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January 22, 2013

Course o’ the Week – PRDV103 Available on iTunes U
Marissa Citro, The Saylor Journals, January 22, 2013

PRDV103_image4-300x300.png, size: 105501 bytes, type:  image/png I think maybe we need a vocabulary reboot, because it seems to me that if you are downloading something from iTunes, whatever it is, it is not a "course" (it might be a "video lecture" or some such thing). That's because what we typically think of as a course involves (at a minimum) a cohort of participants, amybe an instructor, and a sequence of events. It's not just a download of a bunch of multimedia. Or - is it? Theh (I would say) we need a new term for that thing we used to do, which we called a course way back then.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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Introducing version control & git in 1.5 hours to undergraduates
Dan Scott, Coffee|Code, January 22, 2013

HTML slides (nicely done) and a git repository used in this presentation have been made available online. I dare say it would be useful not only to undergraduates but to git-impaired people like me. A recorded video version of the lecture would be useful, in my opinion.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Learning Object Repositories]

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Time for an evolution
Catherine Lombardozzi, Learning Journal, January 22, 2013

If we think of online learning not as the provision of a process (as we would see in a classroom) but rather as an environment (such as we might see in an application like Word or even a game like Sim City) then instead of 'learning design' we get 'learning environment design'. This has been the subject of Catherine Lombardozzi's work over the last few years. She writes, "a learning environment (to my mind) is a collect of resources and activities for learning. The resources may be inanimate or human; the activities may be formal or informal. A well designed learning environment is curated with a specific need in mind." This concept is as she says undergoing a bit of an evolution; here's what's included to date: resources, people, training and education, development practices, and learning by doing. If I undertook a similar exercise myself (which in a sense I am doing as I design gRSShopper) my list would look like this: people, feeds, resources, events, media and files. That's general purpose; for learning specifically I would contemplate an additional element that I would call scaffolds, which leverage transformations of any of the previous six resources into new concepts, products or activities. I would also include a set of structural elements, not necessarily visible to the user, but essential to the environment designer, such as templates and views, graphs and lookups; these inter=relate objects with each other and with the underlying physical environment.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Gaming, RSS, Online Learning]

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It was just a matter of time... Google plans to kill passwords
Katina Michael, Uberveillance, January 22, 2013

files/images/Yubikey.JPG, size:  bytes, type:   Nobody would be happier than I to see the end of passwords - as it stands right now I have more than a hundred different passwords for home, office, web and other applications (I have an algorithm I use to make sure they're all different, but can be remembered). What's all the more frustrating is that passwords aren't very secure and can be hacked pretty quickly by experts. Hence my interest in the development of the Yubikey, a physical key you insert into a USB slot which logs you into all your websites. Right now it looks like it's Google-only (it would be nice if they developed one system for all browsers and platforms, but what are the odds of that?).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google]

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A Reference Model for Learning Analytics
Mohamed Amine Chatti, Mohamed Amine Chatti's ongoing research on Knowledge, and , Learning, January 22, 2013

This is a good overview of learning analytics, beginning with the concept of the recommender system as it developed in the 2000s through to more contemporary work. Chatti breaks the discussion of learning analytics into four major areas of investigation:

  • - data and environments, ie., what system is collecting the data - today very little data is collected in personal learning environments and even learning management systems, while a great deal of data is captured by adaptive systems and web-based courses
  • - stakeholders, or, who is collecting the data - today intelligent tutors and researchers or system designers are the primary users of data, while institutions, students and teachers use much less data
  • - methods, or, how is the data collected - statistics and visualizations are widely used, while classification and prediction (holdovers from recommender systems) are used most frequently; upcoming are social network analysis and association rule mining
  • - objectives, or, why is the data being mined - today it's mostly for monitoring and analysis and (in other systems, probably) for intelligent tutoring and adaptation, while other uses unclude intervention, assessment and feedback, and personalization.

Related: Adam Cooper, in A Briaf History of Analytics (via Analytics is Not New) suggests "we would be wise to avoid assuming that analytics implies big data and the latest predictive data mining algorithms... (using analytics) involves a range of options, some of which are lateral rather than evolutionary developments."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Personalization, Research, Networks, Assessment, Visualization, Privacy Issues]

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Valve boss Gabe Newell calls Windows 8 a 'catastrophe'
BBC News, January 22, 2013

_61820070_l4d2poster.jpg, size: 24336 bytes, type:  image/jpeg To understand why Valve would consider Windows 8 a catastrophe, it's helpful to understand that Valve has set up its own software store and service. So when you buy, say, Civilization V from them, you basically install Valve, which then downloads Civilization V from the internet and runs it on your system - and indeed, any computer you own, even your Macbook, since you are running it from the internet. Great plan, right? Except that Windows 8 sets up its own software store (very similar to Apple's App Store and Google's Play). And there's a concern that the Windows store will be the only way to install software on Windows 8. So Valve's Gabe Newell is worried. "There's a strong temptation to close the platform," he said, "because they look at what they can accomplish when they limit the competitors' access to the platform, and they say, 'That's really exciting.'"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Microsoft, Apple Inc., Google]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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