OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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October 20, 2010

Why Purple?
Spirit Day honors the teenagers who had taken their own lives in recent weeks. But just as importantly, it's also a way to show the hundreds of thousands of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans) youth who face the same pressures and bullying, that there is a vast community of people who support them.

Personal Learning Environments and PLENK2010
Stephen Downes, October 20, 2010, Training Development Officers, Halifax, via Skype and join.me

I describe the organization of connectivist courses such as CCK08 and PLENK2010, demonstrate some of the technology, and discuss some of the thinking behind the design.

[Link] [Slides] [Audio] [Video]

Various Authors, Website, October 20, 2010.

As a government of Canada researcher, I am a member of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (it's not automatic; you have to apply to join and agree to pay fees, and I have). The PIPSC opened its revamped website earlier this week and today announced the launch of PublicScience.ca in an effort to highlight the contributions public scientists make to society and to underline the need for their work to be free and open to the public. I had nothing to do with the creation of PublicScience.ca but I certainly support the objectives and applaud this initiative.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

All The App Stores
Anil Dash, A Blog About Making Culture, October 20, 2010.

Good examination of the concept of 'App Store' by Anil Dash. He points out, correctly, that there are (or could be) "dozens" of app stores. There's a nice table in this post that makes the point. And in the wake of Apple's announcement today that it will open an app store for its Mac and MacBook customers, Dash describes how an open Apple app store could be created and recommends to Apple application developers that they hurry before the retail space is locked down. "Ship before Lion does," he writes. "If you can't do that, shame on you." They, of course, won't.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Why I'm Not In The Mood To Celebrate Open Access Week
Steven Bell, ACRLog, October 19, 2010.

"Any new ideas for fixing the broken publishing system must take into account the disciplinary prestige factor," writes Steven Bell. Because, to authors, "what matters most – more than the possibility of thousands of hits on Google – is knowing that the 200 people that matter the most in my discipline read my article in our most prestigious journal." It's an old argument - in order to replace the King, you must recreate the King, because otherwise the people will have nobody to bow down to. See also Jim Groom: "What I want to see is some real experimentation outside the order of academies and institutions. A networked approach to learning and sharing that is centered around empowerment of the learner through learning. This can't be impossible." And see also David T. Jones, "Change in education, failure to learn and the commodification of university."

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Assessing the Integration of Information Literacy into a Hybrid Course Using Screencasting
Mary Ann Trail and Amy Hadley, JOLT, October 17, 2010.

An exploration of screencasting. "This article reviews the results of a case study investigating the use of screencasting as a tool for teaching information literacy skills in a blended learning environment." Which is a pretty modest goal, if you ask me. "Examples of screencasting software include Snagit, Capture, and Camtasia." Finally, "in order to maximize student learning the guiding principle for video production became keep them short, keep them simple, keep them short." All very good, but honestly, I don't know how this becomes an academic paper. More from the current issue of MERLOT's Journal of Online Learning and Teaching.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Examining the Anatomy of a Screencast: Uncovering Common Elements and Instructional Strategies
William Sugar, Abbie Brown, and Kenneth Luterbach, IRRODL, October 17, 2010.

As nearly as I can tell, the term 'Screencast' was used by Virage, which trademarked the term and rolled out a screencasting solution in 2003. But TechSmith's 'screencast.com' was created in 2002; someone working on Camtasia development probably coined the term. So the term was not coined by Jon Udell in 2005, as asserted in the second paragraph of this article, though there is no doubt that he popularized it, beginning here, and is widely given credit.

A screencast is "a way to present digitally recorded playback of computer screen output which often contains audio narration" and is now a widely used educational technology. This article analyzes a set of screencasts and identifies a series of structural elements, including 'bumpers' ("a statement of identity at the beginning and/or end of a broadcast"), screen movement, narration, along with five instructional strategies ("provide overview, describe procedure, present concept, focus attention, and elaborate content" - a light version of Gagne's). More from the new issue of IRRODL.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Is Baby Duck Syndrome Holding Back Digital Literacy Development at Your School?
Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, October 17, 2010.

I haven't seen the name 'baby duck syndrome' before, but the phenomenon it describes is something I've seen on numerous occasions. It afflicts not just teachers but almost anyone working with technology. As each new technology is unveiled, it attracts a flock of adherents, who imprint on it (it seems). Not only do they become advocates for the new technology, chiding people who have not advanced from the previous technology, they become hold-outs when something even newer comes along, converting only eventually and painfully. The condition isn't irreversible; I've seen people imprint on a number of different technologies over the years (I am one such, having imprinted on MUDs, then RSS and blogging, and in a different sphere, Basic, and then C, and then Perl). These days I could run down the list of people in the Ed Tech community and lable them by technology: blogging, Moodle, Twitter, Second Life, etc.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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