OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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January 24, 2011

Those Barcelona PLE papers
Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu, January 24, 2011.

I feel for Graham Attwell, and can commiserate. He writes, "it is much, much more work than I had anticipated to select appropriate papers for journals with differing foci, to organise peer reviews, to contact authors and get them to undertake the revisions requested and to finally edit and format the different contributions." We've had the same experience. The publishers don't do any of this work. Attwell writes, "I still am not sure how I feel about the academic publishing industry (for that is what it is). I am much happier with publishing in online and open journals. But I wonder if the traditional journal format best serves knowledge development." I am quite convinced that it doesn't. But as Attwell writes, " I recognise the importance for individual researchers in publishing their work." Indeed, if it weren't a requirement for promotion, academics wouldn't participate in this charade at all.

Anyhow, here's the first set of papers, published by the online and open journal, the Digital Education Review:

Strategy approach for eLearning 2.0 deployment in Universities, Oskar Casquero, Javier Portillo, Ramón Ovelar, Jesús Romo, Manuel Benito

Building Personal Learning Environments by using and mixing ICT tools in a professional way, Linda Castañeda, Javier Soto

El diseño de Entornos Personales de Aprendizaje y la formación de profesores en TIC, Julio Cabero Almenara, Julio Barroso Osuna, M.Carmen Llorente Cejudo

Ventajas pedagógicas en la aplicación del PLE en asignaturas de lengua y literatura de educación secundaria. Análisis de cinco experiencias, Rafael Martín García

Evolución y desarrollo de un Entorno Personal de Aprendizaje en la Universidad de León, Fernando Santamaria

If you read these in Google Chrome (as I have been doing recently) you'll notice that translation is built right in. So nice.

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files/images/olpc-peru-problems.jpg, size: 308891 bytes, type:  image/jpeg
Who is to Blame for OLPC Peru's Failure? An OLPC Intern Viewpoint
Wayan Vota, OLPC News, January 24, 2011.

Wayan Vota reports, "Jeff Patzer, a 2010 OLPC intern in Peru, is publishing an amazing set of posts where he tries to explain why the OLPC Peru Una Laptop Por Nino' is failing." Patzer writes, "the teachers were not going to get the help they needed from the [Peruvian Ministry of Education]." Vota suggests that Patzer agrees with Christoph Derndorfer, who wrote that " this drive-by implementation model has only one outcome: laptops are getting opened and turned on, but then kids and teachers are getting frustrated by hardware and software bugs, don't understand what to do, and promptly box them up to put back in the corner." But in the end, it's not necessarily the "drive by" approach that's the problem, but the laptop itself. "OLPC built a laptop that doesn't work well and has many problems. The Peruvian ministry of education has software that is too buggy and an infrastructure not built to support the deployment."

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An unnoticed potential problem in the making
Rob Abel, IMC GLC Public Forum, January 24, 2011.

People are quite rightly delighted at the announcement of a program to put up to $2 billion of funding toward open educational resources in the U.S. college sector. However, in an email to IMS members and an announcement in the IMS GLC public forum, IMS CEO Rob Abel notes that the program requires that the content be delivered in SCORM. He writes, "(SCORM is) an antiquated content format developed by the U.S. Department of Defense. The SCORM requirement is a ticking time bomb with respect to being able to meet the need to reuse and remix the TAACCCT-created digital courses and resources - which is a key expectation of the program. SCORM will add enormous cost to the creation of the courses and to the platforms that must deliver them. This is a marquee example of over regulation with additional cost and no gain." See also Michael Feldstein.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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