OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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May 9, 2012

WebKit Offers Early Preview of ‘Web Intents’
Scott Gilbertson, Webmonkey, May 9, 2012.

This is really interesting. The Webkit 'intent' tag is supposed to accomplish basically the same objective as Learning Tools Interoperability. Instead of linking directly to a specific online application, such as a photo editor, it makes clear the intent of the tag, to (say) 'enable photo editing'. The browser software then inserts a link to your preferred application, or to a list of applications, as the case may be. This is better than LTI, of course, because the work is done by the individual browser, not the learning management system, which allows for genuinely personalized tools.

"For some more background on Web Intents, check out Paul Kinlan’s blog, particularly his overview post on the brief history of Web Intents and his follow-up on using the Web Intents JavaScript APIs in Chrome. Tantek Çelik, the creator of microformats, also wrote a nice post last year on what he calls Web Actions (same thing, better name)."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google Chrome, Personalization, Web Logs, Microformats, Linking and Deep Linking, Online Learning]

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Machines Shouldn’t Grade Student Writing—Yet
Dana Goldstein, Slate, May 9, 2012.

The topic of assessment, and especially computer mediated assessment (CME?), is taking on an new currency. Today's readings contain a sampling that is typical of what I've been seeing in recent weeks. From Slate, for example, we have an article cautioning against machine grading - for now. Tom Hoffman cautions readers of that article about the role of Common Core in automated assessments. Ian Quillen, meanwhile, covers Hewlett's Automated-Essay-Grader contest winners. A company called Intel-Assess is acquired. A Washington Post Blog discusses the arrival of standardized tests in post-secondary education. A company called Study Egg offers video-based quizzes. Harvard Business Review plugs CoursePeer, an automated grading systems. Michael Feldstein analyzes the role of machine learning. And as Ignatia summarizes, "the assistants, professors, and grading algorithms of the richer universities will blast away smaller initiatives that are based on peer knowledge exchange, natural learning and human enrichment."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Video, Wireless, Assessment, Hewlett Foundation, Online Learning, Tests and Testing]

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Summarizing All MOOCs in One Slide: Market, Open and Dewey
Justin Reich, Education Week, May 9, 2012.

Yet another article reminding me that I really ought to update mooc.ca so it reflects today's MOOC environment. Anyhow, this article divides between those MOOCs that try to 'deliver' learning and those (like ours) that focus on the learning experience (aka the 'Dewey' MOOCs). So I'll spend some time on mooc.ca today and maybe it will be useful by the time you read this post. Meanwhile the Chronicle's table of open courses manages to miss our model entirely.

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

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Ruth Clark Claims “Games Don’t Teach”
Christy Tucker, Experiencing E-Learning, May 9, 2012.

Ruth Colvin Clark's short ASTD article Why Games Don't Teach is badly titled and overly brief, but it does have the merit of having stimulated some good reactions. Christy Tucker, especially, contributes a well-reasoned and well-referenced post deconstructing the Clark article. "One study doesn’t discount the dozens of successful examples out there. It’s bad use of research to treat any individual study as applying in all situations." Another salient point is found in the comments. Gary Boulet wreites, "You can't expect games to 'teach' as teaching is the imparting of knowledge by a teacher to a student. Games are not teachers, they are learning tools, not teaching tools."

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

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Ten Thousand
Randall Munroe, XKCD, May 9, 2012.

One thing I have cultivated in myself is the willingness to ask when I don't know something - whether I haven't heard the story, don't know what the word means, can't figure out what something is, or whatever. The cartoon captures why nicely - I want other people to feel that same willingness around me. See also Andrew B. Watt: "it’s so much more fun telling people for the first time about something, than it is to berate them for not knowing it in the first place." Also Mick Harper: "If you have a question, always ask it," he said. "Always take chances."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Ed Radio Show Notes, May 9, 2012

Ed Radio live webcast of Bonnie Stewart presentation

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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