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November 29, 2012

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Bogota, Colombia
Stephen Downes, Flickr, November 29, 2012.

Beautiful and colourful set of photos from Colombia. As always, I recomment the slide show.

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Uruguay Presentations
Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, November 29, 2012.

I have finally uploaded all the materials from my presentations in Uruguay...

OER Minicourse
November 23, 2012. MoodleMoodUY, Montevideo, Uruguay (Seminar). 2.5 hour minicourse on the topic of open educational resources. This is a class session, not a lecture, so there are periods of chaos, group discussions, and more. Enjoyable, if confusing, listening. Topics covered include the definition of OERs, creating OERs, and OER metadata and discovery. Licensing is mentioned and covered in the slides but wasn't a major topic.

The LMS and the PLE
November 23, 2012. MoodleMoodUY, Montevideo, Uruguay (Keynote). Keynote on the topic of the LMS and the MOOC model. Abstract: "With the widespread adoption of the massive open online course (MOOC) over the last year, questions are now being raised about the role of a learning management system (LMS) such as Moodle. Where previously the focus was on the management of course materials and cohorts progressing according to predefined objectives and curricula, the learning environment of the future is more open-ended and less overtly managed. In this talk Stephen Downes, one of the originators of the MOOC format, describes the differences between types of MOOCs, compares them to the LMS, and outlines the changes LMSs such as Moodle are looking at in the future."

Open Discussion on the LMS and the MOOC
November 23, 2012. MoodleMoodUY, Montevideo, Uruguay (Keynote). Discussion of the keynote on the topic of the LMS and the MOOC model. Some interesting topics covered, including the question of curriculum, assessment, and the nature of critical literacy.


[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Traditional and Online Courses, Video, Assessment, Metadata, Online Learning]

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e-Book authoring platform Pressbooks going open source
Scott Wilson, OSS Watch team blog, November 29, 2012.

This might auger some innovation in the field of e-books (which seems (to me) to be stalled at the level of fancy graphics for page turning). "Pressbooks, a popular platform for creating and distributing e-books, have announced they will be making the code for their platform open source. Pressbooks builds on top of the open-source blogging platform WordPress." The post quite rightly points to James Clay's preview of Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of eBooks in Education.

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By the way, Ivan Illich
Gardner Campbell, Gardner Writes, November 29, 2012.

Some thoughts from Gardner Campbell on Ivan Illich's concept of 'learning webs' supplemented with an interesting example of an exercise with a subversive outcome: "a game called Wff ‘n Proof... 'In fact, for some children such games are a special form of liberating education, since they heighten their awareness of the fact that formal systems are based on changeable axioms and that conceptual operations have a gamelike nature." In my own education I got the same effect studying different interpretations of modal logic (K, S4, S5, B) - but this is better, because the students don't have to go to graduate school to get it. (I think my categorical converter is another example that shows how arbitrary axioms can change, and I have in my own notes (somewhere) a 'falsity-preserving' system of logic, just for fun).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Gaming, Schools, Graduate Education, Online Learning, Ontologies]

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Babson Report on OER in US Higher Education
Phil Hill, e-Literate, November 29, 2012.

Phil Hill reports on this survey of a fairly narrow spectrum - U.S. higher Chief Academic Officers (CAOs), and (separately) some U.S. faculty leaders. The survey reveals an awareness of open educational resources (OERs) - but not so much as one might think. It's hard to reconcile the CAO report that OERs are used 50 percent of the time (p. 30) while faculty report 83 percent usage of digital materials (the bast bulk of which will be OERs). Difficulty finding and lack of a catalog are the biggest barriers to the use of OERs - no surprise there.

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“Can I Use This?” How Museum and Library Image Policies Undermine Education
Beth Harris and Steven Zucker, e-Literate, November 29, 2012.

I have on numerous occasions (including this week) used museum and gallery policies as examples of the phenomenon of 'enclosure' of open access and public domain works. Basically, the museum obtains the artwork, places it in a room, and then prohibits by policy any photography. So, if you want to see it, you either pay the admission price, or you purchase one of the museum's (copyright) reproductions from the gift store. This article illustrates just how unfriendly gallery and museum policies are, with licenses that range from outright lock-down to (in a few happy cases) open access. One thing I like about the Botero Museum in Bogota - free admission, photos encouraged. (Photo: me)

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Is the LMS Market Going To Slow Down Anytime Soon?
Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, November 29, 2012.

Brief overview, with some links, about where the LMS market is headed. "here are still many players that are just getting started (like Google). There are others (like Pearson) that have been around a bit but are really still just getting warmed up. Even Blackboard has pulled out some big surprises recently that makes people second guess where they think they are going." This accords with my own observations. See also: Phil Hill, Project Blue Sky: Big Boost to OER From . . . Pearson? In a nutshell, Pearson is creating a marketplace that offers both free and commercial resources in the same space. Read more. (Image: Pearson)

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Blackboard Inc., Push versus Pull, Google]

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Educators as Social Networked Learners
Jackie Gerstein, User Generated Education, November 29, 2012.

Overview of a graduate course for Boise State University’s Education Technology Program entitled, Social Networked Learning. Though the course isn't open (I don't think) the outline contains some good thinking (and a fun diagram). The exercises fromn the six modules look interesting (and may give other people some good ideas). This course description, meanwhile, draws on a 'seed syllabus' on digital media literacies posted by Howard Rheingold. (Image: Gretel Patch)

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Subcompact Publishing
Craig Mod, Craigmod, November 29, 2012.

This is an excellent article on new publishing models you should read carefully from beginning to end. But if you can't, then at least see section 7, A Subcompact Manifesto, which outlines some keys of the new publishing paradigm: small file and issue sizes, reasonable prices, clear navigation, HTML-ish format, and publication on the open web. As I ponder the sort of business model that will sustain me when my current employment ends, this looks very attractive. Meanwhile, as you puruse this document, do take the time to admire its efficient and elegant CSS work.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Navigation, Books, Usability, Paradigm Shift]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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