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April 23, 2013

The Organization as a Cycling Peloton
Dan Pontefract, April 23, 2013


The cycling pelaton is a classic example of cooperation (as opposed to everybody's favourite, collaboration). The members of the pelaton do not have a shared objective: each member wants a different person to finish first. Nonetheless, they individuals have a better chance of succeeding if they work with the group - even with a group of competitors - than they would working on their own. And (note) they do not work as a team (despite what this post says) even though they share thre workload, communicate proactively, and engage with each other. They work as a murmuration. Nobody is in charge of a pelaton, membership is fluid and dynamic, and each exchange (of position, say) is negotiated individually.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Membership]

European MOOCs
Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu.org, April 23, 2013

This is interesting. From Graham Attwell: "Partners in 11 countries have joined forces to launch the first pan-European ‘MOOCs’ (Massive Open Online Courses) initiative, with the support of the European Commission. MOOCs are online university courses which enable people to access quality education without having to leave their homes... Detailed information about the initiative and the courses on offer is available on the portal www.OpenupEd.eu." I wonder, though, why the language used in the portal would be so dismissive: "You are visiting the portal of a brand-new initiative around so-called MOOCs..." So-called? From a MOOC portal? Odd. See also this announcement from WSIS.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Great Britain, European Union, Portals, Quality]

Of Few Letters
Miguel Guhlin, Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org, April 23, 2013


Miguel Guhlin points to an essay by William Zinnsser in The American Scholar on the topic of 'men of letters'. It resonates with me in two ways: first, because I achieved the 'Man of Letters' Boy Scout badge after self-publishing 'The Eagle Report', a mimeographed hand-written town newspaper I authored while in grade 5, and the Book of the Month Club (BOMC), which I signed up for with my father around the same time, and through which I was exposed to, among others, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat, and  William L. Shirer. So I understand Zinnsser's lament for the passing of men of letters. But I don't share it. Today, a person who focuses solely on the written word is suffering a form of illiteracy, and today's literati (which I would claim to be a part of) are people who navigate software, mathematics, scientific reasoning and social networks with the same sort of ease and facility. They may be women as well as men, Korean or Argentinian as well as British or American, and are sought less for their authority and more for their willingness to share.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Great Britain, Books, United States, Networks]

jQuery 2.0 Released
JQuery, April 23, 2013


The modern web is the web intended to support things like Google Chrome add-ons,Mozilla XUL apps and Firefox extensions, Firefox OS apps, Windows 8 Store (“Modern/Metro UI”) apps and BlackBerry 10 WebWorks apps. This web took a step forward today with the release of JQuery 2.0, a set of Javascript functions designed to support dynamic interaction with internet services (what used to be known as 'web 2.0'). What's significant is that JQuery 2.0 drops support for the older Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8 browsers (but you can still use JQuery 1.9 for that). I've spent a lot of time recently learning JQuery - I have nothing tangible to show for that yet, but it has been interesting.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Microsoft, Google Chrome, Interaction, Google]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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