10 septembre 2019

Play is Essential for Optimal Development

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Play is Essential for Optimal Development, Canadian Council on Learning [Edit][Delete] November 22, 2006
This is a very good article, probably the best thing I've seen come out of CCL yet (you just want to shoot the web designer though, there's no navigational links to (say) the 'Lessons in Learning' series, there's no RSS, and it (normally) appears in a gosh-awful pop up window). Essentially the article is a sustained defense of play in support of learning, but if you look at what is being described you can see it is the very sort of learner-directed open-ended approach discussed so often in these pages. Indeed, reducing or eliminating this open-ended approach is actually harmful to the child (the adult too, I would say - the highlight of my week this week has been beating the Washington Capitals 11-2 last night on EA Hockey). Note also that 'play' does not mean some sort of solitary and unsupported activity; the article discusses roles for adults as "co-players" and the like. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:03 - - Permalien [#]


Every Time You Vote against Net Neutrality, Your ISP Kills a Night Elf

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Tony Greenberg and Alex Veytsel[Edit][Delete]: Every Time You Vote against Net Neutrality, Your ISP Kills a Night Elf, RampRate [Edit][Delete] November 21, 2006
The premise of this article is that if net neutralist is lost then a major casualty will be online gaming, because online gaming requires minimal latency (that is, the smallest possible amount of time between an action and a response). "The battle over net neutrality is really a battle for latency (and jitter). It is unlikely that an ISP will make the mistake of repeating Canadian ISP Telus' attempt at outright censorship. Rather, the ISP's gentle nudge towards the preferred offering or provider is likely to come in the form of slow and inconsistent network performance for services that refuse to pay what amounts to 'protection money' to an ISP." This is probably correct. Online communication is likely to be the other victim. It is interesting - I have already noticed 'Skype sponsored' wireless internet access in places - Skype will work, but nothing else will unless you pay for access. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:03 - - Permalien [#]

Wiki Generated

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Derek Wenmoth[Edit][Delete]: Wiki Generated, Free Textbooks, November 21, 2006
You have to figure, the people in a society should be able to collectively author high quality textbooks for schoolchildren. Right? So why would we be paying some company mnillions of dollars to do it? "Using wiki technology and an open community format, over a 1,000 textbooks are being assembled online (with some PDF and print versions as well). Titles include Accounting, Chess, European History, Physiology, Managing Groups and Teams, Ecology and more". More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:36 - - Permalien [#]

09 septembre 2019

education.au: Communique

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. education.au[Edit][Delete]: Communique, [Edit][Delete] November 17, 2006
I don't mean to be a naysayer, and I'm sure the authors of this communique meant well, but this document, a follow-up to the Global Summit hosted by education.au in October, is, at best, opaque, and at worst, incoherent. Many statements don't make sense, others are flatly false. The conclusion is typical of the whole document. "Teachers have never been more essential than in the current age." This is not demonstrably true. "However, the focus needs to shift dramatically from imparting content knowledge to empowering students with the fundamental key processes to enable them to conduct their own learning." Huh? What does it mean to 'empower with processes'? "This should occur within the conventions of a discipline, including those disciplines that are yet to emerge." On what planet? Where is the need for this? "In understanding our current environment and the necessity for leadership in new practices of education, the time has come to challenge the forces that constrain education in a world that is fast disappearing." This is just jibberish. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 15:40 - - Permalien [#]

Researcher FlightPlan

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Researcher FlightPlan, [Edit][Delete] November 17, 2006
I've been enjoying the good-natured back and forth between proponents of the eprints and DSpace repository systems on the JISC mailing list recently. This item maps conferences to flight plans on Google maps (eprints). This thing is a way to map archive contents to history timelines - nifty examples from the history of Christianity and the age of dinosaurs (DSpace). Here is a search bounded by geographical coordinates. (DSpace) Meanwhile, this is a fabulous mapping of aboriginal artifacts in northern Australia (Kakadu! - one of my favorite places) - note that you may have to move the map a bit to see them. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 15:38 - - Permalien [#]


Second Life Faces Threat to its Virtual Economy

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Daniel Terdiman[Edit][Delete]: Second Life Faces Threat to its Virtual Economy, CNet News.Com [Edit][Delete]CNET News.com [Edit][Delete]CNet News.com [Edit][Delete]CNet news.Com [Edit][Delete] November 17, 2006
Funny. A program called 'copybot', which allows users to duplicate anything in Second Life, is threatening to cause a crash in the Second Life economy. I want to see it clone 'Berkman Island', and then set the two Berkmans' public relations agencies against each other. Andrew Raff offers much more analysis and links. "Second Life could be a veritable utopia, where goods spring forth without effort, but that would change the fundamental nature of the Linden economy and at the very least lead to rampant inflation, if not a complete devaluation of the Linden dollar. And it would prove disastrous to Second Life landowners and merchants who have invested time and money in the universe." Yeah. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 15:36 - - Permalien [#]

Establish Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Mark Wagner[Edit][Delete]: Establish Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals, Educational Technology and Life [Edit][Delete] November 15, 2006
When talking about groups and networks recently I have commented a few times that the person who came up with the idea of the 'vision statement' ought to be thrown out the window. That's perhaps an over-reaction, but I still disagree with advice such as this: "In order for any large-scale or long-term change to be successful in an educational institution, the organization must have a sense of mission, or what DuFour and Eaker (1998) also called a shared 'sense of purpose'." I think managers are fooling themselves if they believe they can achieve this. Yes, staff may give lip service to the vision, but in the main, they have a very different view of their purpose in life than does the manager. Compare this: "This is not unlike the imperative of moral purpose that Fullan called for (in the breadth portion of this KAM)." How many people want their morality defined by their managers? Or even determined through some sort of group process of shared vision? Vision and morality - these are personal, and not the subject of some sort of subsumption to a corporate authority. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 15:02 - - Permalien [#]

Welcome UVA Students!

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Christian Long[Edit][Delete]: Welcome UVA Students!, think:lab [Edit][Delete] November 15, 2006
Christian Long is featuring 7 UVA students on his blog, an arranglement that has resulted in some cracking good content. From UVA 3: "The 5 senses are vital" From UVA 5: "We can continue to fill their brains with core information, or we can begin to help them think... ultimately learning doesn't distinguish between the two. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:53 - - Permalien [#]

Barcelona Photos

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: Barcelona Photos, Flickr [Edit][Delete] November 14, 2006

I have uploaded a very large set of photos from Barcelona (still have some from Castelldefels and Sitges to come, but this is the bulk of them). I'm really pleased with this set - grab a coffee, sit back, and let the slide show play in all its glory.
I now move into a period of change and transition. I have been required by my director to move my website off NRC servers by November 22, so you should expect to see some changes. I will be setting up at a new host and converting to a Drupal system. Concurrently, some of my work in e-learning, and in particular, OLDaily, becomes via this action officially a volunteer activity. A hobby.
That said, I have taken the opportunity to document this transition. The first part - Setting the Stage - is now available on my other website. I will be writing about what I do to set up Drupal, to work with distributed content, and to create a next-generation computing environment for myself. [Tags: , ] [Comment]. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:45 - - Permalien [#]

The Podcast: Asking Questions About the K12Online Conference

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Bud Hunt[Edit][Delete]: The Podcast: Asking Questions About the K12Online Conference, Bud the Teacher [Edit][Delete] October 20, 2006
I had an interesting listen this morning to this conversation between Bud Hunt and Ed Tech Talk's Dave Cormier. Recorded before my comments posted on Half an Hour yesterday, but after my initial reaction in this blog, the discussion explores whether the conference process distorts the blogging ethos. Of significant note to me, and something that should give people pause, is the association of the conference with a grad credit program offered by Plymouth State and Shanghai American school. Is it any surprise that Jeff Utrecht, who is one of the Techlearning bloggers I mentioned, is managing the course? I wonder whether the people who were talking about this being a "volunteer" effort offered for "free" would care to comment on the money changing hands here. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:04 - - Permalien [#]