OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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January 10, 2012

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Case Study: free e-learning for start-ups
Alex Reeve, alexreeve.com, January 10, 2012.

I took a look at My New Business and this is definitely worth passing along. Alex Reeve writes, "The My New Business site is designed to provide start-ups with the core educational support they'll need to survive in the first 18 months of trading and features over 100 specially commissioned videos and 100 e-learning courses on a wide range of start-up topics, including business planning, finance, marketing, IT, insurance, premises and tax. My case study covers how we gathered user requirements, managed Subject Matter Expert (SME) input, treatment types, delivery platforms and evaluation measures, so I hope it'll be useful for other people involved in large-scale online learning projects." You can see the case study in Elearning Age Magazine.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Video, Marketing, Online Learning]

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Search, plus Your World
Amit Singhal, The Official Google Blog, January 10, 2012.

The other shoe is dropping at Google as the company leverages its social network service to transform search. We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features:"
- Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you
- Profiles in Search, which enable you to immediately find people
- People and Pages, which help you find people profiles
Interesting. Maybe I should play in the Google pond again, just to be sure I understand the waters?

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

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On no comments
D'Arcy Norman, D'Arcy Norman dot net, January 10, 2012.

files/images/disqus-642x423.jpg, size: 55572 bytes, type:  image/jpeg D'Arcy Norman has no comments (part one, part two) on his blog. "Without comments and stats," he writes, "my blog feels mine." That's fair enough, though I miss the chance to just fire him back a quick quip (or even a kudos) en passant. But he's right, if it's important, I can always blog about it. He links to a longish post surveying various bloggers, some famous and some less so, on whether they allow comments. It's good reading. I guess my own feeling is that I'd rather have comments on so that people's responses are public. The major problem with comments (besides unwanted advertising messages) is the comment troll, but I have a totally no-nonsense policy about abuse: it gets deleted, nobody sees it, and I don't get into an argument explaining my reasons. Of course I don't really get enough comments for any of this to be a significant issue. I've always encouraged people to post on their own blog (partially by means of a quirky and not always functional comment system). Would I get more comments if, say, I used Disqus? Maybe - but I think of comments like gifts, I read every one (it comes in through my email) and I like to leave them displayed on the mantle, in my house, not the shed out back.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Marketing, Web Logs]

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The Internet of Learning Things
Brent Schlenker, Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development, January 10, 2012.

I think the key think to keep in mind when thinking about 'the internet of learning things' is that the valuable role played by these things is to provide feedback; it is this feedback that shapes learning and behaviour. A simple (even simplistic) example: one of the items pictured above is a WiFi body scale (that's like a scale, but it also measures things like pulse and BMI using foot sensors - I have a (non-WiFi) one at home). The idea of a scale is that if you know what you weigh, you become more responsible. But of course it's easy to obsess on each day's weight, and lose track of trends. A WiFi scale plots your daily information into longer term graphs allowing you to judge the overall impact of behaviour choices. Yes, you could enter the data manually (and I do) but it's a lot easier if the scale does it for you, and you can start collecting a lot more data. I think the personal health appliance industry will be huge, with personal learning appliances right after that.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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One Change a Day
Various Authors, One Change a Day, January 10, 2012.

Over the new year's break I contributed an article to this ambitious initiative, One Change a Day, which is posting daily reflections from e-learning leaders about the impact of new technologies in education. My post, Creating the Connectivist Course, described the origin and purpose of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Other interesting posts already include Dave Cormier on seven black swans in education in 2012, Tony Bates on the rough ride facing the education system, and Jack West on how technology will change public education.

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

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BYU scholar is a leader in advancing education technology
Brian Maffly, Salt Lake Tribune, January 10, 2012.

David Wiley has been appointed a senior fellow with Digital Promise. Readers here will be well acquainted with Wiley, but what of Digital Promise? Founded in 2008 by the U.S. government, its purpose is "to support a comprehensive research and development program to harness the increasing capacity of advanced information and digital technologies to improve all levels of learning and education, formal and informal, in order to provide Americans with the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the global economy." Maybe Wiley can jumpstart the Grand Challenges and League of Innovative Schools discussions, which have been a bit slow.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Research, United States]

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Distance Learning from A to Z
Various Authors, Website, January 10, 2012.

Seb Schmoller tossed me this link this morning about a MOOC that started in December in Russian. The link is to a Google Translate version - it's hardly Tolstoy's Russian but it serves the purpose. "The first part of the course, which ends on school-seminar in January 2012 on the basis of NTU 'KPI', devoted to general issues of distance education and its role in the school, institution of higher education and corporations."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Traditional and Online Courses, Google, Online Learning]

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Interactive maps reveal London’s history in unprecedented detail
Unattributed, JISC, January 10, 2012.

What I like about this is that it isn't a course, it's just a resource - but what a resource! It's the sort of think you can look at on the surface or really dive in and get lost exploring. Locating London's Past is based on John Rocque's 1746 map of London as well as an 19th century map and, of course, today's Google Maps equivalent. The interface is a bit tricky (and slow) so it may take a bit to begin plotting events on the map - but once you start locating (say) plague deaths you'll be hooked.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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