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by Stephen Downes
May 20, 2008

International E-Learning Strategies: Key Findings Relevant to the Canadian Context
The release of this report coincides with John Biss's presentation (see below) today at the SCoPE conference. As he said today, there are many initiatives internationally, and this work is relevant to Canada. There was general agreemnt today that it is disappointing to Canada begin to slide in comparison with other nations, as government interest in e-learning begins to wane. It's really good to see this study. Still. I'd be more impressed if it wasn't dated "July 2006". Is this just sloppy formatting, or did CCL actually sit on it for almost two years?

That said, David Porter comments on the SCoPE website what seems to me to be a pretty definitive remark: "In a federated nation such as Canada, good stuff happens despite overall eye-balling by centralized agencies or coordinating bodies. Maybe we're actually ahead of the curve in socially enabling linkages between people and organizations doing good work in an e-context. The centralized eyeballers either don't know where to look and are stuck in organizational mindsets that are oblivious to ad hoc collaborations and synthetic approaches to knowledge assembly. The abstract cited in the initial post calls for a kind of revealed religion to counter ambiguity, instead of accepting a need for new ways of thinking and linking that might actually be where Canada needs to be (or is)." Monique Charpentier, Christian Lafrance and Gilbert Paquette, CCL, May 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

OCWC Now Hiring: Director of Marketing and Outreach
This is a great job for someone - and as I commented earlier today, the successful candidate is probably an OLDaily reader. The OpenCourseWare Consortium - the organization that promotes and coordinates open courseware activities by colleges and universities around the world - is hiring a Director of Marketing and Outreach. And best of all, you don't have to live in Boston to get the job - your work location is negotiable (not that living in Boston is bad, Boston is a great city...). John Dehlin, OpenCourseWare Blog, May 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Dimdim Unleashes Open Source Eagle
I got a note today on my website to the effect that Dimdim - the open source online meeting server and client - no longer limits the number of users. That seems to accord with the content of the announcement yesterday of the new 'Eagle' version of Dimdim. PDF. Press Release, Dimdim, May 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The Promise and the Potential
Presentation slides by John Biss and Erin Mills, from the Canadian Council on Learning, for the talk given today at the Shaping Our Future conference live session. The talk was fairly generic, with Biss outlining the CCL's take on e-learning and the need for research. Some big questions went unanswered, at least for me. What does the CCL thing constitutes 'evidence', for example - and how can they say that the evidence on e-learning is "thin" in the face of, say, this newsletter, which has thousands and thousands of links to examples, studies, software, blog posts, and so much more? And, for example, what do we do when the cost of researching something is so much greater than the cost of simply trying it to see it it works? We are not bogging down because of lack of research, it seems to me, we are bogging down because of research! John Biss and Erin Mills, Slideshare, May 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Learning to Change-Changing to Learn
Sheesh - a little criticism and Pearson pulls the video 'Learning to Change' linked here yesterday. Who knew they were so thin-skinned? Great publicity, though - now they are the source of error messages across the internet. And it's a futile effort - it took me exactly three minutes to find another copy. And now that we're all wary, you can be sure many people will be downloading a copy. How? By using this YouTube Video downloading tool. I've got my copy (14.6 megabytes). Various Authors, Pearson Education, May 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

I Store My Knowledge In My Friends
Here's a good statement of what that sentence means, from Karen Stephensen: "Experience has long been considered the best teacher of knowledge. Since we cannot experience everything, other people's experiences, and hence other people, become the surrogate for knowledge. 'store my knowledge in my friends' is an axiom for collecting knowledge through collecting people." Interesting tie-in to video of progressive education from the 40s.

Paul Reid also links to Australia's new Education Revolution website and comments, "Rudd is right. Empowering students with access to their own 'digital pencil' and the connectivism it brings is a good start, and will, with trust and time, help them form an aptitude for being creative, critical thinkers - hopefully with inquiring minds to boot." Paul Reid, Digital Chalkie, May 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Lesson #1 Share... The Presentation
Dean Shareski offered this well-received presentation at TLt in Saskatoon on the virtues of sharing, and here provides a 23-minute narrative of his slides (since the presentation wasn't recorded - note to conference organizers, recording conference audio is very cheap and is almost a must-do in the age of podcasts). What I like is that Shareski is very clear about why sharing is important, as he clearly realizes that professionals have an obligation to model their work and cognitive processes. Dean Shareski, Ideas and thoughts from an EdTech, May 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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