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by Stephen Downes
May 28, 2010

Marca's World Cup calendar
This is a fantastic World Cup calendar, one of the best examples of digital design I've seen. It's in Spanish, but language will be no barrier to anyone using it. , , May 28, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

2 must-read blog posts
Jane Hart links to two posts citing the work of Hermann Ebbinghaus on memory. "Dr Ebbinghaus' experiment revealed we suffer an exponential 'forgetting curve' and that about 50% of context-free information is lost in the first hour after acquisition if there is no opportunity to reinforce it with practice". Consequently, "Designers need to get off the content bus and start thinking about, using, designing and exploiting learning environments full of experiences and interactivity." But not, I would say, simply to foster memory. Learning is not simply remembering. Jane Hart, Jane's Pick of the Day, May 28, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Jumbled early reflections of eLearning Africa
Somehow this sort of conference reflection is a lot more valuable to me than paper summaries. Basically it's just an overview of the conference, the facilities, traffic, craft shows, and the reception she received from the locals.

There's quite a bit more converage of eLearning Africa online. This summary (Spanish, French, English) outlines peacemaking with e-learning in the northern rift. Here are the ten winners of the eLearning Africa photo contest. Other stuff related to the conference includes a car-battery powered thin client, a journal on Africa from Emerald, a white paper on mobile phones (but better, read this backgrounder on mobile phones in Africa posted on e-Literate; see also Helge Scherlund), more news and links from Tony Bates, still more links from Ignatia, and the Education Africa blog. Karyn Romeis, Karyn's erratic learning journey, May 28, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Grainne Conole is inviting people to become involved in a study of open educational practices (OEP). "The OPAL ( project is an international network to promote innovation and better quality in education and training through the use of open educational resources. We have collected over 60case studies of OER initiatives and from these abstracted a set of associated Open Educational Practices (OEP). Open Educational Practices (OEP) are defined as the set of activities and support around the creation, use and repurposing... The spotlight event is occuring online and will also be discussed at the EDEN conference in Valencia on 10th June. In addition we would welcome views from the community about the dimensions we have derived and also the OER case studies. An online space has been set up to facilitate this consultation process." Via email from Susan D'Antoni. Various Authors, Website, May 28, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Wikipedia and Inherent Open Source Bias
I agree with these criticisms of Wikipedia and would argue for even wider changes. The author describes a bias against commercial platforms on the CMS page, a bias attributable to a pair of avowedly pro-open source editors acting as gatekeepers. As a consequence, through appeal to the 'notability' clause, listings of commercial CMSs were deleted. This sort of thing won't be solved merely by making the interface and guidelines more user-friendly. Yes, there is a demographic ("young, male and self-assured") problem. But the real problem is, first, the notability criterion, which is pernicious, and second, the sources of evidence criterion, which limits support for notability, in practice, to "peer reviewed publications, credible and authoritative books [and] reputable media sources." Sure, fix the interface. But Wikipedia should never have listened to its critics, should never have imposed notability criteria, should never have created a privileged editor class. It was better when it was edited by its readers. Related: Wikipedia, Notability and Open Source Software. Dan Zambonini, Contentini, May 28, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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