OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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July 16, 2012

Panama City
Stephen Downes, Flickr, July 16, 2012.

Finally finished editing and reviewing this set. Here's my full Panama City set from Flickr. And of course the beautiful slideshow. Video coming.

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A Collaborative Learning Model to Empower Teachers to be Reflective Practitioners
Ron Tinsley and Kimberly Lebak, Memorial University of Newfoundland, July 16, 2012.

A tweet from Tony Hirst led me indirectly to this page, which seeks to expand the 'zone of reflective activity' for teachers engaged in action research. The authors write, "good reflective teaching must provide opportunities for teachers to be self critical, able to question the goals, values, and assumptions that guide their work within the context in which they teach. However, solitary self-reflection can lead to deceiving oneself through viewing oneself solely through the lens of one’s own self-beliefs and assumptions." Fair enough - but in my own practice I don't actually distinguish between practice and reflection, at least, not in any practical sense. Doing and reflecting are two sides of the same thing, not separate events. That said, expanding this to involve as many people as possible is deefinitely a good idea.

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Moodle Changes its Approach to Mobile
Hans de Zwart, Technology, Innovation, Education, July 16, 2012.

I think this is excellent news: "Moodle HQ has decided to move away from native mobile Moodle app development and will switch to developing with HTML 5 and the open source mobile development framework Phonegap." This is instead of following the herd and making separate cloud applications for each mobile platform out there. "This will allow developers to work on a single codebase and compile a release for all mobile platforms simultaneously."

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Stephen Downes, YouTube, July 16, 2012.

Last week I created a short video in which I outlined the differences between a PLE and an LMS (or VLE). For those of you who find 9 minutes too long (a surprising number!) I have also created a shorter 3 minute version of it, here.

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Predictable Problems — The UK’s Move to Open Access
Kent Anderson, The Scholarly Kitchen, July 16, 2012.

The term "unintended consequences" used to have to do with what happens when you try to manage chaos, but these days it's just code for saying you don't like something. here, Kent Anderson points to the 'unintended consequences' of mandated open access. "One of these unintended consequences could very well be a diminution of science librarians." I can't help but picture miniature librarians running around. "Another unintended consequence could be that research budgets become the target for publishers." As if it isn't now? Seriously, are these the big dangers? "Whatever comes of this, scientific publishing will be warped for years to come." Well - yeah. That's what we hope. True, publishers may react poorly - that's to be expected. But eventually, we'll free our academic resources, and let the chips fall where they may.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Great Britain, Books, Research, Open Access, Academia]

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TeensTALK LIVE! The Must Watch Event of the Year
Seth Odell, Higher Ed Live, July 16, 2012.

I'm totally in favour of having students present at conferences. So we have this: "Want to know what teens think about your website, direct mail campaigns, being contacted by recruiters on Facebook, QR codes, campus visits, and just about anything else you can imagine? Swallow your pride, sit back and get ready for the most honest – and valuable – feedback you’ll hear in a long, long time." I've only one qualm. I used to see a lot of these when I was a teen - but never in a million years would they put me on one of those panels, because I was not one of the students teachers wanted to hear from. Same thing here, I think, as we have a panel of "college-bound teen" - nobody speaking from the outside, just the insiders here. (That doesn't mean it's bad and that you shouldn't watch it.)

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The emergence of Mass Online Tutoring Systems
David Lefevre, Epigeum, July 16, 2012.

Via Seb Schmoller: "The provision of course materials alone, while still valuable, already seems like old hat. The reason is the emergence of the MOTS, the mass online tutoring systems... Human tutors are present but the delivery system allows them to operate largely at a meta level and therefore teach many more students than is possible via more traditional methods."

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Project #pstn: engaging pre-service teachers in the Twitterverse
Narelle Lemon, Sarah Thorneycroft, David Jones, and Lauren Forner, The Weblog of (a) David Jones, July 16, 2012.

One of the presentations from the recent PLE conference shows how you can go wrong in setting up your PLEs. While the objective of encouraging pre-service teachers (PSTs) to use online networking, it seems to me to be a mistake to make this a part of a course, and even more so to prescribe a specific technology (in this case, Twitter). After all, the whole point of a PLE is that it conforms to the person's own timelines, interests and technology choices. Now I admit, I'm a bit surprised that only 8 of the 151 PSTs had a Twitter account, but that should only reinforce the perception that herding them all onto Twitter is the wrong way to go. I would be encouraged, but from what I can tell the next interation of the project will compound the mistake "by embedding #pstn into the course, the assessment, and the course support structures." What a way to kill learner autonomy.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Twitter, Project Based Learning, Networks, Assessment]

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Tropes vs. Women in Video Games
Anita Sarkeesian, Kickstarter, July 13, 2012.

I think my best way to explain my take on this is through my own history. Some time way back when I was shown the video Not a Love Story, which describes how images of women are distorted in advertising. It influenced my thinking not because it represented a particular stance, but because it was based on an actual analysis of the material and made its case through evidence, not mere argumentation. That's why projects which examine how images of women are created are important. You might this, it's not necessary any more - but as this post shows, people still don't understand that basic inequalities - everything to pay equity to harassment to the size of cheering crowds - don't just happen, they are created. So that's why Anita Sarkeesian's project, to do a series of videos examining the representation of women in video games, is important. That's why it needed to be funded. As for the shameful response - well, that too is why these videos are needed.

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

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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