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December 31, 2012

The Downes Prize 2012
Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, December 31, 2012.

In 2010, the prize was awarded to Effective Assessment in a Digital Age, published by JISC. Last year, the prize was awarded to Acceptable Use Policies in Web 2.0 & Mobile Era, by the Consortium for School Networking. Both were outstanding contributions to the field of educational technology that have stood the test of time. This year's contribution is no exception.

The 2012 Downes Prize is awarded to:

Clayton R. Wright, for his series of posts annotating educational technology conferences.

Since 2007, I have been posting the list of conferences compiled by Clayton R. Wright here on this website. It has been annually one of the most popular resources on the site, and elsewhere (as the list is posted on a variety of blogs). In  2012 he posted the 27th and 28th editions of the list. He is a fitting recipient of the prize who exemplifies the best traditions of our community.

Some other notable posts from the last year include (in no particular order):

Through 2012, downes.ca welcomed 334,364 unique visitors  (not counting search engines) who visited 774,792 times, viewing 2,212,286 pages for a total of 12,669,823 hits. Thank you for your support over the last year and the best to all in 2013.






[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Web 2.0, Books, Web Logs, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)]

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We Need Teachers, Not Facilitators!
Gary Stager, Stager-to-Go, December 31, 2012.

Gary Stager reports, "I have been stunned to observe the complete and utter return to whole class instruction in nearly every school I visit (public, private, rich, poor, urban, suburban and rural) everywhere in the world. New teachers have little or no experience with classroom centers, independent work, student projects and the sorts of agency that allow children to enjoy the 'flow' experiences that build upon their obsessions and lead to understanding." If true (and I have no reason to doubt it) that would be sad. Much of my own creativity and independence was developed working on independent projects, elective classes, and the like. These did not simply enable learning in the classroom - they created in me the capacity to learn anywhere, from anything (which I do, wholeheartedly, to this day (how do you measure that?)).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Project Based Learning, Experience, Online Learning]

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Work, Learning and Freedom
Michael Kasenbacher and Noam Chomsky, New Left Project, December 31, 2012.

Good short interview with Noam Chomsky that makes two good points about the education system: first, that "if you do it (ie., learn) because you want to find out, and you explore and you make mistakes and you look in the wrong place and so on, then ultimately you remember," and second, more interestingly, while "US tuition is now sky high – in part it selects things on a class basis but more than that, it imposes a debt burden. So if you come out of college with a big debt you’re not going to be free to do what you want to do."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Online Learning, Tuition and Student Fees]

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12 Principles for Responding to Negative Online Comments
Charlie Pownall, Social Media Today, December 30, 2012.

Here is a good set of principles for dealing with complaints and criticisms on your website. I would endorse them all, but I would also add a couple of points. In the point that states, "Proactively rebut statements that are demonstrably untrue or misleading and, above all, don’t run away from your page," I would add that you eventually have to cease responding, because there is a large number of people out there who absolutely must have the last word and will not stop until they have it. And second, I swiftly and silently delete posts that violate the rules - which in my case, means posts that are either spam messages or posts that are personal attacks.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Spam]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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