OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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December 24, 2013

Taking a Leap of Faith
David Wiley, iterating toward openness, December 24, 2013

David Wiley has always impressed me with his courage. I commented when this came out, but want to make sure I don't overlook mentioning it in OLDaily: "I’ve made the incredibly hard decision to leave my full-time, tenured faculty position at BYU," he writes. "For the foreseeable future, I’m going to focus my professional time and energy on providing on-the-ground support for OER adoptions. I’m so grateful to be able to continue this work with Kim and the rest of the Lumen Learning team." It's a decision that entails considerable risk, but which offers a rich learning experience as its reward.

[Link] [Comment]

Great Posts on Interactive Writing (Blogging)
Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, December 24, 2013

Speaking of blogs, here's a post from Wesley Fryer (quoted at length to preserve all the links, which I've checked and are quite good): "This evening I shared some ideas about interactive writing in a webinar series on digital writing hosted by Texas technology directors Miguel Guhlin and Diana Benner. These are a few of the links shared by Miguel and Colleen Rose (a participant from Northwestern Ontario) during our session. If you use a free offline web reading service like Pocket (which I love and adore) these are super links to add to your reading queue.

  1. Research on Blogs and Perception
  2. What’s the Big Deal about Blogs?
  3. Digital Portfolios
  4. Using KidBlog to publish student work
  5. Breaking the Mold: Using Technology to Help Introverts Share Their Thoughts in School."

[Link] [Comment]

The blog might be dying, but the web's about to fight back #indieweb
Ben Werdmuller, Benwerd, December 24, 2013


I guess I missed the news that the blog is dying. Readership on downes.ca reached a million page views per month in December, and meanwhile total readers at Half an Hour passed a million in 2013 (at which point I was slammed with spam) and is now close to 1.5 million. Still, as Jason Kottke writes, "the function of the blog, the nebulous informational task we all agreed the blog was fulfilling for the past decade, is increasingly being handled by a growing number of disparate media forms that are blog-like but also decidedly not blogs."

And Ben Werdmuller agrees. "Almost none of you will have found this link through a feed reader (although my stats show that some of you are using Feedly, Digg Reader, and even Livejournal's RSS feature). Most links will have come through Twitter and Facebook." Well, maybe. But offering linkbat was never, in my mind, the function of blogs. Not even this newsletter. Twitter and Facebook don't come close as a forum for non-mainstream-media ideas and opinions. As Werdmuller says, "The article isn't dying; you can think of the blog, or the stream, or the feed, as the container that the article sits in."

And that's what sets the stage for a post-blog future (don't worry, I'll still use blogs, because that's just me). The stream-based mass-media based container is about to change. We used to depend on the content stream, writes Werdmiller, "But we don't need that anymore. Not only can content be personalized, but the form of the content can be personalized. Facebook might agonize over the algorithm that decides which posts are surfaced, but in the future we can each have our own algorithms." Quite so.

[Link] [Comment]

Why I disabled Ad-Block
Clint Lalonde, ClintLalonde.net, December 24, 2013


OK, it's not going to convince me to disable Ad-Block on my own browser, but it's an interesting perspective. Clint Lalonde writes, "it hit me that blocking ads, while removing an annoyance from my personal view, was also blinding my ability to effectively analyze an open learning resource... Knowing a site uses ad revenue to subsidize their free offerings is an important bit of information that I need to know in order to properly do my job." I don't think I need to know this at that level of detail. I know ads are pervasive on the internet. That's enough information for me (for the same reason, I haven't disabled my spam filters).

[Link] [Comment]

It’s All About the Community
Clarence Fisher, Remote Access, December 24, 2013


It's not all about the community, of course (it's not all about anything) but community is nonetheless important. So I think it's a good idea for Clarence Fisher to become a member and learn about the communities his students are visiting. Some on his short list, such as Reddit, are web phenomena. Others, like Raspberry Pi and Element 14, are well known products. Finally, others, like Arduino, are niche, but really interesting. I wish I could spend the kind of time in eah of these communities that they deserve, but oh well, there's too much goodness out there, and I'm just one man.

[Link] [Comment]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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