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November 9, 2012

Assumptions and Challenges of Open Scholarship
George Veletsianos and Royce Kimmons, International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, November 9, 2012.

What is 'open scholarship' and what assumptions about it do we as practitioners bring to the table? According to the authors, open scholarship:

  • has a strong ideological basis rooted in an ethical pursuit for democratization, fundamental human rights, equality, and justice,
  • emphasizes the importance of digital participation for enhanced scholarly outcomes,
  • is treated as an emergent scholarly phenomenon that is co-evolutionary with technological advancements in the larger culture, 
  • is seen as a practical and effective means for achieving scholarly aims that are socially valuable.

The authors raise challenges to each of these, but my observationb would be more meta - can a person who does not subscribe to any of these find value in open scholarship?

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Footprints of Emergence
Roy Trevor Williams, Jenny Mackness and Simone Gumtau, International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, November 9, 2012.

According to the authors, "we need to develop practical tools to help us describe these new forms of learning which are multivariate, self-organised, complex, adaptive, and unpredictable" (compare with the connected company, below). The authors "determine which factors are most relevant to emergent learning" and "describe the dynamics of the processes of self/organization". They create an innovative 3D 'palette' to characterize these factors and map it against case studies such as teacher training, a Masters in E-Business and Innovation, CCK08 (through four phases) and the MEDIATE space. Understanding learning in this way "not only invites but requires self-organization, self-motivation, and creativity."
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What is a connected company?
Dave Gray, Website, November 9, 2012.

Nice little video (starts off as a white blank screen but stay with it) describing the different between a hierarchical company and a connected, or 'holarchic' company. In the former, tasks are divided, and each person has a designated area of responsibility. In the latter, "every part is authorized to represent the whole," and does this by linking to and communicating with other parts of the company. Hierarchies are good for stable processes like manufacturing, while holarchies are more suited to more chaotic processes such as customer service. It's interesting, from my perspective, to think of systems of educational management (such as top-down curricular initiatives) that are hierarchical, as compared to more holarchic teacher-driven models.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Linking and Deep Linking]

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Ontario’s Open Data Policy: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and the (Missed?) Opportunity
David Eaves, eaves.ca, November 9, 2012.

There's a background of discussion currently taking place in corporate and government circles on data polcies, governing data use, data access, and data licensing. I'm seeing this discussion in e-learning circles, on online government and media sites (like this one), and even more and more in my day-to-day activities in my day job. This particular post reviews Ontario's new Open Data portal from the perspective of data policy, drawing out its relation to the UK’s Open Government License, the British Columbia license and the proposed Canadian Open Government License. It has its criticisms: in particular David Eaves is concerned that there's no guarantee the data are clear of any possible third party copyright, moral right, other intellectual property right or other claim. "Basically this line kills the possibility that any business, non-profit or charity will ever use this data in any real sense," he says. He's also concerned about a clause saying "your use of the Datasets causes no harm to others." What counts as 'harm' could be interpreted very broadly, he notes.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Great Britain, Portals, Patents, Copyrights, Canada, Online Learning]

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The Science of “Intuition”
Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, November 9, 2012.

Interesting and well worth noting: "There is no such thing as an intuitive person tout court. Intuition is a domain-specific ability." What does that mean? It means that intuition (or what we call 'intuition') isn't some sort of innate sense, but rather, a dorm of refined perception characteristic of expert knowledge and experience in a domain. This is what Massimo Pigliucci explores in Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life (public library: 2012),  according to Maria Popova. "Cognitive scientists think of intuition as a set of nonconscious cognitive and affective processes... as quick first assessments of a given situation, as provisional hypotheses in need of further checking." Intuition is a product of networked knowledge and associative indexing in making sense of information.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Networks, Experience, Assessment]

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The Pathetic Pundit Playbook
Andrew McAfee, Andrew McAfee’s Blog, November 9, 2012.

I don't want to linger on this topic too much longer, but the criticisms of punditry apply equally well to those in our business as much as they apply to those writing about politics. How often in ed tech have you seen commentators do the following?

  • minsunderstand basic concepts
  • change the topic
  • double down on intuition and gut feel
  • claim to have privileged 'better' information
  • try to overturn reality

"We probably can’t stop hearing from pundits when it comes to elections, markets, trends, and so on. But we can certainly stop listening to them." Oh - yes, and I'm included in that. If I start playing pundit rather than practitioner, move on to a more reliable read.

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Actually, People Love Change
Tim kastelle, Innovation Leadership Network, November 9, 2012.

How often have we heard that people resist change, or are afraid of change. Too often. But the evidence does not support the generalization. People embrace change all the time: they relocate, they get married, they have children, they take on new jobs, they buy new things, and so on. As Tim Kastelle says, "The kind of change that people resist is the kind that makes them worse off." Like changes that result in half the staff being laid off, for example. This suggests a natural route for change management: make changes only if they solve real problems, communicate how (and why) the problem is being solved, and (ideally) use solutions recommended by the people most directly impacted. If change originates on the shop floor, actually helps people, and isn't some hammer of God coming down from above, it is far more likely to be embraced.

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The Mobile Learning Environment project
Various Authors, MOLE, November 9, 2012.

Quite an interesting project being undertaken by the U.S. military and its partners, the Mobile Learning Environment (MoLE) is "an extensible Mobile Application (App) Layer that operates on Apple and Android devices" connected to a "mobile architecture that integrates with traditional learning management systems (LMS)." Studies associated with the project include this one on global trends in mobile platforms. Archives stretch back to 2009, and the project is at proof-of-concept stage.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Apple Inc., Project Based Learning, Research]

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Patent Box
Unattributed, HM Treasury, November 9, 2012.

The patent box is a good idea in that it seeks to reward investments in new ideas, such as patents, data and genetics. I would, however, make two changes: first, I would include in the protection income derived from copyright and similar royalties - this would encourage creative works, original writing, and software, to a limit of (say) 14 years. And second, I would apply the principle to individuals as well as corporations. This would encourage people to develop individual wealth and personal employment through innovation. To be sure, though, I think such a measure should be balanced by tax surcharges on wealth generated by hoarding, such as capital gains and rents. Via CATA LinkedIn Group.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Patents, Copyrights]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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