OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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July 18, 2013

40 Days of Dating
Jessica Walsh, Timothy Goodman, July 18, 2013


I read Metafilter for the randomness. It's hard to keep up, and I don't really try, but I do try to take some time for it. Today: "'What do you do when you're tired of the prospect of dating?' Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman, both designers in New York City, found themselves single at the same time. Thus was born 40 Days of Dating, an experimental relationship being chronicled daily from July 10 to August 18, 2013."

It's the sort of thing that shouldn't work, but it does. I'm past the dating stage of my life (thank goodness) but I still think about life and relationships and such. Anyhow, I skimmed it and found myself drawn in. It turns out I really like these two people. I care less about their relationship than I do about them (and yet they are total strangers, and whatever happened has already happened a month ago). I like their creativity, I like their honesty and I like their passion. They are fundamentally good people. I don't think people understand yet that this is online learning. Not courses and stuff.

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Federal Research Suggests New Approach to Teaching Fractions
Helge Sherlund, Helge Scherlund's eLearning news blog, July 18, 2013


I never had any problems understanding fractions, and in a certain sense, it is a mystery to me why people have problems with them. But in a deeper sense, I think, I know exactly why they have problems with them. So when I read this, it all came to me clearly: "Multiplication makes a number bigger; division makes it smaller." Which, of course, is exactly what's not happening in multiplication or division; we aren't transforming numbers, we're just involved in elegant acts of counting. But what of fractions, then? For me, I think the key lay in the use (by my teachers) of the word 'of'. If you say, "what is one half times one quarter" it sounds deeply mysterious (especially if all you've even done is to memorize a multiplication table). But if you say "what is one half of one quarter" the meaning is transparent: one eighth. This just shows, once again, that mathematics isn't about remembering facts, it's about understanding.

[Link] [Comment]

OERs and MOOCs: Old Wine in New Skins?
Neil Butcher, eLearning Africa News Portal, July 18, 2013


Neil Butcher makes the point that current MOOC implementations using open educational resources (OERs) are simply replicating traditional courses usinbg OERs, where "we are primarily harnessing the innovation of OER predominantly to reproduce content-heavy, top-down models of education that were developed hundreds of years.`The potential is for so much more, he says. "The urgent imperative – and the real transformative potential of OER and MOOCs – is to evolve new systems of education that can help our societies, and especially our youth, to navigate their way through a world in which the disruption wreaked by information and communication technologies requires a completely new approach to knowledge, skills and competence." This is what I would like to see with our connectivist MOOCs but it takes time and has to be built from the ground up.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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