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by Stephen Downes
June 3, 2010

Learning to Learn
Slides, audio and video from my talk in Toronto. This is a presentation of some recent work I've been involved in, including Synergic3, PLE and Plearn, the connectivism course, and the critical literacies course. Also some content on how to learn, which was not actually presented during the talk. There's also a UStream video available of the talk, here. Presentation by Stephen Downes, DeLC Forum, Toronto, Ontario,

Helping kids connect to their passions and become remarkable: SAVING money shifting to Project Based Learning
Interesting video on project based learning and redesigning the delivery model. Because as long as a school has staff for each of the different disciplines, you can't have small schools without very small student-teacher ratios. Project-based learning is depicted here as a way of maintaining a higher student-teacher ratio in smaller schools - four teachers, for example, in a school of 60 students. But are they educationally sound? The argument is made that "they do more to actually meet their mission" in a project-based environment. Here's more from the 'What's Beccme Clear blog. Wes Fryer's post has the UStream plus a good set of notes. Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, June 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Beyond New Literacies: Journal Issue Looks at New Perspectives, Tensions
Here's a full journal with a theme of "beyond new literacies." I haven't had a chance to read any of it (all-day meetings will do that to you) but I don't want to lose track of this, nor fail to pass it along. I did check, and the articles appear to be open-access. So, enjoy. Christine Cupaiuolo, Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, June 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either)
I've had a look at the iPad and while it is very beautiful I won't be buying one. So this is one tech newsletter where you won't read a bunch of gushing reports about how much I am enjoying my new iPad. Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing won't be either, and he explains why. "The way you improve your iPad isn't to figure out how it works and making it better. The way you improve the iPad is to buy iApps." And even more critically, "Gadgets come and gadgets go. The iPad you buy today will be e-waste in a year or two (less, if you decide not to pay to have the battery changed for you). The real issue isn't the capabilities of the piece of plastic you unwrap today, but the technical and social infrastructure that accompanies it." Yes, there's a lot of pilot fish swimming around trying to pick up some Google juice in the leavings. But I'm much more interested in genuine advances - things like Notion Ink's Adam - than the latest eye-candy from Apple. Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing, June 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

ELI Discovery Tool: Guide to Collaborative Learning
From the summary: "The Collaborative Learning Workshop Guide offers a set of action-oriented, modifiable, modular activities for use in faculty development, staff retreats, or institutional planning. Each of the modules contains topical guidelines, content, resources, and best practices, and each can be easily customized to fit the needs of your institution, department, or unit." Veronica Diaz, Janet Salmons and Malcolm B. Brown, EDUCAUSE, June 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Higher Education's Big Lie
In order for higher education to support social mobility, social mobility must be possible. This is increasingly not the case and questions are beginning to be asked about whether attending college and getting a degree is a key to success. Clearly, finishing with tens of thousands of dollars of debt to qualify only for low-paying positions is not the ticket. Higher education by itself is not sufficient to lift people out of poverty, and it is arguable that the way it is structured it actually thwarts that objective. But I want to argue, in a way the author of this article does not, that it is necessary. Even those people who succeeded without college had some sort of highly specialized knowledge. It may not matter how you get it - and there are certainly better ways than going tens of thousands of dollars into debt - but it is, nonetheless, absolutely necessary. Ann Larson, Inside Higher Ed, June 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

How This Course Works
This is probably the clearest statement I've written about how a connectivist course works. It's funny how time and circumstance produce such results - it was written from my hotel room in Toronto while I was supposed to be preparing a talk. Stephen Downes, Critical Literacies, June 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Corporate Learning at eLearning Africa
More coverage from e-Learning Africa, this time focusing on the talks. There are also slides from Karyn Romeis's talk, "Putting the learner in the driver's seat." She remarks, "One young man informed us in our corporate learning session that we must walk before we can run. I was disappointed. I had hoped that my anecdotes of TV and passenger flights had demonstrated that this was not a requirement." Karyn Romeis, Corporate Learning at eLearning Africa, June 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

OMG! DIY U Means EM Do RTW!!!
The Chronicle reviews DIY-U -- you know this is not going to turn out well. Marc Bousquet writes, "Kamenetz turns out to be an adherent of the most shopworn education fantasy in history: education without educators! Like untold generations of blatherers before her, she opines that information technology will deliver education without an education workforce-therefore saving untold bazillions of dollars that would otherwise go to faculty salary. These savings will inevitably result in a 'free or marginal-cost' education! At least for savvy 'edu-punks' and 'edu-preneurs.' Right you are, Anya, and monkeys are flying through the webbing of my chair seat as we speak." Oh Chronicle - nobody does righteous indignation like you! Marc Bousquet, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Why write when content is free?
I heard in Toronto that Malcomn Gkladwell gets $100,000 per appearance. I don't know how much he gets paid for writing books, but he could be giving the stuff away and still doing all right. That's why you write - well, one reason - when content is free. Scott Adams writes, "I predict that the profession known as "author" will be retired to history in my lifetime, like blacksmith and cowboy. In the future, everyone will be a writer, and some will be better and more prolific than others. But no one will pay to read what anyone else creates." Doug Johnson, The Blue Skunk Blog, June 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

More Devices, More Platforms, More... DRM
Wait a second - did we ask for more DRM? Thought not. So why is Microsoft delivering yet another DRM scheme? Right - because we aren;t the customers. We may purchase the hardware, the readers, the players, the computers, but the customers are the advertisers and vendors who want to use these devices to sell us stuff. And they want DRM. And there won't be any way around this unless we can open up the hardware somehow. Bill Rosenblatt, Copyright and Technology, June 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Will SIM cards replace Eduroam, Shibboleth, etc - another reason for a 5G R&E networks
Instead of Shibbolith or OpenID, SIM cards to manage all internet login functions? What could possibly go wrong? Oh yeah - the fact that they're controlled by the "network operators" - aka the phone company and the cable company. What a disaster that would be. Not that I'm predicting it won't happen - if there's a way to make money out of it (oh, and there is,. there is) I'm sure they're interested. Bill St. Arnaud, Weblog, June 2, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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