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by Stephen Downes
July 19, 2010

Moncton 2010 IAAF World Jr Championships

We had a grand opening ceremony tonight for the IAAF World Jr. Track and Field Championship in Moncton. I'll be attending all week, so expect lots of photos. Stephen Downes, Flickr, July 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Opening doors
Brian Lamb has it exactly right - but is anyone (in power) listening? "Given the crises in economics and the environment, and the many challenges we face in modern society, it seems perverse to hoard knowledge in any form. We have an urgent need to harness all the ingenuity and expertise that we can, and higher education must show leadership in this respect," he argues. Steve Wheeler, Learning with 'e's, July 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

I think we've decided it's called xWeb - "the utilization of smart, structured data drawn from our physical and virtual interactions and identities to extend our capacity to be known by others and by systems." It's what I once called the Semantic Social Network, with the addition of mobility, personalization, virtualization and presence. Rita Kop posted today on the extended web, saying "The combination of all four would lead to Web X.0 (Steve) or Web X (Stephen). I myself actually prefer the full name ‘the eXtended web' as it tells us a little more about its possibilities for learning, and George rightly asks for the lift of the debate from semantic games towards what this Xweb (;-)) means for education and learning." George Siemens, Connectivism, July 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Searching for India's Hole in the Wall
More evidence from Hole-In-The-Wall about what people constantly tell me is impossible - children learning on their own. "The contrast here was for me pretty stark: One the one hand, you had two computers set up outside which received minimal maintenance, and which anyone could use from 9-5 each day. There was no direction on how to use this equipment, but that didn't stop kids from figuring it out via trial and error (or, more often, from other kids). On the other hand, you had a dozen computers locked up in a school just a short walk away, gathering dust for lack of 'qualified teachers' to use them, and direct their use." Michael Trucano, World bank, July 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The eLearning Salary Gender Gap

*sigh* It's a brand-new field, so why is there already a gender gap in e-learning; why are women paid less? It makes no sense, and you certainly cannot write it up mas 'historical factors'. "There continues to be a consistent gender gap in pay between men and women. On average, men are paid 14.5% more than women. This gap is most notable in part-time employee pay, where women receive an average hourly rate that is 49.4% lower than the rate men receive, while working a comparable number of hours." Cammy Bean, Cammy Bean's Learning Visions, July 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

6 Crucial Social Media Tips for Traditional Media
The funny thing about these social media tips for media is that they are exactly what they want to do. Well, except for maybe the self-promotion. And the tracking (which audiences don't want). Still, it's an interesting list:
- Share content
- Curate conversations
- Engage audiences
- Promote your presence
- Customize the experience
- Track everything
Erica Swallow, Mashable, July 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Context of Character: Are the Links in Your Blog Posts for Sale?
Vicki A. Davis asks, "Could bloggers you know be selling out on the sly?" the answer, of course, is probably yes (but, just for the record, not on this blog). "This raises a huge question and thus the point for my pontificating openly. If I'm getting these solicitations you can bet the ruler in your desk drawer that other educational bloggers are getting them too!" Yup. Davis calls for a code of conduct - but again, as I've said in the past, the code isn't needed by the people who would follow it, and is simply evaded by those who don't. There is no real solution but to be attentive. And don't gang up on the blogger who identifies the corporate link - this has happened to me in the past and wasn't very nice. Victoria A. Davis, Cool Cat Teacher Blog, July 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

PLE2010 Conference – what did we achieve
Graham Attwell summarizes what was achieved at the recent pLE conference:
- "we seemed to have moved beyond the stage of defining a PLE by what it is not i.e. not a VLE"
- "One controversial issue was how far it was possible to provide an institutional PLE."
- "the innovation in appropriating technologies for pedagogic innovation."
- "disappointment was that the major focus for PLE development and implementation for the vast majority of participants was for learners within schools and universities."
I can relate to this last. I feel, despite the postential of the PLE to change education, that discourse is constantly dragged back into more traditional educational modes. Part of this is inescapable, as for the most part it is educators that are interested in PLEs. But at least a part of it is a failue to imagine a wider vision. Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu, July 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Building Digital Skills for Tomorrow
This is a link to a summary of my contribution to the Digital Economy Strategy consultation process. The document summarizes an interview conducted by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and was submitted to Industry Canada. In this contribution I consider the implications of the fact that "the only thing holding the public education system together is the assessment and credential system that creates a monopoly on education." I observe that "we do not have the resources to provide education to all members of society in the way that we do it now, through universities and public sector funding." Stephen Downes and Various Authors, Stephen's Web, July 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Italy: Teachers' Manifesto
Claude Almansi writes, "A very active, committed group of Italian teachers have gathered around / within the La scuola che funziona initiative, where they work together on very concrete teaching projects and issues... they have also published a Manifesto about the role and commitments of teachers..." It's the sort of manifesto I can support - it's about teaching by example, empowering students, and making the world a classroom. Here's the Italian version of the Manifesto, and here's the English version. Claude Almansi, educational technology & change, July 18, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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