socol: "TED ED, like all TED, is conservative structuring of technology to prevent change, built within a highly hierarchical structure designed to preserve the power structure. 'Just sit down and the Gates Foundation will tell you who to listen to.'"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Linking and Deep Linking]

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The Large, the Small and the Human Mind
Various Authors, New Gallery Lucerne, April 26, 2012.

René Stettler sent me media from the 9th Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics + Aesthetics, including a link to video recordings of the keynotes and panels. This is heady stuff, including for example Roger Penrose on "On the mysterious bridge from quantum to classical" and other aspects of the scientific study of consciousness (yes, that's an overhead projector in the photo). Oh, and there's a whole alternate universe of video on the Art-TV website from Switzerland (which means a lot of French and German, but also a good helping of English). Enjoy.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Video]

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NASA's DIY Podcast
Various Authors, NASA, April 26, 2012.

Dawn (Gaddis) Morgan of NASA's Educational Technology Services (NETS) wrote me to promote NASA's DIY podcast. I'm a big NASA fan (I even sent my name with them to Mars) so it didn't take much persuading. Basically the idea is that NASA provides all the media students need to fill out a podcast they create themselves. Here's the Brochure. Morgan writes, "NASA's DIY Podcast offers resources for educators and students to use to create podcasts using free NASA images, video footage, and audio clips. Various topic modules are available on the site.... Each topic module includes downloadable video and audio clips featuring NASA astronauts, scientists/engineers, links to NASA images and resources, and information to help students write a podcast script. Additionally, the DIY Podcast Blog offers tips to help educators incorporate the DIY Podcast into the classroom, including production ideas and NASA resources. Subscribe to the blog RSS feed to receive regular updates and learn when new topic modules become available."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Web Logs, Podcasting, RSS, Audio]

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Responsive Open Learning Environments (ROLE)
Various Authors, ROLE Consortium, April 26, 2012.

files/images/logo_coloured300x121.png, size: 46500 bytes, type:  image/png Email sent to the OER-Discuss list: "We are contacting you on behalf of the European project ROLE to give you an update of our latest work and ask for your kind contribution. The ROLE project is centred around the concept of Self Regulated Learning (SRL), supporting learners in planning their learning process, searching for the resources independently, learning and then reflecting on the whole learning process and progress. In order to raise awareness about SRL and demonstrate how the ROLE technologies can be used to support SRL, we have prepared an introductory course in OpenLearn. We are also very interested in your perception of SRL and your experiences with students on this topic. For this reason, we would like to ask you to spend 10 minutes to complete this online questionnaire." Thanks to Robert Grégoire for the heads-up.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Project Based Learning, European Union, Experience, Online Learning]

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Other People's Money: Why AUCC Signed the Most Expensive Copyright Insurance Policy in Cdn History
Michael Geist, Weblog, April 26, 2012.

The story is in the headline: it didn't really cost universities more to sign the deal, since they simply pass the cost straight on to students. Perhaps they're not noticing hundreds of thousands of students in the streets of Montreal over this sort of thinking. "The AUCC decision to sign the model licence represents a stunning abdication of leadership that will cost students millions of dollars and slow innovation in Canada's higher education community. So why sign an agreement when there are other options? Expensive additional insurance policies are easy to sign when someone else is paying the bill."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Leadership, Canada]

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Ed Radio Show Notes, April 26, 2012

Another day of watching videos, listening to music, and generally creating background noise on web radio. Ed Radio is always available at http://www.downes.ca/edradio.htm

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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