OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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July 1, 2011

You have not been paying attention: putting students at the heart of the system
Richard Hall, DMU Learning Exchanges, July 1, 2011.

Excellent analysis by Richard Hall of the British government's White Paper on education. "What is clear from these analyses is the rule of money in higher education, with this White Paper standing as a marker for what will follow. This marker focuses upon for-profit-maximisation, competition, the removal of state subsidies for shared, public goods, individualisation of experience, and commodification of learning." The analysis was devastating enough to send me into a spiral of thinking about how to distinguish my own program, which is all about actually empowering learners, from the 'official program', which is all about commoditizing them. I will say, from my own perspective, the existing professoriate is of no help. You can't just defend the existing order. "This is not about resetting the clock. It is about taking action to recast and re-create something different in the public sphere. This is as much about what the University has become as what it might be." And I agree - I so agree - with this: "We need to focus on co-operation against the rule of money. In the face of the discipline of debt and the kettle, this is tough, but what is the alternative?"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Great Britain, Experience]

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IBM develops 'instantaneous' memory, 100x faster than flash
Sharif Sakr, Engadget, July 1, 2011.

files/images/ibm-pcm-memory.jpg, size: 75628 bytes, type:  image/jpeg If you're wondering where computer memory and storage will go after flash memory, the phrase to remember is "phase change memory" (PCM). It "reads and writes 100 times faster than flash, stays reliable for millions of write-cycles (as opposed to just thousands with flash), and is cheap enough to be used in anything from enterprise-level servers all the way down to mobile phones." Based on chalcogenide glass (glass containing a chalcogenide elements such as sulfur, selenium or tellurium) phase change memory stores data by switching glass cells between two phases, crystalline and amorphous.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Wikipedia]

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Engage your supporters & succeed on the Social Web
J.D. Lasica, Socialbrite, July 1, 2011.

Every once in a while I find something that is so good I don't want to share it; I want to just keep it for myself. That's the case here here with the 'Christmas in June' page created for a presenttation by J.D. Lasica. Have a look at the slide show but be sure to click on the links into the Sharing Center. The tutorials page for social media, for example, is comprehensive and accessible. And best of all, you can take these materials and share them at your won talks and presentations or with your own organization or institution. How cool is that!? I got this link from a useful summary of the Social Media for Nonprofits conference by Beth Kanter. She features a presentation on Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki. "What’s not to like about Guy?" she asks. I'll tell you. No links. No sharing. His content presented only in user-hostile printed-book form. Give me J.D.'s forward looking approach any day.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Accessibility, Books, Cool]

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Why Google's "circles" are likely to fail
Dave Winer, Scripting News, July 1, 2011.

files/images/circles.gif, size: 5400 bytes, type:  image/gif I spent some time this morning exploring Google Plus - which E-Commerce Times says "could be the biggest thing in the history of social networking." It was an odd experience to log on for the first time to discover that a dozen people had already added me to their circles. Plus has a lot to recommend it, and will be amazing when they roll out embedded applications and platform features. But I haven't figured out a way to share my content outside Plus yet - there's no feed apparent, for example, for my comments and uploads (my 'stream'). And also, as Dave Winer comments here, I'm not sure I want to commit myself to sorting and organizing my contacts. "You might feel a rush to organize your friends into categories when you start to use it. But you'll give up after a dozen or so, as soon as you hit one that defies categorization. You'll say to yourself 'I'll come back to this later.' You won't."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google, Networks, Experience, RSS, Ontologies]

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When more quickly becomes waaay less
David Porter, conviviality, July 1, 2011.

Dave Porter takes a look into Ray Schroeder's eduMOOC (which has now attracted upward of 2300 people) and asks "How can page upon page of densely packed text, links, and discussion forums seriously be considered an exemplar learning model? This can’t be the future, can it?" Far be it for me to defend someone else's work, but I want to challenge the premise implicit in the question, that a MOOC defines some sort of "learning model". It does not. This should be evident from the fact that Schroeder's MOOC, which depends on Google sites and discussion groups, is very different in appearance and structure from those run by George Siemens and myself. But also implicit in the comment seems to be the idea that you are supposed to somehow absorb the "densely packed text, links, and discussion forums." This is just not so. You are supposed to pick and choose, find a niche that appeals to you, and forget about the rest.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, Google, Discussion Lists]

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files/images/qbertify.jpg, size: 49963 bytes, type:  image/jpeg
Various Authors, Website, July 1, 2011.

files/images/Tadpoles.gifvf261825504afceedab50d8ddc8425b4c, size: 6076 bytes, type:   Paper.js is a Javascript library that enables eye-catching effects on HTML5 web pages. Some of the examples provided on the website include trailing lines (chain), tadpoles (pictured, right), smoothing, rounded rectangles, Qbertify, and more. There are tutorials and a general reference. One of the more impressive effects is object conversion. The image above, for example, was created by the Qbertify function - I changed one parameter in the code (to get better resolution) then dragged an image from my desktop into the page. The Javascript did the rest.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: None]

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Blackboard to be Acquired by Providence Equity Partners for $45.00 in Cash or $164 Billion
Press Release, Blackboard, July 1, 2011.

Blackboard has been sold to an investor group led by affiliates of Providence Equity Partners ("Providence") in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.64 billion, plus the assumption of approximately $130 million in net debt. Blackboard Learn president Ray Henderson writes in a blog post that while the company had to be more prudent while it was publicly held, private ownership will enable it to be "more agile" and focus on the long term.

Other posts by Ian Quillen at Education Week, ... (more to come, no doubt)

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Blackboard Inc., Web Logs]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.