OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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February 13, 2012

Madawaska County
Stephen Downes, Flickr, February 13, 2012.

I've just returned from Edmunston, where I took the opportunity to take photos from the Madawaska Country region of New Brunswick (in the -20 temperatures). Try the Slide Show.

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Fosdem 2012 or Why Open Source is Still Revelant
Hans de Zwart, Technology, Innovation, Education, February 13, 2012.

It takes a bit to get to the important part of this article, but you can see the lead-up to it: "There is a whole set of people working on creating social networks without a center (e.g. BuddyCloud or Status.net or distributed filesystems (like OpenAFS), alternatives to GoogleDocs (LibreDocs) and mesh networking (like Village Telco with the Mesh Potato). There are even people who are trying to separate cloud storage from the cloud application (Project Unhosted). These are very important project that have my full attention."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Google, Networks]

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MITx Opens for Enrollment (and Certification - For Now - Is Free)
Audrey Watters, Hack Education, February 13, 2012.

So the doors are open at MITx and we can see the business model on the wall - for this pilot version certification will be free, but we all know that this won't last. "According to the course website, the class will demand approximately 10 hours a week from those enrolled. There will be video lectures and demonstrations, homework exercises and an "online interactive lab specifically designed to replicate its real-world counterpart." All of the assignments and exams will be graded by "robots," or rather artificial intelligence software."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Video, Assessment]

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Du studio à la classe ; Le "Design Thinking" pour transformer notre vision de l'école
Ewan McIntosh, Clair 2012, February 12, 2012.

files/images/Ewan_McIntosh.png, size: 608465 bytes, type:  image/png I've had my criticisms of Ewan McIntosh in the past and I will no doubt have my criticisms of him in the future. But they will be a bit tempered from now on, I think. Ewan McIntosh weaved what can only be called magic at the conference I attended at Clair 2012, in northern New Brunswick. It wasn't simply because his French is easier to follow than his English ;) - he wove a tapestry of ideas together talking about what it is that will draw out students, interest them, engage them, and get them to be more than just followers of orders. It was one of the best presentations I've even seen - visually beautiful, low-keyed, personal and engaging. He has clearly learned a lot from his work with TED, but also, with 90 minutes to work with, the talk was never rush, never forced, and, in the end, exactly the right length. He received a standing ovation at the end, very much (to my observation) a rarity at education conferences. Well deserved.

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A Tech-Happy Professor Reboots After Hearing His Teaching Advice Isn't Working
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 12, 2012.

files/images/Wesch.jpg, size: 86197 bytes, type:  image/jpeg In a bit of an "I told you so" article the Chronicle gleefully lets us know that tech-guru Michael Wesch has changed his ways because the tech tricks no longer worked. "The students thought it was chaos." And in words that must have been magic to the Chronicle's ears, he said, "the No. 1 thing that was missing from it was a sense of purpose." Or in other words, "It doesn’t matter what method you use if you do not first focus on one intangible factor: the bond between professor and student." So now it's away with "remote-control-like gadgets that let students ring in answers" and in with the traditional lecture, tech now placed firmly into the background. I know a lot of people really liked what Michael Wesch did, but what really worked for him was that he never really strayed far from the classroom and the traditional university environment at all. This is the inevitable result. See also D'Arcy Norman, who has a similar comment.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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