14 février 2020

5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do
Dangerous things my parents let me do (not always knowingly): climb very tall elm trees, ride my bicycle to communities many kilometers away (I once made it to Cassleman with my brothers, a ride of some 20 miles), build bows and arrows, hitch hike (as I did going home from work at the race track very night for a year), launch rockets (one of which flew), build and float on rafts in the creek, use knives and axes while winter camping. I was also taught, as in this talk, to fend for myself, to have a healthy respect for things like fire and electricity and such, and to have known some element of risk in my life. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:15 - - Permalien [#]

On Trust and How Communities Are Organised

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. On Trust and How Communities Are Organised
Graham Attwell puts it mildly: "The debate over the closure of eduspaces continues apace... there is growing disquiet over the way on which the closure has been handled." And I think this is reflective of the tension that always existen in Elgg. Curverider - the company that makes Elgg - always had the attitude that they were giving free stuff to the community. The community, in turn, always felt that the free stuff was a community accomplishment. The closure sends an unambiguous message: that this was Curverider's, to give or to take away, all along. That is not the picture most people have of open source communities. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:12 - - Permalien [#]

Next in the Economist Debate Series

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Next in the Economist Debate Series
The Economist's educational debate series is such a crock. Here is the second topic: "Governments and universities everywhere should compete to attract qualified students, regardless of nationality or residence." This is not about debating this issue, this is totally about framing the discussion of education in terms of markets and competition. And, of course, by carefully selecting the participants, the magazine will ensure that the discussion never goes of-message. Oh, and don't you love the image of strong male hands in a power suit counting out the points. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:12 - - Permalien [#]

Revisiting Content Is Not King. Connectivity Is Priority.

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Revisiting Content Is Not King. Connectivity Is Priority.
I get what Leigh Blackall is saying in this post, but even with full connectivity content would not be 'king' - at least, not the sort of content that is ordinarily supposed hen we talk of things like learning objects (or newspaper articles). The point is, more learning happens through conversation and content creation than by mere passive receptivity. And what Illich (and Friere, and others, know) is that when you take control of the production of your own learning, you give yourself the power to learn, which is something no content provider can even give to you. Broadband connectivity helps, to be sure - but the important part of the broadband connection is the ploading part. After all, we've had broadband downloading for a very long time. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:06 - - Permalien [#]

I Can See Clearly Now (And I'm Smiling)

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. I Can See Clearly Now (And I'm Smiling)
I've thought a lot about presentations - I've had to - and I'm mostly uncomfortable with the advice in this post. First of all, my presentations are vry rarely to pursuade. I am more often trying to explain or describe. My purpose is to model and demonstrate. I want people to see how I think about these topics, to see how I approach them. This requires clarity, and clarity - rather than, say, colour - is my main goal. I try to put enough text on the slide to be useful - the words help people who have difficulty hearing or who speak a different language. The illustrations are useful, but pointless illustrations - and the slides described here are full of them - merely add deadweight to the download. For visibility, text should be dark on white, and separate from images. Slides should flow - text and images combine to create a message, something viewers can interpret while hearing the presentation. Yes, I've seen poor presentations. But abandoning everything we know about clarity and cognition is not the answer. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:07 - - Permalien [#]

Be Very Careful About Student Panels

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Be Very Careful About Student Panels
I agree with Dave Warlick on this one. "These were... the kids who do what they're told and who have learned, from many years in the classroom, to tell us what they think we want to hear." This is typical of the "student input" that characterizes so many processes and serves to illicitly legitimize things with a false sort of 'student sanction'. Because, as Warlick notes, "They reinforced those teachers who believe that we are doing just fine with our kids, doing things the same way we've always done them." When 'student input' is sought, the students polled should not just be the 'A' kids. The dropouts and failures should be consulted as well. After all, that's what I was when I was in high school. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:05 - - Permalien [#]

What Makes A Message Compelling?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. What Makes A Message Compelling?
I have been thinking a bit more recently about the role of reason in society - perhaps as a result of some of the stuff Vicki Davis has been writing, perhaps as a consequence of reading Kim Stanley Robinson's Science in the Capital series. So this post stands out. "Videos critical of the official immunization program were more popular and more highly rated." The irrational and unreasonable, it appears, is more popular. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:02 - - Permalien [#]

TV Download Battle Finally Begins in Canada

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. TV Download Battle Finally Begins in Canada
Content - including television and sporting events - is being licensed for sale via iTunes in Canada. I will continue to watch those few shows I want to watch for free, on television. If they take the shows off television, well then I guess I won't know what I'm missing, and won't buy it anyway. More from the Globe and Mail, which looks at the even more ridiculous prospect of selling video iPods in Canada with absolutely nothing available to view on them. Goodness. Google should sell a simple video viewing device and hook it up to the free video on YouTube. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:01 - - Permalien [#]


By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Dokeos
I hadn't seen this before it turned up in an email from Stuart Yeates. Dokeos is an open source learning management system "used in more than 600 companies and public administrations to manage e-learning and blended learning programmes." The application is written in PHP. There is also a Java application that is used to add Flash-based audio and video streaming to the videoconferencing application. It also adds an audio recording feature. This extension depends on OpenLaszlo. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:00 - - Permalien [#]


By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Stockhouse
The creator of this site is a longtime friend of mine. So I'm really pleased to be able to recommend it, even if it is not strictly an education site. Stockhouse is a type of online community that encourages discussion on the stock market and employs a variety of social networking and community features to manage the discussion. Note the very interesting variation of tag cloyds used to indicate the most popular topics of discussion. Note the multi-featured reputation management display for contributors. The entire site is dynamic, the display of information intended to be relevant and up-to-date. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 07:57 - - Permalien [#]