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June 13, 2012

Interview regarding sustainable and business models for Open Educational Resources (OER)
Stephen Downes, June 13, 2012, Alexandra Hache, telephone interview

Interview with Alexandra Hache contributing to a Study for the European Commission regarding sustainable and business models for Open Educational Resources (OER). Sorry about the microphone gain, which is a little bit too high.


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Some thoughts on web analytics using our work on analytics
Sheila MacNeill, Sheila's Workblog, June 13, 2012.

I thought this was a good idea - using analytics to validate work on analytics. "We think this is a 'hot topic' but is it? Can our analytics help us to gauge interest?" For me, of course, the most interesting question is whether analytics can distinguish between a 'hot topic and something useful - but I digress. The result? Well though "it is apparent that Twitter is the main way our posts are being shared. Linkedin comes in second with delicious and google+ also generating a few 'shares'." I can't tell from the text whether people are actually clicking and commenting on the analytics posts. And the images are totally unreadable - maybe we can get some more useful images! Related (and a much better example of how to share a graphic in a blog post) is Mohamed Amine Chatti's SWOT analysis oanalytics.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Twitter, Google]

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Open Postal Codes: A Public Response to Canada Post on how they undermine the public good
David Eaves, eaves.ca, June 13, 2012.

In an interview today I mentioned the difference of opinion between Treasury Board and Canada Post about the disposition of postal code data. "The Ottawa Citizen ran a story in which I'm quoted about a fight between Treasury Board and Canada Post officials over making postal code data open. Treasury Board officials would love to add it to data.gc.ca while Canada post officials are, to put it mildly, deeply opposed." I am with Treasury Board on this one - postal code data should be openly accessible.

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

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Hey Microsoft! Why Not Merge Outlook with SharePoint?
Dan Pontefract, brave new org, June 13, 2012.

This post scratches an itch I've also had. As most readers know, I've been building and using my own software, gRSShopper, for years. What would really make it awesome for me would be to integrate it with email, so I can manage email and RSS in a single place, as well as post on the web or send a message from a single place. One day...

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Microsoft, RSS]

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Facebook Integrates With WordPress.org and WordPress.com VIP
James Johnson, The Blog Herald, June 13, 2012.

What would impress me? Not just another way of dumping content from something into Facebook, which this is. But something that exports Facebook content into some other environment, like, say, WordPress. But Facebook is a big sink - content goes in, but it never leaves.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books]

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UCU wary of lecture capture
Adam Warren says, Telic, June 13, 2012.

The University and College Union (UCU) in Britain has, as Adam Warren says, "passed a motion (HE43) at their recent HE sector conference that expresses some of the anxieties that surround lecture capture." The first item - to support professors who refuse to record lectures - has been "remitted" (in Canada, we would say that it has been tabled). The remaining three items, expressing doubts about the ubiquity and scale of lecture capture projects, were passed. I've always felt, first, that whether or not to record one's work should remain a personal choice, but second, that everyone should do so. In other words, I don't think edicts are appropriate, but support and encouragement should certainly be there.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Great Britain, Project Based Learning, Canada]

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The status of online learning in Canada in 2012
Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, June 13, 2012.

Tony Bates reviews this new report released by Contact North on the state of online learning in Canada. Major points:

  • Contact North estimates there are approximately just under one million online course registrations equivalent to about 100,000 FTEs
  • there is a good deal of innovation and development of online learning, but it is mainly at the grass roots level
  • quality still varies considerably (although not as much as in the USA)
  • a lack of strategic focus on online learning at national, provincial and above all institutional levels threatens its future development and may well result in Canada being left behind by international competitors.

Bates also compares this report to the 2001 report of the Federal Government’s Advisory Committee for Online Learning. The report (like all reports before and since, it seems) called for a national strategy, a program in 'learnware development', and a pan-Canadian initiative. None of these have been implemented, and it is not likely they will ben

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Quality, Canada, Online Learning]

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Why Bill C-11's Digital Lock Rules May Hurt Copyright Enforcement
Michael Geist, Weblog, June 13, 2012.

The 'digital lock' provision is one of the more controversial provisions of the proposed Canadian copyright law, bill C-11. Basically it makes it a crime to circumvent digital locks, even if the intended use is non-infringing. Critics say the digital lock would prevent legal uses such as satire and quotation. But as Michael Geist writes, the digital lock provision might actually make infringing more difficult to detect, as infringers would simply hide their activities behind a digital lock. It doesn't have to be strong; it just has to exist, and if it exists, it would be illegal to break it to discover infringing uses. Of course, this could be fixed legislatively: in New Zealand "they have the concept of an authorized circumventor which essentially defines the situation where circumvention is allowed." But it's a slipperly slope, right?

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

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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