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by Stephen Downes
April 3, 2014

The Massive Course Meets the Personal Learner
Stephen Downes, April 3, 2014, EDUCON2014 – IEEE Global Engineering Education Conferenc, Istanbul, Turkey

In this talk I discuss the thinking behind the design of MOOCs and explain how these choices lead to the development of a personal learning environment fraework. Quite a bit of this talk is a reworking of 'The MOOC of One' and I'm trying to develop the ideas regarding pedagogy and theories of knowledge more explicitly. No slideshare yet; uploads are being interrupted every 300K or so (Filezilla just reconnects and continues, but Flickr Uploadr and Slidehare can't recover).

[Link] [Slides] [Audio]

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LRMI, Open badges and alignment objects
Phil Barker, CETIS Blog, April 3, 2014


This is interesting. After a talk on the Mozilla Open Badges community call Phil Barker notes that their (Mozilla's) "assertion specification, which includes a pointer from each badge to 'the educational standards this badge aligns to, if any' ...  parallels the LRMI alignment object  very closely." This naturally leads to the suggestion that the two systems can be, and ought to be, more explicitly aligned. "Not only do the LRMI and Open Badge alignment objects both do the same thing they seem to have have the following semantically equivalent properties relating to identifying the thing that is aligned to."

[Link] [Comment]

PKP Donation Drive
Press Release, Public Knowledge Project, April 3, 2014

I never post donation drive news (so please don't ask) but the Public Knowledge project has very quietly and very effectively been providing Open Journal Systems and Open Conference Sustems for years now. And as they write, "We will never charge for its download and use. All of our community support, including the online help forums, documentation, and instructional videos are free for everyone."

[Link] [Comment]

Taking Notes by Hand Benefits Recall, Researchers Find
Danya Perez-Hernandez, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 3, 2014

I was just going to ignore this but now I see it's getting some pickup, so I feel obliged to point out (to people who really should know better) that one small study of something does not 'show' anything. Here's the Chronicle: "new research suggests that even if laptops are used strictly to take notes, typing notes hinders students’ academic performance compared with writing notes on paper with a pen or pencil." The new study suggests, at best, the need for another study.

[Link] [Comment]

How Does PISA Put the World at Risk: Part 4
Yong Zhao, National Education Policy Center, April 3, 2014

Continuation of the series (see How Does PISA Put the World at Risk: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3). Yong Zhao writes, "Unlike what the report claims, the fact that 'students in some education systems, regardless of what their parents do for a living, outperform children of professionals in other countries' cannot be used to show 'that it is possible to provide children of factory workers the same high-quality education opportunities that children of lawyers and doctors enjoy.'" So what about Shanghai? Look at the distribution of parent professions - and understand, he says, that a quarter of the students were left out of the survey.

[Link] [Comment]

Professional Learning in Massive Open Online Courses
Allison Littlejohn, Little by Littlejohn, April 3, 2014

I can only assume they're not talking about our MOOCs: "A study by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University and Harvard University published April 2014 found that massive open online courses (MOOCs) encourage passive learning among professionals." And the criticisms of these traditional MOOCs are exactly why we structure our MOOCs the way we do: "MOOCs miss the opportunity to exploit the knowledge and expertise diverse groups of healthcare professionals bring to the course." The report findings can be found here. And do follow the link for Allison Littlejohn's comments.

[Link] [Comment]

The place to toot the worth of libraries is NOT in library mags
Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog, April 3, 2014

"Don't advocate for libraries," says Doug Johnson, "advocate for library users." Good advice in general, and can be applied to other domains. Eg: "Don't advocate for schools, advocate for school users." Or, "Don't advocate for OERs, advocate for OER users."

[Link] [Comment]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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