OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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March 27, 2012

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Openness and the Future of Assessment
David Wiley, iterating toward openness, March 27, 2012.

Sure, this is the data in, but what does the analysis loom like? David Wiley: "“Browser history as high stakes exam.” If an entity like ETS can establish predictive validity around different performance / behavior patterns and college completion or success, one can easily imagine submitting their usernames for Google Web History, Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, Blogs, Google Reader, YouTube, etc. IN PLACE OF taking a four hour high stakes exam like the ACT or GRE. Why make a high stakes decision based on a few hundred data points generated in one morning (when you could be sick, distracted, etc.) when you could get 1,000,000 data points generated over three years?" Slides.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Content, Twitter, YouTube, Video, Google]

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Really thought-provoking talk from danah boyd...
Will Richardson, Weblogg-Ed, March 27, 2012.

I found that the talk was more wandering than insightful (I'm prone to that myself, so I shouldn't complain) but danah boyd's recent take on the culture of fear is getting some attention, so I pass it along (in its asymmetric glory) here. "The more stimuli there are competing for your attention, the more that attention seekers must fight to capture your attention. More often than not, this results in psychological warfare." The best point comes at the very end: social networks and new technologies, which were once disruptive agents, now represent the status quo. They are what we made the web. Are we prepared to live with that? Keith Lyons, meanwhile, draws a connection between this and Fergus Hanson discussing e-diplomacy on Radio National’s World Today program (and following up on his paper Revolution at State).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Networks]

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Kids these days: the quality of new Wikipedia editors over time
Aaron Halfaker, Wikimedia Blog, March 27, 2012.

I've complained previously about the increasingly hostile attitude of Wikipedia editors and robots to new editors. These complaints surface in the research, and are having an impact on editor retention rates. "The rate of rejection of all good-faith new editors’ first contributions has been rising steadily, and, accordingly, retention rates have fallen. What this means is that while just as many productive contributors enter the project today as in 2006, they are entering an environment that is increasingly challenging, critical, and/or hostile to their work."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Research, Quality, Wikipedia]

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Epistemological Pluralism and the Revaluation of the Concrete
Sherry Turkle and Seymour Papert , papert.org, March 27, 2012.

Interesting paper highlighting the intersection of Seymour Papert and Sherry Turkle. In it, the two authors look at ways girls and women can approach computing and the use of a computer. The 'multiple epistemologies' route suggests that there are different ways of 'seeing' the computer - as something that you communicate with, say, or something that you are close to, like a musical instrument. Some telling remarks near the end:

"Emergent AI does not suggest that the computer be given rules to follow but tries to set up a system of independent elements within a computer from whose interactions intelligence is expected to emerge. Its sustaining images are drawn, not from the logical, but from the biological. Families of neuron-like entities, societies of anthropomorphized subminds and sub-subminds, are in a simultaneous interaction whose goal is the generation of a fragment of mind... the new trends -- icons, object-oriented programming, actor languages, society of mind, emergent AI -- all create an intellectual climate in the computational world that undermines the idea that formal methods are the only methods."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Interaction, Patents]

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What the Flip?
Steve Wheeler, Learning with 'e's, March 27, 2012.

Steve Wheeler complains, "Aaron Sams, a highly visible proponent of the flipped movement admits that the term is ambiguous. This morning, the May issue of Wired Magazine landed on my doormat, and what did I see inside? An article entitled 'University just flipped'. Well, dip me in mayonnaise. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but when you get down to the fundamentals, isn't flipping the classroom a load of old hat? Haven't we been doing it for years?" Well, as usual, any time a term becomes popular, the commercial bandwagon starts as people try to cash in on it (the term 'bullying' is receiving the same treatment, so now everything has become a case of bullying). Are we surprised? No. Is it unfortunate? Yes - there's nothing commercialism won't foul and make distasteful. Can we do anything about it? Not without changing society in unfathomable ways. P.S. I hate the new Blogger layouts. Just saying.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google, Bullying, Blogger]

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Canadian job applicants shouldn’t worry about Facebook-snooping bosses, experts say
Michelle McQuigge, Toronto Star, March 27, 2012.

The Canadian perspective on the Facebook passwords being demanded by employers is basically that we don't need to worry; Canadian law prohibits the practice. "Labour laws in Canada offer strong protection from employers who ask jobseekers for personal information such as social media passwords, lawyers said. Rules in the U.S. are much more lax, they said, citing several cases in which prospective hiring managers have asked candidates to turn over their login information as part of the vetting process." This is how it should be. But remember - your best protection is always to live honorably, rather than to count on keeping your past a secret.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Canada, Privacy Issues]

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Blackboard's Open-Source Pivot
Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, March 27, 2012.

Well this is interesting. "Blackboard on Monday announced that it has acquired two companies that provide support to Moodle, the leading open-source alternative to Blackboard’s proprietary online learning platform." The companies purchased are MoodleRooms and NetSpot. "Blackboard also announced an “Open Services Support Group” aimed at selling support services to colleges that use free, open-source learning management systems (LMS)." Here's Ray Henderson's announcement.

Rob Reynolds notes "Blackboard makes a services play and people watching the learning content market should pay attention." George Siemens writes, "This is what I imagine the experience would be like if one dropped hallucinogenics and browsed the web – a feeling of incredulity and weird confusion that can only come from time and reality being featured in a will it blend video." Audrey Watters writes, "You can acquire open source companies but you can't buy open source community." Jeffrey R. Young writes, "Blackboard has purchased so many commercial competitors over the years that college officials have long joked that it would next buy open source, too." More first reactions from Joshua Kim.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Blackboard Inc., Online Learning]

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Ed Radio Show Notes, March 27, 2012

I've been playing mostly music from my own collection lately, but here's what I played today:
- TEDxWarwick - Doug Belshaw - The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies
- David Alward (premier of New Brunswick) Why I Got Involved in Politics
- Alan Levine, We, Our Digital Selves, and Us
- MindShift, What's the Best Way to Measure Learning?
- Robert Frost recites ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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