OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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August 27, 2013

Google Now
Google, August 27, 2013

Google has just launched an elegant product called Google Now that could become a staple of my smartphone. Basically, it is a context-aware search that links to Google services via 'cards' (makes me think of the old Palm Pre operating system). So, for example, I searched this morning for Canaduan Tire, and when I open Now (one swipe, bottom up) I see a map with a route from my current location to the store. Nice.

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"Which Technology Should I Use To Teach Online?": Online Technology and Communication Course Instruction
Carolyn S. Carlson, Journal of Online Learning Technology, August 26, 2013

I think there is value in this article, but it is so oddly put together that I'm not altogether sure what to make of it. A few things: first, the discussion of technology and media, which relegates m'media' to (essentially) delivery channel while making 'tchnology' mean not only content creation tools, but includes the pedagogy and teaching strategies, along with the kitchen sink. Second, the list of technologies (but not media) assessed: PBworks (wikis), Final Cut Pro, Adobe Audition, Facebook, Twitter, Camtasia, Adobe Captivate, Wimba, GoToMeeting, and Second Life. No blog tools, no LMSs, no office software. Odd. I can't imagine how Final Cut Pro ends up in the same list as Twitter, but there you have it. Third, the 'four dimensions' assessed: declarative ('what'), procedural ('how'), conditional ('when' and 'where'), and reflective ('why'). One wonders why 'who' didn't make the cut. Finally, fourth, the results, which assesses Final Cut Pro as "good" for all four dimensions, and Twitter as "best for reflective learning." Via Miguel Guhlin.

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Understanding the Complicity That is You: An Existential Exercise
Dave Pollard, How to Save the World, August 26, 2013


The concept of 'identity' is a difficult topic to explore - we are all, after all, self-interested in the result - and yet one of the most oft-explored. So there is perhaps no such thing as a new take on the subject beyond Popeye's "I am what I am." See also John Searle on consciousness. Conceptually, identify is a raft of connected concepts, ranging from hopes and dreams to ambitions and regrets and desires (to name but a few). Each of these is one or another aspect of our attempts over the years to answer the fundamental questions: why can't I be satisfied with who I am? What do I need to do to become better? How can I be happy? What is my purpose in life? Many of the questions presuppose their own answers - for example, the one suggesting that there is a purpose in life. Yet between then, in the cracks, is that experience we call 'self'. Here I link to Dave Pollard's exploration of these questions.

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The limits of Google’s openness
David Howard, The Official Microsoft Blog, August 26, 2013

Here's how you spell 'irony' - Microsoft complains that "It seems to us that Google’s reasons for blocking our app are manufactured so that we can’t give our users the same experience Android and iPhone users are getting. The roadblocks Google has set up are impossible to overcome, and they know it." Now they know how we all felt trying to design website for Internet Explorer. Or calendars that work with Outlook.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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