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Open Education and Personal Learning
Apr 23, 2015. Open Education Global, Banff, Alberta (Keynote). Share

Open Education and Personal Learning, Apr 23, 2015.

Enclosure: Open_Education_and_Personal_Learning.docx

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Scientists can build an early-warning system for trolls
Daniel Cooper, Engadget, Apr 24, 2015

I am wary of any headline that tells us what 'scientists' can do. But I also think it's interesting that we can use markers to detect at the onset troll-like activity by forum participants. "researchers from Stanford and Cornell developed an early warning system for trolls. After conducting a study that examined close to 40 million comments, it was found that trolls can be algorithmically identified before they've written 10 posts." I have no doubt - none! - that others are working on this around the world, and that Stanford and Cornell are the ones focused on milking the publicity. It's useful work and I hope that those people actually making the discoveries are credited (as opposed to those with the best PR departments).

Google wants you to download your web search history
Jon Fingas, Engadget, Apr 24, 2015

On the one hand, it's cool that Google will allow me to download my search history. On the other hand, it's creepy that Google has my entire search history.

Open business models, open data, and the public interest
Sarah Hinchliff Pearson, Creative Commons, Apr 24, 2015

As I type this I'm aattending a panel discussion on the Creative Commons open leadership project. This post discusses related work in business models, policy and data. "Creative Commons is developing new tools specifically tailored for ventures that utilize CC-licensed or public domain content as a central component of their strategies. We are also working one-on-one with a handful of companies and organizations to brainstorm new business models and paths to sustainability."

EUA launches Open Access checklist for universities
European University Association, Apr 24, 2015

Something quick, via email: "The Open Access checklist is addressed to higher education and research institutions that are developing, or planning to develop, a policy on Open Access to research publications. It is intended as a general guide in the development of institutional policies on Open Access and can be useful for different stakeholders, including the leadership, administration, librarians and researchers."

Evidence-Based vs. Ideology-Based Open Access Policy
Stevan Harnad, JISC-Repositories, Apr 24, 2015

Stevan Harnad says it perfectly: "In my own opinion there have been four main reasons for the exceedingly slow growth of OA (far, far slower than it could have been) — (1) author inertia and needless copyright worries, (2) publisher resistance via lobbying and OA embargoes, (3) premature and needless fixation on Gold OA publishing and (4) premature and needless fixation on Libre OA (re-use rights, CC-BY)."

Introducing Talkwalker IQ Apps: Actionable Social Intelligence in an Instant
Richard Sunley, TalkWalker Blog, Apr 24, 2015

More evidence that analytics and recommendations are becoming a commodity. Talkwalker promotes its new products on a web page: "We’ve developed our social data intelligence platform to facilitate the social data analytics process. Now with the introduction of our pioneering feature, Talkwalker IQ Apps, our social data intelligence solution has become even more powerful and easy to use."

Facebook: please stop with this
Jay Rosen, PressThink, Apr 24, 2015

This post is a criticism of Facebook's assertion that it does not rank news results. They say: "It’s not that we control NewsFeed, you control NewsFeed by what you tell us that you’re interested in." But of course there is an algorithm that constantly elevates Huffington Post results and buries the posts from people I actually know (and believe me, I do not choose this). "Facebook has to start recognizing that our questions are real— not error messages. We are not suggesting that it “edits” NewsFeed in the same way that a newspaper editor once edited the front page. It’s a very different way. That’s why we’re asking about it! ... we want to know: what are you optimizing for, along with user interest?" Fair questions, and anyone who writes algorithms will have to have answers.


IMS Global Announces Initiative to Establish Digital Badges as Common Currency for K - 20 and Corporate Education
Press Release, IMS, Apr 24, 2015

Knowing IMS, the phrase "common currency" was probably very carefully chosen, and it brings to mind Doug Belshaw's proposal the other day to issue badges using Bitcoin-like encryption. So I wonder whether IMS is thinking that far ahead (it wouldn't be the first time they've picked up on someone's idea like that). According to the press release, "IMS will leverage existing experience, expertise and momentum. IMS Digital Credentialing will complement and further IMS’s leadership in competency-based learning, including partnerships with AACRAO and the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) to define extended digital transcript and CBE interoperability." 2 page PDF. Image: Chris Appleton - found here (good badge overview).

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(presentations include slides and audio recordings)
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Key Articles

Scholarly Articles

Cites:294 Educational Blogging (Local copy)
264 Learning objects: Resources for distance education worldwide (Local copy)
134 E-learning 2.0 (Local copy)
126 Models for sustainable open educational resources (Local copy)
88 The future of online learning (Local copy
75 Learning networks and connective knowledge (Local copy)
70 Design and reusability of learning objects in an academic context: A new economy of education (Local copy)
59 Resource profiles (Local copy)
40 Learning networks in practice (Local copy)
33 Semantic networks and social networks (Local copy)
35 An introduction to connective knowledge (Local copy)
27 Design, standards and reusability (Local copy)
23 EduSource: Canada's learning object repository network (Local copy)
22 An introduction to RSS for educational designers (Local copy)

(Cites from Google Scholar for an H-Index = 14)

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About Stephen Downes

Stephen Downes is a senior researcher for Canada's National Research Council and a leading proponent of the use of online media and services in education. As the author of the widely-read OLDaily online newsletter, Downes has earned international recognition for his leading-edge work in the field of online learning. He developed some of Canada's first online courses at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba. He also built a learning management system from scratch and authored the now-classic "The Future of Online Learning".

At the University of Alberta he built a learning and research portal for the municipal sector in that province, Munimall, and another for the Engineering and Geology sector, PEGGAsus. He also pioneered the development of learning objects and was one of the first adopters and developers of RSS content syndication in education. Downes introduced the concept of e-learning 2.0 and with George Siemens developed and defined the concept of Connectivism, using the social network approach to deliver open online courses to three thousand participants over two years.

Downes has been offering courses in learning, logic, philosophy both online and off since 1987, has 135 articles published in books, magazines and academic journals, and has presented his unique perspective on learning and technology more than 250 times to audiences in 17 countries on five continents. He is a habitual photographer, plays darts for money, and can be found at home with his wife Andrea and four cats in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.


Stephen Downes travaille pour le Conseil national de recherches du Canada, où il a servi en tant que chercheur principal, basé à Moncton, au Nouveau-Brunswick, depuis 2001. Affilié au Groupe des technologies de l'apprentissage et de la collaboration, Institut de technologie de l’information, Downes est spécialisé dans les domaines de l'apprentissage en ligne, les nouveaux médias, la pédagogie et la philosophie.

Downes est peut-être mieux connu pour son bulletin quotidien, OLDaily, qui est distribué par Internet, courriel et RSS à des milliers d'abonnés à travers le monde. Il a publié de nombreux articles à la fois en ligne et sur papier incluant The Future of Online Learning (1998), Learning Objects (2000), Resource Profiles (2003), et E-Learning 2.0 (2005). Il est un conférencier populaire, apparaissant à des centaines de manifestations à travers le monde au cours des quinze dernières années.

Vision Statement

I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.

This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence. This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward.

Canadians who gave their lives in service in Afghanistan

Hundreds of my IAAF Track & Field Photos from Moncton 2010

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