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by Stephen Downes
January 27, 2010

Personal Aggregate, Filter & Connect Strategies
Despite the nice follow-up from Tim Kastelle, the wrong message is still being distributed from the Innovation Leadership Network. It's not just "aggregate - filter - connect." I know it's a nice simple version being used for some business presentations, but to represent the middle step as simply to 'filter' misrepresents what's going on. A dumb machine may filter, but learners and knowledge workers do two very specific things: they remix - which is to say, they bring (possibly filtered) elements from different (possibly filtered) sources together. And then they repurpose - which is to say, they localize, translate, interpret, comment, or in some way add value and their owm perspective to the work. Even a dumb neuron sends out its own signal, and not just a copy of an input signal. It may be the case that business types need it really simplified (such a sad commentary on the business world) but simplifying this idea to such an extreme is an unhelpful bit of rebranding. Tim Kastelle, Innovation Leadership Network, January 27, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

More Link Pollution – This Time from is rewriting the links placed into posts by member bloggers to add redirections and tracking data. According to a WordPress forum explanation, "[R]edirection is related to the ads that sometimes are placed on blogs … [P]urchasing the No Ads Upgrade will stop the redirection." people have to own their own server, their own domain, unless they want to contribute to the fog of advertising that hangs over us all. Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, January 27, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Steady Long-Term Trends Rule the World

Kevin Carey reports on a new report released from the Sloan Consortium reporting a steady rise in student enrolments in e-learning classes. The report states, "Over 4.6 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2008 term; a 17 percent increase over the number reported the previous year. The 17 percent growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 1.2 percent growth of the overall higher education student population. More than one in four college and university students now take at least one course online." Carey reports (accurately), "The report didn't get a great deal of media attention, because the media has a terrible bias toward unpredictable short-term change." But the trend, he argues, strikes directly at the heart of the existing system. he cites a Kaplan University advertisement and observes that "It's striking how direct and harsh a critique of traditional colleges and universities this is. 'Steeped in tradition' is generally taken as a good thing in higher education, not grounds for denunciation." Kevin Carey, The Quick and the Ed, January 27, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Apple iPad: Everything You Need to Know

OK, let the record to show, that when I made my prediction in 1998, I even got the name right. Here's what I wrote, "The PAD (Personal Access Device) will become the dominant tool for online education, combining the function of book, notebook, and pen. Think of the PAD as a lightweight notebook computer with touchscreen functions and high speed wireless internet access. The PAD will look like a contemporary clipboard and will weigh about as much. Its high-resolution screen will deliver easy-to-read text, video and multimedia. The PAD will accept voice commands, recognize your handwriting, or accept input via a touch-screen keyboard." Apple's iPad was announced today, and yes, I want one. I predicted a $300 pricetag; it comes in (on day one) at $499. More, from Mashable, Gearlog, CJR, Mike Caulfield, BBC, and... phew! Millions more links. John Herrman, Gizmodo, January 27, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Teachers and Community Members Practice TLC with PLCs
"We need to let go of the idea that heroic individuals will change schools." Agreed. The media pounds home the myth of the 'superhero' president (or CEO, or quarterback, or rock star, or whatever) who solves everything), but the myth of the heroic teacher does more harm than good. But must the alternative be to "work collectively", to "collaborate?" I don't agree, because this requires subsuming one's personal values, beliefs and objectives to a common vision (and usually one defined through a faulty process). People must see their own success realized through the larger success, which requires a model of cooperation, not collaboration. Ellen Ullman, Edutopia, January 27, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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