Miscellaneous

Community Radio Continuous Improvement Toolkit, Version 2.0

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 12/02/2014 - 14:00
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Vinod Pavarala, Kanchan K. Malik, Vasuki Belavadi, Aditya Deshbandhu, Preeti Raghunath, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), Dec 02, 2014

Regular readers of OLDaily know how much I love radio, and community radio has to be one of my favourite versions of the medium. The primary purpose of community radio is to provide access to all to the public airwaves. To do this they "promote access to media facilities and to training, production and distribution facilities as a primary step towards full democratisation of the communication system" and "offer the opportunity to any member of the community to initiate communication and participate in programme making and evaluation, encouraging local creative talent and foster local traditions." The "are motivated by community well-being, not commercial considerations" and "promote the right to communicate, assist the free flow of information and opinions, encourage creative expression and contribute to the democratic process and a pluralist society." All that means that the process of participating in a community radio station is at least as important as the product they put on the air. This is also the model I have employed in the creation of  community newspapers, and the model I follow when  developing tools and  systems for online learning.

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The TIPS Framework Version-2.0 : Quality Assurance Guidelines for Teachers as Creators of Open Educational Resources

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 12/02/2014 - 14:00
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Paul Kawachi, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), Dec 02, 2014

I'm not so happy with this resource as I am with some of the other resources produced by the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA). The quality framework the author employs is based on the concept of 'fit for purpose', which is fair enough, but the purpose emphasized is use by educators and publishers. So before even discussing the quality framework there is a long discussion of licensing which repeats the fallacious argument "for public funding and international philanthropic funding to create the OER initially and then allow private enterprise to localise OER and deliver afterwards." The term 'private enterprise' in this is a codeword for 'charge the user'. But if government can pay producers to produce the resource, why can't it pay translators and distributors to distribute the resource? How does it make sense to shift the cost of this to people who have little or no money?

The remainder of the assessment framework is equally trite. For example, we have the dubious assertion that "All the known learning objectives can be categorised into one of the five domains: the Cognitive, the Affective, the Metacognitive, the Environment, and the Management Domain." Similarly, we have the "38 criteria... presented here as the 2014 TIPS Framework version 2.0." These criteria include "You should clearly state the reason and purpose of the OER, its relevance and importance," "Stimulate the intrinsic motivation to learn, eg through arousing curiosity with surprising anecdotes," "Try to offer learning support." This tells me most of all that the author doesn't understand the meaning of the word "criteria". And we have the mis-applied content validity ratio, from Lawse (1975). 40 page PDF.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Case Studies on OER-based eLearning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 12/02/2014 - 14:00


Som Naidu, Sanjaya Mishra, Shironica Karunanayaka, G. Mythili, S.K. Prasad, Mohan B. Menon, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), Dec 02, 2014

There are four case studies provided: "Integrating OER in a Teacher Education Course," from Sri Lanka; "OER-based Post Graduate Diploma in e-Learning," from India; "National Institute of Open Schooling – Open Educational Resource Initiative," also from India; and "Developing a Fully OER-based Course," from Malaysia. 56 page PDF. I think these provide a fairly wide cross-section of the application of OERs in learning, though I would have liked to have seen an OER-based MOOC study, and a case where learners themselves directly accessed and used OERs independently, as this is probably the widest use of OERs generally.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Technology Tools for Teachers

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 12/02/2014 - 14:00
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M. S. Vidya, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), Dec 02, 2014

This (44 page PDF) is a curated list of tools for teachers, sorted into categories like 'mind tools', 'resource management tools', and creativity tools', with each tool discussed, described, and suggested for specific applications. It would be nice to be able to click on the tool URL right in the text, but there's a full list of tools at the end of the document with URLs you can cut and paste into your browser. Criteria for tool selection include: "minimize the time and effort spent on a task," "ease of use; eliminating a lengthy or steep learning
curve," and "Affordability".

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Open Schooling in Perspective

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 12/02/2014 - 12:00
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Frances Ferreira, Commonwealth of Learning, Dec 02, 2014

Open schooling is "the physical separation of the school learner from the teacher, and the use of unconventional teaching methodologies and information and communications technologies." It addresses significant issues in many countries, including the provision of education for girls, for students who have been failed or dropped out, and for students who are unable to attend school. This post is an overview of the Commonwealth of Learning's Open Schools project, with quotes and examples.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Twitter Is Tracking Users’ Installed Apps for Ad Targeting

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 12/01/2014 - 16:00


Jack Marshall, Wall Street Journal | Digits, Dec 01, 2014

So now Twitter is spying on you. Surprised? "Twitter is now collecting information about the apps installed on users’ devices in order to better target and tailor advertising and other content to them."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Affiliation and Ignite

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 12/01/2014 - 16:00


Chris Kennedy, Culture of Yes, Dec 01, 2014

This is a pretty key statement, I think: "Our profession will not be mandated into meeting the needs of modern learners but the power of networks and new thinking around affiliation can help diffuse the work." It is the way we work as individuals, and work with learners as individuals, that will define the new structures of learning. This isn't atomism or individualism in some sort of Ayn Rand sense; rather, it's redefining the institution from being some sort of large structure into some sort of more nimble network.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Worried about the privatisation of public education and research? - Go to the Commons

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 11/29/2014 - 19:00


Leigh Blackall, Weblog, Nov 29, 2014

The point behind this brief post is to ensure that authors get the critical elements of their work into the open commons before submitting it in such a way that would lead to it being locked down behind a paywall. "Some researchers and teachers who are concerned about their publicly funded research reports, teaching materials and data becoming locked into restrictive publishing arrangements, are using the Commons to develop and publish the elements of the project before going to the private publishers." Another way of looking at it: you can feel less concerned about publishing using a commercial publisher if the major elements of your work are inj the commons.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Love in the Time of Peer Review

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 11/29/2014 - 19:00


The Editorial Board, Hybrid Pedagogy, Nov 29, 2014

This is basically my view: "In her presentation about open peer review at the 2014 OpenEd conference, Eva Amsen challenged her audience by asking: 'Why are people so mean?' She argues that allowing the public to see the review process, and allowing readers to know their reviewers, demands that the reviewers be nicer and more human, a stark contrast from traditional academic peer review." Funny thing, when I suggested such a thing to a group recently, the response was, "people don't want to put their stuff out into the open before it has been vetted." The perception was that the public, as opposed to the peer review board, would be mean. Or, maybe, that the latter would at least be mean in private.

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Business Education Faces a Challenging and Disruptive Future, finds Global Research

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/28/2014 - 19:00
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Press Release, EMFP, Nov 28, 2014

According to this report: "Traditional business education models are being disrupted by technology, the introduction of MOOCs, market competition, university fees and increasingly demanding employer and employee needs, finds a wide-ranging new report called See the Future."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Guidelines for completing the VMPass learning passport

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/28/2014 - 19:00
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Grainne Conole, e4innovation.com, Nov 28, 2014

I'm seeing more and more initiatives along these lines these days. "The VMPass project is developing an accreditation framework for informal and non-formal learning through resources such as Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). The accreditation is achieved through completion of a learning passport." So the passport is in many ways similar to the concept of the badge (except, it's a passport). There are three sections that need to be filled out for a credential (visa?): one section by the learning provider, one by the student, and one by the assessing/certifying institution. Here's an example.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Online Quizzes Are Data Goldmines for Marketers

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/28/2014 - 16:00


Jack Marshall, Wall Street Journal Blogs, Nov 28, 2014

For a short period over the summer I was completely addicted to the online quizzes shared by sites like Facebook - things like "what world leader are you most like", for example - but as fall came it was almost as though they stopped trying to write interesting quizzes and became blatant attempts to collect data. Which is what they are: blatant attempts to collect data. Although for some companies - the article mentions Buzzfeed in particular - it's about collecting traffic, not collecting data.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Building Tomorrow’s Learning Experience:Personalized, Predictive and Connected

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 13:00
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Wayne McCulloch, eLearning, Nov 26, 2014

"The world is fast becoming social, automated and more specialized than in the past, and a key factor of the evolution is consumerization of learning." I'm not sure I like the word 'consumerization' of learning, because it suggests a commercialized system driven by markets and advertising. That would be a risky development indeed. Our food distribution system, which is also based on consumerization, leaves some children morbidly obese and at the same time leaves large numbers of children malnourished and even starving. So we need to do better in education (and, for that matter, fix our food distribution system). At the same time, the idea of one education for all (or one diet for all!) is unpalatable. And that's what's changing - different people are getting the education they need, and not some centrally designed standardized fare. That's a good thing. The trick is to get the good without the bad.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

How to Get Lectora Game Templates to Send Score Results to Your LMS

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 13:00
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Brother Randy, eLearning Brothers, Nov 26, 2014

The new learning web is distributed and connected, just like a network (because it is a network). Here's what I mean. This article talks about how to send results from games templates built using Lectora to your learning management system (LMS). This post is pretty technical and not exactly exciting reading. But that's not the point. What's important is that different providers are thinking about how their applications talk to each other. (I'm looking forward to the post-Flash days though - the most common message on my computer these days (and this page produced yet another instance) is "The Adobe Fl;ash plugin has crashed... Learn more."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Colossus: A New Service Framework from Tumblr

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 13:00


Dan Simon, Tumblr Engineering, Nov 26, 2014

I got this link from Andriy  Drozdyuk, one of the developers working on LPSS. It describes a framework called  Colussus developed by Tumblr to support the implementation of microservices. "These are small, specialized applications designed to efficiently encapsulate a single feature or component." They are coded using a toolkit called akka, designed to "raise the abstraction level and provide a better platform to build scalable, resilient and responsive applications." This feels a lot like Ruby on Rails did when it was first introduced, and while it had its quirks, Rails became an important and influential framework. Here are some other HTTP  frameworks built using akka.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Role of Community Management in Workplace Learning Today

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 13:00
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Sahana Chattopadhyay, ID, Other Reflections, Nov 26, 2014

One thing that occupies my thinking is the tension between personal learning and community. Clearly community is important. But if community defines learning, the personal is subsumed. This post looks at community platforms used by organizations and the role of "community managers who can facilitate activities on the platform." This person needs to be, suggests the author, in part a trainer, a content curator, a connector, a brand ambassador, and a consultant. What is not discussed - a nd probably should be - is what happens when these roles conflict.

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