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by Stephen Downes
March 20, 2009

Growing - Reflecting - Enabling - Engaging - Networking
A project that suits my inclinations. "Distributive leadership" can be defined as "the distribution of power through a collegial sharing of knowledge, of practice, and reflection." In that context, this report finds "Distributive leadership is most successful if the leadership roles and responsibilities are negotiated rather than delegated; distributive leadership harnesses individual strengths and abilities appropriate for the required leadership, irrespective of formal position; and a distributive approach provides [individuals] an opportunity to take a leadership role, ascertain capability, and further develop these aptitudes before acquiring a formal position." Dominique Parrish and Geraldine Lefoe, CEDIR, University of Wollongong, March 20, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Open Educational Resources Africa
Tony Bates writes, "OER Africa has been established in the belief that Open Educational Resources (OER) have a tremendously powerful positive role to play in developing and capacitating higher education systems and institutions across Africa. The project has been set up to ensure that the power of OER is harnessed by Africans for Africans to build collaborative networks across the continent. For an article on OER Africa, see e-Learning Africa, No. 4, March 12." Tony Bates, e-learning & distance education resources, March 20, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Caught (Unfortunately) On Tape
You read this sort of story a lot, the one where somebody does something online and lives to regret it. In this case, it's a professor who utters something stupid, where formerly, "in the sanctity of the classroom, when you say something, it stays there," but now, it's online. I have two views. First, openness is good. If the behaviour was inappropriate when seen by everyone, it was inappropriate, period, and should not have been covered up by the so-called "sanctity of the classroom." Second, as more and more practices become more open, the self-appointed guardians of morality in our society - you know who you are - are going have to lighten up and stop pretending people live lives of sanctity. Nobody does, and we should stop pretending. Jeffrey R. Young, Chroncile of Higher Education, March 20, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

A Plan to Develop and Spread Better College Teaching Practices
OK, some links and discussion on the spread of open education into the mainstream. Which is a good thing. Now about teaching practices. Here's my take: open education will come to include not just open content, as we see in the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, but also delivery, as George Siemens and I demonstrated in CCK08, and eventually assessment. Which means there's going to be a lot of ad hoc teaching going on out there. So, if there's a plan to spread better teaching practices, we need (a) to understand what those are, as I still do not see anything approaching consensus in the field, and (b) some effort to share those with people who are not college professors, but who will likely be called upon to offer some open teaching some time in the future. Randy Bass and Bret Eynon, Chroncile of Higher Education, March 20, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

New Video & Blog About Mobile Learning
Tony Vincent introduces us to Cathie Norris and Elliot Soloway, who are featured in a new video from the Mobile Learning Institute's video series A 21st Century Education and who have launched a new blog called Tech Disruptions. They write, "We will address topical issues that arise as technology continues in its inexorable way to engender changes in K12. Here is your opportunity to express opinions about the changes that technology has wrought." Tony Vincent, Learning in Hand, March 20, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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