OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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July 2, 2012

The Complete Android Guide
Kevin Purdy, Complete Guides, July 2, 2012.

For the last two years I have used my Palm Pre for mobile telephony (and haven't enjoyed it much), but when I became eligible for an upgrade this week I decided I wanted something a bit more state-of-the-art. Though I considered an iPhone, I decided to go 4G and Androd and selected a Galaxy S3. My first impressions are favorable, though I can't say much about Samsung's web-based support. I went to Google to search for Android - it struck me that there should be a listing along the side, in additon to 'News' and 'Images' and 'Shopping' there should be a category 'Learn'. How odd, indeed, that there isn't one. Anyhow adding 'Learn' to my search took me to this free eBook from 2010 (but updated several times since - isn't dfigital great?), which should be good for now.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google, Wikipedia, Ontologies]

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What does a Connection do?
Glen Cochrane, A Point of Contact, July 2, 2012.

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Sometimes I'm pretty metaphorical; it's my preferred mode of thinking, and I enjoy painting pictures in my mind. But other times, such as in the present inbstance, I am a lot more literal. This is because I see the metaphorical descriptions of something pretty basic as grasping and some sort of, well, metaphorical straw in an attempt to create something more of something thast there is there. The question is, "what does a connection do?" To me it makes no sense to start evoking images of "units of control" or "units of choice" or "eliminate a duality". All kinds of things have to be true for these accounts to make sense: the nodes have to be sentient, connections have to be intentionally established, signals through them have to be complex and semantically laden. No, accounts like tyhis are nothing more than the crafting of a mythology. A connection is a link between two entities such that a change of state in the first can result in a change of state in the second. When you start to say more than that, you are attempting to import the properties of an entire network into a single connection, which is an illicit inference.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Semantics, Semantic Web, Networks]

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Graphing the history of philosophy
Simon Raper, Drunks&Lamppost, July 2, 2012.

In the 1990s I constructed several huge network diagrams of philosophers, mapping the history of philosophy from the pre-Socratics to the present. My diagrams looked a bit different from the diagram here, in a few respects: first, it included many more philosophers; second, it didn't add data by making some nodes bigger (it let the links speak for themselves); and third, philosophers were placed on the graph according to time and location, so you could see a 'flow' of ideas through history.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Networks]

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Google's New Brain Could Have a Big Impact
Tom Simonite , Technology Review, July 1, 2012.

Google's 'Knowledge Graph' project has a lot of potential, but some problems as well. On the one hand, "The Knowledge Graph can be thought of as a vast database that allows Google's software to connect facts on people, places, and things to one another." On the other hand, "'They've released a deliberately closed solution,' he says, contrasting that with Facebook's own knowledge store known as the Open Graph, a public resource that software can use to access information on music, movies, recipes, and more."

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

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Comparison of MOOCs and MOOC-like initiatives
Unattributed, MediaSite, June 30, 2012.

Why would this list comparing MOOCs and MOOC-like initiatives not even mention the connectivist MOOCs? It's not like they don't know we exist. There's an inherent bias in a lot of the discussion toward US-based and commercial initiatives. Then later we will be told the field was invented by US-based and commercial initiatives.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Teach the world online at Learn It Live
Various Authors, LearnItLive, June 30, 2012.

I received an email today encouraging me to become an instructor at LearnItLive. "Learn It Live provides the platform, tools, and support that make online learning as flexible and impactful as in-person learning." Specifically, it provides some marketing and enrollment management and an interface to a Blackboard Collaborate environment. It's well done, most of the courses are free, and there's a revenue-sharing plan should you decide to charge for access to your courses. There are also tools, which I haven't examined, to track learner engagement and to manage certification. For my money, free access to a relaible Collaborate site is itself worth the time to look into this some more.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Blackboard Inc., Marketing, Online Learning]

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It's the Pedagogy, Stupid: Lessons from an iPad Lending Program
Heather Beattey Johnston and Carolyn J. Stoll, eLaern Magazine, June 30, 2012.

This article sounds like it's saying the iPad won't make any difference in education. "The appear of the iPad in the classroom isn't its potential for re-imagining pedagogy, regardless of how loudly, vigorously and often advocates proclaim it is." But then cracks begin to appear in that position. "The main campus humanities and social science teachers ended up telling us how they would view content on the iPad, the branch campus STEM teachers were able to tell us how they would manipulate the content." By the end, it is clear the iPad will change education, if you use it for that purpose. "The differences rest in the ability to do things with the iPad that you can't do easily or at all with other devices."

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

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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