OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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August 24, 2012

Banff, Alberta
Stephen Downes, Flickr, August 24, 2012.

I'm back home for a while now. Here are my photos from Banff. Enjoy.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Flickr]

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Ben Werdmuller, Benwerd, August 24, 2012.

This is interesting. Benwerd comments, "Tent appeared out of the blue today: a protocol and reference server implementation for individual-to-individual distributed social networking. Or to put it another way, Tent is a way to host your own social data – posting and reading from as many apps as you want. Here’s their announcement, and here’s the GitHub repository." This is exactly what we need. Here are the major points of the Tent manifesto:

  • Every user has the right to freedom of expression.
  • Every user has the right to control their own data.
  • Every user has the right to choose and change their social services providers.

And this (from the Tent page) is key to me: "Tent is decentralized, not federated or centralized. Any Tent server can connect to any other Tent server. All features are available to any server as first-class citizens. Anyone can host their own Tent server." This is what I have been trying to build with MOOCs and ed tech and the rest of it (it is almost impossible to get any level of corporate or institutional support for the concept, naturally).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Networks, Learning Object Repositories]

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MOOC pedagogy: the challenges of developing for Coursera
Jeremy Knox, Sian Bayne, Hamish MacLeod, Jen Ross and Christine Sinclair, Association for Learning Technology Newsletter, August 24, 2012.

Interesting post on the challenges of building a MOOC in the Coursera model, authored from the perspective of the University of Edinburgh, which recently signed up. Coursera courses are designed to rigorously emulate exiusting academic practice, focusing on coursework and cointent, and elevating the status of the professor. Rather than promote engagement, Coursera seems to move away from it; "Coursera themselves recommend an approach that borders on course automation." So why do it? "The University of Edinburgh’s partnership with Coursera presents us with an opportunity to research the new and sometimes uncomfortable territory that the MOOC foregrounds." I think that's a goo reason. I may not agree with the Coursera approach, but it would be folly to dismiss it without proper study.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Scotland, Research, Academia]

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Microsoft Unveils a New Look
Jeffrey Meisner, The Official Microsoft Blog, August 24, 2012.

Microsoft has unveiled a new logo. The squares of the logo bring to mind the Windows 8 desktop and the two are almost certainly related. Here's some reaction from Logo Design Love (one of my favorite regular reads).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Branding, Microsoft, Wikipedia]

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The closing of American academia
Sarah Kendzior Sarah Kendzior , Al Jazeera, August 24, 2012.

"Education was once a path out of poverty, and not a way into it," writes Wolfgang Greller in a Facebook post linking to this commentary. It's a searing indictment of the system. "One American research university offers its PhD students a salary of $1000 per semester for the "opportunity" to design and teach a course for undergraduates, who are each paying about $50,000 in tuition." At a certain point, people begin to notice that the game is rigged.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Gaming, Books, Research, United States, Linking and Deep Linking, Tuition and Student Fees, Academia]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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