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by Stephen Downes
February 26, 2009

Future Learning
Presentation to Alec Couros's online education course. The Elluminate recording of the presentation is available, as well as a UStream recording. Presentation by Stephen Downes, EC&I 831: Computers in the Classroom, Online, Elluminate, [Link]

Thoughts On Solutions
Some commentary I submitted to the UNESCO OER discussion. In summary:
- the key is to focus on connectivity, not content
- low-cost 'netbook' computers are encouraged, with an emphasis on local connectivity
- resources should not be directed toward 'givers', as they are the entities least in need of support
- resources should be directed toward helping intended 'recipients' share their own knowledge Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, February 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Successful E-Learning in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
A good paper that looks at the practical application of online learning in small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and observes the results. SMEs face particular difficulties because they do not typically have the resources to manage learning platforms, much less to create courses specific to their needs. learners in SMEs appear to require more affordable options and more flexibility in time and place, with some forms of online learning can offer. While you can read Morten Flate Paulsen's summary of the cases at the end of the paper, you'll probably find more value reading the case studies directly and drawing your own conclusions based on your own experience. Morten Flate Paulsen, European Journal of Open and Distance Learning, February 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

On-Line Course Curricula and Interactional Strategies
The intent of this paper is to introduce readers to a "conceptual model that supports more involvement and interaction within on-line courses." The "On-Line Interaction Model," described in the section of the same name, posts four "levels" of interaction: asynchronous, semi-synchronous, synchronous, and community (the author doesn't actually provide names for these; I have drawn them from the text). The rest of the paper surveys and cites various references in the field to no apparent purpose. Christopher Chaves, European Journal of Open and Distance Learning, February 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Skip Class, Do Better
Again - when you conduct a study consisting only of 64 students in one classroom, you do not have a scientific result worth reporting, much less one that should be covered in New Scientist or the New York Times. And who is behind this study, iTunes? More bad work hidden behind a paywall. Am I missing something here? Have the foundations of statistics and inference shifted some time while I was sleeping? Do sample size and representativeness no longer matter? I honestly do not understand the dedication of what appears to be this entire field to method that to me is so transparently unsound. I wish someone would help me understand here. David Wiley, Iterating Toward Openness, February 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The Netbook Effect: How Cheap Little Laptops Hit the Big Time
The One Laptop Per Child project will most likely be remembered for the revolution in computing it caused rather than for the computer itself. "Jepsen's design trickled up. In the process of creating a laptop to satisfy the needs of poor people, she revealed something about traditional PC users. They didn't want more out of a laptop-they wanted less." It's also worth noting that this was a case where an investment in education (not military or space) resulted in wider social and technological spin-offs. Clive Thompson, Wired, February 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Quebecor Opens Door to Canadian Three Strikes Policy
The New Zealand 'guilt on accusation' fight could be coming to Canada as Quebecor, which owns the Videotron internet service provider (ISP), advocates similar measures. "Quebecor argues in favour of certain instances of ISPs controlling content.... Moreover, it suggests that copyright policies that build upon the graduated response policies in other countries should be added to the list of content controls that benefit society." Michael Geist, Weblog, February 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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