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by Stephen Downes
August 25, 2010

From Sweden to NY: Self-paced school
It's well worth keeping in mind that the sort of things we talk about here are not just happening in our own little group, but are rather happening in clusters across the country and around the world. Case in point: "In a Kunskapsskolan Education (KED) school, middle-class Swedish children set their own curriculum and learn at their own pace. It's the anti-KIPP, says Take Part. And it's coming to the U.S. A group of New Yorkers have applied to open a Manhattan charter middle school on the KED model, reports, which notes, 'The KED model aligns with the progressive educational practices used in many District 2 schools serving middle-class neighborhoods.'" KED promises personal learning and yet is highly structured, depending on who you talk to. Joanne Jacobs, Weblog, August 23, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

You are here: Home / Innovation / Textbook Revolution is Close Textbook Revolution is Close
This might be the last year that the annual textbook purchase at the bookstore is 'normal'. Steve Borsch writes, "Stumbling across inkling today, I see that the possibilities to revolutionize the textbook itself-and leverage ones social graph-is even a better idea than just cramming a static textbook in to an iPad." Steve Borsch, Connecting the Dots, August 23, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Power of Power Laws
"We're shifting from a Gaussian world to a Paretian world," writes John Hhgel, "with profound implications for business." The Gaussian world is the world of the bell curve - of averages, the golden mean, the rule of the middle. The Paretian world is the world of the power law, of a few extreme events and the everyday scattered in the long tail.

The thing with this discussion is, the two types of woprlds are being described as if they are natural phenomena, as though they are patterns that we just fall into. I don't agree with that reading - I think these are patterns we create through the design of our networks and systems. Is this how we want to organize society? I have argued in the past that we want a world that is neither Gaussian or Paretian - a world where neither the golden mean nor the extreme event swallow all else, a world where the graph represents, as much as possible, a horizontal line, a world of balance and harmony. John Hagel, Edge Perspectives, August 23, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

The two types of augmented reality
Interesting discussion of augmented reality that I think makes some useful distinctions, including this:
"Type I Augmented Reality (AR1), whereby the artificial imagery is layered over the background from the personal POV in real-time;
Type II Augmented Reality (AR2), whereby the artificial imagery is layered over the background from an impersonal POV or not in real-time."
From the same author: some interesting remarks on learning styles and what may be the most narrowly focused joke in the world. Ryan Tracey, Learning in the Corporate Sector, August 23, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

SCORM Harmonization
A meeting to harmonize SCORM is being planned; IEEE/LTSC, AICC, ADL and LETSI will all be represented. The meeting runs September 7 and 8 and can be attended online. "The conceptual model that underpins a "next" SCORM is framed in terms of key capabilities (Provisioning, Delivery & Launch, Presentation and Tracking) realized through suites of openly available technical specifications. The SCORM Harmonization ‘glues' these capabilities together in a manner that provides a solid baseline, while enabling innovative, value-added solutions to be built on top by specialized Communities of Practice, vendors or other groups. Various Authors, Website, August 23, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Diving into Perl 6
This is just a post to remind me that I'm following this 'diving into Perl 6' series. I'm not at all sold on Perl 6 -- to me it feels like a ten year digression from Perl 5 (which is what I use). But, "Perl 6 might be really cool, however it's very different from its predecessor. I suppose I agree with Andy that Larry can put the label Perl 6 on whatever he wants. But it might as well be call LarryLang 1." So, it's OK. And there seems to be some new support for Perl 5, so maybe it's not dead after all. I certainly get a lot of mileage out of it. Andy Lester, Perlbuzz, August 12, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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