OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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March 27, 2013

Attention Nonprofit #datanerds
Beth Kanter, Beth's Blog, March 27, 2013

I wondered about this. "Updates from Google's service, which pledges to notify users every time new search results appear for any keyword they might like to track, have trickled to a halt in recent months." Beth Kanter follows the logic. "There’s a rumor going around that Google Alerts is next one to be killed off.    Colleague Nancy Schwartz shared this post from Mashable about a new free tool called Mention.  I immediately checked it out and simply love it for its simplicity and ease of use.   Even if the rumor is not true,   I’m switching to this tool.   Some more alternatives and discussion from nonprofit folks here." I was a bit surprised to find there was a download involved. And I'm very discouraged about the very small print in the corner saying '30 days left on free trial'. *sigh* Maybe I'll just write a script to execute a Google search every day and report back.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google, Ontologies]

Little Outliner
Dave Winer, Small Picture, March 27, 2013

"What Google Maps does for geography, outliners do for ideas." So says Paul Ford of Dave Winer's latest project, Little Outliner. On the surface the prduct is very simple, but it does some nifty things, like embedded Javascript, and local data storage. "An outliner is a text editor that organizes information in a hierarchy, allowing users to control the level of detail and to reorganize according to structure. Your notes can have full detail, yet be organized so a casual reader can get a quick overview.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Google]

New Learning in Canada #oer
Jenni Hayman, March 27, 2013

I had a wide-ranging discussion earlier this week with Jenni about open educational resources, what an e-learning application would look like and where e-learning is going in general. This post summarizes her thoughts after the conversation, and I think it reflects the tenor of our discussion quite well. And it captures especially well the flavour of our conversation (or at least, my thinking about our conversation): "You are the only one responsible to know yourself when it comes to learning. Know your skills, your strengths, your weaknesses about a new thing you are trying to learn... Don’t wait for someone to spoon feed you, your parents to pay for it, a bank to loan you the money, or your employer to train you on what they need you to know."

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

Do you see an unmotivated baby?
Steven K. Khan, University Affairs, March 27, 2013

Outstanding analysis of the use of an 'unmotivated baby' image during a presentation on learning. "In order to code this image of a baby as 'unmotivated,' various elements must be attended to and combined. The visual cues of the (pan-African) colours of the headwear, the stylized marijuana leaf, the possibly hand-rolled cigarette and the reddened droopy eyes must be combined with a cultural knowledge..." Imagine, suggests the author, what the reaction would have been had the baby been covered with stars and stripes, eagles and fast food wrappings. (As an aside - I see every communication this way, as expressions not simply of some message but as reflections of cultural milieux, norming, negging, and repositioning.)

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Africa]

Students and OERs: Exploring the possibilities
Lorna Campbell, Lorna’s JISC CETIS blog, March 27, 2013

This post is a summary of a presentation from Toni Pearce, vice-president (further education) for Britain's National Union of Students. I have no doubt that her comments are reflective of the opinions of students, but reading them makes me want to dissolve 'students' as a distinct category for research and opinion on learning technology and policy. Take this: "Students are conservative in their use of OERs. Many do use OERs but they are more likely to use them if they are used as part of course or recommended by lecturer." I'm sure that's true. But (from that perspective) the value of OERs is to people who are not students - people who haven't paid tuition and have easy access to a lecturer. Using 'students' a the demographic voice of record inherently biases our sample toward a self-selected socio-economic elite with privileged access to learning resources.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Great Britain, Research, Tuition and Student Fees, Ontologies]

Because this is the business we've chosen
Dan Chudnov, One Big Library, March 27, 2013

I love this: "My professional mission as a librarian is this: Help people build their own libraries. That's it. That's all I care about." I think that if people understood that their task is to enable others, more professions would be more secure, and people wouldn't worry so much about technology taking over their livelihood. Via Lorcan Dempsey.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Web Logs, United Nations]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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