OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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August 14, 2012

Changing Tracks with Classroom Game Design
Jeff Whipple, Whip Blog, August 13, 2012.

Summary of a keynote and link to a TEDx video by Montana educator Paul Anderson. The message is essentially one promoting drastic change while remaining rooted in the classroom. I can't see it, personally: I think we will have learned how to design edcuation for the future when we have started moving out of the classroom, and into the world. "The only time and space we can shape is our classroom environmentl," writes Jeff Whipple. "Don’t place excessive demands on students to watch videos or do other academic work outside of school." I understand this, the most crucial argument against 'flipping' the classroom, as it creates unfairness for those who work outside school, or have unstable homes, or lack connectivity and other resources. But that's no reason to focus only on the classroom! We need to think more widely, toward a more inclusive and community-oriented education, rather than simply being blind to the spocial disparities that exist outside our doors.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Video, Online Learning, Academia]

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Joseph Priestly: The Man who Invented Air and Unitarianism
Terry Anderson, Virtual Canuck, August 13, 2012.

Nice sermon from Terry Anderson on what can be learned from Joseph Priestly:

  1. You can be a scientist, business person or farmer and still have an active, rationale and sustaining religious faith, though that faith may be quite different and often at odds with the way others find meaning and faith– very Unitarian
  2. Speaking your truth is challenging, risky and often unpopular, but I am sure that Priestly himself would not have changed his behaviours, despite all the challenges, betrayals and fears that marked his long and sometimes trying life.

For my own part, I have not felt the need to pursue any particular faith (I guess this is an anti-confessional of sorts) not because I am particularly irreligious (I'm not) but because experience and reason have not impelled me in that direction, and these more than anything are what guide my thinking. Having no faith, I think, is even more risky and unpopular than being of one or another faith. But I would not change, mostly because I have no good understanding of what I would change to, nor why.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Experience]

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files/images/curatr.JPG, size: 32807 bytes, type:  image/jpeg
Don’t wait for permission
Tim Bush, The UK Schools Blog, August 13, 2012.

Calling MOOCs "too expensive", Ben Betts touts a new collaborative learning platform, Curatr and a new method, The Collaborative Learning Cycle. According to the website, "Curatr's Social Learning platform is a fraction of the cost when compared to developing hours of E-learning Courseware. And it is more effective, engaging and enjoyable to boot!" Basically, Curatr is a learning object browsing system (yes, it actually uses the word 'learning object'?) which allows instructors to feed contents into a course; users gain points by viewing the material;s and attempting to 'level up'. Yes, it's all very derivative - but that doesn't make nit wrong, per se. Betts argues, "I think adaptive learning as a trend is probably helping students. Systems like Knewton and Grockit are very clever and are starting to do the job of one-to-one tutors. But they remain expensive to build and maintain."

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

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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