OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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March 28, 2012

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Impact of Games on the Economy, the World and Schools
Karl Kapp, Kapp Notes, March 28, 2012.

From Karl Kapp: "A study, 'Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2010 Report,' detailed the impact that computer and video game companies have on America’s economy. The report stated:
- From 2005 to 2010, the entertainment software industry’s revenue more than doubled. Over the same period, the entire U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) only grew by about 16%.
- The entertainment software industry added nearly $5 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2009.
- The U.S. entertainment software industry also continues to function as a vital source of employment. Currently, video game companies directly and indirectly employ more than 120,000 people in 34 states.
- The average compensation for direct employees is $90,000, resulting in total national compensation of $2.9 billion." And yet there still isn't a decent video baseball game to be had. Go figure.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Gaming, Schools, Video]

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Secret Sauce of Successful Summer Camps
Mark Guzdial, Computing Education Blog, March 28, 2012.

I spent four summers in all - two as camper, two as counsellor - at summer camp. One the one hand, a summer camp can have a Lord of the Flies aspect to it. On the other hand, the camps taught me to be at home in the outdoiors, to be self-reliant, to value challenge and adventure, and to learn from my surroundings. Now summer camps provide me with an alternative perspective on learning. But the same old lessons apply:
- First. Kids who come to computing summer camps aren’t interested in lectures. They want hands-on, project-based, discovery-driven learning opportunities.
- Second, use formative evaluation and iterative development.
I don't think it's such a secret (I dislike the phgrase 'secret sauce', which implies there's some special formula that can be captured and exclusively monetized).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning]

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Infoskills 2.012 – Practical Exercises in Social Media Network Analysis #change11
Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, March 28, 2012.

Tony Hirst jumps int his (half) week at #Change11. We've had a rocky ride with the course in the last few weeks, what with trips to India and illnesses and all that. Butr we're rolling again. Tony offers "a review – of sorts – of some of the various ways we can look at social networks and the activity that takes place within them. The slides are prompts, keys, search phrase suggestions that provide a starting point for finding out more."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Networks]

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JIME relaunch
Martin Weller, The Ed Techie, March 28, 2012.

The Journal for Interactivbe Media in Education (JIME), which has suffered from neglect in recent years, has been relaunched. It has been shifted to Open Journal Systems and relaunched as a more traditional online journal (it used to support an innovative commenting system). Martin Weller writes of the relaunch, "This is a special issue focusing on OER, with guest editors Ester Ehiyazaryan and Alannah Fitzgerald.... It features an opening article from me (what more do you want?) on creaitivity and openness in education, and then moves into 'proper' research work with papers looking at OER in Africa, motivations for reuse, and obstacles in finding OERS." I'm not sure I appreciate the reference to "proper" research, but I get the point.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Research, Academic Journals, Africa, Academic Publications]

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“Here I stand” – Campbell’s concerns on analytics and other stuff
David T. Jones, The Weblog of (a) David Jones, March 28, 2012.

David T. Jones writes, "Gardner captures one of my major concerns with how analytics may proceed, especially within institutions that are increasingly driven by accountability, efficiency and other concerns. Concerns that they are responding to with top-down management.... The end result is that it simplifies learning and how we treat to an extent that is meaningless." I think this is a valid concern. I've seen the efforts of managers to evaluate reserachers and other staff. The results are inevitably unsatisfactory, and the more data is demanded, the less satisfactory (and the more intrusive) they become. I am not opposed to learning analytics - the concept is still too fuzzy to meaningfully support or oppose - but I certainly share the caution.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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The Only Winning Move is to Watch This
symbioid, Metafilter, March 28, 2012.

I gre up in the shadow of nuclear war - and if you are worried today about terrorism, try growing up with the knowledge that at any minute society could be turned into a global firestorm. Here's the Metafilter article: "Most of us reading on the blue lived through at least a portion of it. Forty-plus years of tension between the world's two superpowers and their allies. That's right: The Cold War. Then, they made a documentary. Aired on CNN in 1998, and never released on DVD, the 24 episode, 20 hour series features tons of archival footage, along with many interviews with individuals directly involved at some of the highest levels. You might not be able to see it on DVD, but you can watch the full series on Youtube, starting with Part 1: Comrades (1917-1945)." The title of the post is a reference to Waggames, which has a long history in internet lore: "the only winning move is not to play."

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

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Graham Priest interviewed by Richard Marshall
Richard Marshall, 3:AM, March 28, 2012.

If you wonder sometimes where my admittedly unorthodox views about reserach and learning come from, take a look at this item. It's exposure to this sort of thinking - in this case, a cogent defense of the idea that some contraditions can be true - that leads me to question and sometimes reject what would be taken as a truism by most people. "I don’t think that logic has anything to do with the way that people actually reason.... In the sense that ‘logic’ refers to our theories of the norms of correct reasoning, it is clear that these are, like all theories, constructed at particular places and times, and bear the historical traces of these." That doesn't mean logic is wrong - it means logic and inference are human creations that depend on their utility in our lives for their continued existence.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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