OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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April 19, 2013

How Can MOOC Platforms Be More Dynamic?: A Comparison of Major MOOC Providers
Adam Heidebrink, MOOC News & Reviews, April 19, 2013


It's interesting to watch someone who has no experience with the gRSShopper cMOOC platform wrestle with the same discussion board issues we faced, and then come up with some of the same solutions. Here's the problem: "As the course progresses, then, Coursera’s forum posts become a labyrinth of missed connection." And the recommended solutions:

  • Integrated real-time discussion ...  An embedded Twitter feed, for example, that provides real-time thoughts appearing directly on the content contextualizes and promotes a more useful discussion
  • Crowdsourced annotations ... Open up in-page annotations, and the reading experience becomes dynamic and communal
  • Promote a more authentic community ... Interactive study environments, live chat systems with other learners currently online and audio/video mentor-mentee relationship need to be integrated into the system
  • Open-source plugins ... I encourage coders and educators to collaborate to develop add-ons and plugins that will fill the diverse needs of the free education world.

I don't think plug-ins are the answer, for a myriad of logistical problems. But the rest make sense and were all tried with some success to more or less a degree in the connectivist courses.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Twitter, Video, Mentors and Mentoring, Experience, Chatrooms, RSS, Online Learning, Audio]

Apple's Virtual University Patent Finally Comes to Light
Jack Purcher, Patently Apple, April 19, 2013


Ever since iTunes University we've all seen this coming, but it is interesting to finally see the lid removed from Apple's "Virtual U" patent application (it's interesting to me that not even the name is original, as longtime ed tech devotees will recognize the name from a Canadian project in the 1990s (and several other projects worldwide more recently)). The Apple patent is sort of an 'iTunes for courses' with the familiar 'cover flow' display and 'ringed binders' of course materials. The original patent was filed in October, 2011.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Apple Inc., Project Based Learning, Patents, Copyrights, Canada]

Fair Dealing for Educators
Matthew Johnson, Media Smarts, April 19, 2013


The Canadian 'Media Smarts' website has added a 'Fair Dealing for Educators' section to the site ('Fair Dealing' is the Canadian equivalent to 'Fair Use' in the United States). The section responds to recent changes in the Canadian Copyright Act. "Until last year teachers' ability to use media texts in the classroom was extremely limited by the Copyright Act. Thanks to the expansion of the Fair Dealing exemption, fortunately, teachers and students are now able to use media in much more meaningful ways."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: United States, Canada]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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