OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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January 17, 2012

Questions That Frame Responsibility
Nancy White, Full Circle, January 17, 2012.

files/images/peterblockquestion-245x300.jpg, size: 33041 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Nancy White writes, "I have been intrigued by questions that help frame responsibility in a group, rather setting up an expectation that the convenors, facilitators, leaders, whatever — are responsible for everything." My thinking is that this is half-correct. Yes, we have to stop depending on the leaders - from President to Shop Floor Supervisor - to do it all. On the other hand, this responsibility does not shift into that formless entity called 'the group' because the group is congenitally incapable of assuming it. Rather, each individual within the group assumes an partial and interconnected responsibility. That's a very different picture.

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A study confirms what we've all sensed: Readers are embracing ereading
Jenn Webb, O'reilly Radar, January 17, 2012.

Remember all those long and passionate posts we used to read able the 'feel' of reading the traditional paper-based cloth-bound book? Toss them into the recycle bin. "The recently released Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading study by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) showed impressive growth in ereading. From October 2010 to August 2011, the ebook market share more than tripled." Yeah, it's moving that quickly.

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What is big data?
Edd Dumbill, O'reilly Radar, January 17, 2012.

A nice definition: "Big data is data that exceeds the processing capacity of conventional database systems. The data is too big, moves too fast, or doesn't fit the strictures of your database architectures. To gain value from this data, you must choose an alternative way to process it." The location of all the traffic in a large city, for example, would be an instance of Big Data. So how do we work with it? "Today's commodity hardware, cloud architectures and open source software bring big data processing into the reach of the less well-resourced." What does that mean for education? I think most of all it forces us to reassess sentences like "the fact is..." because the 'fact', whatever it is, is big, messy, and will be different tomorrow. That doesn't mean there's no fact - it does mean, though, that the fact does not fit neatly into slogans, management principles or textbooks.

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Notes: O’Donnell (2006): Blogging as pedagogic practice: Artefact and ecology
D'Arcy Norman, D'Arcy Norman dot net, January 17, 2012.

D'Arcy Norman blogs a summary of Marcus O'Donnell's paper Blogging as pedagogic practice: Artefact and ecology. He's been doing a number of these paper summaries recently. O'Donnell "talks about some of the promise of blogging as an agent of pedagogical change, but actually goes into some of the reasons why the change might happen." So what are these reasons? "A blog... operates at the core of a personal network or set of personal relationships.... the author can learn to work with a blog as an evolving hypertext essay by thoughtfully linking backwards and forwards to their own as well as others' posts [so] an ecological practice, which reveals emergent knowledges as a series of dynamically linked spaces." (That's a bit of an interpretation but I think it expresses the right idea.)

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Web Logs, Linking and Deep Linking, Networks]

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ADL Next Generation Architecture Proof-of-Concepts
Unattributed, Learning Technology Standards Observatory, January 17, 2012.

ADL has released some updated SCORM tools. These "are demonstrations of the potential of a new learning architecture beyond SCORM. Several prototypes were created to illustrate different requirements of the next generation architecture:"
- Learning Record Store (LRS)
- Content as a Service (CaaS) Course
- Android Tablet Native Application
- Game Engine Integration
- Legacy Content Wrapper
I'm realizing as I review this how far I've drifted from the traditional worlds of learning metadata and content packaging. I'm not sure what to make of that. See also ADL Releases the Unity-SCORM Integration Toolkit Version 1.0 Beta. Once I would have rushed to see the implementation. Now... maybe later, I've got some coding to do.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: SCORM, Metadata]

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Network: The Secret Life of Your Personal Data, Animated
Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, January 17, 2012.

I just connected my Blogger account to my Google+ account (Google had been maintaining the polite fiction that they were separate). I also validated my ownership of downes.ca for Google+ (done in pretty much the same way Technorati did it way back when, or even my home grown ID system did). As Ben Werdmuller says, identity is the operating system. So this visualization of your personal data making its way through the network is especially poignant today. "The average user has 736 pieces of this personal data collected every day, and different service providers retain this information for anywhere between 12 and 60 months." Yeah, look at that data go! Related: Manuel Lima talks on the power of networks at the RSA.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google, Networks, Blogger, Visualization, Privacy Issues]

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Apple to announce tools, platform to "digitally destroy" textbook publishing
Chris Foresman, Ars Technica, January 17, 2012.

There have been hints aplenty laid down about Apple's forthcoming announcement with the suggestion that it will impact online learning directly. If it's as suggested in this article - "Apple will announce tools to help create interactive e-books - the 'GarageBand for e-books,'" - then there may be something to it. Me, I've had a 'GarageBand for eBooks' for years - it's called my word processor or text editor, and I've been using it to distribute interactive multimedia content on the web for years. But maybe what I really needed was a proprietary interface and the Apple brand. And maybe a file format that won't play on the open web? Ah - but maybe I'm too cynical. Prepare to read the gushing reviews Thursday. More Here. And here.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Apple Inc., Online Learning]

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Kirkpatrick's Revised Four Level Evaluation Model `
Donald Clark, Plan B, January 17, 2012.

Interesting reworking of Kirkpatrick's four levels of evaluation of workplace learning:
- motivation - do they want to learn and perform?
- learning - did they learn the skills and/or use the resources they were given?
- performance - did they transfer their skills to the workplace?
- results - is the desired impact being felt?
And you could still add the sometimes-mentioned fifth level: is there a return on investment or impact on the bottom line?

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

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ED218 Developing mathematics: The early years
Maria Droujkova, P2PU, January 17, 2012.

files/images/Maria_Droujkova.jpg, size: 4035 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Maria Droujkova writes in Facebook, "I am leading a MOOC (massive open online course) this Spring. The sign-up is open January 17-22 at P2PU School of Math Future. The course, "Developing mathematics: The early years" is offered for credit to Arcadia University students, and for School of Math Future completion certificate to everybody. It has the following overarching themes:
- Personally meaningful and relevant mathematics achieved through projects, games, problem-posing and problem-solving.
- Computer-based mathematics, including interactive simulations, modeling tools, solvers, and children programming platforms.
- Lifelong learning for teachers, with the focus of online communities and networks for teacher support, and building your personal learning networks

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Traditional and Online Courses, Project Based Learning, Simulations, Online Learning Communities, Networks]

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Objectivity and impartiality: newsroom policy
Paul Bradshaw, Online Journalism Blog, January 17, 2012.

files/images/New_York_Times.jpg, size: 59323 bytes, type:  image/jpeg There's a bit of a debate in the online news world that I think is long overdue: whether reporters should 'fact check' their sources. As the proposed wording states: "If someone misrepresents the facts, do not simply say someone else disagrees, make a statement along the lines of 'However, the actual wording of the report…' or 'The official statistics do not support her argument' or 'Research into X contradict this.' And of course, link to that evidence and keep a copy for yourself (which is where transparency comes in)." But of course this is controversial, with critics suggesting that this amounts to telling reporters to be "truth vigilantes." But as Matthew Ingram says, "media outlets that leave this kind of function to third parties risk losing the trust of their readers." Where do I stand on this? On the side of the truth. Where else? People in positions of trust - doctors, lawyers, journalists, teachers, scientists - have an obligation to correct errors of fact.

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Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Action
Various Authors, Wikipedia, January 16, 2012.

Wikipedia will be among those joining in a web-wide blackout to protest againt the American SOPA legislation that threatens to block DNS lookups against sites accused of piracy. If you want to join the blackout, there is a simple blackout script that you can add to the top of your page. See also this article. Reddit will also be joining, as well as some others. Anonymous is joining. There are some reports that Craigslist and Minecraft will join. Still waiting to see whether Google and Facebook will follow. Mashable says Google will. Twitter, quite apparently, will not. But tens of thousands of their members will. Adam Curry, meanwhile, makes some good counterarguments to the SOPA protest. But Michael Geist makes good arguments of his own explaining why Canadians should black out their sites for the protest.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: United States, Wikipedia, File Sharing]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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