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by Stephen Downes
November 27, 2008


Various, Websites, November 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Edu-RSS Feeds
KerryJ plugs the Edublog Awards. People typically recommend and vote for blogs they already know. Here is a much more complete list of edublogs than is generally available elsewhere. I hope readers will take the time to have a look through at least some of the blogs they may not have seen before. Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, November 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Learning Styles in Context
Neil LaChapelle has posted a book on EDUCAUSE. It is "on the underlying dynamics that give rise to learning styles, personality styles, management styles and other similar phenomena." I haven't had a chance to read it (can someone write a review?) but I don't want to let it pass unrecognized, particularly in light of various debates about learning styles. Neil LaChapelle, EDUCAUSE Connect, November 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Diversity in Recommender Systems: Sketch of a Bibliography
The conversation between myself, Daniel Lemire and Seb Paquet on diversity on social networks continues. Here, Lemire sketches the beginnings of a bibliography. A number of commenters add even more resources. If you think there are things wer should be reading here, please let us know. Daniel Lemire, Weblog, November 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

PLEs and PLNs Using Edna Tools
Slide presentation on a current topic. "By building a professional/personal learning environment and network - you can channel the flow and build a support team of friends, colleagues and mentors to help you make sense of it all." KerryJ, Weblog, November 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Intro to Open Education - The Game
I can just picture David Wiley scratching his chin and wondering, "What will we do this time?" What he will do this time is to offer his open online course as as a massively multiplayer role-playing game "in which students select a character class, develop specialized expertise, complete a series of individual quests, join a Guild, and work with members of their Guild to accomplish quests requiring a greater breadth of skills than any one student possesses." Good idea, but I don't like the 'quests', which are indistinguishable from assignments. For example, "Carefully review at least 100 pages of historical information on the open education movement. Pass a basic-level oral defense on the history of the movement or write a substantive summary article on the same topic." David Wiley, iterating toward openness, November 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

World Campus Cots
Via Terry Anderson, a set of 1-3 minute videos recorded by Larry Ragan asking various experts to identify one core competency for online teaching. Larry Ragan, YouTube, November 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Just rolling my eyes over this one (I personally couldn't get past the disagreement of tense in the first sentence). Of course, then there's this: "You cannot assign a 21st century 12 year old in California the task of analyzing "Anne Frank," at most they can analyze the text and her characterization of herself. And waitaminute, does the first sentence really say this is a 'novel?'" Um, hmm. Hoffman notes, "The point is that this assignment is just one fake prop among many held up by self-styled education reformers who know or care nothing about the messy details of teaching and learning." And then there's Deborah Meier, from today: "These guys... are con men. ... 'business generally avoids performance pay, schools are the safest places children frequent, private school enrollment is declining, business recommends against numerical goals, and public schools generally perform better than charter schools.'" Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC, November 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

EDC's Presents - Copyright and Connectivism
I am speaking at Carleton University in Ottawa on December 3, as posted here, and hence have added the EDC Blog (Educational Development Centre) to my blogroll. It's a nice find. But I had to smile, on reading this: "Since Lively is still the BETA stage, we are likely to see massive improvements/changes in the application once the first real version is released." This was from November 17. And of course, Google announced three days later that Lively would be killed. Technology writing can be harsh. Harsh. Various Authors, EDC Blog, November 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Virtual Action Learning: What's Going On?
This is a good paper so far as it goes, though it feels a bit out of touch at times. The authors provide a background to Action Learning and describe its online form, Virtual Action Learning. Then they look for instances of it and find only a few instances. This is what strikes me as odd. For example, they write, "VAL is evolving... with the majority of cases occurring in Form 2 – asynchronous text. This is the only asynchronous form in evidence; perhaps not surprisingly there are no examples found of Forms 4 and 6 – asynchronous audio or visual ie use of recordings." Even if we construe Action Learning fairly narrowly (which the authors do not) there are many examples of Action Learning using audio and video online (names like Sprankle and Wesch spring immediately to mind). Alas, perhaps, not in the literature (such as it is). Reading academic literature is no substitute for real research. The full text is oddly not available off the English page, but can be found from the French and Spanish (still in English). More articles from the current issue of elearningpapers. Mollie Dickenson, Mike Pedler, John Burgoyne, elearningpapers, November 27, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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