OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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August 29, 2012

Dear news orgs, re Twitter
Dave Winer, Weblog, August 29, 2012.

Twitter started throwing unrelated advertisements into the #EdStartUp course today, showing again how Twitter is becoming more of a media company, and less of a communications company. Dave Winer writes, "I think Twitter and Apple are headed to the same place -- halfway between TV networks and the Internet. More video, more programming, users pressing Like buttons, making wheels spin, watching celebrities and of course commercials." For me, Twitter is on the bubble - and with the way it is clamping down on content sources and software vendors, it might not be long for my desktop.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Twitter, Apple Inc., Video, Marketing, Networks]

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How To Address Canadian Media Convergence if Bell - Astral is Approved
Michael Geist, Weblog, August 29, 2012.

I think Bell is a great ISP and swear by my fibre-op connection. But I think Bell is a terrible media company and swear at (the very biased) programming it offers on television and coverage in its newspapers. As it is, it should split into two separate divisions. A merger with yet another large entity is, to my mind, just a loopy idea (and why should we all pay more just to help Bell finance the acquisition of a company that was running perfetcly well without Bell?).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Mergers and Takeovers, Canada]

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Java is Insecure and Awful, It’s Time to Disable It, and Here’s How
Unattributed, How-To Geek, August 29, 2012.

For those of us who use Bloackboard Collaborate, this is a problem, as it requires Java. But if you can get by without using Java, you really should. And this time, it's not just me saying it, but real computer experts. Additionally, as one commentator writes, "you may want to consider giving Adobe’s Reader and Flash the old heave-ho too." I didn't even install Flash on my Android (just as well) and would like to remove it entirely from my computer, if I thought I could manage without it. Oh yeah, and iTunes is on the way out too, along with Quicktime.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Critical thinking is bogus
Alex Reid, Digital Digs, August 29, 2012.

Alex Reid, who is usually very reliable, repeats the tired old argument that "critical thinking is bogus." He writes, "the 'thinking skills' (critical or otherwise) required of students in different disciplines (and later in their professions) are situated and are not easily practiced outside of those contexts." Maybe he's been reading Daniel Willingham or some other unrelaible source. But no, reasoning skills do not change from discipline to discipline. Here's my response.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google]

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Conversation with the EdStartup Facilitators
David Wiley, EdStartup, August 29, 2012.

So I attended the first #EdStartUp class today, not because I want to create an Ed StartUp, but because I wanted to see how it's run. A couple of observations. First, the use of Twitter for live-session dialogue is a bad idea - I like to chatter during live sessions, but my responses don't just go to people in the session, they are sprayed across 5,298 followers, 99.9 percent of whom are not in the discussion. The experience is like some guy talking too loud on a mobile phone. "Harry... yes... Harry... Harry? ... no, I've got it, be right down.... no, it's a waterford. (etc)." And you need a channel with the video, so you can follow both, and where the course facilitators can place URLs for resources as and when they're discussed.

Another thing. One of the speakers said subscribing to EdSurge constituted mandatory reading in the course. This is the first I have seen of this site, which is "a team of journalists, educators, and technologists dedicated to accelerating the adoption of outstanding and appropriate education technology." They obtained funding form the likes of the Washington Post (also known as Kaplan Education). Here's a back issue. Because of the speaker's remark I thought they were associated with the course, but maybe not. Anyhow, someone from OpenSesame - an online course provider - wrote to recommend EdSurge. All very good - but their funders have spent a lot of money just to recreate OLWeekly, IMO. And as Audrey Watters commented, it raises "interesting journo-ethics too about how a VC-backed pub can cover startups that are also funded by that VC fund," prompting Justin Yantho to respond, "imagine what will happen when News Corp Amplify really gets going."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Twitter, Video, Experience, Chatrooms, Online Learning]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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