OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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February 8, 2013

NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Higher Education Edition
Samantha Becker, New Media Consortium, February 8, 2013

From their website a few days ago: "The New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) have jointly released the NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Higher Education Edition." In the 1-year (ie., the 'blatantly obvious') list:

  • Flipped Classroom
  • Massively Open Online Course
  • Mobile Apps
  • Tablet Computing

I will make one remark: it's Massive Open Online Courses, not 'Massively'. The 'ly' got added on by a blog somewhere and it has propagated through the blogosphere and researchosphere as a marker indicating the author did not check primary sources (it's liek the way a person uses the term 'blog' to refer to a single post, as in "I wrote a blog", when the meaning of 'blog' is a series or collection of posts. Again, it's a mususe of a term serving as a marker indicating the writer did not check his or her sources.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Research, EDUCAUSE, Web Logs]

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Thanks to Jeff Atwood
Dave Winer, Scripting News, February 8, 2013

Dave Winer quite rightly touts Discourse, released today. "It's open source discussion software." More than that, it's what Twitter would look like were Twitter set up (rationally) as a discussion list, rather than (irrationally) as a 'shot at everyone' service. And I see in the comments that Talking Points Memo's TPMPrime is moving to Discourse. I would move to it directly myself but it's in Ruby on Rails, which means a whole server setup, not just a simply script.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Twitter, Ruby, Open Source, Discussion Lists]

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Captain Kirk calls Chris Hadfield at space station
CBC News, February 8, 2013

Sometimes being Canadian is ordinary, it's like having any other generic nationality, but sometimes, like today, it's a bit special. William Shatner, the legendary Captain Kirk, chatting with Chris Hadfield, the commander of the International Space Station. Both are Canadian, and here they are, creating a defining moment. These are the people I grew up with, work with, live with. Well, not directly - I have never met (nor probably ever will) wither Shatner or Hadfield. But I have met so many Shatners and Hadfields over the years in this country. It's them, this time. But it could be any of us, at any moment. That's what makes this moment special. See also Open Culture and this link to the full conversation.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Chatrooms, Canada]

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Your Massively Open Offline College Is Broken
Clay Shirky, The Awl, February 8, 2013

Good comprehensive discussion from Clay Shirky on some of the drivers underlying th concept of the MOOC. "For all our good will, college in the U.S. has gotten worse for nearly everyone who relies on us. For some students—millions of them—the institutions in which they enroll are more reliable producers of debt than education. This has happened on our watch. The competition from upstart organizations will make things worse for many of us. (I like the experiments we’ve got going at NYU, but I don’t fantasize that we'll be unscathed.) After two decades of watching, though, I also know that that’s how these changes go. No industry has ever organized an orderly sharing of power with newcomers, no matter how interesting or valuable their ideas are, unless under mortal threat." I remember fifteen years ago exchanging banter with Conrad Albertson in Brandon to the effect that the barbarians were at the gates. It has been a long siege. But we are beginning to see the walls waver. This is a good thing, for a lot of people, a lot of us, who are on the outside.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Networks]

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Kirylo, James D. (2011) Paulo Freire: The Man from Recife
Rebecca Tarlau, education review, February 8, 2013

I quite enjoyed this lengthy review of Kirylo's biography and analysis of Friere's thought. What was interesting was Rebecca Tarlau's perspective, as someone who initially read Friere in college and 'felt nothing', but who began to appreciate his work while engaged in her own community organization. "I asked the founder of the organization—Lourdes Luna—how they could possibly do all of those things. She pointed to a picture of a man with a long white beard, 'Paulo Freire,' she told me, 'We use Freire.' That certainly got my attention." It feels odd to me how something so abstractly defined could be of such practical use, but the proof is in the application.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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A world map of Open Educational Resources initiatives
Susan D'Antoni, OER Knowledge Cloud, February 8, 2013

Last fall the UNESCO open educational resources (OER) project hosted an online discussion to consider the feasibility of a global 'map' on open educational resources. This immediately suggested two interpretations: the first, and probably intended by the authors, would involve an actual geographical map, with OER projcets 'pinned' on the map; the second, and to my mind more useful, would have been a 'mapping' of OER initiatives, searchable and sortable across various dimensions. This paper is the summary of that discussion. You might enjoy the discussion just in order to read one of my own moments of clarity (p. 7): "In redundancy is reliability. In synchronization is strength. In distribution is durability. In structured representation is stability."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Project Based Learning, UNESCO, Discussion Lists]

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#MOOC disasters are human and part of educational innovation and why sandboxes are good
Inge de Waard, Ignatia Webs, February 8, 2013

Inge de Waard writes, "my heart really goes out to Fatimah Wirth, for she dared to test new approaches but ... fell into the trap that all of us tend to fall into at one time or another: dreaming and as a result wanting to go too far, too quickly." She is referring of course to the recent Coursera course that was cancelled due to a failure of the system usedto assign students into groups. I think she makes a good point - in many contexts, you would simply pick up the pieces and muddle through, but in strict regimented formal education there was no choice but to cancel the course. "It is the formal part of the course that got people anxious. Formality puts a much bigger demand on any course: instructions, time, ... Informality keeps it  easier to adapt and be creative." I live for informality; when people start structuring what I do, my first inclination is to run for the hills, where I can be free agin.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses]

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Price of a Bad Review
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, February 8, 2013

Though we hear from time to time (i.e., yesterday) that the American patent system is broken, my own feeing si that it the the American legal system that is broken. In The Litigation Society, you can expec justice only if you can afford justice, and in most cases, you cannot afford justice. That's the case in this item, where a librarian is being sued for a ridiculous amount because he had the temerity to criticize a publishing house in his blog. As reported by Inside Higher Ed, he referred to Edwin Mellen Press as "a 'vanity press' with 'few, if any, noted scholars serving as series editors,' benefiting largely from librarians not returning books sent for approval at 'egregiously high prices.'" It becomes clear in this and similar cases that "the integrity of true academic freedom is only as strong as the will and resources to defend it."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, United States, Web Logs, Patents, Copyrights, Academia]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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