by Stephen Downes
Apr 02, 2015
Life in the freezer
Learning With Es,
Steve Wheeler reports on his visit to Antarctica to give a talk on distance learning. And he reports, "The college has already invested heavily in correspondence courses, and is also gearing up to deliver its first MOOC later this year once they get their internet connection. The subject? - Antarctic Studies, of course." I don't know whether anybody in Antarctica reads OLDaily but, um, you know, I'd be available. *sheepish grin* MOOCs, anyone?
Micro-Learning as a Workplace Learning Strategy
ID & Other Reflections,
The focus of discussion on micro-learning is the short duration of learning events - 5 or 10 minutes - implied in the name. But more significant, I think, is the means of production. "Working out loud on the enterprise collaboration platform is not only narration of work but also entails the use of principles of micro-learning (sharing byte-sized processes to help others learn from their experiences). In short, our days are filled with moments of learning – whether by design or by happenstance."
Apple and Education
EdSurge reports that "Apple just released a fresh For Educators page, that scoops up apps, books, courses and collections all relating to education from iTunes U, the App Store and iBooks Store." There's a lot there, and Apple no doubt is a storehouse of resources, but the problem is as it always was: you have to use Apple's proprietary iTunes software to access most of the resources. Stuff that's important: AppleID, their student identification system; mobile device management (MDM).
Peering Deep into Future of Educational Credentialing
Is an educational credential like a type of money? That's the core thought behind Doug Belshaws post that challenges traditional thinking on things like badges. Because, he argues, if they are like money, then they could be like something like bitcoins, generated through a cryptological algorithm called a blockchain, and hence able to be dispensed without being duplicated. "If we used the blockchain for Open Badges," he writes, "then we could prove beyond reasonable doubt that the person receiving badge Y is the same person who created evidence X. This would use a proof of work system." It's an interesting thought and one worth pursuing, I think.
Five Secrets of Effective and Enjoyable Leadership
What is the (Next) Message?,
In my recent role of program leader I've been thinking a lot about these elements. A lot of what happens in the program is out of my control, but I'm OK with that, because that also means I get to keep on being me. Here's the list (all items quoted directly form the article) and, yes, they generally reflect my experience:
- leadership is about enabling a conducive environment for people to come together and create a shared experience
- leaders don’t drive for goals. They navigate for intended effects
- leaders base their organizational culture on individual autonomy and agency, collective responsibility, and mutual accountability
- one’s work integrates with, rather than balancing in opposition against, one’s lifecontemporary leadership employs strengths-based, appreciative practices
Is this listicle Thursday? I don't know. I don't really like linking to them. But when I do, I like to list the list, and take the surprise out of them. That way, when you go read the article, it's not because you're responding to clickbait.
Can blogging be academically valuable? Seven reasons for thinking it might be
My academic career basically exists because of blogging, so I think there may be a point to this article. Here are the seven reasons (my thoughts in parentheses):
- It helps to build the habit of writing (this is key for me - for me, doing this newsletter is like gettiung some exercise each day)
- It helps to generate writing flow states (also true - most essays that I write, even the ones I publish, I basically write in one sitting)
- It helps you to really understand your area of research (because I read so much I get a sense of the flow and development of the field)
- It allows you to systematically develop the elements of a research article (meh)
- It enables you to acquire serendipitous research interests (this is true for me as well, and my work is a cross of numerous fields)
- It helps with networking and developing contacts (I'm not so good at meeting people in person so this has been crucial for me)
- And yes, it also helps with teaching (indeed, that's how I started with blogging)
I know that gushing about blogging is out of vogue these days, as people attach themselves to the virtues of Twitter and Facebook, but for me the daily ritual has been the cornerstone of my intellectual development.
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