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August 26, 2013

News from CC China: eXtreme Learning Process
Elliot Harmon, Creative Commons, August 26, 2013

There are so many things wrong with this I don't know where to begin. xTreme learning seems to be some sort of sleep-deprivation based behaviour modification exercise (a lot like EST). Perhaps I'll begin with the challenge itself: "A plate shifting in South China Sea was caused by a sudden earthquake. As a consequence, a new unmanned island, A, appeared. Your task is to win the offer from the venture capitalist to exploit it into an offshore oil city by building a material delivery system and writing a business plan." This is propaganda of the worst sort disguising itself as education. Then there's the whole sublayer of claiming IP rights and copyright, deemed to be essential to this 'learning' exercise. Maybe China has much more in common with exploitative capitalism than people usually suspect - I wouldn't be surprised. But this is a representation of a way of seeing the world that is fundamentally alien to me.

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Back to School Week: Learning with YouTube
Wendy Bairos, Official Google Canada Blog, August 26, 2013


I sincerely doubt Salman Khan was the first person to upload educational videos to YouTube, but that's how the narrative is being cast. And now other people who upload educational videos are "followers fo Sal Khan" ot "the new Sal Khans". Whatever. It's still good that "YouTube EDU has over 400 colleges and universities in the US and Canada with varying content" and I'm still happy to link to "a few Canadian YouTubers making great educational videos."

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A Theory of Community Formation
Aaron Williamson, Shift, Share, August 26, 2013


I like this approach and I like the project, but it's important that the model be more than a taxonomy or typeology, that there be some sense of association or relatedness between the constituent parts. "The idea is quite simple; individuals are the component parts of the community, and the community is based on the creation of connections or overlaps between the individuals." Via Dave Pollard.

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Is Google+ the Next Big Blogging Platform?
Mike Stenger, The Blog Herald, August 26, 2013

My answer to the question posed in the title is "no". And the four reasons posited in this short post - rich text, editing posts, instant audience, and aceess to search - do nothing to convince me. I have all those on my currentl platform, and for that matter, pretty much any platform. And what I don't have in Google+ is an API to pretty much any non-Google application, no RSS, nothing beyond the Google silo. Yes, it's a very large silo, but it's not the internet, and it's not the future.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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