OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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November 19, 2012

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Learning Respurce Metadata Initiative
Various Authors, Website, November 19, 2012.

In my email this morning from Peter Pinch at MIT: "We are launching a redesign of MIT OpenCourseWare in a few weeks, and the new site will have LRMI metadata. I have to agree with Phil that "special consideration was given to... use cases from US K-12 education," but I've still found enough of relevance in LRMI to apply it to MIT OCW. And I have more plans for after the redesign launches. Keep in mind, LRMI is collaborating with schema.org, a much larger effort to standardize semantic metadata on web pages. If you are publishing structured content on the web, schema.org deserves your attention. And LRMI is driving the conversation around educational objects in schema.org."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schemas, Books, Semantic Web, OpenCourseWare, Metadata]

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Napster, Udacity, and the Academy
Clay Shirky, Weblog, November 19, 2012.

Clay Shirky on MOOCs: "Open systems are open. For people used to dealing with institutions that go out of their way to hide their flaws, this makes these systems look terrible at first. But anyone who has watched a piece of open source software improve, or remembers the Britannica people throwing tantrums about Wikipedia, has seen how blistering public criticism makes open systems better. And once you imagine educating a thousand people in a single class, it becomes clear that open courses, even in their nascent state, will be able to raise quality and improve certification faster than traditional institutions can lower cost or increase enrollment." Not just that, though. Shirky admits he received a Yale education, and he isn't the first to leverage his university pedigree into a successful media career. But if MOOCs have the impact I hope they have, going to Yale won't mean doodly. You'll have to earn your influence like the rest of us, instead of buying it at Yale.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Source, Quality, Wikipedia, Online Learning]

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[2b2k] MOOCs as networks
David Weinberger, Joho the Blog, November 17, 2012.

Yeah. MOOCs as networks. What an idea! "How do you make that enormous digital classroom smarter than the individuals in it? 2B2K’s answer (such as it is) is that you make a room smart by enabling its inhabitants to create a knowledge network." Maybe David Weinberger saw my presentation. Or maybe not.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Networks]

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Decoding Learning - a report that gets to the heart of the challenge of enhancing learning with technology
Seb Schmoller, Fortnightly Mailing, November 16, 2012.

Coverage of a report published in Britain, NESTA's Decoding Learning (90 page PDF) on "the challenge of enhancing learning with technology in schools." It offers three perspectives:

  • the proof that technology can enhance learning
  • the potential to make better use of the technology, and
  • the promise found in areas where technology is undervalued and underused

It's interesting to note how the report is bing covered in the media: BBC - Costly hi-tech kit lies unused in schools, says study; Telegraph - Schools 'wasting £450m a year' on useless gadgets.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Great Britain, Books, BBC, Online Learning]

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How (online) learning could be knowledge building?
Teemu Leinonen, FLOSSE Posse, November 16, 2012.

 writes, "The high-profile projects and endeavors in the MOOCs-business are also looking for smart ways to initiate peer-to-peer activities, such as peer-support and peer-evaluation. This will make the MOOCs more collaborative and participatory." In such a case, he writes, these MOOCs could be the locus of actual knowledge-building. But it doesn't happen automatically. For example, he says, "I haven’t so far seen that students would have been guided to do research together in a small group with an aim to present their results for their peers." And he poses a challenge for MOOC developers: "Someone should do an experiment: an online course that would include in it some real study assignments, peer-to-peer learning and peer evaluation." Though I think that's happening - the online philosophy course I've been following contains many of these elements.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Project Based Learning, Research]

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Dude, where’s my camera?
Royan Lee, The Spicy Learning Blog, November 16, 2012.

Royan Lee managed to surprise me with this one. "I met several teachers who had been given district/school iPad devices with its camera functionality disabled. Apparently, this is becoming a common practice." My reaction: seriously? Such measures do not reflect well on the thought processes of the relevant managers and administrators, as they come across as being more concerned about control than about learning.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools]

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Why Tech Training for Faculty is a Waste of Time
Debbie Morrison, online learning insights, November 16, 2012.

According to this article, "Too often training is ineffective, is one-dimensional focusing on only one aspect, either technical or pedagogical skills. Both are needed to support and develop faculty." I understand why the author would want educational technology training to include a tay to tie it to teaching, but I don't approach it that way - I think it should be tied to learning. When I teach people about technology, my focus is on how they can use it for their own professional development. The application of that learning to the classrooom will follow.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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