by Stephen Downes
[Sept] 19, 2014
Personal Learning in a Connected World: Learning and Performance Support Systems
Stephen Downes, [Sept] 18, 2014,
Future of E-Learning Environments, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
This presentation outlines the NRC's Learning and Performance Support Systems program as an instance of a personal learning environment. It situates this program in a context where education depends on the development and refinement of critical literacies, which are in turn fostered by the interactive and communicative capacities of the PLE.
Learning and Connectivism in MOOCs
Stephen Downes, [Sept] 11, 2014,
Desconectado IV Encuentro Internacional de Investigadores en EducaciÓn Virtual, Pereira, Colombia
In this presentation I examine the phenomenon of MOOCs as I see them, explaining how they result from and support an understanding of the world based in pattern recognition. The presentation is structured along the lines of the six major elements of the underlying literacies of network interaction.
A New Weighted Keyword Based Similarity Measure for Clustering Web pages
Shihab Rahman, Dolon Chapa, , Shaily Kabir,
International Jpournal of Computer, Information Technology (IJICT),
Long-time readers (really long-time readers) will know of my affinity for similarity - it was similarity that led me to connectionism and networks. To me similarity still forms the semantic basis for categorization, causation and other predictive events. So this sort of article, which outlines a proposed similarity measure for clustering web pages, speaks to me. And it's not a long jump from calculating keyword weights to calculating weights of connections between them. More from the most recent IJICT, just out.
Competency vs Time
I think it's a bit backward, but Tim Klapdor responds to a recent post by arguing that not caring about time is anti-student. "Who’s time don’t they care about? The students. They can take as looong as they like, why would they care, it’s not their time and it’s not their expense. I think framing competency based education like has an air of contempt for the student and the value of their time." I think his interpretation of the meaning of "don't care about time" is different from the author's original intent.
Educational iPad apps still popular with nine to 11s
The opposite of the headline appears to be the main story here - while educational applications capture the attention of those under nine, as they grow older they tend to shift to "more open-play adventure games, casual/social games and puzzle/creative games." Of course there's no reason these can't be educational games in their own right, but they're not overtly educational, and while the author suggests that some titles retain their popularity with the older crowd, it seems to be a losing proposition. Anyhow, there are some good links to popular applications here, as well as a number of top ten lists.
A Digital Declaration
Interesting statement with which I have a lot of affinity. "In the shadow and gloom of today’s institutional facts, it has become fashionable to mourn the passing of the democratic era. I say that democracy is the best our species has created so far, and woe to us if we abandon it now. The real road to serfdom is to be persuaded that the declarations of democracy we have inherited are no longer relevant to a digital future. These have been inscribed in our souls, and if we leave them behind— we abandon the best part of ourselves. If you doubt me, try living without them, as I have done. That is the real wasteland, and we should fear it."
What Happens When Crowdsourcing Stops Being Polite And Starts Getting Real
I am reminded of the Oculus Rift, which sold to Facebook after being supported on Kickstarter, after which the founding community felt betrayed. This is a similar situation. "Once upon a time, members believed they were the sole engine that makes Quirky run. In this new world, they are a resource." Worse, rights they thought they has as contributors have simply disappeared - by circumventing the usual process in designing Aros for GE, they circumvented the right of a member who proposed a similar idea to he heard, or rewarded. This isn't 'real' in any usual sense of the word, except maybe 'real' in the sense that money trumps rights, as (it seems) it always has.
Games are serious business at news organizations
News agencies are learning the same lessons as educators about engagement, including, for example, games. "We process, retain and share experiences differently than reports," Grace said. "Reports can be very efficient, but they may not have lasting impact. You can receive a report and forget the facts and figures, but an experience lasts in a different way."
On the false binary of LMS vs. Open
D’Arcy Norman dot net,
I'm happy to accept D'Arcy Norman's contention that "We have a responsibility to provide a high quality environment to every single instructor and student, and the LMS is still the best way to do that." But I think he goes overboard i8n his defense of it, and in particular, I think this is wrong: "Any eLearning tool, no matter how openly designed, will eventually become indistinguishable from a Learning Management System once a threshold of supported use-cases has been reached." The history of "history has ended" statements like that is, well, long. And undistinguished. Sure, if you want to keep being a university and teaching classes and such, maybe the LMS is the way it gets done. But why should we believe progress has stopped with the model of the university?
Protecting Personal Data in an LRS
More from the ongoing discussion around the formalization of the eXperience API specification for learning record stores. "These notes intend to contribute to this discussion on a functional and architectural level in order to form a basis for more detailed specifications at the level of data models, communication protocols and bindings."
Online university skips class to be more accessible
The show in a nutshell (transcript is below video): "Almost all of online education today is still based on the credit hour and the course. We don’t have any courses, and we don’t have any credit hours, but we have 120 competencies, and you can master those as fast as you like, or as slow. The thing that we don’t care very much about is time. And that is such a fundamental reversal of the basic structure of higher education."
Le 21e siècle
I've only been able to lightly tough the surface of this website, but it is already evident that it is a significant achievement. It is in French. I'll let Jon Husband summarize from his Facebook post: "It looks at the history of signs, symbols, languages and images as used by humans to make sense of their environment and grow the societies in which they live, and follows the evolution of technology, economics and societal issues, notably through the past half-century, as our inventions and human population and the interrelatedness of our activities have brought us to a point of cultural mutation." The relation between this work and my talk in Pereira is evident.
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