OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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December 21, 2012

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End of the Line for UKOLN and CETIS?
Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, December 21, 2012.

Two vaguely worded announcements appeared today on the UKOLN and CETIS websites. As cited by Brian Kelly, "In response to the Wilson review of Jisc, the organisation has confirmed that it will only provide core funding to the UKOLN Innovation Support Centre, up to July 2013 but not beyond." Same deal for CETIC. (Note that I changed Kelly's headline, contrary to my usual practice, because the phrase "looking ahead" seems to deliberately obfuscate the content of the messages.) I know it's another country and all that, but let me be clear that to my mind UKOLN and CETIS have been two of the most important organizations in the world of online learning, period, and that should their funding be discontinued it would be a significant loss to the field.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Great Britain, Online Learning]

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Saylor.org now hosts free and open versions of Flat World Knowledge texts
Sean Connor , Saylor, December 21, 2012.

They don't credit Scott Leslie anywhere (though they should) but Saylor nonetheless performs a useful social function by extracting the openly licensed Flat World Knowledge textbooks from the confines of a tangled database and posts them for free and easy access just days before Flat World was due to remove them from open access.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Access]

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RI Teacher Says"I Quit!"
Stephen Round, YouTube, December 21, 2012.

Kudos to veteran Rhode Island teacher Stephen Round four standing by his principles as an educator and so clearly explaining why he is resigning. "Parents need to know what is being done to their children in many of today's public schools - and it is not the teacher's fault." In a follow-up video, he argues, "Public schools, the way they are set up, are destined to turn out many more Adam Lanzas. His mom's choice - to pull him out of the public school system - undoubtedly contributed to Adam becoming more and more isolated." All very good, but I wish the second video didn't become an advertisement for a small private Christian academy funded entirely by donations. Meanwhile, for some reason, Alexander Russo trivializes the video, calling nit a Gangnam-style resignation. But there's a good comment about education in Gangnam, where "education is taken seriously, and high test scores are sought and achieved... but even they don't believe in the militaristic approach to second grade education described in this video."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Video, Push versus Pull, Marketing, Online Learning]

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‘History Harvest’ Project May Spawn a New Kind of MOOC
Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 21, 2012.

I like the concept. It reflects the idea in connectivist MOOCs that the learners are expected to bring new resources to the mix. The idea is that each person brings a unique perspective, and learning occurs when these perspectives are placed in juxtaposition. In this case the new perspectives are communicated using historical artifacts. Nice.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Facebook Paid Messages In Beta Testing, Email Filters Announced
James Johnson, The Blog Herald, December 21, 2012.

Facebook is very much on the bubble today. "Facebook on Thursday announced a new beta program which allows users to send messages to non-Facebook friends.... users will have to pay per message. Facebook is testing a $1 fee but that price could skyrocket if the program is a success." I'm already seeing advertising in my message stream, while at the same time fewer posts from friends. If paid messages beocme a fixture on Facebook I will be closing myh account.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Marketing, Google, Tests and Testing]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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