by Stephen Downes
Dec 08, 2014
he Case for ‘Passive’ Learning – The ‘Silent’ Community of Online Learners
Katy Smith, Donna Smith,
Distance, The European Journal of Open, E-Learning (EURODL),
"‘Passive,’" say the authors, "can be a, somewhat, provocative word." And so there is some controversy in the idea that some people may find value in passive learning. We would call such participants "lurkers" today (with no change in the provocation). This paper examines the idea within the context of two social science courses offered at the Open University. That's probably not enough scale to provide any reasonable set of results (why don't researchers in this field do anything at scale?) but at least it's a conversation starter. "Perhaps," suggest the authors, "engagement (with material, with students, with tutors etc.) is critical, but not necessarily ‘active’ participation." Not surprisingly, the authors find there is a case to be made.
Yahoo Starts Selling Flickr Users’ Photos
So here's why I kept the 'Non-Commercial' clause on all my Flickr photo Creative Commons licenses: " The Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo! will begin selling prints of 50 million Creative Commons-licensed images uploaded by Flickr users... Images bearing a Creative Commons licenses that allow for commercial use will be sold as canvas prints for up to $49 each with no payments going to the image owners. Instead, Yahoo! will retain all revenues."
Kings of the Cashtag – Analysing cashtags using a social media monitoring tool
I hadn't heard of 'cashtags' before but they do sound like a good idea (I have heard of TalkWalker and subscribe to a number of their alerts). "Created by using the dollar sign ($) and a company’s stock ticker symbol (e.g. $AAPL is Apple’s cashtag) cashtags are a method of highlighting Twitter conversations that relate to a particular company’s stock." It makes me wonder what other sorts of tags we could create. Like 'bangtags' to specify language. Or the 'smashtag', made from a percent sign, to tell people you're not interested in a topic - tell people 'no more brunch pictures' like this: %brunch (see here - language warning). And why not use the 'hat tag' for a Hat-Tip, instead of the clumsy H/T, to credit someone for an idea or link. Like this: ^@cogdogblog. Or what about the 'asktag', to footnote addresses, references, or additional information. For example, "It will be a nice day tomorrow. *snow" means that by 'nice' what I really mean is that it will snow.
Gender Mainstreaming Toolkit for Teachers and Teacher Educators
Sibyl Frei, Sevilla Leowinata,
Commonwealth of Learning,
I haven't heard the term 'gender mainstreaming' before, but this workbook has worthwhile objectives:
- "improving the access, participation, success and decision-making of girls and women in education
- "to show why gender equality is important to students, teachers, schools, communities and
- to show "how teachers, education institutions and other stakeholders can make changes that
will help both girls and boys participate in and succeed at school."
I also like the way the document draws a clear relation between gender equality and poverty. "Much has been written about how educating a girl will benefit her whole family and her community. Research has shown that investing in education improves the health of mothers and children, enhances the social and economic situation of families and communities and leads to a better future."
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