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by Stephen Downes
March 30, 2009

Sydney, Australia

I'm in Sydney. If you're trying to reach me, be patient - email is blocked in my hotel, a restriction triggered probably because I use SSH redirect to send email; I can get NRC email using web access, but have to read email over my Blackberry. Yesterday I walked from my hotel in Darling Harbour out to Bondi each. I got to see the results of an explosion at Bondi Junction and a big blackout in downtown Sydney. Exciting day. I'll be adding to this photo set for a few days, so b sure to check back. Stephen Downews, Flickr, March 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Why Use Online Forums in Teaching?
Howard Rheingold responds to the question, "Why use forums in online teaching." Video. Unattributed, MetaMedia, March 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Don't Boycott Amazon's Over-$9.99 Kindle E-Books!
Claude Almansi writes, "Don't boycott Amazon's over-$9.99 Kindle e-books. Boycott Amazon's Kindle e-book reader." I disagree. If Amazon is luring people into its closed market with low prices, then raising them when people are hooked, as one writer suggests, then boycott Amazon. Hit them where it hurts! Claude Almansi, Innovate Blog, March 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Long Live Instructor-Led Learning
For the record, I agree with Saul Carliner: instructor-led training is not on the verge of disappearing, and will still be around in 2019. But not for the reasons he cites. He suggests that informal learning will remain weak because (a) it is sparodic, and (b) it might be inaccurate. So, at best, we'll see a sift to online classrooms, not informal learning. Of course, like all things, it depends on how you count it. As I write at this very moment, informal learning has vastly outpaced formal learning. The evidence lies in billions of web pages being created and read every day. This is data not refuted by surveys of students or of five (count 'em, five!) bloggers. Bad data leads to bad predictions. Yes, instructor-led training will hang around, because people change slowly. That's all. More responses to Carliner from Harold Jarche and Tony Karrer.

Saul Carliner, eLearn Magazine, March 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

fMRI of Learning Styles: Confirmation of Visual and Verbal Learners
I have my doubts about brain imaging (it just feels like 21st century phrenology) but I thought I'd pass along this confirmation of differing learning styles. I think that the idea that there are different learning styles feels right to most people, which raises the question, what to do about research saying that educational outcomes are not improved by adapting to differing learning styles. It seems to me that, if learning styles exist, and education cannot adapt to them, so much the worse for education. We ought to be able to take advantage of learning styles; our failure to do so is not evidence that they are not relevant. Fernette and Brock Eide, Eide Neurolearning Blog, March 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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