by Stephen Downes
Apr 17, 2015
I have two major things to say about this site. First, analytics and recommendations are becoming commoditized. This is one of a number of services revolving around the concept of learning about you and recommending resources. The second this is that this is a beautiful piece of web design, gracefully introducing new users into a relatively comprehensive understanding of what it does with impressive efficiency. Find and share. Find and share. It's the new web. It's the modern version of applications like ScribeFire, which I was playing with last night after spotting it in a Doug Peterson post. Related: Jared Jacobs describes how he achieved the spotlight effect in the Kifi tutorial.
VR and consciousness – some truly freakish ideas
Donald Clark Plan B,
I experience the arbitrariness of consciousness every day. I put on my glasses, and my whole world changes. More recently, I have enjoyed the altered consciousness of being completely immersed in sound by means of my MP3 player and some quality earbuds. We are conscious - we experience. The two are one and the same phenomenon (think 'morning star' and 'evening star'). The varieties of experience are the varieties of consciousness. And experience is, fundamentally, in the mind, and consciousness is in part a re-experiencing, in part an imagining, in part a sensory perception, and in part, as Charles Dickens famously said, "an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato." At a certain point, when virtual reality becomes sufficiently real, it becomes cognitively indistinguishable from actual experience, and hence, equally powerful.
The OER15 conference
Grainne Conole summarizes two of four keynotes at the OER15 conference taking place in Cardiff, one by Cable Green and the other by Josie Fraser. According to Green (Conole writes) "it was time for an OER implementation strategy, and in particular a focus on what is needed to achieve change and mainstream OER? He invited us to look at and comment on a consultation document on OER tinyurl.com/oerstrategy. " I find this interesting, because I did not get the sense that there was a support for "an OER implementation strategy" at the meeting in Sausalito last month - people felt there should be a diversity of approaches, not one coordinated approach. Fraser, meanwhile (says Conole) "questioned how we could do this (mainstreaming), referring Martin Weller’s book ‘The battle for open’. She suggested that we think of mainstreaming as inclusive, valuing difference; and that the Internet is now part of everyday life."
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