by Stephen Downes
Oct 19, 2015
Introducing The One Repo
Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week,
As Mike Taylor writes, in academic publishing "we have something like 4000 repositories out there, balkanised by institution, by geographical region, and by subject area." So he and some colleagues have launched the One Repo. Which is a nice idea (links below). But here's the thing: almost nobody needs the whole mess of 4000 repositories and who knows how many journals all in one place. At best, we need a subset. Still - I like that he is doing something about the problem, which is way better than sitting on the sidelines and whingeing. Now, as promised, links:
p.s. yes, the blog really does generally feature pictures of sauropod veterbra.
The Web We Need to Give Students
This post captures what is for me one of the major motivations for building a personal learning environment in the LPSS program: "The importance of giving students responsibility for their own domain cannot be overstated. This can be a way to track growth and demonstrate new learning over the course of a student's school career - something that they themselves can reflect upon, not simply grades and assignments that are locked away in a proprietary system controlled by the school. And if a student owns their own domain, as she moves from grade to grade and from school to school, all that information - their learning portfolio - can travel with them. Education technology - and more broadly, the culture of education - does a terrible job with this sort of portability and interoperability." To me this is simple and logical. Getting people to actually build it and pay for it - this is the much greater challenge (and the one I've been engaged in for the last few years).
5 Ways Creative Work Is Like Working Out
I have said many times that learning is a lot more like exercising than it is like storing stuff in a computer. Thatès sort of the sense behind this post. John Spencer asks, "But what if the relaxation you get from creative work is closer to the relaxation you feel after working out? In other words, what if creative work actually includes work? What if there's a certain grind to it that ultimately leads to success?" To me, that's what it is - writing this newsletter, for example, is a creative exercise that makes me feel good and makes me smarter (well, I think it makes me smarter).
Building Your Roadmap to 21st Century Learning Environments
Cable Impacts Foundation, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, State Educational Technology Directors Association,
Educators are told today that students need "educational curriculum that provides students with opportunities to develop critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity skills while strengthening personal attributes like persistence and
leadership." This guide helps them map the learning environments that will lead to this outcome. Here are the core principles:
- Learning is personalized—it seeks to address each individual student’s needs.
- Learning is rigorous—it challenges students to meet defined, high expectations.
- Learning is flexible and adaptable—it adapts to students bringing diverse prior knowledge to any learning experience.
- Learning is open-ended and inquiry-based—it requires students to be active learners by investigating questions, solving problems...
- Learning is ongoing—it involves students engaging outside the traditional classroom.
All these seem pretty reasonable to me. The framework itself can be viewed in a single table (pp. 21-23) of the 105 page PDF. See also the companion website.
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