Miscellaneous

Design Elements in a Personal Learning Environment

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 03/07/2015 - 12:00
[Slides][Audio]

In this talk I address the core design elements in the development of a personal learning architecture being developed in the National Research Council's Learning and Performance Support Systems program. This program was developed and approved to address the issue of skills shortages in technical and professional industries in Canada. Please also see the  supporting paper submitted for this talk. Also there are alternative  PDF slides for this presentation.

4th International Conference e-Learning and Distance Education, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Keynote) Mar 04, 2015 [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Disruptive Innovation in Universities

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 03/07/2015 - 12:00
[Audio]

Panel discussion on the nature of disruptive innovations, MOOCs and disruptive innovation, and how and whether universities should adapt.

4th International Conference e-Learning and Distance Education, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Panel) Mar 04, 2015 [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Journal of Online Learning Research

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 03/07/2015 - 09:00


Mar 07, 2015

The Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)  has published the  premiere issue of an open journal called the Journal of Online Learning Research (JOLR), "a peer-reviewed, international journal devoted to the theoretical, empirical, and pragmatic understanding of technologies and their impact on primary and secondary pedagogy and policy in primary and secondary (K-12) online and blended environments." The firsst issue has six articles and  features "the work of some of the individuals who inspired the journal’ s idea in 2010," including the "call to action" from Cathy Cavanaugh, Christopher Sessums, and Wendy Drexler. It also includes an article on  MOOCs and another on mentors.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The troubling psychology behind how we decide who’s a scientific “expert” — and who isn’t

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 03/07/2015 - 06:00
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Chris Mooney, Washington Post, Mar 07, 2015

The trouble with experts, according to this article, is that they're unreliable (and our choice of who counts as an expert is unreliable as well). So we should let the wisdom of crowds prevail. Real scientific knowledge is emergent knowledge. "We should trust the scientific community as a whole but not necessarily any individual scientist. Individual scientists will have many biases, to be sure. But the community of scientists contains many voices, many different agendas, many different skill sets. The more diverse, the better."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

If You Love Something, Set It Free

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 08:00
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Tim Sweeney, Unreal, Mar 06, 2015

The 'Unreal Engine' is a gaming system that has been available by subscription for some time, but as the headline suggests, it has now been made available for free. "You can download the engine and use it for everything from game development, education, architecture, and visualization to VR, film and animation. When you ship a game or application, you pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter.... This is the complete technology we use at Epic when building our own games. It scales from indie projects to high-end blockbusters; it supports all the major platforms; and it includes 100% of the C++ source code." Cool business model - it becomes commercial only if you're commercial.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The Book of Life

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 10:00
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Various authors, Mar 05, 2015

Another find from Doug Belshaw is this absolutely fascinating Book of Life. It's organized into Capitalism, Work, Relationships, and Self, each one with a number of subtopics. I did not have nearly enough time to read it all, but I sampled quite a number of the topics (especially 'Capitalism') to get a sense that this is worth reading, even if you don't agree with everything it it. And I really like the approach: "The Book of Life is being written by many people over a long time; it keeps changing and evolving. It is filled with images and films as well as texts. By floating online, it can grow a bit every day or so, as new things come along and it can be equally accessible all around the world, at any time, for free."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

What Necessary Adult Skills Were You Never Taught Growing Up?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 10:00


Eric Ravenscraft, LifeHacker, Mar 05, 2015

Doug Belshaw flags this article in LifeHacker asking people to comment on the life skills they never learned growing up. As one commenter says, "I just realized, this entire article boils down to 'give Lifehacker ideas for future articles'." But hey, why not? In any case, the comments section is filled with ideas for good life lessons. Here's a sampling:

  • basic hygiene habits like flossing/brushing teeth, taking showers, shaving, cosmetics, and hairstyling.
  • education on how to have constructive relationships
  • basic finance. My parents handled everything and didn't teach me about budgeting at all
  • how to exercise or be physically fit
  • emotional intelligence. Being able to communicate exactly how I feel instead of sticking my head in the sand
  • knowing a little bit about car repairs and maintenance
  • how to wear makeup
  • how to handle repeated failure. How to be content with doing "alright", not "outstanding" in life
  • how to cook

Sensing a theme?

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The Voodoo That MOOCs Do

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 10:00
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Ryan Craig, Inside Higher Ed, Mar 05, 2015

When friends at the University of Alberta told me about their upcoming Dino 101 MOOC, I was enthusiastic. "It's going to draw a million people," I said. It went on to draw considerably fewer, still a success, but nothing like what it could have been. What happened? The course that was produced was formal, stuffy and academic - designed, almost, to repel interest in dinosaurs, not cultivate it. And that is the sort of mistake institutions in general have been making with MOOCs, writes Ryan Craig in this article. They're targeting them to older professionals, when they should instead be targeting them to a younger audience. "While no institution needs to hurry up to produce MOOCs with DisneyCollectorBR or even Justin Bieber, universities should view MOOCs as an important channel for reaching prospective students around the world, and target content accordingly."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Silicon Valley likes to promise ‘digital socialism’ – but it is selling a fairytale

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 19:00
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Evgeny Morozov, The Guardian, Mar 04, 2015

One of the things I've learned over the years is to resist letting positions I hold be defined by their opponents. One of those positions happens to be socialism, and while it is true it has evolved over the years, it nonetheless resembles nothing like what is discussed by Evgeny Morozov in this column for the Guardian, or by Kevin Kelly in the  2009 article Morozov is responding to. Morozov warns that Silicon Valley's promise to bridge "the gap in consumption inequality" will ring hollow: "we might be forced to sell our cars and default on our mortgages, but we would never lose access to Spotify and Google." Perhaps when Morozov is discussing socialism he should look up the phrase "means of production". Inequality is the symptom of wider structural issues in society, a natural consequence of a system based on hoarding, and something socialists seek to redress, but socialism is (despite years of caricature in the American press) about making everybody the same. I would add that even the image attached to the article perpetuates the same misinformation - Obama isn't in any way socialist, and should not be represented as such.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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