OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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August 13, 2012

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Curation, education, and Robin Good
Jay Cross, Internet Time, August 13, 2012.

Different bits of goodness in this Jay Cross post - standing desks (I've got to get one), Logitech keyboards (ditto) and Robin Good. "My Saturday evening disappeared. Robin’s presentation is on Mindomo, a Prezi-like tool that lets a curator put together a path through videos, links, and text headlines. You navigate your way through the content the curator/presenter has set up for you. It feels like walking by the expert’s desk and seeing all the major lessons on her desktop waiting for you to scoop them up. And you can linger as long as you wish." Interesting. Must look into this more deeply.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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Why Online Education Won't Replace College—Yet
David Youngberg, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 13, 2012.

Without further ado, here are the reasons, according to the Chronicle's David Youngberg:

  • it's too easy to cheat
  • star students can't shine
  • employers avoid weird people (he writes: "Getting an unconventional degree suggests you're probably one of the usurpers who are more trouble than they are worth. MOOCs are the nose rings of higher education.")
  • computers can't grade everything
  • money can't substitute for ability

Youngberg writes, "If only one or two of these issues existed, the days of higher education as we know it would be numbered." In fact, none of these are genuine issues, as they are rooted in perception rather than any fact. If you get past a vision of the world where students compete with each other through grades then you see a world in which a MOOC is normal and acceptable, as students participate in online projectys that reflect their true abilities, creating portfolios than can be judged with much more fine-graded nuance than opaque grading systems.

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

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gRSShopper pre-Alpha 0.4
Stephen Downes, gRSShopper Website, August 13, 2012.

gRSShopper 0.4 has been released. Here is the code: grsshopper_0.4.tar.gz To install: - place in a cgi-bin directory and expand using tar -xzf grsshopper_0.4.tar.gz edit top of grsshopper.pl to set directory and database information, then point your web browser to admin.cgi (if it gets stuck in a loop, point directly to initialize.cgi?action=create_db ). Note that gRSShopper will attempt to check code libraries, build directories, and create the database, but where permissions prevent this, some of this will need to be set manually.

gRSShopper is released under the Perl Artistic License or GPL, whichever serves you best. Feel free to invest millions of dollars in this software; send the cheque to stephen@downes.ca Also, gRSShopper has different 'data packs' that create different types of website depending on your preferences. These are still being developed. But you can load different data packs, and save your own data packs, to switch your site from one configuration to another.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: RSS]

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Common Core Standards Boon to E-Learning Industry
Hiten Samtani, New York Times, August 13, 2012.

I love how the effect of the Common Core program - "a windfall for e-learning companies" - is depicted in this NY Times article as a byproduct of a program with entirely different aims, rather than (as it actually was) the primary intent of the program. Just saying.

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

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Pew/Elon: Technologies poised to outpace universities
John Moravec, Education Futures, August 10, 2012.

I think the survey results have it right: "In the Pew Internet/Elon University survey, 1,021 Internet experts, researchers, observers and users, 60% agreed with a statement that by 2020 'there will be mass adoption of teleconferencing and distance learning to leverage expert resources…a transition to ‘hybrid’ classes that combine online learning components with less-frequent on-campus, in-person class meetings.'" Here's the full Pew Report.

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

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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