OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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January 10, 2013

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Planet Four
Various Authors, Website, January 10, 2013.

This is really interesting. Now that we have some really superb high resolution photos of the Martian surface we have the immense task of mapping an entire planet. This website crowdsources the job. "We need your help to find and mark ‘fans’ and ‘blotches’ on the Martian surface. Scientists believe that these features indicate wind direction and speed. By tracking ‘fans’ and ‘blotches’ over the course of several Martian years to see how they form, evolve, disappear and reform, we can help planetary scientists better understand Mars’ climate." Last year the same project found a planet.

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

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Create Your Own TED Talk in Six Steps
Geoff Can, Brainstorm in Progress, January 10, 2013.

You can't go wrong with a post that exposed TED for what it is. "There will soon be a TED Talk crisis. There are over 1400 of them online. Much of the drek, apparently, has been curated out for you by the corporate curators; ideas that are not linked on their site that may not, according to TED, be really worth spreading."

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Lakeview School Sit-In, Oakland
Dean Groom, The Playable Classroom, January 10, 2013.

As Dean Groom posts, "This is a great video made by a student at Lakeview Sit In, Oakland. The school was closed down, so the community re-opened it. So the police arrived and closed that down. This is a childs documentary. Powerful stuff. You can follow them on Twitter. There’s also some more video on Vimeo and community activism on Facebook where you can get involved. “Education should be free – not cuts, no fees” being the chant."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Twitter, Video, Online Learning]

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Brain Bucks
Steve Collis, Happy Steve, January 10, 2013.

Steve Collis comes up with the term 'brain bucks' to help people prioritize how they 'spend' their mental life. It's an interesting idea, but I actually do it the other way around in my own life - I think of money not as an objective but in terms of how much of my precious mental attention it represents. So I don't use my brain to make money, I use money to maximize free time for my brain.

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Various Authors, Website, January 10, 2013.

Jim Groom points to this website that compiles generally obscure but always intresting audio and video records. For example, right now on the front page we have The Films of Toshio Matsumoto, 1961-1987 (19 short experimental works by Matsumoto), Obscure Records (1975-78) [MP3] (the complete run of all 10 LPs from Brian Eno's legendary record label), and Robert Hughes - Shock of the New (1982) (eight part documentary that offers a comprehensive view on the development of modernist art). Too bad there's no RSS - perhaps someone could make one for them with Feed43. Groom comments, "the fact that UbuWeb has been operating for free for 17 years is amazing. With all the blood, money, and ink shed over MOOCs concomitant with the endless discussions of the future of education, it’s refreshing to see a university do something that actually matters as a public service."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, RSS, Audio]

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Could a MOOCI Contribute to the Education of the World’s Most Impoverished Children?
John Connell, Weblog, January 9, 2013.

Let's map out the core dilemma that produces the idea (quoting from the text):

  • good-quality teaching should be central to good educational provision, and most especially for the education of young children
  • there is a massive shortage of good-quality teachers across the developing world

OK, so do MOOCs here here? Maybe, but John Connell writes, "I, for one, am less sure that the course-ness of the con­cept has to be a given.... so many of them have no access to good teach­ing, I can’t but help won­der how the MOOC might be taken, reshaped, and made into some­thing that could begin to ame­lio­rate some of the worst effects of that gen­er­ally awful situation. I have problems with this article because it really misconstrues MOOCs as "a lin­ear, struc­tured, com­pre­hen­si­ble process in which ideas or con­cepts or infor­ma­tion are intro­duced, dis­cussed, dis­sected," etc. I get what he wants - we've been talking about it here for years under the heading 'personal learning environment'. But I think he still wants it 'supervised' and 'safe' - hence, 'classroom'.

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

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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