Miscellaneous

Known and education: a love story

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:00
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Ben Werdmuller, Benwerd, Aug 28, 2014

Interesting. Compelling. Important. Known and Reclaim your Domain get together. Here's Ben Werdmuller: "I think Known is very clearly both a PLE and an eportfolio:

  • Known profiles allow you to post to a space that represents you, using a variety of media, from any device
  • Known's syndication feature lets you post to your own profile, while syndicating to external sites and applications - like your campus's Learning Management System.

Educators agree. The Reclaim Your Domain project is a particular evolution of eportfolio thinking. where members of a campus's community own the domains that represent them (just like indieweb!)." And here's Jim Groom, on  pushing the Known syndication hub beyond RSS. He writes, "I’ ve already referred to Known as an open, distributed Tumblr, and that’ s pretty apt. The minimalism and focus on  publishing content quickly and easily makes it very compelling."

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At OTF Teaching, Learning & Technology Conference – Hopscotch, Sphero, Social Reading

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Doug Peterson, doug - off the record, Aug 28, 2014

What Doug Peterson describes here is very similar to my own workflow, readingflow, whateverflow. It's a restatement of the "aggregate-remix-repurpose-feed forward" methodology, identifying specific tools that can be used to accomplish it. Does it work? I offer my own career as evidence. Moreover, some of the tools he points to - Hopscotch, Sphero, and  Packrati.us - are new to me. I won't use the iPad-only apps, of course, but some others look interesting.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Hackers Target Video Games for Fun, Profit and Better Scores

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Nicole Perlroth, New York Times, Aug 28, 2014

I lost interest in commercial online multiplayer games when I discovered people cheating (a game crash was followed by a massive attack on my empire that somehow pinpointed every weakness; the other player admitted seeing my troop disposition). It's the same experience I had in Reno - playing poker in the poker room was fun until the hustler came in and started betting the maximum on every hand. At this point - where people are exploiting the system for profit - the games are no longer fun. And, of course, "the industry has done little to share cyber threat information" - probably because they make more money from the people gaming the results than the people just in it for fun (it's the same relationship Google has with advertisers and spammers).

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Learning Vs. Performance -- The Dichotomy

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00


Sahana Chattopadhyay, ID, Other Reflections, Aug 28, 2014

This article gets at the difference between learning and performance, identifying aspects distinguishing a focus on one as opposed to the other:

  • Growth mindset - Carol Dweck, in her research, differentiated between Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset.
  • Limiting beliefs – Related to fixed mindset, limiting beliefs constrain us in many ways.
  • Fear of failures – This could directly stem from the organizational culture and environment.

In a follow-up article, Sahana Chattopadhyay makes it clear that training is only one aspect of performance. "Organizational challenges today are multi-pronged and taking a single approach doesn’ t work. It is entirely possible that while training may be a requirement, other concerns also need to be simultaneously addressed."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Self-Regulation: The Other 21st Century Skills

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Jackie Gerstein, User Generated Education, Aug 28, 2014

The whole character-building thing has been in vogue recently, what with people writing about "grit" and other aspects of successful learners (and people). There is some point to this - you will not become successful at anything (whether work, hobbies or even lifestyle) without putting the effort, which takes motivation and perseverence. But there's also an aspect of this movement whereby these are externally defined. Take this: "Self-regulated learning is the conscious planning, monitoring, evaluation, and ultimately control of one’ s learning in order to maximize it." It depicts the self as naturally something (someone?) you have to battle in order to succeed. Well - I have never thought that way about my own work. Yes, I work very hard, struggle with means and motivation, and even measure progress sometimes (but not nearly as often as you might thing). But it's not a battle - for me, it's a process of immersing myself completely into my own life. My 'other 21st century skills' are these skills. It's worth noting the difference.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The LRS is not going to kill the LMS. The AP is going to kill the LMS (as we know it).

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Shelly Blake-Plock, Fieldmarks Blog, Aug 28, 2014

Interesting perspective. There is a debate as to whether "learning record stores (LRSs) and learning management systems (LMSs) are in competition," writes Shelly Blake-Plock, but the real issue is whether "Activity providers (APs) — especially those working off a standard such as xAPI — will be the human-to-machine interface of the next generation of e-learning." In my world, the AP is known as the PLA - "personal learning assistant" - which serves as the device that displays and launches learning activities and resources for the LPSS (Learning and Performance Support System) user.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Is this the “dark horse” of online education?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Meris Stansbury, eCampus News, Aug 28, 2014

From the article: "Weise and Christensen note in their new mini-book, Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution (61 page PDF) that unlike other trends like MOOCs that have received 'tremendous fanfare,' online competency-based education stands out as the innovation to most likely disrupt higher education." They write (p.18) "Competency-based programs have no time-based unit. Learning is fixed, and time is variable; pacing is flexible." That makes them perfect for online learning. This trend, they write, will force a rethinking of the value proposition of universities. "The value system of academic scholarship is so skewed that research findings are hidden from public view." (p.24) I think they're mostly right, but we need to advance the model past the point where learning can be defined by competencies, or develop much better and more efficient means of identifying competencies and decigning systems to teach and evaluate for them. See also this  EDUCAUSE report on competency-based education.

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Revolutionary Brampton university proposal ruled ineligible by MTCU

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00


Ken Steele, Academica Group Inc., Aug 28, 2014

It didn't fly this time, but I find it interesting that it was even proposed. "Students would learn in an active, inquiry-based environment from teaching-focused faculty on flexible staffing contracts, utilizing ePortfolios, eTextbooks, experiential learning, and work placements." OK, I'm not sure I like the sound of "flexible staffing contracts" - that to me makes it sound like academic labour on the cheap - but the rest of it sounds innovative and even useful. Something like it will probably be approved some time in the future, and if it flies (as it probably will) I would expect the model to proliferate. (It's nice to see Ken Steele look beyond the usual diet of press release coverage that has dominated Academica recently).

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The Diploma is the Message: Doug Rushkoff Invents a Master’s Program That Matters

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Jed Oelbaum, Good, Aug 28, 2014

So what distinguishes Rushkoff's masters's program from the thousands of others created by university professors (hint: it's not that "it matters"). “ Instead of training people to become marketers or to write the next useless phone app, we’ re going to support people who want to see through the media, and use it to wage attacks on the status quo,” Rushkoff says. “ This is media studies for Occupiers.” But more significantly, “ I want to teach a diverse range of students without putting them into lifelong debt,” says Rushkoff. Of course there's still that whole travel and tuition hurdle to surmount.

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