OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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September 20, 2013

Technology, Progressive Education, and Diane Ravitch's Reign of Error
Audrey Watters, Hack Education, September 20, 2013


Audrey Watters comes out with a ringing endorsement of Invent to Learn by Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez. "Invent to Learn matters. It matters as a defense of democracy, community, and learning in ways that Ravitch’s book, buried as it is in policy and polemic, cannot accomplish. Invent to Learn offers a vision of technology in the hands of learners and in the service of progressive education." It matters, she says, because it does not simply criticize the status quo and the reform movement, but instead offers a way forward based on the principles of constructionist education.

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Demande d'intérêt: un MOOC portant sur les RÉL, pour janvier 2014
Robert Gregoire, Stephen Downes, Journal public du MOOC collaboratif portant sur les Ressources éducatives libres (RÉL), September 20, 2013

Il nous fait plaisir d'annoncer à la communauté internationale Francophone, puis la communauté intéressée dans l'éducation libre et ouverte, que l'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) a récemment mandaté le Conseil national de recherches du Canada (CNRC), en partenariat avec le Groupe des technologies de l'apprentissage de l'Université de Moncton (GTA - UdeM), pour réaliser un cours massif et ouvert (MOOC de type collaboratif) qui portera sur les ressources éducatives libres (RÉL). Outre l'annonce du début des travaux dans ce projet, nous souhaitons vous poser une question ouverte: connaissez-vous des experts qui seraient à même d'agir comme conférencier invité/hôte pour une semaine de cours? Bien sûr, ces experts doivent être Francophones. Sans fausse modestie, n'hésitez pas à proposer vos services si l'aventure vous sourit.

(Translation: We are pleased to announce to the international Francophone community, and the community interested in free and open learning, that the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) has recently commissioned the National Research Council Canada (NRC - IRAP), in partnership with the Group of learning Technologies at the University of Moncton (GTA - UdeM), to develop a massive open online course (cMOOC) that will focus on educational resources (OER) . In addition to announcing the start of work in this project, we want to ask an open question: Do you know of any experts who would be able to act as guest / host for a week of classes lecturer? Of course, these experts should be able to work and spoeak in French. Without false modesty, do not hesitate to offer your services if you enjoy adventure.)

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The maturing of the MOOC: literature review of massive open online courses and other forms of online distance learning
Stephen Haggard, Department for Business, Innovation, Skills, September 20, 2013

This is a very large report and for the most part comprehensive - regular OLDaily readers will recognize much of the literature cited here. To my mind, it focuses mostly on secondary literature - we don't read from MOOC developers or practitioners, but rather, from observers like Shirley, Bates and Daniel, media reports such as Huffington Post and the Economist, and formal objective analysis of MOOCs commissioned by Authorities such as Austrade, SSHRC and JISC. Again, for a complete MOOC literature review, including my own work, see my MOOC Literature page.

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The Famous Feynman Lectures on Physics: The New Online Edition (in HTML5)
Dan Colman, Open Culture, September 19, 2013


Eventually communities will develop around such resources and the world of MOOCs will be populated by works such as this: "Caltech and The Feynman Lectures Website have joined forces to create an online edition of Richard Feynman’s famous lectures on physics. First presented in the early 1960s as part of a two-year introductory physics course given at Caltech, the lectures were eventually turned into a book that became a classic reference work for physics students, teachers and researchers. You can still purchase the 560 page book online, or enjoy a new web edition for free." Also, you can watch numerous Feynman videos online. My favorite continues to be the quest for Tannu Tuva.

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Editing JSON
Tim Bray, Ongoing, September 19, 2013

Tim Bray takes on the task of editing a JSON specificatioon for IETF, mostly to make sure that there isa JSON specification. Here it is. What struck me immediately was this: "the time came to produce the next draft, and Douglas Crockford, to whom we all owe a major debt for having crafted JSON, couldn’t be found to do it." Couldn't be found? He's here. All of that said: JSON is ubiquitous and incredibly useful, and so it is someone took this task to hand and, as they say, paved the cowpaths. And Bray is definitely the person to do it.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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