OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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November 1, 2011

The New ‘Open’ Is Closed – Microsoft and Google Still Don’t Get It
Jim Shimabukuro, educational technology & change, November 1, 2011.

Jim Shimabukuro picks up on the new 'open' being touted by the larger corporations and notices that by 'open' they mean 'closed'. "Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s Apps for Education are the latest in an endless line of gimmicks for supremacy in the cloudy learning management platform (CLMP) battle," he writes (great acronym, by the way). "Free for the enterprise doesn’t necessarily translate to free for the individual in the classroom who actually uses the CLMP — the teacher. For the overwhelming majority of enterprises, the primary concern is control, and that control is ultimately manifested in power over how teachers will use technology."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Microsoft, Google, Enterprise Software]

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Guidelines on Open Educational Resources (OER) in Higher Education
Various Authors, COL / UNESCO, November 1, 2011.

These guidelines were launched today. Here's the direct link to the document. It has been nice to see international organizations and colleges and universities get on board with open educational resources, and especially with WikiEducator. But an odd thing may be happening - I've been getting reports on Facebook that activity within WikiEducator has slowed to a crawl. This seems to have happened since WikiEducator focused on OERu. Has there been a slowdown? It's hard to say - there's definitetly a drop-off in the Google Group discussions. We'd have to analyze changes by machine, though, to be able to tell. But I do wonder - with all the talk of 'foundation institutions' and credentialing, the talk at WikiEducator seems to have turned completely away from what the wiki was set up to do - and I wonder whether people aren't walking away too. Related: it's time to reclaim the radical roots or OER, says David Kernohan. "The nature of education has become contaminated by the assumptions and language of business and commerce, and has lost the ability to meet the needs of learners and educators."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Books, Google]

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Erik Andersen, Yun-En Liu and Zoran Popović, Website, November 1, 2011.

Greg Linden writes, on G+, "Love the work these guys at UW CS are doing, 'games that discover optimal learning pathways for STEM education.' If you've got kids, check out their first game, Refraction. It teaches multiplying fractions without kids drilling on multiplying fractions, almost like education is a side effect of game play. Love it." So do I - and I spent far too much time playing it this afternoon. Oh, I am way too easily distracted. But you know, something like this gets me thinking of math function games, and electricity power grid games with sine waves and the rest of it.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Gaming, Second Life, Google, Online Learning]

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Jim Groom: The Wild Man of OER Made My Year
Geoff Cain, Brainstorm in Progress, November 1, 2011.

Geoff Cain writes, "I was at the Open Education 2011 conference this week and David Wiley had the good sense to invite Jim Groom in to rattle cages and shake the chains. I have been reading his stuff for sometime. You can follow him on twitter here and his blog is always worth reading, but it is really a whole other experience to meet him in person. As a distance education director, I almost never say that. He is the favorite exuberant uncle who occasionally breaks the furniture. His mind is clear but his soul is mad. and here he is at his Dionysian best." And the video follows; don't miss it.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Video, Web Logs, Experience, Online Learning]

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Low-cost textbooks for college students make debut
Katherine Long, Seattle Times, November 1, 2011.

The subhead in the press release is the real reason to rejoice: "Open Course Library launch marks the beginning of the end of $200 textbooks." The press release continues: "the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) announced the launch of the Open Course Library, a collection of expertly developed educational materials for 42 of the state’s highest-enrolled college courses. The materials — including textbooks, syllabi, activities, readings, assessments — cost $30 or less per student and are freely available online under an open license for use by the state’s 34 public community and technical colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and anyone else worldwide."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Assessment]

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Is Land Sinking? Linden Lab Holds An Unusual Sale
Avril Korman, Search Engine Watch, November 1, 2011.

A land sale waiving setup fees may be the harbinger of much bigger problems at Linden Labs' Second Life, according to this column. Writes the author, "The big problems here that exist will not be solved by a short term land sale. In fact, they may only have exacerbated the problem... The ripples of this sale will be going on for quite some time. I'd say roughly six months to see how things shake out. I wish I could say that I think that overall this will have been a positive gain- but to be honest, I think that it may be a gigantic overall disaster." Via James OReilly on Facebook.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Second Life]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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