Miscellaneous

Watch Nirvana Perform “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Just Two Days After the Release of Nevermind (September 26, 1991)

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 09:00


Dan Colman, Open Culture, [Sept] 04, 2016

It's Friday. Time for some weekend music. How about it being 25 years since the release of Smells Like Team Spirit? As Jason Kottke said on his site when he posted this, “ There’ s a freight train bearing down on those boys and they don’ t even know it.” I was never really a Nirvana fan (when the song came out it was tied to advertising for a deodorant, and the marketing campaign just turned me off). But I appreciate this gig, before it all started. A lot. The big song starts at 34:30 in the video.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

GradeSlam Raises $1.6 Million in Seed Financing

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 09:00


Philip Cutler, GradeSlam Blog, [Sept] 04, 2016

A Montreal company called GradeSlam has raised $1.6 million in seed funding after launching last fall. According to its website,  "GradeSlam provides unlimited tutoring at a fixed cost, one-tenth the cost of traditional models, making one-to-one learning financially accessible in a way that has never been done before."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Self-Paced E-Learning Market Evaporating, Report Finds

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Leo Doran, Ed Week Market Brief, [Sept] 04, 2016

As quickly as you can say "MOOCs have had no impact" you can discover that free and open online learning has had an impact after all. "Future revenue in the $33 billion e-learning market is expected to fall precipitously in the United States and internationally... The free report, published by Monroe, Wash.-based Ambient Insight, predicts a five-year compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of negative 6.4 percent for self-paced courseware, translating into an anticipated $13.3 billion drop in worldwide revenue from 2015 to 2021." The good news for prroducers is that earnings for other types of e-learning, such as "mobile learning, simulation-based learning, game-based learning, and 'brain-training'" are on the rise. For now.

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The Dropbox hack is real

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Troy Hunt, [Sept] 04, 2016

This article provides concrete evidence that DropBox has been hacked. So if you haven't changed your DropBox password for a few years, you may want to consider it (my own DropBox password is both recent and pretty secure so I'm feeling OK). See also Motherboard's report.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Elsevier Awarded U.S. Patent For “Online Peer Review System and Method”

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Gary Price, Library Journal, InfoDocket, [Sept] 04, 2016

I think that the operators of  Open Journal Systems may want to say something about the recently awarded Elsevier patent. They have only been operating this sort of technology for the last fifteen years. Tom Reller from Elsevier writes, via Twitter, "There is no need for concern regarding the patent. It’ s simply meant to protect our own proprietary waterfall system from being copied." He does not comment on whether Elsevier copied their system from someone else, and whether the patent is intended to legitimize that act. EFF has awarded it the  Stupid Patent of the Month award.

As EFF notes, Elsevier has a poor track record. "The company has tried to stop researchers from sharing their own papers in institutional repositories, and entered an endless legal battle with rogue repositories Sci-Hub and and LibGen. ... Elsevier recently acquired SSRN, the beloved preprints repository for the social sciences and humanities. There are early signs that it will be a poor steward of SSRN." See also this article from the Chronicle.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Hey Jphn Oliver, Back Off My Charter School

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Center for Education Reform, [Sept] 04, 2016

The  Center for Education Reform appears to be unhappy about the  John Oliver video on charter schools aired last week. They're offering $100,000 to the winner of a contest called Hey John Oliver, Back Off My Charter school. "Here is a brief summary of Mr. Oliver's presentation," they write. "Some charter schools have been mismanaged. Ergo, ipso facto, presto change-o, all charter schools are bad, bad, bad." They want anecdotes: "We want to hear from parents and teachers and especially from students why they made the choice to be at your school! Why do they believe their charter school works better for them than their old school, or the one they would have attended?" View their  Twitter feed for more discussion. Here's  an article on the contest.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The Cons of Social Media for E-Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 09/03/2016 - 07:00


Tom Kuhlmann, The Rapid E-Learning Blog, [Sept] 03, 2016

The link to his ebook (73 page PDF) appears in his RSS feed, but not the web version of the same post, which is interesting. No matter, it's free and worth a look. To the post: it caught my eye when I found myself sympathizing with how difficult it is to keep up. This is my job and I'm in awe of how a simple thing like computers and websites became this great tangled mass of applications, standards, protocols and formats. And that's just the surface level! And then there's the way the internet has changed from being a place where people share with each other to a place where people relentlessly market themselves (maybe rereading his post was what led him to remove the link to his book). That said, I think he's wrong when he says "Social media is what you make of it." Companies like Facebook and Twitter are working very hard to make sure you can't make it into something that works for you - they need it to work for their advertisers. And we need to rethink 'social'. It's not just 'conversations'. I want to write well-thought-out pieces and engage in thoughtful and reasoned criticism - not conversation. Just saying.

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The Critical Importance Of Defining Your Purpose

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 09/03/2016 - 07:00


Dan Pontefract, [Sept] 03, 2016

Dan Pontefract is still plugging his book, and we need to keep that in mind. He's also doing a bit of name-dropping. But I also think he's on target with this post. "Constantly redefining who one is in life and at work increases the likelihood that  your personal purpose  will be realized. Being relentless in the quest for personal purpose is key to achieving the sweet spot." What's my purpose? Same as it has been for a very long time n- working for an equitable society in which each person can find their own sense of fulfillment, whatever they perceive it to be.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Presence, Structured Exposure and Desire

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 09/03/2016 - 05:00


Keith Lyons, Clyde Street, [Sept] 03, 2016

I can understand the desire on the part of some (many, even) to put down the screens and engage face-to-face, uninterrupted. My sympathy with this view ends when professors - even Clay Shirky - are "moving from recommending students set aside laptops and phones to requiring it." At the point something is required the arguments in its favour become irrelevant, and it is simply the exertion of power that makes it so. And if power is what defines the dynamic in a classroom, then any effort to support the empowerment and the enfranchisement of the student is undermined. I realize a lot of people don't see the classroom dynamic as a question of power. But they are, after all, the ones with the power.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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