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January 25, 2012

3 Must-Have Technology Tools For Your Classroom
Ruben Carbo , Edudemic, January 25, 2012.

The three 'must-have' technologies, according to this article, are e-readers, wifi, and tablets. My question is, if you have tablets, what do you need e-readers for?

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gRSShopper Feed Review
Stephen Downes, blip.tv, January 25, 2012.

So you've submitted your feed to one of our Massive Open Online Courses - LAK12, CCK12, Change11, ore whatever. And it doesn't show up on the feeds page. That's because we review the feeds to make sure they work. This is a video describing the process with a behind-the-scenes look at feed review in gRSShopper.

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University 2.0 - Sebastian Thrun
Sebastian Thrun, DLD Conference, January 25, 2012.

Sebastian Thrun repeating the message: "The effect it had on me was really profound. I never thought that this would happen. I always thought that I was, in Stanford, the world's best university, and I was a great teacher. Having done this, I can't teach at Stanford again. It's impossible. I feel like there's a red pill and a blue pill, and you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students, but I have taken the red pill, and I've seen wonderland. And we have changed the world, I think, with education. If we can make education free for the world, accessible everywhere, I think we can help people in the developing world, in Africa, and India, and China, to become much better, much stronger, and I think that's going to be core to the new society. I'm extremely exited about this." Yeah, me too. Not just about what Thrun is doing. About what we are doing.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Accessibility, China, Online Learning, Africa]

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Mass Suspension at Pittsburgh School for Bypassing Filter
Dian Schaffhauser, T.H.E. Journal, January 25, 2012.

You know your policies have failed when the mass punishments begin. This is as true in the schoolyard as it is in the town square. "According to local news coverage, Brentwood Borough School District in Pennsylvania suspended at least 100 students after catching them using Ultrasurf, a free tool that allows users to bypass firewalls and make their online identities anonymous."

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Canadian schools falling behind in online learning, report says
Kate Hammer, Globe and Mail, January 25, 2012.

More coverage of the report mentioned here yesterday. "C anada has lost its early lead, and a larger proportion of students in the United States are participating in distance education, said Paul Bennett, an education consultant and author of the Society for Quality Education report. 'We lost the competitive edge because we didn’t follow up the infrastructure and the deployment of computers to the schools with any meaningful initiatives to lower the walls and open the doors to online learning,' he said." True enough. And now it's very unlikely that the money will be there. But you know, should the money ever become available, I know we have a lot of people in Canada with the expertise and desire to make it happen. Related: a columnist in University Affairs makes the humble proposal that Canadian universities might want to embrace e-learning. Maybe some sort of massive open online course sort of thing.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, United States, Canada, Online Learning]

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Study: Robots Inspire New Learning & Creativity Possibilities for Kids
Kim Gaskins, Latitude, January 25, 2012.

Honestly? Yes, I want a robot friend. It would make learning fun. It would always know what I did in the part, and where I'm supposed to be now. It would know my secrets, but would share them only with me (and approved agencies). It would know everything, and have my best interests at heart. And it would be endlessly loyal, never go away, and always be supportive. OK - that's not what this study covers; it's only about how robots in school make learning more fun. But a kid can dream, can't he?

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Where the Web Went Off the Rails
Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC, January 25, 2012.

Tom Hoffman gets this point exactly right: "If we all had static IP addresses at home (and IPv6, which we should have had a long time ago) then we'd also all have home servers hosting or at least backing up all our photos, videos, etc. It would be a large market."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Ruby]

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The Ethics of Mobile Learning: Troubling and Complex
John Traxler, MobileActive, January 25, 2012.

There is a point to be made about the ethics of the introduction, development and research surrounding new technology in existing communities. I'm not quite sure this article captures it, though it does illustrate a commonly held perspective. It makes two major points that lead to the ethical conundrum. First, it argues that all communities, whether online or offline, have their own norms that define the society. Second, it suggests that researchers may act oblivious to, or in contravention of, these norms. "There is the very real risk that educators and their institutions, and their funders will assume that they know best." And the aregument is that "outsiders probably cannot hope to operate sustainably and credibly unless they act in ways that are aligned and acceptable to these communities." Why don't I think this captures it? Well, first of all, the argument shifts the grounds of ethics, usually based around doing good or not doing harm, to a definition based on sustainability and credibility. And second, it presumes that ethical intervention means aligning with the existing set of norms in a society.

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How to Create a Learning Journal to Go with Your E-Learning Courses
Tom Kuhlmann, The Rapid E-Learning Blog, January 25, 2012.

If you don't have access to a social network through which to share your thoughts and develop your understanding, creating an e-learning journal will perform many of the same functions. This article looks at the value of such a journal and describes to instructoprs how they can set up the structure of such a journal to assist students. "The learner uses the journal to follow along with the elearning course. It can be used to take notes and jot down quick questions to ask later during the time with the peer coach."

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

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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