OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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August 3, 2012

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What’s the Best Way to Practice Project Based Learning?
Peter Skillen, 21st Century Fluency Project, August 1, 2012.

I know people love the slider metaphor, and I even know that it's often appropriate to represent a polarity as a continuum rtaher than an off-on. But I don't like it. First, it masks the fact that some things actually are off-on. For example, the course is either teacher-directed or student-directed. It can't be both, because in case of conflict, only one wins (and guess which one?). Second, it masks false dilemmas. The dilemma between 'reductionist' and 'complex', for example. These are not contraries, let alone contradictions. Third, it masks complex relationships with simple lables. For example, 'socially cooperative' and 'cognitively cooperative' are lables for something - though it's hard to say what (especially as the midpoint between them is labled 'independent'). So, let's leave it like this: a learning approach isn't just a simple set of controls you can program and let run on its own like a machine.

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

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Camp Magic Macguffin By the Numbers
Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, August 1, 2012.

Nice set of posts wrapping up the summer ds106 course taught by Jim Groom, Alan Levine, and several other reprobates. It wasn't huge by Stanford-AI standards, but it was still pretty large (which makes me wonder - I wonder what the enrolment numbers are for all Coursera and Udemy's new MOOCs are - shouldn't we be seeing some figures?).

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I’ve been in this really good MOOC for the past 20 years, it called “The Internet.”
Patrick Masson, Patrick Masson, August 1, 2012.

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I've heard people react to the concept of the personal learning environment by saying "my browser is my personal learning environment". So I'm not surprised to hear someone now say "the internet is my MOOC". And I am forced to ask - which part of the internet? The subscription paywalls keeping people out of news sites? The whole bit where the RIAA sued its customers for downloading music? The unrestrained (and vile) comments on YouTube videos? Phishing attacks? Distributed denial of service? Closed-door learning management systems? Or - is it actually a subset of information and communications technologies, definable by being education focused, distributive and participatory in nature, free, and open? Oh - that internet.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: YouTube, Video, Subscription Services]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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