by Stephen Downes
Jun 01, 2016
This is some of what we were working with when we developed the Personal Learning course (sadly no more MOOCs until I figure out a way to pay for them). The idea was that we could connect to any LMS using our Arke prototype - this is how we were connecting to the OpenEdX installation using the personal learning environment. Ultimately, of course, we would have connected with the list of LMSs just as this application is - "Rather than building a unique solution for each Learning Management System, learning applications can now be connected with almost all EDU Learning Management Systems using one standard."
"Right now," says Richard Poynder, "the open access revolution is stalling, and before it will be able to move forward again it will be necessary to recover territory that OA advocates are currently giving away to publishers." Hence this interview (28 page PDF) with Michaël Bon, who launched a new open-access publishing service called the Self-Journal of Science (SJS). Bon argues "OA advocates have been trying to do things back to front, and as a result have played into the hands of publishers.... By contrast, says Bon, SJS is focused on exploiting the new environment to reinvent scholarly communication."
When I was in grade five I won the public speaking competition with a speech about Sir Frederick Banting and the discovery of insulin. It was uplifting and mildly patriotic. But when I was in grade eight I won the same competition with a scathing and powerful speech against the Vietnam War. I won the following three years as well, finishing with "How to be a dictator in give easy steps". The ability to write and deliver a speech is a powerful force, and I'm glad it was developed in me. So I feel for Leanne Mohamad, a 15-year-old student at Wanstead High School in London, who won a regional final of the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge for a moving speech about the Palestinians called ‘Birds not Bombs’, but was barred from participating in the final. She should be allowed to speak.
There' some good information about design in this article as well as some insight into how humans perceive (and even some information about how humans perceive as compared to algorithms). The studies look at how humans perceive lines, shapes, objects and colour: what we think they mean, and what insights and interpretations we draw from different types of representations. Worth a look.
"The thousands of small adjustments we make each day are barely noticed," writes Simon Terry. But change is a constant in human life, and it should be a constant in organizations as well. "Their existence is almost entirely driven by competition for resources, stakeholders and attention. They must deal with the scaled change and complexity of people internally and externally every day." So far so good. But why then this fixation on purpose, as though it were some centerpiece through which all change must flow. Purpose - the reason for being - must change also. It must be responsive to the changes within a person or within an organization as well as changes in the environment.
If we think of external factors as drivers of change, then the purpose of an organization is an attractor of change - and in a chaotic environment, it becomes a movable target, a strange attractor.
As a cartography aficionado I also have notice the declining quality o Google maps, and in particular the disappearing city names. The author talks about the imbalance (too few cities, too many unnamed roads) at a certain scale, but if you zoom in you'll also notice it difficult to find street names and the names of rivers (you also get a totally different selection of city names). As suggested, these chages to Google maps are probably because it is optimized for mobile (lines good, text bad). "Unfortunately, these 'optimizations' only served to exacerbate the longstanding imbalances already in the maps. As is often the case with cartography: less isn’t more. Less is just less. And that’s certainly the case here."
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