OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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by Stephen Downes
Aug 05, 2014

Dialogue and discussion: critical for 21st century skills development
Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, Aug 05, 2014

According to Tony Bates, conversation is essential in learning as students (and people generally) struggle consciously to find meaning in the phenomena they experience, and this will change the structure on online learning in the future. "Over time, as more experience is gained, MOOCs are likely to incorporate and adapt  for large numbers some of the findings from research on smaller group work. Indeed, MOOCs are likely to develop new ways to manage discussion effectively in very large groups. In the meantime, though, there is much work still to be done if MOOCs are to provide the support and structure needed to ensure deep, conceptual learning where this does not already exist in students."

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The insanity of research grant proposals
Daniel Lemire, Aug 05, 2014

Short cynical commentary (and a secret formula) on funding for research. Daniel Lemire writes, "I do not care what kind of research you do: a predictable breakthrough is no breakthrough at all. The good scientists always have speculative ideas. Sometimes these ideas come out of nowhere, in the moment. Most of these ideas are very bad… but a few represent the real breakthroughs. And that is what research is really about. Trial and error on a massive scale." Related, an Ottawa Citizen column calls for a refocus of research funding priorities, and Academica reports, that despite an increased focus on government financing for corporate research in Canada, we're seeing "a decline from 9.6% in 2000-01 to 8.1% in 2012-13."

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The Rise of New Institutional Models and Architectures
Amie Colquhoun, Don Tapscott, Aug 05, 2014

Don Tapscott (or his writer Amie Colquhoun) argues that companies are now encouraging cooperative organization both inside their structures and among competitors. "Smart organizations are encouraging, rather than fighting, the heaving growth of massive online communities, many of which emerged from the fringes of the web to attract tens of millions of participants overnight. Even ardent competitors are collaborating on path-breaking science initiatives that accelerate discovery in their industries." I'd like to believe this but I really need more evidence.

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Mobile Internet Explorer's New User Agent
Alex Chitu, Google Operating System, Aug 05, 2014

It's ironic. It's sad. And once again, it's an example of corporations that just don't play well together, no matter what it costs their customers. "Google doesn't want to make Windows Phone more popular, so it doesn't release apps for Windows Phone. Google also serves inferior versions of its mobile apps in Internet Explorer Mobile. Gmail's mobile site for Windows Phone has a lot in common with Gmail's site for feature phones."

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How a 20 Year Old Patent Application Could Up-End Canada’s Biggest Trade Deal
Michael Geist, Aug 05, 2014

Opponents of free trade legislation have long argued that these mechanisms subvert the rule of law in the contracted countries. This has now apparently been proven to be the case in - where else? - patent law. "If the pharmaceutical giant succeeds, it will have effectively found a mechanism to override the Supreme Court of Canada and hold Canadian taxpayers liable for hundreds of millions in damages in the process. The cost to the health care system could be enormous as the two Eli Lilly patents may be the proverbial tip of the iceberg and claims from other pharmaceutical companies could soon follow."

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No More 'Collective Begging'
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, Aug 05, 2014

Hard to disagree: "Unless and until faculty, including part-time faculty, hit the streets and occupy the classrooms," said Stanley Aronowitz, a tenured professor of sociology and urban education at the CUNY Graduate Center, "there won’t be any change of substance." Of course, there's a fundamental contradiction where the person juding your academic progress is aalso your employer paying you below-subsistence wages.

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Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook
Matt Bower, Gregor Kennedy, Barney Dalgarno, Mark J. W. Lee, Aug 05, 2014


Nice. 190 page PDF. I'll just quote from the email at length: "The Handbook includes a Blended Synchronous Learning Design Framework that offers pedagogical, technological and logistical recommendations for teachers attempting to design and implement blended synchronous learning lessons (see Chapter 14). It also includes a Rich-Media Synchronous Technology Capabilities Framework to support the selection of technologies for different types of learning activities (see Chapter 4), as well as a review of relevant literature, a summary of the Blended Synchronous Learning Scoping Study results, detailed reports of each of the seven case studies, and a cross-case analysis.

"For those who are interested, the BlendSync Final Report and External Evaluation Report are also from the OLT website at the following URLs: here and here.  A list of academic papers and links to recordings of presentations that have arisen out of the project is posted here . The project team would also like to take this opportunity to invite all those with an interest in area to join the Blended Synchronous Learning Collaborator Network to abreast of events and updates in the future. Instructions on how to do this can be found at http://blendsync.org/network."

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Further thoughts and discussion about rhizomatic learning
Jenny Mackness, Jenny Connected, Aug 01, 2014

Audio and video recording of a presentation given by Jenny Mackness and Frances Bell at the ALTMOOCSIG conference last month.In  preparation for the talk, "a series of blog posts prior to the conference. Here is the post with information and links about this.  And here is a link to the complete Prezi that we prepared for the presentation." While the content is interesting in itself, other speakers at conferences should take this as an object lesson in how to provide good resources for your session.

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Canadian University Social Software Guidelines and Academic Freedom: An Alarming Labour Trend
Taryn Lough;Toni Samek, International Review of Information Ethics, Jul 31, 2014

Most universities have adopted guidelines for the use of social media, but their reach and impact has not been benign, according to the authors. "The guidelines attempt to blur what is appropriate in what space, revealing a repressive impulse on the part of university administrations. These guidelines are read as obvious attempts to control rather than merely guide, and speak to the nature of institutional over-reach."

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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