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by Stephen Downes
December 1, 2008

The Dawn of Eduprog

"This genre defining movement perfectly reflects a domain that generates questionable "concept" specifcations of baroque complexity (cf. FRBR, IEEE LOM) and application profiles and reports the equivalent of extend guitar solos (cf. DC Description Set profile & UKLOM Core, from the eduprog back catalogue)." See also Brian Kelly. Lorna Campbell, Lorna's JISC CETIS blog, December 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Standards for Technology Enhanced Learning
Passing along a request for input from Erik Duval. He postulates: "The main issue is no longer that we do not have sufficient standards. Rather, we have maybe too many and, more importantly, we don't make use of them in very advanced ways... Tools are lacking or too much let the standard shine through, rather than focusing on the user experience." Feedback is welcome. Also, see his snowflake number paper. Erik Duval, Erik Duval's Weblog, December 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Wii Remote Theremin
OK, I get it now. The Wiimote is a sensor (see, you miss basic points like this when you don't actually get your hands on the technology - and yes, I've asked NRC for a Wii for Christmas). And you can attach it to a computer. Lock it in place and move the infrared LEDs around. And so, "In an ingenious geek-out that's almost too perfectly suited for TED, designer Ken Moore presents a much-anticipated hack of the Nintendo Wii Remote: a theremin." Ken Moore, TEDBlog, December 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Deconstructing the Work Literacy Learning Event
Not long after George Siemens and I launched our Connectivism course, Michele Martin, Harold Jarche and Tony Karrer launched their own Work Literacy structured in a very similar manner and using Ning as the aggregating agent (we used my own gRSShopper). Harold Jarche posted his reflections a few days after the course ended. The current post is Michele Martin's reflection. Interestingly, their experience was almost exactly the same as ours. Martin adds a list of things she'd change for next time: a shorter course, more consistent structure, more explicit sharing of responsibilities. See also Tony Karrer on the course design. Michele Martin, The Bamboo Project, December 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Understanding Knowledge, George Oates, Flickr and Building Learning Communities in School
Two things stand out in this post. One is the obvious statement of the lessons that can be learned from the success of Flickr as a content storage site - "If we are genuine in building a learning community then we need to reduce all the telling people what to do stuff and rark up all the opportunities for belonging - the contributing and participating stuff." The second consists of observations of the differences between keynotes at the National Digital Forum and typical educators' conferences. "The NDF2008 keynotes were notable for their focus on real achievement. The NDF keynoters had all done the stuff they were talking about. ... Conference circuit junkies, (e) learning futurists and prophets didn't get a look in at the NDF08 conference." Well, hrm. Where does that that leave me? Written software? Check. Built online courses? Check. Built a learning management system? Check. Taught in classes? Check. Taught online? Check. Real projects at work in the real world? Check. OK, she must be talking about the other keynoters and e-learning futurists. Right? Artichoke may have a point, but as always, it's better to name names than to paint with such broad tar-brush strokes. Artichoke, Weblog, December 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Digital Age Learning Matrix
Louise Starkey looks at new technologies from the perspective of theories of creativity. Obviously, there are many more descriptions of creativity than are contained in this short paper, but I think that the case is made that a model of "creativity in the digital age" can be used to characterize the use of different technologies for different types of learning, creating a "digital age learning matrix". Louise Starkey, Teaching in the digital age, December 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Blackboard Now Suing USPTO
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Blackboard, which successfully sued Desire2Learn for a patent infringement earlier this year, is now suing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in an attempt to force it to abandon its review of the patent enforced in the court case. This creates what is known in logic as the fallacy of petitio principii. The court ruling presumed the correctness of the USPTO. Now the USPTO is being required to presume the correctness of the court ruling. See also Patently-O, from D2L, and the suit itself. Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, December 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Murray Goldberg, the person who created WebCT, has sent news of list latest creation to what seems to be every edublogger. "Brainify is an academic social bookmarking and community site for university and college students... Collect and share the academic websites that other students found useful in their courses." The interesting bit is that, if you add a resource, you own a bit of Brainify, which you collect as your share of the 30 percent that will be given back to users should the site ever be sold. Various Authors, Website, December 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

VLE Debate: Where's the Debate?
This is one of those 'debates' live the ones they have on TV, where everybody involved comes from the same side. So of course there was "broad agreement" that while "a single institutional monolith is unlikely to find favour with most learners (students, teachers, administrators)... neither is the completely disaggregated approach of consuming feeds produced by a wide range of tools using an equally wide range of PLE components." Having just completed a course that amounts to such a disaggregated approach, I am left questioning this broad agreement. George Roberts, Weblog, December 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Harder Vs. Smarter
"The biggest problem with U.S. public schools is ineffective teaching, according to decades of research." So writes Amanda Ripley in Time Magazine. The 'decades of research' appear to be a fabrication. My take: the greatest barrier to education is poverty and hardship. But instead of actually addressing poverty and hardship, a certain segment of society prefers to deflect the issue by blaming schools. And especially teachers. So we hear, over and over, that the unions prevent administrators from firing incompetent teachers. But this is not plausible. As I wrote yesterday, teachers are fired all the time, and on the flimsiest of excuses. So incompetent teachers can be fired. So it's not the teachers. It's the poverty. Still. Doug Noon, Borderland, December 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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