OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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December 10, 2012

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Google's Lost Social Network
Rob Fishman, BuzzFeed, December 9, 2012.

These are two pretty important posts people should read if they're developing online services (and this means pretty much every educational publisher, LMS company, and more, including my own employer). The first is an overview of why Google+ is moribund and why Reader was a far superior product (and community). And if you asked me, you'd find I use Reader a lot more, even though I've written my own RSS aggregator. The second, which is the lynchpin of the first, explains where Google goes wrong - that it doesn't understand services-oriented architecture. It's a great point. Google+ even after all this time is a dead-end island on the web, with no real way to work with other content or services. Case in point: communities. There's no real way to invite people, except through your G+ circles, and even then, unless you've organized your circles just right, you can't invite anyone. I've spent ten years trying to convince my colleague that we should be building platforms and infrastructure, not 'products', and so far, because they can't figure out how to 'sell' a platform, they won't get it.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Google, Networks, RSS]

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Could online courses be the death of the humanities?
Aurélien Mondon, The Guardian, December 9, 2012.

"Imagine a return to a pre-revolutionary world," warns , "where such a form of knowledge and study would only be practised by a very small elite, rich enough to delve into 'unprofitable' questions in their spare time." Her concern is that as MOOCs in the hard sciences raise money and gain support, the humanities are left behind. I think her concern is misplaced. We do not live in an era where only the wealthy have access to knowledge, resources and spare time. For example, I have set up a Philosophy Community in Google Plus (here's another, and here's one on Philosophy of Mind). And the world of MOOCs will very definitely open up to the humanities, spurred on by a global interest in the subject. If, however, it's the death of the first year 500-student English course, I wouldn't mourn.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Google, Paradigm Shift]

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Open Educational Resources: cases from Latin America and Europe in higher education
Andreia Inamorato, Cristóbal Cobo and Celso Costa, OportUnidad, December 9, 2012.

Very large report (216 page PDF) in three languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese) describing open educational resource initiatives in Latin America. Susan D’Antoni writes in the prologue, "This compendium of case studies serves to illuminate a number of diverse OER initiatives in two regions, Latin America and Europe. The case studies can stimulate creativity and promote networking, collaboration and partnerships, across the ocean and around the world. The series of interviews complements the cases, providing context and commentary on some of the issues related to OER from the perspective of a number of prominent individuals."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, European Union, Networks]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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