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October 7, 2011

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Episode 54: Change MOOC Discussion
Jim Groom, et.al., DTLT, October 7, 2011.

The #change11 MOOC has been off to a bit of a rocky start with several of our plans for synchronous conferencing choking under the weight of too many participants. In this episode of DTLT Today George Siemens and I have a conversation with Jim Groom and his crew about our troubles and potential alternatives. Also from George Siemens: Why do Synchronous Web Tooks Suck? And my Synchronous conferencing Google+ thread. Also on DTLT, Alan Levine on putting on good video, the ds106 radio telethon, and the new voice of Apple.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, Conferencing]

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Episode 88: Why Universities Should Experiment With Massive Open Courses
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 7, 2011.

files/images/siemens-300x225.jpg, size: 18393 bytes, type:  image/jpeg The Chronicle picks George Siemens, the MOOC-meister who is the most diplomatic of the bunch of us and who has not called them out publicly over and over, and they still introduce their interview with him with a snide attitude: "George Siemens, who leads Athabasca University’s Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute, makes the case for why colleges should experiment with inviting tens of thousands of students to participate in their courses free online. The model poses challenges to traditional education models, but will it work for teaching Chaucer?" They also get the name of MOOCs wrong in the title. I haven't listed to the interview (I'll catch it later) but I hope Siemens gave it to them. Siemens also comments on the interview.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism]

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Children Educate Themselves IV: Lessons from Sudbury Valley
Peter Gray , Psychology Today, October 7, 2011.

files/images/girlintree.jpg, size: 58712 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Lisa Nielsen linked to this today. It continues to be worth observing. "To understand the school one has to begin with a completely different mindset from that which dominates current educational thinking. One has to begin with the thought: Adults do not control children's education; children educate themselves. But the secret is getting out, spread largely by students and others who have experienced the Sudbury Valley School directly. Today at least two dozen schools throughout the world are modeled after Sudbury Valley. I predict that fifty years from now, if not sooner, the Sudbury Valley model will be featured in every standard textbook of education and will be adopted by many public school systems."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Books, Experience, Online Learning]

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Seven Teachers from Seven States have a Conversation about Conversations - TTT 265 - 9.28.11
Various Authors, Teachers Teaching Teachers, October 7, 2011.

Can't resist the title of this one. Audio. "On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, these seven teachers: Chris Sloan (Utah) Margaret Simon (Louisiana) Monika Hardy (with an Inovation Lab student, Cristian) (Colorado) Scott Shelhart (Indiana) Cynthia Shidner (Alaska) Paul Allison (New York) Fred Haas (Massachusetts) meet in a Google+ Hangout to talk about our classrooms,."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google, Audio]

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Blog Posts that Change
Clarence Fisher, Remote Access, October 7, 2011.

I have blog posts that auto-publish on certain days. That's a pretty essential feature for someone who may be in all-day meetings or all-night flights. But blog posts that change - as described here - well, that's just a bad idea. First of all, it breaks syndication - people can no longer read the posts on RSS or by email because the changes won't work properly. Second, it breaks the flow. Going back to look at old web pages again and again was the way we did it before we create blogs and feeds. And we created these things because it was really annoying to go back and look at the same page again and again. Finally, if you think you're really making content disappear, think again. It's just being copied and pasted into Facebook. So if you want to give them updated information, just give them a new post - auto-time it, even. And let the wonderful mechanisms of blogging and syndication work the way they were designed to work.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Content Syndication, Books, Web Logs, RSS]

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Karl Fisch, The Fischbowl, October 7, 2011.

In this item Karl Fisch writes, "when I first saw the hashtag #occupytheclassroom in my Twitter stream (can’t recall exactly where or I would link) I smiled . . . and then dismissed it.... [but] instead of blaming “the system,” we should realize that we are the system, and we should advocate for our students when we see things that we don’t believe are in their best interests. And that we, just like the protesters in the middle east, and just like the #occupywallstreet folks, have access to tools that [gratuitous name-dropping] make it much easier to not only organize, but to actually effect change. That, really, this thing we call school doesn’t happen without us."

Well - this misses the point. The protests are not protests against 'the system'. They are protests against chronic and growing inequality in society. Here's the point: if you wanted to do an education version of the 'occupy' protests, teachers and students would march down to that well-funded exclusive private school and occupy it, and ask the well-heeled one-percent that receives the best education money can buy, "what gives you the right?" Yeah, but who's going to do that? Who's going to write about that? Canada's 'occupy' events begin October 15.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Twitter, Private Schools, Canada, Online Learning, Newsletters]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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