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October 8, 2012

The Connective Learning Environment
Stephen Downes, October 8, 2012, Tele-TASK Symposium, Potsdam, Germany

Overview of the model of learning informing the design of the first MOOCs, including a look at some aspects of the gRSShopper software we have been using to support the MOOCs.

[Link] [Slides] [Audio]

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Building open-learning platforms in Canada
James Bradshaw, Globe and Mail, October 8, 2012.

Globe and Mail ("Canada's National Newspaper") coverage of the MOOC phenomenon. "The Canadian answer to how much MOOCs can contribute to learning will have to rely largely on the American experience. But it didn’t have to be this way – Canada had a chance to lead. In 2008, two University of Manitoba teachers prepared a course for 25 paying students exploring ways to make learning more social and less hierarchical. In a nod to the subject matter, UManitoba’s George Siemens and Stephen Downes of the National Research Council decided to throw open the virtual doors and let anyone join in for free." Canada still has a chance to lead, but there has to be some investment on this side of the border, and to date there has basically been none.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, United States, Experience, Canada, Online Learning]

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Introducing Little Bird, the Best Way to Find the Key People Online
Marshall Kirkpatrick, Technology Journalism, October 7, 2012.

Marshall Kirkpatrick announces "the startup I co-founded, left journalism to do and have spent the last year working with my team to build," Little Bird. He explains, "Little Bird automates the discovery of community-trusted topic influencers and experts on any topic. You can find the best sources of information online in minutes using Little Bird. Once you find them, we’ve got a whole bunch of very cool tools you can use to leverage their collective knowledge." Youc an sign up for a beta, and doing so will take you to a screen where you can see some sample reports. It still needs some work - a report on what the 'experts' are sharing in CRM includes Carlie Rae Jepsen Gangnam style, the New Yorker on the debate, and a bunch of paper.li sites.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Cool]

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CC BY and the Truth-Printing Business
Eric Hellman, Go To Hellman, October 4, 2012.

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I appreciate that Eric Hellman is trying to animate his discussion of the value of open content, and I think his argument is certainly novel (which is why I'm linking to it here). But the idea of content as currency is disturbing to me. As is this: "Can you imagine if your dollar bill said "This note is legal tender for all non-commercial debts public or private". That would be silly. The whole point of money is that it doesn't change depending on its use." I'm not sure where to begin with this.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Content, Linking and Deep Linking]

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Blogging vs Threaded Discussions in Online Courses
Connected Principals, James Brauer, October 4, 2012.

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Short article surveying a paper called 'Asynchronous discussions as threaded discussions or blogs,' in Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education (I tried to find it on Google but there's nothing; it may as well be invisible). Clarke and Kinne studystudent interaction in threaded discussions in a message board as compared to interaction in blog posts and responses. "According to their findings, students felt more engaged and personally connected to other learners by engaging in discourse through blogging." It's an interesting analysis. "ecause the form of blog writing tends to be less “academic” and more personal, students linked their meaning of academic material to their own lives and experiences.  This resulted in more candid and personal discourse amongst the class." I just wish the authors had posted it somewhere out here in the real world instead of some ridiculous academic journal so we could see whether they studied more than 25 students in a single class.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Interaction, Academic Journals, Web Logs, Google, Discussion Lists, Experience, Academia, Academic Publications]

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Introduction to Social Media in Education
Jason Rhode, Keep Learning, October 4, 2012.

Jason Rhode shares an introductory online session a presentation he gave in late September. "We explored what social media are and the pedagogical potential for use of social media in educational settings. We set the stage for future sessions to further explore use of social media tools and the design of engaging and innovative learning activities. Slides are available here."

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

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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