OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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December 22, 2010

Pedagogical Promiscuity and "Assessment for Learning"
Artichoke, Artichoke, December 22, 2010.

OK, let's get right to the end of this one, as this is where we find the proposition being argued against. It is this: "Conventional wisdom is that students need knowledge of how to search rather than mastery of basic facts." And we back up a couple paragraphs to get this: "Larry Sanger (2010) in "Individual Knowledge in the Internet Age" presents a compelling argument against rejecting knowing content and factual knowledge." But nobody is arguing against content; that would be like arguing against nouns. The argument is against the supposition that there is some specific content that must be learned. So we go back to the beginning of this post and ask, "what is assessment for learning?" What is assessment (still working in reverse, back up the argument) "in the culture of Google and Wikipedia," "in the culture of language, symbols and texts," "in a culture of participation," "in a culture of consumerism – where students are consumers and commodities?"

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Announcing Open Course: Learning & Knowledge Analytics
George Siemens, elearnspace, December 22, 2010.

So here's another new open course announcement: "We (Jon Dron, Dave Cormier, Tanya Elias, and [George Siemens]) [are] happy to announce an open course on Learning & Knowledge Analytics. If you're interested, please join this group LAK11. All updates on the course will be posted there. The course is offered in preparation for the Learning and Knowledge Analytics conference."

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What's wrong with MOOCs? Some thoughts
Jenny Mackness, Jenny Connected, December 22, 2010.

Bets thing I've read all day: "To think of a MOOC as being wrong is to think of it as a course. For me a MOOC is the antithesis of a course. The principles on which it is based – autonomy, diversity, connectedness and openness cannot be reconciled with a course." If we could get people - including, ahem, some of those offering them - to stop thinking of MOOCs as courses, and to start thinking of them as something else, then we stop saying "what's wrong with MOOCs" and start saying "what can we do with them?"

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44% Of New Twitter Accounts Were Made In The First 7 Months Of This Year
Jay Yarow, Silicon Valley Insider, December 22, 2010.

An interesting chart, to which I've made a few changes (here's my first tweet, just for the record). Just because. Via Rob Reynolds.

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The Evolving LMS Market, Part II
Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, December 22, 2010.

Part 2 of Michael Feldstein's analysis of the LMS market begins with the observation that "there are roughly 875 WebCT and ANGEL customers who will have to migrate to a new LMS in the next few years, in an environment of strong budget pressures." There are some significant anecdotal results suggesting that many large Blackboard clients are about to walk away. Not enough data to establish a trend. The expiry dates of the WebCT and ANGEL contracts suggest "the LMS versions that are available in calendar year 2011 are the ones that they will be evaluating, by and large," says Feldstein, but beyond that, "by 2014 we may see it beginning to change the whole picture for educational technology infrastructure in some fundamental ways." Which sounds exactly right to me, from my perspective.

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Call for Radical Change in Learning Culture
Unattributed, Online Educa Berlin, December 22, 2010.

Summary document from Online Educa Berlin (though I'm not sure how exactly theyt arrived at the consensus). "A new paradigm of learning emerged during the sessions... Leaders in business, education and research were urged to fundamentally change the learning culture of their organisations. It was felt that only an open climate that nurtures learning will enable companies, schools or institutions of higher education to adapt to the ever increasing dynamics of competitive global markets. New media and technologies will help to democratise and accelerate this process." Nothing we haven't been saying here, but of course they don't ask us.

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Open Education Series: PwC Open University unveils free learning material
Esteban L. Hernandez, ASSETT, December 22, 2010.

Today we have another take on the corporate university, as Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) unveils its own free online university covering topics related to business, healthcare industries, and tax services. More from Bloomburg. "Officially launched August 4, the site and its content are still very much in early stages of development. Some topics only contain only a single ‘course,' and could probably use additional material to strengthen the topic." No degrees yet, let alone content, but with the recent developments in Britain can the PwC branded MBA be far behind?

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Is It Too Late To Exploit RSS In Repositories?
Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, December 22, 2010.

Brian Kelly writes, "RSS does not seem to have been given the opportunity to see how it can be used to provide value-added services to institutional repositories," and asks, "Is it too late?" Of course it's not too late, but it would be helpful if repositories made more useful feeds - including, for example, the ability to retrieve a listing of the total contents, so new users can catch up, and some better client applications. See also this response from Tony Hirst.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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