09 septembre 2019

Putting Learning Before Technology, of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Chris Petter and Robert Clift[Edit][Delete]: Putting Learning Before Technology, of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia [Edit][Delete] November 8, 2006
In response to this discussion paper promoting Web 2.0 approaches to learning, prepared for the Campus 2020 process in British Columbia, the faculty associations responded with this criticism, attacking the document for its boosterism and noting that "Instead of basing their prescriptions on any critical analysis of what is working or not working in e-learning in British Columbia they describe what constitutes a catalog of technocrati hopes and dreams." The Faculty Associations are correct; the paper does go overboard, especially when it says Web 2.0 training should be "required". But by attacking a specific document they mask the impotence of their own thinking. It is tempting to compare the Faculty Associations' calls for further study to those of the global warming sceptics. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:52 - - Permalien [#]


Knowing Knowledge

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. George Siemens[Edit][Delete]: Knowing Knowledge, [Edit][Delete] November 8, 2006
George Siemens has now officially launched his book, Knowing Knowledge. The link above is to the website, which contains links to colour versions of the images, the print-on-demand version, the community, and the rest of the clutter that accompanies a publication release these days. But you can go straight to the book (PDF) from here. Kudos to George for release his book as free and open content (more than a few in our field recently have gfone the traditional closed-door approach to publication, violating the very principles they advocate in their texts). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:51 - - Permalien [#]

Smart People or Smart Contexts?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Sasha A. Barab and Jonathan A. Plucker[Edit][Delete]: Smart People or Smart Contexts?, [Edit][Delete] November 8, 2006
Interesting. "Ability and talent should not be viewed as constructs possessed by individuals but, instead, as sets of relations that are actualized through dynamic transactions... classrooms should not be considered merely as the sites where talent development takes place, but should actually be conceptualized as the context for a specific cultural milieu through which students develop understandings of what constitutes a talented interaction."
See also: Principles of Self-Organization: "An ecological model, or a model based on a relational ontology, grounded in current principles of self-organizing or spontaneously ordered systems, contextualizes (ecologizes) the learning situation and not only better captures the world as it is, but, we suggest, also dramatically potentiates the learner-facilitator interaction." Note that I am not the only one to talk about Boltzmann systems in this context. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:51 - - Permalien [#]

The Role of Scale-free and Other Networks in Hierarchical Organization

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Andrew P. Smith[Edit][Delete]: The Role of Scale-free and Other Networks in Hierarchical Organization, [Edit][Delete] November 8, 2006
A nice easy read, some good (and knowledgable) discussion of networks, and a couple of interesting observations: first, that "the enormous complexity of the brain depends upon such a balance or interplay between differentiation and integration," Edelman and Tononi (2000) and second, "the basis for the scale-free organization lies in a positive feedback system," which of course OI knew but hadn't quite thought of in exactly that way before (because it implies that scale-free organization can be undermined (as it should be) via negative feedback. I know nothing about the origins of this paper, it being a reference to a Geocities site in an email that was cc'd to me last May. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:49 - - Permalien [#]

Firefox 2.0 breaks client-side XSL for RSS and Atom feeds

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. L.M. Orchard[Edit][Delete]: Firefox 2.0 breaks client-side XSL for RSS and Atom feeds, OXDECAFBAD [Edit][Delete] November 8, 2006
Count me among those who doesn't like Firefox's new way of interpreting RSS feeds. Sure, I hate Feedburner styling. Still, at least I'm getting what I clicked on. The other option is to automatically subscribe to RSS feeds. Don't select that. At first I thought it was convenient. But twice in two days now I've simply wanted to see the content, not to subscribe - and Firefox efffectively made it impossible to see the content. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:46 - - Permalien [#]


Scientists Get Free Access to Environment Journals

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Kimani Chege[Edit][Delete]: Scientists Get Free Access to Environment Journals, SciDev.Net [Edit][Delete] November 7, 2006
It sounds like a good open access project. But in reality it's very limited. While it says "Over 1,000 scientific journals are [freely] available to scientists from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America" what it means is that "The initiative will give more than 1,200 public and non-profit environmental institutions access," with the result that "OARE might create an elite network and hamper scientists who wish to research in institutions that are not included in the initiative." Open Access doesn't mean granting access to the richest people and those with good jobs. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:44 - - Permalien [#]

Podcasts. What's the Big Deal?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Randolph Decker[Edit][Delete]: Podcasts. What's the Big Deal?, EGram@sd40.bc.ca [Edit][Delete] November 7, 2006
I don't know why. My brain just works in strange ways. But when I read this item, all I could think was: "Folk, folks, if you are going to post audio online, make sure to rewind it first so people can start listening to it right away." A good link, because it introduces us to Tiki Bar, the best looking (video) podcast (which means, technically, it's a vodcast) on the net. I didn't listen, the TV was on. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:41 - - Permalien [#]

Google Warns Aust Copyright Laws Could Cripple Internet

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Judy Skatssoon[Edit][Delete]: Google Warns Aust Copyright Laws Could Cripple Internet, ABC [Edit][Delete] November 7, 2006
If you are in Australia, could you please ask your government to not wreck the internet? Perhaps remind your government official that they are being misled about the cost of piracy by content owners. That one of their own reports calls the allegations "self-serving hyperbole." So they should stop believing them. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:41 - - Permalien [#]

Second Wave Adoption

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Nancy White[Edit][Delete]: Second Wave Adoption, Full Circle Online Interaction Blog [Edit][Delete] November 7, 2006
Nancy White is looking at the question of whether people are adopting Web 2.0 tools in learning. I can't imagine that they're not, but then again, I am one of those "smart, innovative people who are coming up with really wonderful uses of new internet based technologies" and not one of the people putting these tools into practice (I assume I can get away with that self-designation here). But again: it is not so relevant whether instructors use these tools nor whether or not they are used in the classroom; what matters is that students are using them, in or out of the classroom. And again: why is the focus in our discussions always on the instructor? The world could end - and it would not matter unless it impacted teaching practices. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:40 - - Permalien [#]

Wikipedia delenda est

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Bryan Alexander[Edit][Delete]: Wikipedia delenda est, Infocult [Edit][Delete] November 7, 2006
A reflection of some of the recent angst being expressed in the edublogosphere and a restatement of the conviction that the criticisms of this new technology are not well founded. "Networked learning, in all its informatic splendor and complexity, is certainly a dire threat to the deeply- and extensively rooted pedagogical practices of higher education... Further, it's a threat that's partly irrational. I don't mean to dismiss the anxieties - far from it - but to emphasize that Web 2.0, networked learning, etc. are simply not treated seriously... Forces beyond the professorite conspire to keep the discussions rare and poor, from the Chronicle's classic 'internet: threat or menace?'. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:39 - - Permalien [#]