OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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May 16, 2012

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Love Letter to Plywood
Tom Sachs, YouTube, May 16, 2012.

This short video, a tribute to plywood, is getting rave reviews. It's an educational video, but one that leaves one viewer "weeping in the building materials aisle at Home Depot." Me, I've spent a lot of time with plywood, and so I get that.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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Research Sidebar in Google Docs
Alex Chitu, Google Operating System, May 16, 2012.

Microsoft recently introduced online research support in its office suite and Google has announced a similar service in its 'Research Sidebar'. This post from Google Operating System (not an official Google weblog) covers the basics. "The sidebar includes the top Google search results, image search results, facts, maps, reviews and famous quotes. Click the icon from the search box to restrict the results to images and quotes." My question is, do we really want pages and pages of 'hotel deals' listings in the sidebar of our Google documents?

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Microsoft, Research, Web Logs, Google]

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Educational Technology and Education Conferences, June to December 2012
Clayton R. Wright, Stephen's Web Document, May 16, 2012.

Clayton R. Wright has once again gifted the community with his massive listing of conferences. It can be downloaded here as an MS Word document. He writes, "The 27th version of the conference list provides over 1,000 events that may be of interest to educators. The rationale and format of the list is described (here). Readers are encouraged to cut and paste a selection of events for their colleagues. Through this process, they may discover professional development opportunities that may help them create a better educational environment for their learners. For example, the list comprises conferences such as "Using the Cloud for eLearning", "The World Open Educational Resources Congress", "Wikis and Open Collaboration", "Open Education", "Improving University Teaching", and "mLearning". Those seeking to improve the development and delivery of e-learning courses may find a few of the suggestions in this publication helpful. And, educators working in developing countries who seek to use open educational resources may want to refer (here)

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

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How the Professor Who Fooled Wikipedia Got Caught by Reddit
Yoni Appelbaum, The Atlantic, May 16, 2012.

Good story about T. Mills Kelly's course, Lying About the Past. The idea here is to engage students by having them create a fabricated hostory and attempt to fool a community with it. Their first attempt succeeded in planting a false Wikipedia article. But their efforts from the current year, including one that was undone on Reddit in a mere matter of minutes. What's really inteersting about the article is the anaysis of why Wikipedia was fooled and Reddit wasn't. "One answer lies in the structure of the Internet's various communities. Wikipedia has a weak community, but centralizes the exchange of information. It has a small number of extremely active editors, but participation is declining, and most users feel little ownership of the content." As Wikipedia editors gain more authority and nfluence, as they have over the last few years, the ability of the site to detect errors and falsehoods actually decreases. Of course - this Atlantic article may also be a deception. Who's to know?

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Wikipedia]

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Advancing Culturally-Aware Information Technology: Intercultural Agents and Cultural Signposts
Elaine Raybourn, ADL Newsletter, May 16, 2012.

Elaine Raybourn discusses early efforts to create a system that would place people in proximity according to their interests and activities. But in the development of such a system in ADL's Personal Assistant for Learning (PAL) she notes that such a system needs to be culturally aware and act as a mediating agent, 'introducing' people based on context (you may be interested in the U.S. procurement request for research on what are essentially personal learning environments). This would come in the form of "feedback from our interactions in virtual, digital, computer-mediated, or electronic settings." These are based on "footprints" left as we navotage the electronic environment and which are interpreted as subtle cues created and detected by cultrally aware interactive avatars.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Interaction, Information, Online Learning]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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