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by Stephen Downes
September 1, 2010

Ewan McIntosh – Creative Thinking Approaches with Digital Media
Ewan McIntosh is in the land down under regaling them with his own brand of social learning. I like this bit: "Ewan's Challenge: What passion can you discover and explore in 100 hours? It is one hour every day for 3 months – becoming an expert in that time." Me? I plan to become an expert in Philip Marlowe. Graham Wegner, openeducator, August 26, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Networking Set to Get a Whole Lot Faster
When we're thinking broadband in the future, we should be thinking fibre. "Recently Intel announced a new technology that is capable of data speeds of 50Gbps using light." Gary Woodill, Workplace Learning Today, August 26, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Learning as a free spirit
Tom Haskins reviews Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success. "I got to wondering if all the difficulties we experience when we're free to learn as we please, comes from preliminary experiences with too much structure. Bach learned very early to self-structure. He eventually recognized patterns in what worked for him as he routinely faced too many options for further learning. His array of 'metacognitive strategies' is impressive and exemplary for anyone needing examples to imitate." Tom Haskins, growing changing learning creating, August 26, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Tell Sally Your Stories: Monthly, For a Year
Sally Fincher wants you to share your education stories with her. "In her keynote as the ACM SIGCSE 2010 Outstanding Contributions to CS Education awardee, Sally Fincher talked about the "useless truths" that education researchers publish.  While they're true, the published lessons are often too hard to take from their abstract, general form into the concrete, daily practice of the teaching practitioner." At her website she is collecting and documenting these stories. Mark Guzdial, Computing Education Blog, August 26, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

How This Plays Out
Because he's probably right, I'll just quote the whole post: "Based on the Gates-funded Common Core Curriculum Maps, and the general reaction to them thus far, at the high school level these standards won't be taken much more seriously than any other set of high school standards at first.

What's going to come down the pipe shortly thereafter, however, will be a generation of very consistent, narrowly-focused and predictable high school tests, end of course tests, formative assessments, etc., which are exactly aligned to the standards as written, as I'm reading them here. They will also be fairly hard.

So, while schools that aren't really worried about passing the tests thanks to their affluent population can afford to follow, say, this Common Core Curriculum Map, since it is rather loosely aligned with the CCSSI standards, schools with students at risk of not passing the tests will experience a whole new paradigm of rigorous test prep in the high school ELA classroom. A paradigm well suited to hybrid and online instruction.

Why do you think Tom Vander Ark is so excited?" Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC, August 26, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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