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by Stephen Downes
March 29, 2010

Online Events Daily
I've spent the last couple week-ends creating a system that aggregates online events. The idea is that it shows potential event attendees what's happening online right now. It is intended to support open online courses, but of course supports other online events like conferences and seminars. The system is still very bare bones and most definitely under construction, but you can get an idea by visiting. I've posed three items in support of this: Online Events Daily, Complex Events, and the RSS Events Schema. If you host free, open and online events please feel free to try entering an event. If you would like to experiment with the RSS format, a sample file is available. Stephen Downes, Website, March 29, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

LaaN vs. Actor-Network Theory
Mohamed Amine Chatti looks at the differences between network learning and Actor-Network Theory (ANT). "ANT is based upon the principle of generalized symmetry employing a single conceptual framework when interpreting actors, human and non-human," he writes. "Central to ANT is the concept of translation... it reduces all actors into black-boxes, and thus ignores internal actions which are crucial for the creation of PKNs, and hence learning, such as seeing patterns, reflecting, (self-)criticizing, and detecting/correcting errors." Also, "it does not distinguish between complex and complicated systems... and so turn a network from a heterogeneous set of bits and pieces each with its own inclinations, into something that passes as a punctualised actor." Good argument. Mohamed Amine Chatti, Technology Enhanced Learning, March 29, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

First Look at Office 2010 – free e-book
Link to a free eBook (PDF download) on Miccrosoft Office 2010. "It's called 'First Look- Microsoft Office 2010', and over it's 186 pages it talks you through some of the most significant enhancements in the Office suite." Ray Fleming writes, "I'm impressed with the collaboration that Office 2010 encourages, and have got very used to doing things like broadcasting PowerPoint over the internet, and the options to save my files to my SkyDrive. Ray Fleming, Microsoft UK Schools News Blog, March 29, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Classrooms and Content: How New Software and Technologies Are Changing Learning Around the World
Anya Kamenetz has been hitting the magazine circuit in support of her recent book on edupunk. In this Fast Company article, she describes "... how technology could unleash childhood creativity -- and transform the role of the teacher... As smartphones and handheld computers move into classrooms worldwide, we may be witnessing the start of an educational revolution." This is a good summary of the article. Christine Cupaiuolo, Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, March 29, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Lets get real about analysis – starting with the last LS2010 Keynote
The assertion that "you can't predict the future" is usually the first step for a song and dance. You can, of course, predict the future - otherwise, we would never eat, we would be afraid to sleep, and unable to take a single step outside. What you can't do is use static linear models to predict the future - but every serious futurist knows that. Same with "behavioral economics is about slight of hand." If this were true, we'd never know how long to make left-turn lanes (or even whether to make them at all), stores would always run out of stock, and restaurants would have no reason to close between midnight and 6:00 a.m. So I think Gina Minks is quote right to criticize Leonard Brody's keynote (and I find myself wishing she had stood up and said something). See also John Connell, who asks, "Who are ther information imposters?" Not that it helps to out them - I see that crockus proponent Dan Hodgins is still packing them in (and here, and in Canada too). How sad. Gina Minks, Adventures in Corporate Education, March 29, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Open Connectivism Spanish Course
George Siemens points to this open Spanish course being taught using the Connectivist model. "Whenever I see initiatives like this," he writes, "an adaptation and an augmentation of an open course – I'm reminded of the tremendous potential openness has for generating unintended learning opportunities. When Stephen and I first started with CCK08, our focus was on sharing our ideas in as open a format as possible. The decision for openness has generated many unintended adaptations of both the course content and model. I'm convinced that openness is largely about distributing creativity." George Siemens, elearnspace, March 29, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Performance and ADDIE Models

Clark Quinn has been discussing the ADDIE model of instructional design, and Donald Clark offers this nice reflection and great diagram describing the planning and implementation process. Not that I agree with the diagram ("absorbing" leads to "knowledge"? I don't think so) but it looks very nice and is certainly representative of a largish school of (traditional) thought. Donald Clark, Big Dog, Little Dog, March 29, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

How useful is strategic planning for e-learning?
Here's an interesting thought: what if plan required to support e-learning should prove to be impossible? It's not what Tony Bates has in mind in this article, but as I read his preliminary conclusions, it seems to be he has sketched out a mset of requirements beyond the ability of most institutions to fill. Specifically, institutions need:
- a flexible institutional plan in which the strategic importance of technology is recognized
- the development of compelling visions and goals for the use of technology within institutions
- process to draw faculty and instructors into the visioning
- an institutional strategy must be fully supported by all members of the executive team
- technology planning should be an ongoing process
- an environment that supports and encourages the integration of technology.
Can any institution pull this off? Do you know of any? Tony Bates, Weblog, March 29, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Human Element
Inside Higher Ed is writing up Douglas E. Hersh's use of video Skype within Moodle. The real story, of course, is that he had to convince his institution to abandon Blackboard in order to do it. "The [Moodle] interface is designed so that professors can deliver lessons and messages using videos recorded with a Webcam. It also shows students who among their instructors or classmates are logged into Skype, the video-chat service, in case they want to have a live, face-to-face conversation." Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, March 29, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Jorum Newsletters
If you haven't seen it yet, the Jorum newsletter publishes every couple of months. Jorum provides access to free learning and teaching resources created in the UK. The newsletter is inconvenient because there's no RSS and the newsletter is published in PDF, but at least there's an email alert. I received the alert for the March edition today. Featured were a summary of last week's OER10 conference (with a link to abstracts of Jorum contributions), the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), and Joruum's Twitter account and Twitter tag. Various Authors, Jorum, March 29, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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