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by Stephen Downes
May 26, 2009

Distributed Cognition
Interesting and worthwhile paper. "The basic insight of the theory of distributed cognition is that cognitive phenomena generally are best understood as distributed processes... computation is conceived broadly as 'the propagation of representational state across representational media.' In a socially distributed system, people interact with artifacts to create and coordinate representations. Thus, representational state can be 'propagated' across distinct media and across different representational systems." Via Dean Groom. Steven Harris, Website, May 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

IMS's three-pronged strategy
Quick overview of the three major parts of IMS's new strategy: Common Cartridge, Learning Information Services, and Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI). What's out, notes Wilson, are things like Question and Test Interoperability (QTI), Learning Design and IMS Portfolios. As Wilson notes, "Overall the IMS specifications seem oddly out of step with the wider web." But also, this represents a shift for educator priorities to vendor priorities. " And, most critically, there is a big gap between IMS and web standards, as evidenced by the disconnect between IMS LTI 2.0 and W3C Widgets (or even Google OpenSocial)." Scott Wilson, Scott's Workblog, May 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Hacking Education Discussion
As the Metafilter post summarizes, "A couple of months ago venture capital firm Union Square Ventures got together a bunch of smart folks to spend a day talking about how the education establishment in the US can be changed to make it more relevant and useful to many more kids. The results, as evidenced by the transcript, and the summaries by Union Square partners Brad Burnham and Fred Wilson indicate that there is no shortage of interesting ideas for how to do a better job preparing our kids for the future." Having read the transcripts, though, I think the Metafilter commenters have the best take: "What is it about a certain kind of American mindset that feels everything can be solved by the profit motives of the private sector? It seemed like a naive mentality ten years ago, but given the implosion of the economy over the past two years it's feeling downright pathological" and "Capitalism is to education as a pipe wrench is to watercolors." Eric Friedman, Public Union Square Ventures Wiki, May 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Moncton Smart City

So Moncton lost out to Stockhold in the world's "most intelligent city" contest. Probably because people have heard of Stockholm. But Moncton - the city in which I live - has its own story to tell, as this video demonstrates. Here are more videos related to the contest. And Moncton isn't all words; have a look at my Moncton in Spring slide show. Various Authors, YouTube, May 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Web 2.0: Collaboration or Collusion?
Interesting take on the idea of working together, the one (collaboration) something that occurs in the open for the common good, the other (collusion) sdomething that happens in secret to gain an unfair advantage. By the same authors: Pedagogy2.0: A Missing or Broken Link. Brett J. Millan and Rebecca O. Millan, Slideshare, May 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The New Socialism: Global Collectivist Society Is Coming Online
I think that it is a mistake to conflate online cooperation (see below, as well) with collaboration or collectivism. And it is not helpful to use a term describing a form of economic organization - 'socialism' - to describe cooperation and sharing. That is not to say that there are not overlaps, and Kevin Kelly does a good job identifying them. But new socialists, just like old socialists, believe that society as a whole, typically represented by government, should ensure a certain equity of wealth and opportunity. It's not clear that Kelly's version of socialists believe any such thing. Kevin Kelly, Wired, May 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Online Professors Pose as Students to Encourage Real Learning
Um, hmmm. I can't say I condone instructors logging on and posing as students in order to listen in on conversations and prompt discussions in online courses. Yes, I know that 'seeding' and fake memberships is a common practice among commercial online sites. That doesn't make it ethical, though. Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Combining relational grammars
Some nice work being done by Tom Haskins (I wish he'd just post his post, though, and not persist in the silly three-paragraph per day pattern of posting). In this post, he maps the conjoined Cynefin-TIMN framework to a relational grammar developed by Alan Page Fiske. I think there's something work examining here. Buit now - Harold Jarche, in his discussion of Haskin's posts, writes that the 'complex' type of situation lends itself to 'collaboration'. I disagree - and this is something that needs to be drawn out more clearly. I think members of networks 'cooperate' while members of groups 'collaborate'. Tom Haskins, growing changing learning creating, May 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Challenges faced by African Universities in technology integration
George Siemens is in Senegal and overviews conference proceedings on the challenges African universities face when integrating technology. Funding and infrastructure are of course priorities, but so is this: "Political commitment is most important (leaders to be dedicated to introduce technologies in education... political will can address problem of institutionalization)." George Siemens, Connectivism, May 26, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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