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October 24, 2012

Elspeth McCullogh Interview
Stephen Downes, October 24, 2012, Adobe Connect, online

Interview on mobile learning and the directions mobile and online learning will take in the future. In this interview I define mobile learning, talk about opportunities and challenges in the field, and address the major issues related to competences, assessment and the design of learning.

[Link] [Audio]

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MRUniversity Launches Alternative To edX And Other MOOCs
Jeff Dunn, Edudemic, October 24, 2012.

The latest entrant into the MOOC sweepstakes is MRUniversity, "brought to life by two George Mason University professors, MRUniversity (short for Marginal Revolution University)," and yes, it's led by professors Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok of link with the offensive blog of the same name (here's Cowan on health care: "We need to accept the principle that sometimes poor people will die just because they are poor").  The 'university' is actually just a web page with some course materials and videos, like this on a Drupal site designed by a company calledinQbation.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Drupal, Web Logs, Content Management Systems, Paradigm Shift]

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The Internet Agenda
Mark Edmundson, Inside Higher Ed, October 24, 2012.

"Suppose Internet courses do begin to bring in revenues," writes . The universities who are the senior partners with providers like Coursera could very quickly become dependent on their partner. What will these partners want? "They will want to make as much money as they can without breaking the law. And to do so, they will begin demanding the sort of courses that will sell best, not only in America but around the world." Additionally, "the courses will also have to be radically inoffensive." If mass market movies are any judge, we will not be long in transitioning from highbrow to lowest copmmon denominator.

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

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From Content Packages to Coursera: In Memory of Philip Dodds
Avron Barr, LETSI, October 24, 2012.

I didn't really know Philip Dodds but I'm certainly aware of the work he (along with people like Claude Ostyn, Tyde Richards, Wayne Hodgins, Peter Hope and others) contributed to the early days of educational technology. Of Dodds, who passed away five years ago, Avron Barr says "Philip’s work in creating SCORM — envisioning, designing, and cat-herding — was critical to this first major period of commercial success for educational technology... The industry-wide agreement on SCORM, the Sharable Content Object Reference Model, allowed authoring tools to package course materials so that they’d run on any company’s LMS." Barr segues into a call for a similar effort today, "a comprehensive agreement about data interoperability will eventually be required to support broad commercial adoption of the hundreds of new product ideas today from researchers, entrepreneurs, and established vendors."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: SCORM, Research, Interoperability, Metadata]

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Announcing 'Source': Where Journalism and Coding Collide
Dan Sinker, Idea Lab, October 24, 2012.

Source (on mozillaopennews.org) is an interesting blend of journalism and software. Here's the idea: "We've built relationships between code, people, and organizations deep into the data models of Source... At OpenNews, we're assisting this lofty goal by helping to strengthen and grow the code and community that is working to build journalism's future." Looking at the website, you see contributions like opened captions, timelineJS, contextual video, and other innovations in code supporting journalism.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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Latest Philosophy Podcasts
Various Authors, Philosopher's Pipe, October 24, 2012.

I don't think there's an RSS version of this page (though I guess it would be easy enough to make one with Feed43) but this list of recent philosophy podcasts is potentially addictive listening. Again, I never cease to marvel at how the best in learning is now available basically for free to anyone with the time and inclination to indulge.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Podcasting, RSS]

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Amazon did an about-face - opened closed account
Cathrine Elnan and Olsson Svein, Kultur og underholdning, October 24, 2012.

I reported the other day about an account arbitrarily closed by Amozon, wiping out the owner's collection of Kindle Books. Well, big surprise, after the publicity Amazon has recersed course. " I have not heard anything from Amazon about this, except that I got a very strange phone earlier from someone with a hidden number. They claimed that they worked in Amazon.co.uk and would give me a new Kindle, but they would not talk to me about my account, says Nygaard." Oh yes, this is the free, open and democratic society we all hpped the internet would bring. Google Translate version, via Copyfight.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Your Brain at Work
David Rock, Google Tech Talk / YouTube, October 24, 2012.

This was quite a good video with four major points:

  • we over-emphasize the rational
  • we've got emotions backward
  • social issues are primary
  • attention changes the brain


[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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The future of learning
Scott McLeod, Dangerously Irrelevant, October 24, 2012.

Scott McLeod linksto this video from Ericsson on the future of learning. I listened to it this morning and found it mostly full of platitutdes. Then again, I don't think of Seth Godin as "a top educational technology experts on learning", but rather, a (self-)marketing expert.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Marketing]

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Why Canadian universities should collaborate with Asia
Harvey Weingarten and Da Hsuan Feng, University Affairs, October 24, 2012.

Yesterday I wrote a bog post responding to 'five ideas to reform post-secondary education in Canada' in a University Affairs article by columnist Léo Charbonneau. Today, as if to respond to my post (but more likely responding to the previous UA ccolumn and an article in the Globe) Harvey Weingarten and Da Hsuan Feng explain 'why Canadian universities should collaborate with Asia'. Their answer, in a nutshell, has to do with the economic potential of expansion into these markets. But it is not (and should not be seen as) a simple-minded case of setting up shop and charging people money for courses. Consider, "the limited number of Canadian universities that have attained world-class standing represent the foundation, and often the initial point of intersection, between the two regions." It is in the spirit of cooperation, not competition, that the Canadian presence in Asia will best serve our (and their) interests.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Canada]

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Average teenager has never met quarter of Facebook friends
Mark Sweney, The Guardian, October 24, 2012.

The headline is intended to read one way, but I read it the other way - I am actually surprised that the number is so low. Facebook, after all, supports friendships across distances and across distributed communities of interest, so I would expect them to be friends with a greater number of people they have never met. But the numbers show that the online world is quite clearly rooted - to the tune of 75 percent - in the physical world. The report (204 pages PDF) was authored by Ofcom and released yesterday.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books]

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Ed Radio Show Notes, October 24, 2012

Sounds and videos for Ed Radio, October 24. Note that I offer these as links, not a podcast, because for the most part I don't have permission to include the recording in a postcast. Assembing a list of links is the best I can do to replicate the radio experience. Maybe one day I'll be able to do something different, but for now, if you want the authentic Ed Radio experience, you have to tune into it live and take your chances (I usually broadcast from the office, 9-5 Atlantic time (= GMT-3) (except when I'm in meetings or traveling)).



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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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