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by Stephen Downes
June 24, 2010

Einstein for the Masses
From Open Culture: "Who couldn't use this? A basic introduction to Einstein's thinking – one that assumes no prior knowledge, just an open mind. In one short hour, Ramamurti Shankar (Professor of Physics & Applied Physics at Yale) breaks down Einstein's theories and formulas for a lay audience. If this whets your appetite, then you'll want to download Shankar's free course called The Fundamentals of Physics. You can download it here (iTunesYouTubeWeb Site), or find it in the Physics section of our big collection of Free Online Courses." Dan Colman, Open Culture, June 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Educational Publishing Oligopoly
Jim Burke is asking the right questions. "In case you might not have noticed, a handful of major educational publishers now dominate the education market, being lead by McGraw-Hill and Pearson. These same publishers had great influence in creating the Common Core State Standards. What are the implications of this concentration of power?" Jim Burke, Learning in Maine, June 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Pay Attention to these 10 Emerging Technologies
MIT Technology Review's list of the 10 most significant emerging technologies. It's a good list, worth a look. The mobile 3D shown here exists, I've seen it (it's a bit larger, more expensive, and the 3D is inside the device, not above it). Solar fuel is a good idea, as are photovoltaics generally. I'm not so sure about social TV (how did social browsing play out? Social what now?). Gary Woodill, Workplace Learning Today, June 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The New Existentialism: The End of Faith in Institutions and the Birth of WiFi Homesteading
My own scepticism about institutions is well documented, but I didn't expect to see a similar doubt expressed elsewhere. So out of the blue, it seems to me, comes this article from Clark Aldrich. "HBO's 'The Wire' documented and forecasted it. BP's monument in the Gulf to greed and incompetence just visualizes it. The false productivity philosophies of metrics and accountability have created cultures that hugely reward the 'management' of value (read that, zero sum clawing of credit and hollowing out of others' work) rather than the creation of it. Sharp elbows, spinning, and relentless self promotion have become better adaptations and predictors of success than innovation." Clark Aldrich, Unschooling Rules, June 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Rellution is now Blogged
So, how long before a new Anya comes along and becomes the 'spokesperson' of the secret revolution? This is Alan Levine's slide show for a conference in Edmonton I didn't even know about and hence missed completely, even though I was right in the city. More on the secret revolution here. Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, June 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The novel act of combining
Graham Attwell summarizes Jenny Hughes's contribution to the Critical Literacies course. "The idea of Syntax is based on Saussurean linguistics and is difficult stuff (at least to me). But it is also extremely interesting. Syntax is the study of the principles and rules for constructing a sentence. But, of course, it can also be used as a way of studying other areas, including education and training. Much of the presentation focused on the relations between paradigms and syntagms." This presentation directly informed my talk later in the day (which was in part about models, in part about syntax, and mostly about the connectivist approach to talking about these things). The Elluminate recording of Hughes and Attwell is available, and the preentation page for my talk has all the links working now. Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu, June 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

ISTE 2010 – Backchannel code of conduct
Everybody loves codes of conduct - but really, if you have to tell people "be nice" you have deeper problems than you may imagine. The 'additional details' are as bad as one might expect. "No bad words. Do not talk down to anyone. Cyberbullying is never acceptable." What, really? This sort of code is necessary? For professionals? Scott McLeod asks, "What do you think? Is there anything that you'd add to the list? Is it a good idea for ISTE to have a code of conduct for the backchannel?" What I want to know is what problem they were addressing, and why they think that something like a 'code of conduct' would ever be a solution? Scott McLeod, ISTE 2010 – Backchannel code of conduct, June 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

An introduction to Robert Gagne's Instructional Design Model
Slide show introducing Robert Gagne's nine events of instruction. If you're not familiar with Gagne, you definitely need to take a look, as be is widely known and cited. And if it's all old news to you, that's fine, a little review never hurt. Slides are by Christopher Pappas. Jim Burke, Learning in Maine, June 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Dr. Phil Calls for Federal Crackdown on Cyberbullying
Why does everyone thing "a federal crackdown on such-and-such" is always the remedy? I am as opposed to cyberbullying as anyone else, believe me, but why would I expect the government's war on cyberbullying to stand any chance of success. Cyberbullying - and bullying in general - are social problems. They are so widespread we have to assume the bullies believe bullying to be legal and to be tolerated. Certainly that's what they see on television. I would say to the adults in charge - if you want bullying to stop, stop bullying. And that applies equally to Dr. Phil, who I have seen more than once use his large size to advantage intimidating a recalcitrant guest. Ian Quillen, Education Week, June 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Design and Development of a Personal Learning Environment: Researching the Learning Experience
Rita Kop has posted a paper from the Plearn project she presented at EDEN in Soain. She summarizes, "Another presentation on the PLE research. This time a presentation that I gave at the EDEN conference in Valencia earlier in the month. I didn't manage to capture the audio at the conference so recorded the half hour audio, which doesn't sound as natural as it would have been at the conference, but there you are, that's life! The presentation is on the research in developing engaging learning experiences in a PLE." Rita Kop, Plearn Blog, June 24, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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