by Stephen Downes
Jan 23, 2015
Using Gamification to create a Blogging Culture
The Learning Generalist,
I like the way this experiment begins: "How about we used the same money that we’d use to hire a journalist, to instead engage ThoughtWorkers in writing about their work lives? Not only would the communication be far more authentic, we also stood a good chance of shaping a culture where people could write freely without the fear of being judged or considering their experiences to be 'not much to write home about'."
Teaching and learning through dialogue
Learning With Es,
I think that dialogue is really important in learning, but then, I construe 'dialogue' much more broadly than most - I think of a walk through the woods as a dialogue with the park, or a walk through a city as a dialogue with its inhabitants. I consider scientific experimentation as dialogue, archaeological digs as dialogue, and space exploration as dialogue. I wish teachers would do all of those things more, and bring their students with them. Steve Wheeler is far more interested in the traditional role of dialogre in teaching - "The teachers who have inspired me most are those who have been accessible rather than remote, personable instead of stand-offish" - and while I agree with this, I think it's only a small part, and if you don't understand why it's important, as we see with the larger examples, it's easy to dismiss as irrelevant. P.S. I love the diagram in this post, but I think the 'Knowledge', 'Experience' and 'Creativity' lables are just wrong.
Why Finland is finished as role model in education
Donald Clark Plan B,
This is generally a good article but it has the old saw about how mono-cultural mono-lingual countries are the ones who do really well on the PISA tests. One commentator noted that Finland education supports several languages, and of course Finns typically speak English as well as their native language. And Canada, which also sits near the top of these rankings, is almost as multi-cultural as it gets, and supports numerous languages in addition to its two official languages. But more importantly, I think, the article makes the case that the Finns never really believed in the rankings in the first place. The article also shows Finland "near the bottom of the league table when they measured how happy students were at school" (of course, school is less of a privilege of the elite in Finland than it is in these other countries), comments on Finland's weak economy, and asks why it scores poorly in TIMMS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) (which I don't think it does, really). I think the article makes some good points, but I think it also has an agenda that is not supported by those points.
A Photo A Day Keeps the Dullness Away
One comment I saw several times in my recent survey was that people missed seeing my photos in OLDaily. I do enjoy sharing my photos, and I'll look to finding a good way to reincorporate them. But in the meantime, just like Alan Levine here, I've been participating in a photo-a-day project off and on for years. These days it's mostly on - I have the complete set from 2014 and have been at it regularly in 2015. Now I don't know whether I'll follow the guidelines in Levine's You Show’s The Daily – a site that will generate a small creative challenge every day at 8:00am PT - but it's a good source of ideas and I'll watch it for inspiration. Meanwhile, you can follow my photos ever day on my art blog. Note that I don't embed tweets the way he does because I want longer captions on my photos, so I can tell a little story each day too. I spend a fair amount of time thinking about these stories, and creating them is a source of enjoyment for me.
Making Sense of Words That Don't
This is an article that combines two separate concepts, does so in a confusing way, and will confuse rather than enlighten if used to teach language. The concepts are, on the one hand, prefixes and suffixes, and on the other hand, word roots and etymology (or what might be thought of as families of words). The former are pretty familiar, including the use of suffixes like '-ion' to create nouns and '-ly' to create adverbs, or '-es' to indicate person and tense in verbs. The latter is not activated through the use of suffixes, but rather the migration of a word through history, though the use of prefixes and suffixes is sometimes used here as well. Combining the two - especially with grammatically inaccurate matrices, simply confuses the two distinct concepts.
This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe,
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.