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by Stephen Downes
October 23, 2009

Cape Spear

I tried to take some time off this week, an effort that ended up a miserable failure as I ended up attending meetings, writing reports, answering emails and still losing ground. Frustrating, and not at all relaxing, though at least I could sleep in a bit and get caught up on that (mind you, some extra undeserved stress caused me to simply lose that sleep, so that didn't help either). I did manage - by skimping on some reporting work and missing a meeting - to get out for a few hours to Cape Spear and Cape Tormentine, where I took this photo. Here is the set of beautiful photos (Slide Show Edition). Next week: back to the office, where I can lose ground and get frustrated the old fashioned way. Stephen Downes, Flickr, October 23, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

I think that scheduling a conference on Twitter is a bad idea (there. I've said it). Why? Well, while "According to Dave Ferguson, Twitter chats are no different than the business conference cocktail houra prime time for networking," my own experience is, when I say something at the conference, it isn't sent out to 2000+ people who may or may not be interested in this particular conversation. I think, if you're going to have a conversation with a particular subgroup, use a system specific to that subgroup, and when you use Twitter, remember that the message goes to all of your followers, not just the particular clique you are hanging out with today. Dave Ferguson and Christy Pettit, eLearn Magazine, October 23, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Informal Learning and the Transfer of Learning: How Managers Develop Proficiency

Interesting chart describing how managers build proficiency. Janet Clarey, Workplace Learning Today, October 23, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

My Official Feedback
Tom Hoffman wraps up his 'official feedback' on the on the Common Core Standards. It might otherwise make for a good laugh - the proposed standards, after all, are "not defined and explained clearly enough to generate a valid outside evaluation." But the entire process raises the more serious issue, especially relevant in a time of rapid change, increasing diversity, and greater specialization and personalization, whether common standards need to be defined at all, and if so, what they could be. I continue to believe that if there are elements of learning required in common by all students, these elements will manifest themselves through the practice of each student fulfilling his or her own ambition, and do not need to be defined in advance through some sort of standards-setting exercise. And, in the event that people disagree with this, then I would echo Hoffman's advice, to scrap the document "in favor of one of the many well regarded and vastly better developed examples." Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC, October 23, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Publish or Perish: Educational Content at a Crossroads
Clark Quinn, on the dimellans face by publishers and the new value proposition: "Educational publishers have a lot of opportunity to change, but little choice. The nature of their business and the changing environment provide little opportunity to do aught but find new ways to capitalize on their core value add of high quality content. Doing that in the digital era means leveraging that content to create a compelling learner experience. Understanding learner experience, content development processes that can deliver flexible learner experiences, and the ability to explore different offerings and exploit those that have market resonance is the fundamental change needed to publish, not perish." Clark Quinn, eLearn Magazine, October 23, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

John Willinsky on Open Access
"Open access, according to Willinsky, means free online access to peer-reviewed, published literature. The concept reflects the trust in which the public has invested among academics (particularly, but not necessarily exclusively) relative to human knowledge and the fundamental human right to know." I have a lot of difficulty with the idea that "knowledge" is produced exclusively by academics through the peer review process. So far as I am concerned, open access means something wider, because knowledge is something wider. Mark Federman, What is the (Next) Message?, October 23, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Moodle is now certified SCORM 1.2 compliant
Moodle is now certified SCORM 1.2 compliant, the main impact of which will allow it to satisfy the criteria specified on RFPs. Michael hanley, E-Learning Curve Blog, October 23, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

An announcement went out over the internet today about Raindrop, Mozilla's answer to improving email. "A central principle behind Raindrop is that messaging should be personal - we want Raindrop to be people-centric both in how we process messages, and in how we can help give people control over their personal data and experiences." More from Mashable. Jane Hart, Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day, October 23, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Sexy Inc. Our Children Under Influence

I've been trying to take some time off this week (not very successfully) in order to catch up on sleep and rest. So this afternoon I got a chance to look at some NFB archives, and in particular, to watch this film. It's not suitable for children, but parents and teachers should look at it. Sophie Bissonnette, NFB, October 23, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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