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by Stephen Downes
October 27, 2008

Web 2.0 Storytelling: Emergence of a New Genre

What is Web 2.0 Storytelling? Bryan Alexander and Alan Levine offer their version in this month's EDUCAUSE Review. Bryan Alexander and Alan Levine, EDUCAUSE Review, October 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Peer2Peer University - Week 1
Summary coverage, with numerous links, on the newly launched Peer2Peer University. "The Peer 2 Peer University is an online community of open study groups for short university-level courses. Think of it as online book clubs for open educational resources. The P2PU helps you navigate the wealth of open education materials that are out there, creates small groups of motivated learners, and supports the design and facilitation of courses. Students and tutors get recognition for their work, and we are building pathways to formal credit as well." Houshuang, Random Stuff That Matters, October 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Flunking Spore - Video Game Failed by Scientists
Here we have the chief danger of using games in learning: "...the problem isn't just that Spore dumbs down the science or gets a few things wrong - it's meant to be a game, after all - but rather, it gets most of biology badly, needlessly, and often bizarrely wrong." See this article. "Spore is essentially a very impressive, entertaining, and elaborate Mr. Potato Head that uses the language of evolution but none of the major principles," conclude Gregory and Eldredge. Sylvia Martinez, Generation YES Blog, October 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Why Web 2.0 Will Not Be an Integral Part of K-12 Education
Yawn. Daniel Willingham is misleading on learning styles, and he is misinformed on web 2.0. The Web 2.0 objection to instructivist teaching is not that students cannot learn - of course they can; if you drill a student enough, they will learn anythging. It's that they learn the wrong things, and they learn too narrowly. They emerge from instructivist methods unable to make their own decisions and to learn for themselves, and unable to navigate through complex phenomena. Indeed, if you ask me the real objection a certain social-political demographic has against progressive learning is not that students fail to learn, but rather, that students fail to be indoctrinated. Willingham demonstrates no awareness that this is what is at issue here, instead using the value-laden term 'success' like it's predefined. Daniel Willingham, Britannica Blog, October 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

The Project Method: Child-Centeredness in Progressive Education
Originally published in 1918, this classic article read as remarkably fresh. "We may say that the child is naturally active, especially along social lines. Heretofore a regime of coercion has only too often reduced our schools to aimless dawdling and our pupils to selfish individualists. Some in reaction have resorted to foolish humoring of childish whims. The contention of this paper is that wholehearted purposeful activity in a social situation as the typical unit of school procedure is the best guarantee of the utilization of the child's native capacities now too frequently wasted." This article would, of course, have been rejected by a contemporary journal: no survey results, and no literature review. William H. Kilpatrick, Teachers College Record, October 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Complaint? Students Don't Hang Out in Virtual Worlds After Class
This is funny. in response to a complaint that students "don't hang out" in the virtual environment after the virtual class (apparently finding it boring) Karl Kapp comments "In the physical world (real world), not many students hang out in my classroom when class is not in session! So why do we expect it to happen in a virtual world?" I think that if the standard of interest to be matched by virtual worlds is 'the physical classroom' we are aiming pretty low. If the best online worlds can do is to match how boring the traditional classroom is, it has no future. Karl Kapp, Kapp Notes, October 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004
Am I an old fuddy-duddy because I'm still blogging like it's 2004? or, as Terry Freedman suggests, is the Wired article declaring blogging dead a mess of muddled thinking? More the latter, I think. I don't see Facebook and Twitter replacing the space where I can publish my newsletter or opine at length on a topic. I don't care 'where the buzz' is. I care about what I want to do. Paul Boutin, Wired, October 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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