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by Stephen Downes
October 7, 2008

Promoting a Culture of Reading in Kenya

This is a very interesting article, not simply because of the issues it raises on the surface, but also about the way the various diensions of educational policy play out in Kenya. "English is therefore seen in very pragmatic terms. It is used to obtain an education and write exams." Konrad Glogowski, blog of poximal development, October 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Bowers Could Be a Turning Point in My Thinking
Leigh Blackall channels Chet Bowers. "Chet Bowers wrote his first book on the connections between education, cultural ways of knowing, and the ecological crisis in 1974. The title of the book was Cultural Literacy for Freedom. Since then he has written over 95 articles and 19 books that examine how language reproduces ways of thinking that were formed before there was an awareness of ecological limits, the connections between emancipatory/transformative ways of thinking and the globalization of the West's industrial culture." Leigh Blackall, Learn Online, October 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Diagramming Sarah

We hear a lot about how students aren't learning to read or write. I would like to point to the sort of thing that causes this. There's this effort to understand the lingusitic structure of a Sarah Palen sentence, above. Or this pointed diagram of her speaking style (language warning). Now it's one thing for a politician to present ideas so poorly. But then we also have the Wall Street Journal cheering her on and saying she nailed it. "She was the star. He was the second male lead, the good-natured best friend of the leading man... Debates are more active, more propelled-they are thrust and parry. They are for campaigners. She is a campaigner. Her syntax did not hold, but her magnetism did. At one point she literally winked at the nation." When this is touted as success by the nation's leading business journal, when this and not organized sentences or truth are touted as being of the highest value, then not only the nation's business sector bankrupt, its premise of fundamental literacy is under siege by the cynical and the manipulative. Kitty Burns Florey, Slate, October 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

NYU Professor Stifles Blogging, Twittering by Journalism Student
I would say that the last people you could (or should) get to stop twittering and texting are the journalism students. But that's what a professor is trying to do. "She told the class to read the article," Taylor said. "Then she asked, 'You all read Alana's article, what did you think about it?' There was silence for a good 30 or 45 seconds, and it was awkward and weird. And she said, 'OK, we can all agree that there will be no more blogging or Twittering about the class.' It was weird. It seemed like the students were scared to say anything." Mark Glaser, Mediashift, October 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Connectivism Squares with Our Experience
Ken Carroll, who runs the ChinesPod and SpanishPod language training services using web 2.0 methodologies, sees a link to connectivism. "Central to connectivism is the primacy of the connection, the belief that more connections lead to more learning. ChinesePod started out with a similar idea: to maximize the interconnectedness between the people, the content, and the system on the platform." Ken Carroll, Weblog, October 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

California OER Bill Is Now LAW, Baby!
This is a bit of a new turn in open educational resources. It's one thing for institutions to volunteer to provide them, quite another for public institutions to be mandated "to establish a pilot program to provide faculty and staff from community college districts around the state with the information, methods, and instructional materials to establish open education resources centers." Alan levine comments that open is in the air. David Wiley, iterating toward openness, October 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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