OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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September 13, 2012

Dear @Google Chairman @EricSchmidt, You Are WRONG About Educators
Chris Lehman, Weblog, September 13, 2012.

I completely agree with Chris Lehman here. Nothing against Sal Khan, what he did was great, but he wasn't uniquely creative or gifted with some special insight. Lehman writes, "What is the main difference between daily innovations and Khan Academy software? Funding. Bill Gates and Google (e.g. you) stumbled upon Khan’s youtube videos, (first made in his closet, by himself) and thought to fund it. Now, with a team, offices, software designers, backed by tons of financial support, Sal Khan can run as far as dreams can take him." Give me the funding that Khan got, and I might do something interesting. Give the same funding to Chris Lehman, to any number of other teachers, to any of the interesting people I read every day, and they too will come up with something interesting.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Microsoft, Video, Google]

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Launching new framework: The Future of Work
Ross Dawson, Trends in the Living Networks, September 13, 2012.

Ross Dawson has released a new framework depicting trends in the future of work, illustrated above. As of now only the diagram is available, but he promises future elaborations. That said, the diagram itself is work exploring.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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They cut me out
Geoffrey K. Pullum, Language Log, September 13, 2012.

Proof that I think more of OLDaily readers than the Chronicle does its readers: I'm including and highlighting a link to this article by Geoff Pullum on multiple meanings in single phrases (and in particular, how "Organic Raspberry Fruit Spread" can mean [Organic][Raspberry Fruit Spead], and contain only raspberries, and not contain chemicals, or [Organic Raspberry][Fruit Spread] and can contain both organic raspberries and certain chemicals. Writes Pullum, "The daily email newsletter through which The Chronicle points its subscribers to what they can find today on the web refused to include a pointer to my piece. They 'didn't get it', I'm told." Well, I get it. And I'm sure OLDaily readers get it. And I've commented before on how a single symbolic representation can have multiple meanings. (p.s. I love the people in the comments saying the chemicals must have come from somewhere so it's all organic.)

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Newsletters]

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David Byrne on How Music and Creativity Work
Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, September 13, 2012.

This is really interesting, because I've had long conversations with Donald Belliveau on this exact topic. Don is a musician and composer, as we explored in some depth the creativity process in music. What we found was essentially the same thing David Byrne has found (and, presumably, known about a long longer than we did): "context largely determines what is written, painted, sculpted, sung, or performed... the tailoring process — form being tailored to fit a given context — is largely unconscious, instinctive. We usually don’t even notice it. Opportunity and availability are often the mother of invention."

It's like I wrote on the subject of copyright a few years ago, "there is far less that's original than the supposed originators would like to claim." It's that whole idea of standing on the shoulders of giants, except they're not giants, they're leviathans, compositions of society as a whole. Don illustrated the point with a simple example: popular music today, he said, conforms to the hip hop beat (dum dum DUM, sum dum DUM). This can be contrasted with rock beats, say or disco (thump thump thump thump). Popular musicians (Taylor Swift, Arcade Fire) write into this format. Yes, it will evolve (I'll have to listen to K-Pop more carefully). But this won't be the result of some creative genius - it will be the consequence of an entire culture. And it won't be better - it will just be different.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Copyrights]

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Embedded Ubiquitous Learning
Abhijit Kadle, Upside Learning, September 13, 2012.

Don't lose sight of the diagram (above). It depicts a progression that has been under way for a number of years now, the progression toward ubiquitous learning. When you take ubiquitous learning seriously, we are able to comprehend something like an end-point for this progression: "Embedded learning – networked learning that is built into every device, every tool, every physical resource humans use; there is no need for specific training; the latest information is available just in time, from authentic sources, judged valuable by network analysis, provided with the right context and assists humans to complete tasks."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Ubiquitous Internet, Networks]

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The illusion we understand
David T. Jones, The Weblog of (a) David Jones, September 13, 2012.

Another discussion related to the distinction between MOOCs and informal learning is this one from David Jones summarizing opinion surrounding the university's plans to replace Sakai. It's one thing to replace the LMS, he writes, but quite another to change the thinking process behind it. "The plan-driven process model that underpins all enterprise information systems procurement/development assumes you can predict the future. In this case, that you can predict all of the features that are ever going to be required by all of the potential users of the system." This is the sort of thinking that led to the formulation of the concept of the Personal Learning Environment - in all the fuss about MOOCs it has been swept aside, but it shouldn't be. See also Sarah Thorney, the post-LMS non-apocalypse.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Personal Learning Environment]

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Distance Education Research Network
Various Authors, Website, September 13, 2012.

A news release reports that Australia's "DERN (Digital Education Research Network), established in 2010 and managed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), has now matured into a new and exciting service with an attractive and easy to navigate new website." The site looks quite nice and does appear to have good weekly content, such as this newsletter on internet access, which links to good external resources like Scott Ewing and Julian Thomas's report on The Internet in Australia, but it requires a $25 annual subscription to access (or a 'pay as you go' fee in a similar range) to access research reports, a sum that can't be paying for the cost of the service but as a barrier decreases its utility substantially.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Research, Subscription Services, Australia, Newsletters]

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Reflecting on MOOCs and Retention
Glen Cochrane, A Point of Contact, September 13, 2012.

Interesting reflection from a #Change11 MOOC participant on why he didn't continue to the end. The fast pace of the course - which offered a new topic each week - was one reason. But more significantly, "I didn’t want to be spoon-fed topics that were of less importance compared to ones I preferred." And that, I think, remains a significant point of difference between MOOCs and informal learning. If you know what you need to learn, it remains easier to zero in on the resources you want than to wait around for a course to eventually get to the topic.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses]

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Ed Radio Show Notes, September 13, 2012

Ed Radio September 13 - More K-Pop:

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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