OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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September 11, 2012

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Taking the Tablets
e-Learning Stuff, James Clay, September 11, 2012.

Alt-C is on once again and as usual there is much too much content to summarize in this small newsletter. This link is to James Clay's keynote on tablet computing (the one-word slides are pretty much useless, though I like the Jean-Luc Picard image of tablets from Star Trek - again I find myself wondering why people don't record audio of their talks - it's so easy, and they have a computer right in front of them on which they could do it). Also, we get to experience SpeakerDeck as a slide sharing alternative to SlideShare. More from Alt-C - Sheila Macneill on clutter and spam in the Alt-C #altc2012 hashtag. All the Alt-C abstracts.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Experience, Newsletters, Audio]

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Infrastructure Resilience
Valdis Krebs, T N T - The Network Thinkers, September 11, 2012.

The concept of 'network resiliance' refers to the capacity of a network to resist damage "whether we are talking about our failing infrastructures because of the current economic crisis, or we are worrying about targeted infrastructure when discussing cyber-war and terror attacks." But many human-made networks are designed for efficiency, not resiliance. Resiliance requires redundancy, which runs counter to efficiency. In fact, in systems both natured and nurtured, we see in the best systems a balance between efficiency and redundancy. Too often (in my mind) calculations of best value take into account only efficiency, without accounting for the need to build in redundancy.

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Metacognition Curriculum (Lesson 1 of ?)
Frank Noschese, Action-Reaction, September 11, 2012.

One of the premises of this article caught my eye, and as my mind is still open on the topic, I think there's room for discussion. The proposition is this: people at any age can make themselves more intelligent. The proposition is stated explicitly in this handout paper (it might be a clipping from a magazine but I'm not sure). "By practcing," it says, "you make your brain stronger." Well, I've certainly used the analogy enough times in the past. But is it literally true, and does it operate on the level of intelligence, and not just knowledge and skills? I think there are limits (poor nutrition pre-birth and in childhood may have permanent effects, for example). But that said, a lot of what is called 'intelligence' is not much more than basic language, logic and numeracy. And those can be learned. Moreover, I think there is evidence that actual physical exercise like running, cycling and the like can help brain function - at least so says Harvard Health Publications.

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Yo Gilfus, I Got Yer Syndication Fix
Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, September 11, 2012.

Syndication of RSS content with proper attribution of source isn't so hard, as Aan Levine demonstrates in this post (though there is a bit of an exception with my own feed, which I discuss in the comments). Language warning for this one, sadly.

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A guide to the basics of jQuery
Unattributed, Bocoup Training, September 11, 2012.

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Aside from serving the always-present need to help people learn how to use JQuery for interface design (we've really come a long way from simple HTML) this site also demonstrates how the distinction between online articles and e-learning applications is beginning to vanish. Click on the eye icon beside each of the examples to open an interactive window illustrating the principle being explained. This is good stuff, and you can read about JQuery and try it out for yourself in the very same environment. Related: SOLID CSS - "SOLID is an acronym for five basic principles of object-oriented programming and design that when applied together can make systems easier to maintain and to extend over time."

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

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Big Data's Management Revolution
Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Harvard Business Review, September 11, 2012.

So funny. This HBR article suggests that big data will revolutionize management. "Simply put, because of big data, managers can measure, and hence know, radically more about their businesses, and directly translate that knowledge into improved decision making and performance." Ah - yes. But big data also means that workers can do this for themselves - they don't need managers to tell them what to do when they can see the data for themselves. The more management relies on data, the less management relies on managers, and hence, the less they are needed. It's surprising Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee don't draw this out as the logical consequence of their insight.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Paradigm Shift]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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