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May 10, 2013

Against Digital Research Methodologies
Stephen Downes, May 10, 2013, Digital Research Methodologies, Preston, UK, via Skype

This is a description of my approach to research, based on problems inherent in traditional descriptions of scientific method, and the ways I have adapted my own work to compensate. It is a research process more like discovery, more like learning a language, than it is about forming hypotheses and confirming theories. Please note that the video was created May 9, 2013, one day ahead of the presentation, and that the audio is from the presentation itself, May 10, 2013. Both use the same slides.

[Link] [Slides] [Audio]

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Five-Minute Film Festival: Ten Videos on Kindness, Empathy, and Connection
Amy Erin Borovoy, Edutopia, May 10, 2013


This what makes the internet great. Skip the TED video and watch the rest. If you're wondering how it all works, skip over to this Guide to Practical Compassion. "How do you understand the pain of others?... How do I find empathy with thousands of people? It’s almost impossible. So you see that applied compassion can become a complex thing." It's when we're reflecting on learning about this sort of thing - or even discovering the importance of compassion and empathy - that sterile objectivity seems most empty.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

Review of Canadian University Fair Dealing Policies
Lisa Di Valentino, Social Science Research Network, May 10, 2013

summarizes: "Lisa Di Valentino... she collected data from a whopping 40 Canadian universities. She selected all non-Quebec university members of the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada that have an enrollment of 5,000 students or greater [and] prepared a paper entitled Review of Canadian University Fair Dealing Policies. It's well worth a read if you are in any way, shape or form responsible for copyright clearances anywhere in Canada." I echo that sentiment. And Di Valentino writes, "The closest to ideal among the sampled universities might be the University of Prince Edward Island’s 'Fair Copying Guidelines' (although it requires updating)." 44 page PDF.

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

High School Student, Jeff Bliss gives a lesson to his teacher at Duncanville, TX
Volvodea1, YouTube, May 10, 2013


Today's YouTube star is this student from Texas after giving his teacher an earful for simply handing him a packet and zoning out. Of course, while it's easy to blame teachers, we need to focus our attention to a system that supposes that handing out packets constitutes an education (online or offline). It's interesting, because this reminds me of myself in English class in grade 12, expressing similar sentiments for similar reasons (except my hair wasn't quite so long). Do take the time to read the comments, as they are actually quite good (I was afraid to read them, but this is not your typical YouTube comment thread). Oh, and one more note: vertical videos are just wrong; please view this PSA.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, YouTube, Video]

The thorny issue of MOOCs and OER
Lorna Campbell, Lorna’s JISC CETIS blog, May 10, 2013

"FutureLearn," writes Lorna Campbell, "doesn’t appear to make any mention of using, creating or disseminating open educational resources." One of the core concepts of MOOCs - at least, the way we design them - was the use of open educational resources (OERs). After all, OERs and MOOCs are natural partners. Or were. On come the xMOOCs. "it seems that very few xMOOCs use or provide access to open educational resources. The relationship between MOOCs and OERs is problematic at best and non existent at worst. As Amber Thomas memorably commented at the Cetis13 conference 'it’s like MOOCs stole OER’s girlfriend.'"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources]

Academia.edu releases embedded data-sets and code
Richard Price, Academia.edu, May 10, 2013


This is good news (and makes me pay more attention to Academia.edu than I had in the past). "Today Academia.edu is announcing that users can embed data-sets and code onto their Academia.edu profile pages. Data-sets and code can be attached to papers, or can be uploaded in a stand-alone way." Why is this significant? "Currently 75% of the world’s scientific data is not shared. It hasn’t been there because the distribution platforms haven’t been there." It's something paper publications just can't do, ands which the subscription-based online publications haven't done.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Research, Subscription Services, Academic Publications]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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