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by Stephen Downes
October 12, 2009

Fall Pictures

Andrea and I spent the day today at Fundy National Park and Cape Enrage enjoying the beautiful fall colours. Some really beautiful pictures. Stephen Downes, Flickr, October 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Personal Learning Environments & Personal Learning Networks
Our free and open online conference starts Tuesday, October 13 (TODAY! for most of you) with a talk by Sharon Peters & John Thole at 12:00 noon Eastern time (that's 11:00 a.m. central, 9:00 a.m. on the west coast, 4:00 p.m. in Britain and 5:00 p.m. in western Europe. Sydney? It's 3:00 a.m. You may want to attend the talk 6 hours later by Lucie Gray. Elluminate software will be used for the sessions that you can access here If you have never used Elluminate, you might like to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the software. Various Authors, , October 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

A chat with Stephen Downes on OER
Jane Park from Creative Commons interviewed me about my work and open educational resources. "For me it's how does OER facilitate my mission. My mission is to make it so that every person around the world has full access to educational opportunities and equal opportunity to make the most of their lives. Open educational resources are an important part of that because, of course, access to open materials enables all of that. So what I do works hand in hand with open educational resources in the sense that a lot of what I'm up to is building and recommending networks and structures to facilitate the easy creation, easy reuse and redistribution of resources, and ideally, these are free in every sense of the word resources." Jane Park, Creative Commons, October 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Fractal learning
I don't think this is just right, I think this is exactly right: "In the digital world, entropy is information overload and order is the pattern that emerges from the interconnection of such information. Knowledge is like a hologram. In holograms, even smaller pieces of it include the picture of the whole object. Knowledge is like a hologram. The experience changes as your point of view towards the object changes. The knowledge is not in a single image, but distributed on a network. This is pattern recognition. And it's the culmination of fractal learning."

As I once said, that's what this newsletter is. It consists of thousands of individual posts, each related to the other and cross-liked and cross-referenced. It is an extended treatise on knowledge, learning and community. And it is written in the form of a hologram. Each person sees the same works, but approaches them from a slightly different direction, seeing slightly different patterns in the posts, and when they, in turn, interact later, they create something new. Teemu Arina, Weblog, October 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Real-time web and management cybernetics
Teemu Arina channels Stafford Beer (that should make Scott Wilson happy) in this presentation on "Collaborative Edge: Real-time Social Technologies in the Enterprise." He writes, of Beer, "His ideas were more bottom-up than top-down: due to limitations of single or small groups of individuals to comprehend everything what is going on (=top management), one needs communication and conversation with employees, partners and customers – The very ideas that concepts like crowdsourcing or open innovation aim to address." Teemu, Arina, October 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Outright silliness
Personally, I'm not sure how people were talking about the use of things like Facebook and RSS readers for learning before they were invented. However, as Janet Clarey writes, "Robert Bacal thinks the terms ‘informal learning' and ‘e-learning 2.0′ are 'silly terms to take things we've been talking about (or discarded) years ago, and repackage them with fancier terms.'". Well from what I've seen, people working in e-learning today have made a genuine effort to draw from earlier work, which is why you'll see their writings littered with names like Vygotsky, Freire, Illich and more. And, as Clarey adds, "It sure would be nice if some more 'long term experts on learning' who think '2.0' is all rubbish would put their work, their background in learning theory and their 'hard-core research' out in the public for comment. It's not that hard really. The publish button is just over there to the right." Janet Clarey, Brandon Hall, October 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Open Training Resources
Tony Hirst questions the purpose of open educational resources (OERs): "I wonder (again) what it is we actually expect to happen to these OERs (how many OER projects re-use other peoples' bids to get funding? How many reuse each others ‘what are OERs stuff'? How many OER projects ever demonstrate a remix of their content, or a compelling reuse of it? How many publish their sites as a wiki so other people can correct errors? How many are open to public comments, ffs? How many give a worked example of any of the twenty items on Liam's list with their content, and how many of them mix in other people's OER content if they ever do so?" He concludes, "So here's where I'm at – OERs are probably not that useful. But open training materials potentially are." How about plain ordinary open content? Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, October 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Relating IMS Learning Design to web 2.0 technologies
"There's no point trying to use a coffee machine to make pancakes." Thus Educational Markup Language developer Rob Koper summarizes some of the work on Learning Design, the IMS version of EML. This post summarizes a workshop ostensibly about Learning Design and Web 2.0, though it appears to have focused mostly on the former. Sheila MacNeill, Sheila's work blog, October 12, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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