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April 8, 2013

Queen’s University’s report on online learning
Tony Bates, online learning, and , distance education resources, April 8, 2013

The best part of this report is the reaction to it posted by Tony Bates: "Reading this report was like peering over the wall of a monastery watching the monks diligently tending their vegetables with trowels and hoes, then along comes someone who suggests that they might want to use a tractor." One gets that impression, perhaps, on reading in the opening few sentences that "The question that permeates the discussions to date has been whether online learning is demonstrably better than traditional approaches." It's not that it's a bad report per se, it's that it just seems, well, a bit quaint. Tony bates says, "What Queen’s now needs is a plan that sets clear goals for online learning, identifies the resources needed, and makes the necessary organizational and structural changes." fair enough, but what I say is that Queens should follow one of the first recommendations immediately, specifically, to "do a better job identifying and recognizing faculty and staff who are innovators in teaching and promote synergies between them."

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

Twitter Is Dead
Karoli, odd time signatures, April 8, 2013

I personally think Twitter has long since passed its best-before date, but now I think the realization is dawning on wider circles. It happened with Twitter transitioned from being a sharing site to being a marketing site. The failure becomes when some of the marketing begins to smell, well, off. For example, as Karoli observes, Michelle Malkin's 'Twitchy' site. "For those unfamiliar with Twitchy, Malkin trolls those she disagrees with, retweets and/or has one of her trolls blog about it, then the army of fake accounts jumps inand trolls the unsuspecting person who dared to say something Malkin didn’t like. There are three elements to Malkin’s scheme that spell Twitter’s doom: Trolling, fake accounts, and gamed hashtags."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Twitter, Marketing, Web Logs]

How to Set Up Your Own Private Cloud Storage Service in Five Minutes with OwnCloud
Thorin Klosowski , LifeHacker, April 8, 2013

I ran across this while looking for something else, but would definitely like to point to it as the way of the future. Most of us are familiar with cloud applications, such as Google Docs or Windows Live, and some us are familiar with cloud storage, such as Dropbox or Amazon Web Services. And while we wouldn't think so off the cuff, services such as Facebook and Twitter are also cloud applications. What makes these part of the cloud is, first, the functionality and data are managed on an internet server, and second, you can access this functionality and data from any one of your devices - phone, television, computer, tablet, whatever. So far so good, but online storage is expensive, while home storage is dirt cheap. I bought 4 terabytes of redundant storage (hence, 8 terabytes in all) for about $300. The same storage online would cost me more than that a month. But with applications like OwnCloud, I can set up my own cloud service my own way. No, it's not ready for prime time yet - so don't offer to set it up for your friends and neighbours. But personal clouds are the way (and wave) of the future.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Microsoft, Twitter, Books, Video, Google]

Do We Still Need the "Opinions Are My Own" Social Media Disclaimer?
Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, April 8, 2013

I've never used the "Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer" disclaimer. This is not because my words represent an official position of my employer. Indeed, quite the opposite. If I assert something here, it is almost certainly not the opinion or views of my employer. And this is true for, well, pretty much everyone. Posting such a disclaimer in this day and age demonstrates nothing expect, perhaps, that your employer does not yet understand the internet.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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