OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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August 31, 2012

Reach for the Stars
Neil Armstrong, First Man on the Moon, August 31, 2012.

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How To Get Started as a Multimedia Journalist
Paul Bradshaw, Online Journalism Blog, August 31, 2012.

These are the sorts of roles that could be played not only in online journalism but also in an online course (especially a Course Of Unusual Size). Right now in my own work I play the role of editor, and leave things like data journalism, community management and multimedia journmalism to others. Also, the question-connections don't exist - maybe they should. In an online newspaper, of course, the roles are faily strictly defined, but I can imagine they would be looser in a larger and less structured entry like an online course. Anyhow, something to think about.

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Stable at Last, PANDA Reaches 1.0!
Christopher Groskopf, PBS, August 31, 2012.

PANDA is directed toward news media organizations but the service and functionality clearly has wider application, including the educational domain. "PANDA is a 'data library', which means that it stores all the data you work with--voter registration records, police reports, water testing results, etc. When you upload your data to PANDA it is stored safely away so that it can be easily found again, either by yourself or by another reporter in your organization." I think that the integration of data into educational materials is one of those trends that will appear out of nowhere in a few years (it certainly isn't being predicted today). See also this presentation from Nolan Hicks.

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Portraits of Schoolchildren in Classrooms Taken Around the World
Maria Popova, , August 31, 2012.

Interesting photoset of classrooms from around the world. While there are similarities, the photos do bring out the striking differences between classrooms in different cultures, from dress to decoration to arrangement of the desks or tables. My classes in the 1970s were most like the one pictured above from Holland, with desks arranged in four-person pods. Ignore the links; they just point to Amazon sales pitches.

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California’s two year college system in deep trouble
Tony Bates, Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, August 31, 2012.

Tony Bates is exactly right: "with the California State University system now outsourcing online learning to Pearson, the destruction of public post-secondary education in California is well on its way. Republicans, China and other economic rivals, and future immigrant workers who will take the jobs of unskilled Californians may rejoice, but it is the people of California who will be hurt the most." The purpose of online learning is not, to my mind, to privatize learning. Quite the opposite: it is to make a public system sustainable and accessible to all. But a failure of imagination (or perhaps deliberate policy) on the part of educational and political leaders is undermining public education and pushing us toward the privatized option.

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Newt and a MOOC
Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, August 31, 2012.

Almost as strange as debating an empty chair, Kaplan Education (owner of the Washington Post) made its allegiances clear this week as it engaged Newt Gingrich to launch its new KAPxplatform by "teaching a course" from the Republican National Convention. "The company’s plan is to market KAPx schools, businesses and other organizations, so they can get up and running with what Kaplan describes as a nimble, sophisticated MOOC platform, without having to do the heavy lifting themselves."

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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