by Stephen Downes
Nov 02, 2016
Blogging is a Choral Act
Bonnie Stewart: "Blogging is a choral act. Posts are commented on; ties are formed. Stories and backstories become known. As I connected with other bloggers and found community first with other parents and then with those whose writing, like my own, unpacked identities in various forms, I stumbled into something extraordinary: a space wherein I was able, in small ways, to publicly mother a child who was not here."
I don't write about libraries a lot because I'm not enthused by stacks of dusty paper. But of course libraries are evolving (slowly) with the digital age, as this report (28 page PDF) attests. I think what we'll see over time is a convergence of the library's traditional role with that of housing and disseminating academic resources, ultimately replacing publishers. Hence we read recommendation 4, "the MIT Libraries should be a trusted vehicle for disseminating MIT research to the world." And recommendation 6: "the Libraries should generate open, interoperable content platforms that explore new ways of producing, using, sharing, and preserving knowledge and that promote revolutionary new methodologies for the discovery and organization of information, people, ideas, and networks." Via Charles W. Bailey, Jr.
This is interesting. Campus Technology summarizes it neatly: "A "boutique" search company has developed a free online resource that lets users search for university and college videos that have been posted to YouTube and then clip and share segments of those videos with students and colleagues." Leaving aside the danger of depending on Google for anything, it raises the possibility of other 'boutique' video search engines./ For example, a search engine specifically for cooking. Or scanning electron microscopes. Or...
Microsoft has announced Microsoft Teams, a product to support work teams, rivaling Slack. The pending announcement prompted Slack CEO to run a newspaper ad "warning that running such a tool is 'harder than it looks'," according to this BBC article. "You're not going to create something people really love by making a big list of Slack's features and simply checking those boxes," it says. "Tiny details make big differences. If you want customers to switch to your product, you're going to have to match our commitment to their success and take the same amount of delight in their happiness." More from Ars Technica, Tech Crunch, the Verge,
It was not so long ago I heard people declaring that paper newspapers would endure and that large publications like, say, the Wall Street Journal, were too entrenched to imagine being impacted by the internet. Two weeks ago the WSJ offered buyouts to the paper’s entire editorial staff. Today came the layoffs and the dramatic reduction in size of the physical product. Meanwhile backs refused to back a loan that would allow Gannet to buy Tronc, the owners of the LA Times and Chicago Tribune. The end is near for paper-based newspapers.
This is a set of six short articles that overall represent an industry-driven approach to support for innovation in universities "by being willing to work with industry as partners and having our researchers work closely to solve key industry issues, rather than looking for places where university discoveries can be plugged in." From where I sit, this may (may) support innovation, but it puts the brakes on disruption and transformation. In a certain sense it represents a diversion of effort and resources toward incumbents and away from new ideas and businesses that would genuinely move us forward. This has been my experience with the policy over the last several years. Yes, this document deserves deeper discussion and criticism. But in my mind it represents a failed innovation policy.
Teachers’ Informal Learning via Social Networking Technology
Radzuwan Ab Rashid, Mohd Firdaus Yahaya, Mohd Fazry A Rahman, Kamariah Yunus, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (IJET), 2016/11/02
I've talked about the way teachers use informal learning for a long time, so it's good to see discussion of this trend in the formal literature. "This research attempts to investigate how teachers engage in informal learning for their professional development when using Social Networking Site (SNS) technology." At this point, it is true that a "social networking site, such as Facebook is a potential platform to engage teachers in informal learning for their professional development." But I wouldn't depend on these over the long term; we need a social network, not a social network site. "Content knowledge is the most frequently exchanged knowledge on the teachers’ Timelines (33%, n=35). This is followed by knowledge of curriculum (25%, n=26), general pedagogical knowledge (16%, n=17), knowledge of learners and their characteristics (14%, n=15), and knowledge of educational contexts (11%, n=12)."
This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.
Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.