OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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October 6, 2011

... because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Transparency as a catalyst for interaction and participation in open learning environments
Thomas P. Mackey, First Moncday, October 6, 2011.

This is a substantial paper arguing for and documenting the benefits of transparency in course development, design and delivery. "Transparency is a catalyst for interaction and participation that supports open learning in multiple disciplines and institutional contexts. Transparent design influences the development of wikis, Open Educational Resources (OERs), and mobile applications." In particular, note the table about two third through listing and describing the characteristics of transparency: flexibility, interactivity, fluidity, collaboration, production, and publishing and distribution. Clearly, transparency is more than simply 'seeing through' the learning process. Also interesting from the current issue of First Monday: Scientists online: A framework for the analysis of Internet profiles.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Interaction, Books, Online Learning]

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Introducing the OERu – and some questions
Tony Bates, e-learning and distance education resources, October 6, 2011.

files/images/OERu-logo.jpg, size: 34853 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Like Tony Bates, I am generally supportive of the OERu idea: "The OERu (the Open Educational Resources University) aims to provide a route to formal accreditation through study of free open educational resources in the form of free courses and materials developed by accredited universities." The partner institutions would provide "free open educational resources specifically designed for independent study by institutions offering accredited online programs; and the provision of assessment for qualification from one of the accredited partner institutions." But we also have the same questions. Specifically:
- "I wonder why the ICDE isn’t taking the leadership role here). There are still some interesting missing members, in particular the UK Open University, which already offers substantial OERs through its OpenLearn site, MIT OpenCourseware, and the Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative," and
- "how (will) the institutions provide the assessment to enable students to get an accredited degree, and whether such a degree or qualification will be accepted by national accreditation or degree assessment boards?"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Great Britain, Leadership, Assessment]

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Paradoxes of the Finland Phenomenon
Joe Bower, for the love of learning, October 6, 2011.

Just to be clear, in the diagram above, it is the 'alternative policies', and not the GERM, that characterizes Finland's approach to education. "Finland's successful pursuit of policies driven by diversity, trust, respect, professionalism, equity, responsibility and collaboration refute every aspect of reforms that focus on choice, competition, accountability and testing that are being expanded in countries around the world." See more.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Tests and Testing]

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Collective Learning
Lou McGill, Weblog, October 6, 2011.

Here's a quite worthwhile conversation hosed by Lou McGill with Allison Littlejohn, who is contributing to this week's #chnage11 MOOC. The core of Littlejohn's contribution revolves around the idea of collective learning, which relates to the way people connect to, and make sense of, the contributions made by the community around them. The talk covers four major topics: collective learning in general, the role of social objects in collective learning, openness, and 'charting', or making sense of the collective contributions, through a four-part process: collecting, consuming, creating, contributing. Obviously there is significant overlap between Littlejohn's formulation and my own, and it is interesting to look at the differences - what does it mean, for example, to 'consume' these contributions. The whole thing runs about 20 minutes. See also this post by Littlejohn on the learning ecosystem.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Online Learning]

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World's cheapest tablet launched
TNN and News Agencies, Times of India, October 6, 2011.

It's a bit slower, its battery life is shorter, and the screen isn't as large, but when you compare the 2250 Rupee ($45 or so) tablet with iPads costing more than ten times as much, it comes out as a fantastic bargain. Even more importantly, it heralds the dawn of computer access for a generation of students in India, which I can quite confidently predict will result in an educational renaissance in that country a decade from now. Yes - it will take some time, so ignore the surveys next year and the year after. Announced Datawind, whose headquarters are based in Montreal, Canada, but which the Times of India says is British-based, but which other sources note developed the tablet in India and Canada. It is manufactured in India. Jim Shimabukuro writes, "Students and teachers, schools and colleges will be the direct beneficiaries of this Aakash revolution that will open the web to those who cannot afford the latest technology, making it possible for them to access the open learning resources on the web as well as the latest online pedagogy. For areas where Wi-Fi is lacking, the Aakash will be an incentive to improve infrastructure."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Great Britain, Canada, Paradigm Shift]

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Blackboard Absorbs Edline, Keeps Product Line Intact
Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal, October 6, 2011.

Blackboard, which has just completed its acquisition by Providence Equity, has merged with Edline, which sells a "learning community management system," which combines learning management functions with notification capabilities within a school or district Web site. So reports THE Journal. Michael Feldstein comments, "it may suggest that Providence believes the K12 market is ready to experience a growth spurt."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Learning Communities, Schools, Blackboard Inc., Online Learning Communities, Experience]

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Steve Jobs 1955-2011
Various Authors, Wikipedia, October 6, 2011.

Just listen to this video (English with Spanish subtitles) and spend the day thinking about what matters and what doesn't.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Apple Inc., Video]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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