OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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March 4, 2013

Why Numbers Exist
Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, March 4, 2013

People just take their existence for granted. But on Sunday I got a bug in my head about why they exist at all, and I couldn't get past it. So all work had to be set aside until I had worked it out. Sometimes it's rough being a polymath.

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Reading McLuhan’s Understanding Media: Join Me! (#umrg)
Hans de Zwart, Technology, , , Innovation, Education, March 4, 2013

I like this kind of project. I don't know if I can participate (and if it doesn't come in the form of email reminders I most likely won't) but it's definitely worth sharing. "We will read Understanding Media in 10 weeks (from March 18th till May 27th, less than 50 pages a week). Every week will have the same rhythm:

  • We read a specific part of the book for that week
  • Two people will write a summary for that part and will ask a set of questions about the text (every Friday)
  • We have a virtual event (using Blackboard Collaborate) to discuss the questions (every Monday)"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Project Based Learning, Blackboard Inc.]

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BigData in HR: Why it's Here and What it Means
Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte, March 4, 2013

What's interesting about the diagram above is that it presents analytics (properly so-called) as its own discipline, and represents human resources (HR) and (hence) education as the latest thing in the progression of analytics through the years. This is not an inaccurate way to look at it, and it should remind us (or at least those who have 'discovered' learning analytics) that there is a tradition here with a lot of background, best practices and history. Like, for example, the starting point. "If you start an analytics project by collecting all the data you can find, you may never come to an end. Rather you have to start with the problem: What big decisions would you like to be able to make? What problems would you like to solve?"

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Classes start tomorrow!
Kelli McGraw, March 4, 2013

I'm sending this along because, well, how can you say no to My Little Pony? (For those who didn't know, My Little Pony is a thing.)  This is Kelli McGraw's opening submission to her course focusing on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and the Productive Pedgagogies framework.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Australia]

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ere Comes ACTA: Canadian Government Introduces Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Compliance Bill
Michael Geist, March 4, 2013

ACTA - the hated anti-counterfeiting trade legislation rejected outright in Europe and else where - is experiencing a North American revival. Critics complained (justly) that ACTA was negotiated in secret and "would profoundly restrict the fundamental rights and freedoms of European citizens, most notably the freedom of expression and communication privacy." But it is nonetheless the subject of implementation legistation both here in Canada and also in the United States. "For the U.S., which spent years pressuring ACTA participants to strike a deal, the strategy now appears to revive the agreement by at least garnering the necessary six ratifications for it to take effect," reports Michael Geist. (Icon photo by me,  of a storefront in Poznan, Poland).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: European Union, United States, Canada, Wikipedia, Privacy Issues]

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Ten Years Later: Why Open Educational Resources Have Not Noticeably Affected Higher Education, and Why We Should Care
Gerd Kortemeyer, EDUCAUSE Review, March 4, 2013

Wait... what? Actually, the headline overstates the case. Here is is, precisely: "OERs have failed to significantly affect the day-to-day teaching of the vast majority of higher education institutions. Traditional textbooks and readings still dominate most teaching venues even though essentially all students are online: Course management systems are used only for the dissemination of syllabi, class notes, general communications, and as a grade book." The article nicely lists some adoption hurdles: discoverability, quality, last mile, acquisition. And it suggests as a solution a "a 'supersized' CMS" and helpfully notes "amodel system does exist - The LON-CAPA system established in 1999." But what the article does not do, beyond that original statement, is make the case that OERs have not impacted higher education. David Kernohan writes, "this is an egregious example of a tendency that suggests that OER would be a far better idea if it was just under more control, better organised and more structured." Lorna Campbell writes, "I don’t think a “global enterprise-level system” is the answer to anything." But Kortemeyer rejoinds, "I think people are overlooking a word in the title: 'traditional'... i.e., campus-based for-credit universities like the one I work at, Michigan State University? Why are the students still forced to buy textbooks for $180 if all of the content is indeed freely available?" Why, indeed?

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, EDUCAUSE, Content Management Systems]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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