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by Stephen Downes
July 1, 2010

Stephen Downes – The Role of Open Educational Resources in Personal Learning
"OERs are the words that people use in a dialog or a conversation that constitute personal learning." This is the short one-slide version of my talk last year at the the VI International Seminar on Open Social Learning of the UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning. This page offers videos of both my talk and an interview I gave after. Various Authors, UNESCO Chair in E-Learning, July 1, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Ideals and Reality of Participating in a Massive Open Online Course
We encourage you to attend this online event Organized By: George Siemens, Jenny Mackness, Sui Fai John Mak, Roy Williams. When: on Friday, July 2, at 12 Noon Atlantic time, 11:00 am EST in Toronto or 16:00 in the UK.
Where: Elluminate Room - click here to enter. See more details and RSVP on Connectivism Technology Web 2.0 Education Learning and Research, visit the Connectivism Ning. The associated paper is available here. Sui Fai John Mak, Connectivism Ning, July 1, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The New York Times is Always Right: A Media Literacy Lesson
I read Animal Farm years ago and like everyone else thought of it as an anti-socialist tract. That was, after all, the 'standard interpretation' of the book. But since reading the Orwell Diaries I have been introduced to Orwell the socialist. Today's students fare no better. Clay Burrell says, "If they studied Animal Farm in the classroom, the depressing odds are they learned it as a good, all-American attack on socialism.... Teachers and textbooks who frame the issue this way strangle the baby of inquiry in the cradle, and slip in its place a plump little bundle of propaganda to comfort the kids by cooing that they're on the right side of history." It would be nice to think that we've moved beyond that, but as Burrell notes here, propaganda has been alive and well in the 2000s, at least according to this Harvard study on references to waterboarding. We need media literacy - and critical literacies in general - more than ever in an information age. See also this. Clay Burrell, Beyond School, July 1, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Generation Meh: Empathy and College Students Today
Chris Sessums looks at a study that says "college students today are 40 percent less empathetic than their counterparts in the 1970s." According to a Times study, "Konrath and her report co-authors suggest that a mixture of cultural forces associated with video games, social media, reality TV and hyper-competition have left the younger generation 'self-involved, shallow, and unfettered in their individualism and ambition".'" I have a different explanation. Students haven't changed, demographics have. In the 1970s universities were much more egalitarian than they are today. More and more, you have to be the child of rich parents to be admitted and to pay tuition. This results in the student body, as a whole, appearing to have a greater sense of entitlement. Christopher D. Sessums,, July 1, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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