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by Stephen Downes
March 9, 2009

The Invention of Air, PLNs, and School Transformation
Karl Fisch channels Steven Johnson on Joseph Priestly's discovery of oxygen. Johnson: "The idea of proprietary secrets, of withholding information for personal gain, was unimaginable in that group.... But Priestley was a compulsive sharer, and the emphasis on openness and general circulation is as consistent a theme as any in his work..." Quite right, and Johnson is correct to draw the parallel between our age and the enlightenment. The creation of knowledge requires certain skills - they are skills we have gotten away from in recent years, but we can find them again. They are skills like communication and sharing, thinking, reasoning and criticizing, creating and inventing. Karl Fisch, The Fischbowl, March 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

If You Only Had One Minute to Pitch Your Story
OK, these are videos for that contest to live on an Aiustralian island (the contest was probably the public relations coup of the year). They are, of course, creative and imaginative and effective. Now for the kicker: ten years ago, not one student in a hundred, nay, one in a thousand, could have produced videos like this. It's a whole new skill, a vital and important skill, and one utterly necessary not simply from the perspective of creating but also of comprehending video communication today. Some people out there argue that such skills (a) are old hat, and (b) not worth teaching. The world is passing such critics by, and they should not be heeded. Garr Reynolds, Presentation Zen, March 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Friday Five From Wee Web Wonders
Lucie deLaBruere summarizes a visit to the "the vibrant classroom of Dr. Jackie Gerstein and her students," a welcome relief, she writes, "against a backdrop of daily newspaper articles featuring stories of budget woes by surrounding Arizona schools, aging computers, inadequate bandwidth, and exhausted supplies where students are bringing in printer ink and paper from home." Here's more from Jackie Gerstein. Do check her PageFlakes page for a good article, Imagining Schools Without Grades (you'll have to dig for it, PageFlakes has it locked in and buried and hence unlinkable). deLaBruere's post is a nice counter to the grouches who have been attaching the very idea of "21st century learning" recently. Perhaps such cranks should take note that, as Tom Hoffman observes, creative and critical thinking are what the community wants. Lucie deLaBruere, Infinite Thinking Machibe, March 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Introducing The EduGroupie
Graham Wegner introduces us to Flat Chat Learning, who in turn introduces us to the concept of the edugroupie and who points to a Blog by Carol post telling people where they can find new edublogs (not from here, though, apparently). Introducing The EduGroupie , Teaching Generation Z, March 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Do the RAE Judges Read All the Research Submitted? They Couldn't If They Tried
RAE stands for "Research Assessment Exercise" and it's what is done in some jurisdictions instead of using more network-driven forms of evaluation. The idea is that samples of research are produced and sent to a central evaluation agency, where they are read and, um, evaluated. Um, maybe not so much 'read'. John Sutherland, The Guardian, March 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Live 365 Stations Streaming On iTunes
Not everybody works in an office all day. But I do, except when I'm having meetings, which means that radio is my lifeline. Not podcasts - radio. Specifically, CBC streamed over my computer. So I'm interested automatically in Live365. I can't replicate CBC radio. But, is it possible to come close? Anyhow, lots to explore in this post. david n wallace, Blob, March 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

These Lectures Are Gone in 60 Seconds
Somewhere there is a medium point between a full unedited audio recording of a lecture, complete with class organization chatter and long pauses, and the 60-second summary described here. Is it worth producing edited versions of lectures. No doubt. Of all lectures? Doubtful. David Shieh, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Storm Clouds Ahead for Canadian Wireless World
Canadian wireless connectivity has always been bad, and there are concerns that the factors stymieing access may affect the market as a whole, since the same companies are involved. Canadian wireless providers interfere with content, blocking ads, establish walled gardens, force users to their home page, demand prior approval of applications, and more. Michael Geist, Weblog, March 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

11th-Grade Activities

This XKCD comic continually pops up, enough now that it has become a definitive statement of the case for informal learning. I guess it's time it was recorded here too. Randall Munroe, XKCD, March 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Open Education: A New Paradigm
Liking what I'm seeing here. "The education industry must offer (1) more open access to education for more students, regardless of their institution, the region they live in, or any other factor; (2) more open data and processes within and across institutions to improve quality and outcomes measurements; and (3) a more open culture of collaboration to foster reuse and sharing." Michael King, University Business, March 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

13 Reasons Colleges Are in This Mess
The problem with this article is not that there was not "greed, incompetence, and neglect" in the college sector. There was. It is the suggestion that the fix colleges find themselves in has everything to do with the economy and nothing to do with a basic offering that has steadfastly resisted adapting to social and technological change. It's no coincidence that our other information-based industry, journalism, is in the same predicament. Unattributed, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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