OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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by Stephen Downes
May 7, 2014

A to Z of Learning
Donald Clark, Big Dog, Little Dog, May 7, 2014

From aLearning to eLearning to zLearning - a good idea, but I think Donald Clark missed the mark on a few letters. Like rLearning, which he says must be 'Redundant Learning', really (it seems to me) would be better suited for 'Rote Learning'. vLearning he calls 'Various Learning' but it should obviously be 'Virtual Learning'. xLearning he called 'Xenodochial Learning' but really should be 'eXtended Learning' as in TEDx, EdX, and xMOOCs. 'yLearning' should be 'You L:earning', 'uLearning' should be 'Ubiquitous Learning'.

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Why I, Too, Killed My LinkedIn Account
Luis Suarez, E L U S A, May 7, 2014

OK, that's just the title, I haven't deleted my LinkedIn account, Luis Suarez has. But my own social media deletions are probably nor far in the future, though. Here's Heather Bussing: "I don’t agree to their Terms of Service, and I don’t need LinkedIn enough to put up with it." The terms give them permission to sell my information, to control who sees my information and to block competitors. They prohibit me from linking to strangers, from posting information that doesn't belong in a field, and from sharing content from LinkedIn with other services. And we know how arbitrary the company can be. So - yeah. It won't be long before I kill my social network accounts. Once I figure out what I'm doing instead.

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Assembling University learning technologies for an open world: connecting institutional and social networks
John Hannon, Matthew Riddle, Thomas Ryberg, Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Networked Learning 2014, May 7, 2014

Perhaps this is why I understand traditional academics less and less as time goes by: "many academics still prefer - knowingly or otherwise - to replicate the ‘real’ in the virtual world, rather than unfetter themselves from tradition and the familiar and create new selves, constructs, relationships and opportunities for engagement." By contrast, I feel myself and my work adapting and growing as technology grows. So do students, which creates a growing challenge to institutions. "The widespread adoption of social media among students brings shared interactional practices that does not match university arrangements for learning. This, we argue, invites reappraisal of the framing of established educational practices and the metaphorical work that precedes it." From the double symposium on Actor Network Theory.

I should add, quoting from the article: "There are three observations or upshots from these cases:

  • the shift to student self-organisation is consistent with the informal practices and rhetoric of social media, with its continual work of relating (liking, updating) and crafting an identity in a “personalised network”
  • the mobile practices of informal, self-organised learning challenge the metaphors of bounded (regional) learning spaces
  • student social media practices overflow the framing of institutional learning environments."

It makes me think of the comment in the introduction to the symposium about the templates that "tightly controlled how papers were formatted: the fonts used, margins and spacing and other things.. to stop you from doing some things, including exactly what we are doing here: using a different font, different margins with a different justification..."

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The uncodings of ANT: Mobilities of digital data
Terrie Lynn Thompson, Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Networked Learning 2014, May 7, 2014

One of the best of the bunch from a double symposium, this short paper challenges our understanding of Actor-Network Theory (ANT). Terrie Lynn Thompson writes, "One of the basic tenets of Actor Network Theory (ANT) is to 'follow the actors'." But the 'actors' in a data-driven world are slippery and elusive. "the encoding of data has amplified its mobility, performativity, and generativity: it is distributed, often public, fragmented, and entangled in multiple recursive circulations... data can enact multiple realities simultaneously.... Mol (1999) writes about 'different versions, different performances, different realities, that co-exist in the present.'"

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Previewing a new Classroom
Zach Yeskel, Official Google Canada Blog, May 7, 2014


Dozens of LMS companies are reexamining their business plans this week after the launch of Google's preview of Classroom, part of the Google Apps for Education suite. According to their official blog, Classroom helps teachers:

  • help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly
  • make announcements, ask questions and comment with students in real time
  • creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student. Students can easily see what’s due on their Assignments page.

Google says it wants the applications to "play well" with others. I'll believe that when I see that.

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Programming Sucks
Peter Welch, Still Drinking, May 7, 2014


Language warning. The article is overstated but essentially accurate. I've worked with large shops enough to know it isn't as bad as he describes, but I've looked at enough code to know that it is (if you don't believe me ask yourself why an article written in 2014 has a copyright date of 2011 - now, if you're writing a scraper, how do you calculate the date for this article?) Of course, none of my software is anything like that.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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