Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

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How to Help Students Succeed by Taking Ownership of Their Learning Online Through Personal Learning
Jul 30, 2020. Workshop, Contact North Webinars, Online, Via Zoom, Contact North. The terms “personalized learning” and “personal learning” are frequently used in online learning but are very different concepts. This is an interactive one-hour webinar to assist faculty and instructors on how to help students succeed by taking ownership of their learning online utilizing the concept of personal learning. [Google Slides] [Text Transcript] Download: Audio, Slides

Ethical Codes and Learning Analytics
Jun 22, 2020. Seminar, European Diistance Education Network (EDEN), Timisoara, Romania, via Zoom, . The growth and development of learning analytics has placed a range of new capacities into the hands of educational institutions. At the same time, this increased capacity has raised a range of ethical issues. A common approach to address these issues is to develop an ethical code of conduct for practitioners. Such codes of conduct are drawn from similar codes in other disciplines. Some authors assert that there are fundamental tenets common to all such codes. This paper consists of an analysis of ethical codes from other disciplines. It argues that while there is some overlap, there is no set of principles common to all disciplines. The ethics of learning analytics will therefore need to be developed on criteria specific to education. We conclude with some ideas about how this ethic will be determined and what it may look like. Full Paper, References Download: Audio, Slides

What Comes After Phase 3?
Jun 16, 2020. Interview, , , . This is a conversation with some people from the health care industry in the U.S. asking about what I expect to see after the current wave of technology. The current wave, which I discussed in my E-Learning 3.0 course, involves things like consensus, cloud and blockchain. What's the longer term future (looking out 15 or 20 years)? Embodied computing. In talk about what that means and imagine some of the consequences for education. Audio only. Download: href=" 06 15 - StephenDownes-20200615 1807-1.m4a">Audio,

Bruno de Pierro Interview
May 17, 2020. Interview, , , . I received a request for responses to some questions in my email. The questions were quite involved and it would take me quite a while to type answers. But also, in relation to a work-related question, I had been looking at AI-based transcription. And also, my new Audio-Technica microphone arrived today. So as an experiment, I used to transcribe by answer. I was speaking off the top of my head, without notes. Below is the unedited transcript, preserved exactly as converted by the AI, for science. And here is the link to the original audio, also unedited. View the href="">text here. Download: Audio,

The Future of Online Learning 2020
Apr 28, 2020. Lecture, , , . This video looks at change and technology during the pandemic and after, asking what it is we want to get from our educational systems, and what that might look like in the future. Download: href=" 04 28 - The Future of Online Learning 2020 - YouTube.mp3">Audio,

Ethics, Analytics and the Duty of Care
Nov 29, 2019. Keynote, XVI Congresso Brasileiro de Ensino Superior a Distância (ESUD) e o V Congresso Internacional de Educação Superior a Distância (CIESUD) 2019, Teresina, Brazil, . Through the last few decades we have been subject to increasingly complex definitions of ethical behaviour with respect to learning, data, and analytics. But there ought to be more than rules. There ought to be humanity, life. This talk is about a way to redefine ethics, drawing from the moral intuitions of philosophers, feminists, practitioners and teachers. It embraces the idea that morality and ethics are not requirements, not ways in which we judge each other, but opportunities, ways of letting us know how we can do good in this world, and a little bit about why.

Notes for the talk are here. Download: Audio, Slides

Active Methodologies and Adaptive Learning
Nov 29, 2019. Panel, ESUD-CIESUD 2019, Teresina, Brazil, . Short presentation for a panel looking at the intersection between active learning methodologies and learning analytics. I argue that insofar as active learning requires individually managed learning, an adaptive learning does not, there is a disconnect between the two. Download: Audio, Slides

Leaders & Legends of Online Learning
Nov 26, 2019. Interview, , Online, via Skype, . Interview with Mark Nichols for the Leaders & Legends of Online Learning podcast. Download: href=" 11 26 - Leaders and Legends 031-Stephen-Downes-Final.mp3">Audio,

A Distributed Content Addressable Network for Open Educational Resources
Nov 09, 2019. Lecture, Cognition and Exploratory Learning in the Digital Age (CELDA) 2019, Cagliari, Italy, University of Cagliari. We introduce Content Addressable Resources for Education (CARE) as a method for addressing issues of scale, access, management and distribution that currently exist for open educational resources (OER) as they are currently developed in higher education. CARE is based on the concept of the distributed web (dweb) and, using (for example) the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) provides a means to distributed OER in such a way that they cannot be blocked or paywalled. Download: Audio, Slides

The Future of Education
Oct 24, 2019. Panel, eLearning Africa, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, . The future of education needs a massive rethink, not a tinkering round the edges, to make education robust and relevant for the world learners will face in 2050. We need to redesign education systems to address persistent inequalities, social fragmentation and political extremism, and take into account the impact of the fourth industrial revolution. Chairperson(s): Michelle Selinger, EdTech Ventures, UK. Speakers: Stephen Downes, National Research Council Canada, Canada; Mark West, UNESCO, France, Introducing UNESCO’s New Futures of Education Initiative; Matias Matias, HP Inc, USA, Classroom of the Future: From Concept to Execution. Image: ADEAnet.

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Distributed Learning Technologies and Next Generation E-Learning
Oct 18, 2019. Workshop, eLearning Africa, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, . We trace nine major elements of the new internet and its impact on e-learning. Full-day workshop. Download the workshop handout

Photo: Irene Maweu

Photo of workshop Download: Audio, Slides

Philosophical Foundations of Connectivism
Oct 16, 2019. Lecture, Class presentation, PACE University, New York City, online via Blue Jeans Network, . Discussion in Gerald Ardito's philosophy of education class. Overview of basic principles underlying connectivism, including a discussion of perception, cognition, language and representation, truth and meaning. OIutcomes include a definition of knowledge, an account of how learning works (and what learning is), and implications for education. Notes for the lecture were href="">compiled here. Download: Audio,

Personal Learning Versus Personalized Learning - Making Lifelong Learning Happen
Oct 11, 2019. Lecture, Online Learning 2019, Toronto, Ontario, . This presentation draws a contrast between the concept of ‘personalized learning’, as exemplified in new learning technologies such as adaptive learning, and the concept of ‘personal learning’, which draws from a tradition of adult learning theory and heutagogy. Contrasting starting points, objectives, learning processes and forms of evaluation are identified. The article then considers strategies to implement personal learning in the form of support for lifelong learning, and contrasts this approach with the prevalent model governing educational institutions, and casts it as a means to address ongoing issues of access and sustainability. View and comment on the text of this presentation as an article (work in progress).


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Topics in Distributed Learning Technology
Oct 03, 2019. Workshop, Faculty of Health Disciplines Professional Development Workshop, Edmonton, Alberta, Athabasca University. These slides were used for a full-day workshop on distributed learning technology. They incorporate elements of the critical literacies methodology, and summarize with an explanation of personal learning. Topics covered include data, cloud, graph, resources, community, identity, recognition, experience and agency. Note that audio and video are 7 hours (with a lot of dead air). Also available is the 44 page handout (PDF) given to workshop participants. Photo: Shawn Fraser.

Stephen Downes speaking

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Gettin Air
Sept 13, 2019. Interview, , Online, via Zencaster, . Interview for the Gettin' Air podcast with Terry Greene. Download: href=" 09 13 - Terry Greene interview stephen_downes.mp3">Audio,

Toward a Distributed OER Network
Jun 11, 2019. Seminar, ICOE “Smart Education” Webinar , Beijing, via Adobe Connect, International Community for Open Education (ICOE). This short presentation looks at some of the problems inherent in traditional OER repositories and describes the first steps in the creation of a distributed OER network, called Content Addressable Resources for Education (CARE). Download: Audio, Slides

The Third Wave: the Next Generation of Distributed Learning Technology
May 22, 2019. Keynote, Canadan Network for Innovation in Education, Vancouver, British Columbia, CNIE. Stephen Downes argues that we are entering a new generation of distributed web technologies that will change how we view the development and delivery of online learning. In a talk that blends some of the underlying themes from artificial intelligence, blockchain and cloud technologies Downes builds on his previous work developing network-based MOOCs to describe new types of content-addressable learning resources, new activity-driven models of assessment, consensus-based communities, and a model of learning based on identity, voice and opportunity. Livestreaming video:

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Future Learning in an Advanced Decentralized Learning Ecosystem
May 10, 2019. Keynote, Individual Training and Education (IT&E) Symposium, Canadian Forces Base Borden, Canadian Armed Forces. The U.S. Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL) has historically emphasized interoperability in decentralized learning ecosystems, supporting such things as the Personal Assistant for Learning (PAL) and Open Social Learning Models (OSLM). Similar challenges are being faced in the wider internet community. Developers have responded with new approaches supporting decentralized networks, such as open social applications (for example, micropub), distributed ledger technology (for example, blockchain), and cloud container networks. These will support new learning application such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and personal assistants. This presentation will provide an overview of this emerging infrastructure, describe key points of contact with training and development services, and outline the impact on future learning programs and systems.

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The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World
Apr 11, 2019. Interview, Transformative Technology Podcast, Online, via Zoom, . When the Pew Research Center asks American internet users for their bottom-line judgment about the role of digital technology in their own lives, the vast majority feel it is a good thing. Yet, over the past 18 months a drumbeat of concerns about the personal and societal impacts of technology has been growing. Download: href=" 04 11 - Interview - Nichol Bradford.m4a">Audio,

A Quick Look at the Future of OER
Mar 05, 2019. Seminar, Open Education Week: 24-Hour Global CC Network Web-a-thon, Online, via Uberconference, . This talk looks at the impact of new technologies – specifically, open data, cloud technologies, AI and distributed ledgers (blockchain) – on the future shape of OER – what they will look like, how they will be used, and what skills and knowledge will be needed to develop and use them. Download: Audio, Slides

Stephen Downes
Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada


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