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April 15, 2011

The ds106 99: #3 Innovation in elearning interview
Jim Groom, bavatuesdays, April 15, 2011.

files/images/cropped-toomuch.jpg, size: 17788 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Interview with Jim Groom on the structure and direction of his Digital Storytelling course (#ds106). The course is interesting because it was set up as a MOOC, which means wild and distributed, but with popular culture, rather than education, as its central focus. My take on the outcome is that people really like popular culture and want to feel free to deconstruct it, reassemble it, and use it to create new messages (or sometimes just to echo those of the original producers). And I think that the core of the course - which I followed for the duration - stayed true to the core of connectivism, even if Groom was not particularly attempting to adhere to any theory (and nor should he). Groom says, "the challenge is giving up some idea of property and control over the course. Letting others bring their awesome ideas to the table and let them execute them. People are creative and awesome, and if you let them go, they will amaze you. That is what happened in ds106." There are whole schools of thought devoted to the study of educational practice, and yet they never seem to achieve the results we seem to find through the abandonment of educational practice.

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Yale Rolls Out 10 New Courses – All Free
Dan Colman, Open Culture, April 15, 2011.

files/images/225x133xyalecourses4-e1302855720188.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ZPaEnDp1Ov.jpg, size: 10179 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Yale rolls out ten more new open online courses - but with titles like Capitalism: Success, Crisis and Reform, Foundations of Modern Social Theory and The Moral Foundations of Politics they seem to me to resemble a political campaign as much as they do an education. Far more worthwhile, meanwhile, are Walter Kauffman's lectures on Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre. Kaufmann was a constant in my reading lists in 1992 and 1993. "More than anyone else, Kaufmann introduced Nietzsche's philosophy to the English-speaking world and made it possible to take Nietzsche seriously as a thinker – something there wasn't always room to do in American intellectual circles." If that doesn't grab you, perhaps the eight videos composing American Philosophy the Film might appeal to you.

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What the Post-PC Era Means for Education
Jonathan Nalder, Education Technology Debate, April 15, 2011.

It's the future of education futurists have been looking toward for some time. "As an industry that traditionally was focused on centralised knowledge, the stable, fixed model of computing of the PC era was much easier to integrate than the mobile and agile model emerging in the Post-PC one. Whether this means that Education as it stands today will suffer the same fate as the technology company Bell Labs did (hint, they went bankrupt) during the transition from pre-PC, vacuum tube mainframe computing to the microchip PC era (as Heppell, LWF Talk, 2011, thinks likely), is yet to be seen."

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Learning Futures Festival
Various Authors, Website, April 15, 2011.

The session recordings from this week's Learning Futures Festival are now available online. Go to North America Day 2 to find Donald Clark's argument against the lecture and my spirited defense of the form (note that the recordings are Adobe Connect recordings, so you'll get a full screen presentation with slides, sounds, video and the chatroom). Don't miss these!

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The Parent Show With Angela Santomero
Various Authors, PBS, April 15, 2011.

Amanda Gonzalez writes, by email, "Today, PBS Parents has launched a new web show – The Parent Show With Angela Santomero. The online only web show is hosted by Ms. Santomero, the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of the top-rated PBS Kids series Super Why and one of the key visionaries behind the long-running, award-winning Blue's Clues. THE PARENT SHOW will explore a new parenting topic with each episode, ranging from school readiness to media habits. Each episode will follow the mantra that there is no way to be a perfect parent, but there are a million ways to be a good one. New episodes will air weekly, and in between, parents can chat with Angela through her blog on http://www.pbsparents.org/, and on Twitter @AngelaSanto. Through the series and blog, PBS Parents is striving for a fun, judgment-free community where parents share tips, advice and a sense of humor." I watched an episode - it's like 'Entertainment Tonight' for children's TV.

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Motivating Young Minds in Science Through the Magic of BioBus
Joanna Pool, USA Science and Engineering Festival, April 15, 2011.

files/images/Ben20Dubin-Thaler.jpg, size: 45602 bytes, type:  image/jpeg I like this. "With a refreshing measure of ingenuity, Ben Dubin-Thaler is proving that some of the most exciting lessons in science can occur outside the classroom - in a bus." The whole point of online learning isn't to tie people to computers - it's to free them from classrooms. "I grew up loving science and looking through microscopes," says Ben, the biophysicist who founded and directs the non-profit Cell Motion Laboratories
which operates BioBus. "And now BioBus is just my way to bring the excitement I
felt as a kid to science students across New York City and the country." See more about scientists in the community here.

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Henrico 21 Lesson Videos
Tom Woodward, Bionic Teaching, April 15, 2011.

I played this video on Ed Radio this morning. It's a quick summary of media creation lessons and evaluation. The page includes a nifty stop-motion animation created by students for a local restaurant. Maybe this is a new way to fund education - have students create advertising material for local businesses. Also played on Ed Radio: Rob Reynolds, Nathan Eagle, Cory Doctorow on privacy, Blackboard's Ray Henderson, Jennifer Indovina, Angelica, ds106, gbwhitby, Dean Shareski, Kain from Korea, Joan Rivers head, 21st century learning matters from the Library of Congress, Eat, Drink and be Thrifty, Ken Robinson, sound effects, and of course Rebecca Black.

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What Books Will Become
Kevin Kelly, The Technium, April 15, 2011.

The future of the book. It's not about the platform, it"Reading becomes more social. We can share not just the titles of books we are reading, but our reactions and notes as we read them. Today, we can highlight a passage. Tomorrow we will be able to link passages. We can add a link from a phrase in the book we are reading to a contrasting phrase in another book we've read; from a word in a passage to an obscure dictionary, from a scene in a book to a similar scene in a movie."

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What a Difference Two Years Can Make: Canadian Broadcasters and Distributors on the Internet
Michael Geist, Weblog, April 15, 2011.

It was just a few days ago, it seems that Canadian broadcasters were calling for deregulation and allowances for increased foreign content. Now they are, as Michael Geist says, wrapping themselves in the Canadian flag in a stand against 'over-the-top' broadcasters such as Netflix. "Netflix recently announced that in less than a year of operations in Canada it had amassed over one million subscribers in this country." I'm one of them - at $7 a month, it's a tenth of my cable bill, and it has programs I want to watch.

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Thoughts on Connectivism
Debbie Kroeker, Vimeo, April 15, 2011.

"Have you ever thought about how completely irrelevant structured learning is?" This question posed by George Siemens sets off this nice video presentation on connectivism. Debbie Kroeker sets a series of 'lessons learned' against the music of Eric Whitacre's 185-voice Virtual Choir (an experience in itself not to be missed).

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End of the Line for Flock
Various Authors, Weblog, April 15, 2011.

files/images/logo.gif, size: 3531 bytes, type:  image/gif Time has run out for the Flock browser, as support for the innovative social networking web client will be discontinued as of April 26. "we encourage all Flock users to upgrade to one of the two browsers listed below (Chrome or Firefox). Both are based on the same reliable technologies as Flock, and both are being actively maintained and improved. Also, each of the following browsers has a broad selection of add-ons and extensions to customize and extend their capabilities." I wonder what this means for the future of Rockmelt, which just released Beta 2.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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