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by Stephen Downes
February 25, 2010

Teachers as Master Learners
Over time, I have been drifting further and further away from saying anything about teachers. That is partially in reaction to the pull, when talking about teaching, to revert to traditional roles and traditional behaviours: presenting, interrogating, evaluating. And it is because I feel I have more useful to say to people (including teachers) about how they can best learn, not how they can best teach. But finally, I feel - along with Will Richardson in this post, and George Siemens, in the post that inspired it - that the 'new role' of a teacher is to be a "master learner", demonstrating by doing, not by telling. Will Richardson, Weblogg-ed, February 25, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Sumo Paint
One of the things I really miss on my Mac is PaintShop Pro - but maybe Sumo Paint could fill the void. Sumo Paint is a web-based application, but loaded very quickly and has all the versitility of PaintShop pro. There's also a download version, which I haven't tried, but since it's a Flash application, it will also run on my Mac (not on an iPad though). Via Ignatia. Various Authors, Website, February 25, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Learning from Canada's schools
The Fraser Institute completely misrepresents Canada's school system while explaining why it outperforms the U.S. system. It presents Ontario as a 'school choice' system and suggests there is no Federal funding for education. Though education is a provincial responsibility in Canada, and though school boards have a great deal of local autonomy, the federal government is a major funder through a variety of programs. Also, it should be noted, contra Joanne Jacobs, that Canada's health care program is run in pretty much the same manner. Hospitals are a provincial responsibility, but mostly controlled locally, by hospital boards. Health care insurance is single-payer, managed by each province individually, and people exercise a choice of provider. Then there is the Canada health act, which guarantees the insurance system, and is backed large amounts of Federal funding for health care. Joanne Jacobs, Weblog, February 25, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Starting to Think About a Yahoo Pipes Code Generator
Tony Hirst asks the important question, What happens if Yahoo Pipes disappears? There are so many uses for the system that mixes and mashes aggregated feeds, and the system that is used to build them, while not the most intuitive in the world, at least works. Ah, but building a replacement? I can say from experience: not so simple. Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, February 25, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Conformity: Ten Timeless Influencers
What creates conformity? Amazingly, there are ten factors (what are the odds it would be such a nice neat number?) and they are listed here. More seriously, it's a nice brisk read of something we probably already knew but could use highlighting. Via Kottke. Unknown, Psyblog, February 25, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

What's WRONG with the edublogosphere?
Scott McLeod throws out some comment bait with the question, what's wrong with the edublogosphere? The comments are fun:
- people who "uncork" because they feel they are anonymous.
- too much bandwagon-jumping
- all these edubloggers are just talking to each other
- Too few people writing blogs, too few people leaving comments and too few even reading blogs
- the edublogosphere is dominated by the those who are seen as the Mothers and Fathers of education
- The vast majority of the most important voices are too busy to be regular contributors
- Twitter seems to keep many bloggers from posting.
- Too much posting out into the ether, not enough engaging individuals in a conversation.
Like I said, fun reading. McLeod follows up with a post about what's right with the edublogosphere, but that's a lot less interesting. Scott McLeod, Dangerously Irrelevant, February 25, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Student Loans: The New Big Bubble
As funding is cut and tuition fees rise dramatically, the crisis in education approaches. The end won't be pretty. "The free market is really a giant Ponzi scheme where companies hold down workers wages so that the employees are forced to live on debt, and then this debt is bought and sold on a global market... All over the country, tuition is going up, and students are turning to public and private loans in order to finance the cost of their education. Not only does this mean that many students will graduate with huge debts that will take them years to pay off, but the student demand for credit is resulting in a huge gold rush for banks and other private corporations." Bob Samuels, Huffington Post, February 25, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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