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November 2, 2012

L'apprentissage ouvert et les affaires
Stephen Downes, November 1, 2012, Forum sur l'économie du savoir, Edmunston, via Google Hangout

Talk given en français on the subject of open learning, MOOCs and the lessons for small and medium businesses. Full text of the talk is available here. Sadly, the video shows only the remote audience, not the speaker and slides.

[Slides] [Audio]

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Privacy Icons Legal Hackathon
Unattributed, Center for Internet and Society, November 2, 2012.

Related to the link below, we are slowly moving from a world in which information is mostly communicated by text to a world in which we use a much richer set of audio and visual cues. As mentioned in the article below, controls for different appliances are represented visually. Meanwhile, this post talks about reducing the dense legalese of website privacy policies to a series of standard (and clear) icons. "Let's make it easier for users to understand the most meaningful things a website does with their data. To accomplish this Disconnect is hosting a project to crowd-source -- think Wikipedia -- turning websites' privacy policies into a set of Creative Commons licensed privacy icons. The project also will publicly launch with an API so that any developer can build tools using the icons and crowd-sourced data."
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[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Wikipedia, Privacy Issues, Audio]

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WeMo: a Wonderful Way to add Visual Cues to Organize Your Life
Vicki A. Davis, Cool Cat Teacher Blog, November 2, 2012.

Yesterday I talked about FunF, which connects data from a variety of different sources to your information landscape. Today I link to this discussion from Vicki Davis of WeMo, which is a set of devices and an application to let you manage your personal appliances. Basically, weMo provides a plug-in switch controlled remotely by the application. "WeMo. Just plug your lamp, or fan, or stereo (almost anything) into the WeMo Switch, and you're ready to control it with the WeMo app." So how will this play in education? Again, you can't look at individual applications, you have to look at the overall landscape they premonstrate. Imagine a world in which you set up  network of connections such that events in the world trigger changes in your environment - temperature drops outside, heat increases inside, traffic is slow on the freeway, alarm sounds earlier. Simple at first, but interactivity can produce resonance, cascade phenomena, and other odd behaviours in your appliances. What sort of skill set does it take to set up such a network? What skills does setting up such a network engender?

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Interaction, Networks]

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Introducing Trapit Education!
Ethan Siegal, The Daily Trap, October 28, 2012.

Ethan Siegal sent me this link and I've been using Trapit for a few days now. It has a few quirks (clicking the 'x' removes the article, not the Trapit frame the way other link sites function) but the interface is elegant and it seems to be finding me resources I mind not otherwise see. This introductory blog bost introduces Trapit as an educational tool, describing a scenario where a speaker in a debate is supported by a panel of researchers using Trapit to dig up relevant facts and information. The post concludes with links to a series of resources for teachers. I'm still not sure what the business model is, but it's an interesting concept, very well executed.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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MOOCs and Connectivist Instructional Design
Geoff Cain, Brainstorm in Progress, October 28, 2012.

Geoff Cain describes designing a class to teach "the core skills that allowed anyone to adapt to any technology they might find themselves in." What's interesting was what happened when they set up an open class form at. "We wanted a space where local students could drop in physically if they wanted to or participate remotely. What we noticed was that students started helping one another as much as we were helping students." This shades into a discussion of connectivism as a learning theory and the design of MOOCs. "Based on the principles of connectivism, learning should:

  • Provide for a diversity of opinions
  • Allow students to create connections between specialized nodes and learning sources
  • Foster their capacity to learn (teach metacognitive learning skills)
  • Increase their ability see connections between fields, concepts, and ideas
  • Teach students to build networks that will allow students to keep current in their field
  • Allow students to choose what to learn and how."

I think this is a nice summary of the pedagogical intent behind connectivism, and ties in well with the structural and functional accounts Suiemens and I have provided over the years.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, Networks, Online Learning]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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