I work in the Learning and Performance Support Systems program at the National Research Council, a multi-year effort to develop personal learning technology and learning analytics. I am one of the originators of the Massive Open Online Course, write about online and networked learning, have authored learning management and content syndication software, and am the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily.


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Reflecting on Maker Experiences with Reflection Cards


Jackie Gerstein describes a board game and set of cards she uses as a prompt to promote reflections on experiences. The game and cards pose different questions participants respond to, for example, "What new skills have you learned?" and "What surprised you the most?" I've had these tried on me in the past and struggled to explain in a public forum that the answers were "nothing" and "nothing". Not every educational experience can be reduced to a flash card. As I read this, though, it occurred to me that a much better experience would be to have the students create the questions for themselves. Now of course you can't do this every time (they'll eventually develop a set of canned questions, just like these). But it should happen at some point.

Today: 157 Total: 157 Jackie Gerstein, User Generated Education, 2018/03/16 [Direct Link]

No, ‘cognitive strengthening exercises’ aren’t the answer to media literacy


Both dana boyd's original post and Benjamin Doxtdator's response are really strong posts and I recommend you take the time to read both carefully. I cited a previous post from boyd recently making some of the same points. Essentially, boyd is saying that we need to 'innoculate' people from deception in media, while Doxdator is saying that this fails to address the power dynamic in society. The disagreement is most evident in the different ways we treat experts and authority. As Rene Hobbs says, "Media literacy educators, with their focus on evidence and reasoned argument, value expertise even as we point out that expertise is itself a social construction."

Today: 147 Total: 147 Benjamin Doxtdator, Long View on Education, 2018/03/16 [Direct Link]

Don't skunk me, bro!


To 'skunk' a term is to recommend that it no longer be used because some people misconstrue it. As Bryan Garner writes, "When a word undergoes a marked change from one use to another.... it’s likely to be the subject of dispute.... A word is most hotly disputed in the middle part of this process: any use of it is likely to distract some readers.... The word has become 'skunked.'" But I agree with the response offered by Neal Goldfarb here. I don't heed the skunkers' advice. "In advising against the use of expressions that he thinks are skunked, he's not acting solely in the interests of those who think the expression is just fine, thank you. He also wants you to avoid the expression because he thinks it's wrong."

Today: 139 Total: 139 Neal Goldfarb, Language Log, 2018/03/16 [Direct Link]

Schrodinger’s OER


David Wiley responds to my criticisms of his arguments against the CARE Framework. He offers a reductio: if my assertion that 'open' is defined by access, rather than licensing, he argues, " any copy of an OER placed outside your reach ceases to be OER," and indeed, "the overwhelming majority of copies... in the world are not OER." But I don't see this as an absurd conclusion. The resources on my computer, no matter how they are licensed, are not open, precisely because I won't let you access my computer. In order for them to remain open, someone (and preferably a number of people) must make them accessible. The whole idea of stewardship is ensuring that this continues to be the case; the whole idea of conversion (and much commercialization) is to ensure that it doesn't.

Today: 204 Total: 296 David Wiley, iterating toward openness, 2018/03/16 [Direct Link]

Fight the Right Things So You Can Win At Life


I felt sad when I read this. "Life is a constant battle. We must fight to become better." It can be a battle, I suppose, if you're determined to see it that way. But I don't think in terms of it "winning" and overcoming an "enemy". Life is an exploration, it is an experience, it is the ultimate (and only) source of happiness and contentment, it is balance, it is harmony, it is peace. Let the gift, not the glove, be your metaphor for life.

Today: 99 Total: 175 Vicki Davis, The Cool Cat Teacher Blog, 2018/03/16 [Direct Link]

There are No Things. There are patterns.


I've said in the past that knowledge is recognition, and if I were pressed to describe what I think truth is, I would say that it is a strong feeling of recognition. This I think is consistent with what the early empiricists (like David Hume) would say. Formally, truth is an attitude toward a proposition: we say that a propositoon is 'true' or 'not true' and then try to explain that through an interpretation (such as Tarski's theory of truth, or model theory, or some such thing). That makes truth easier to work with, but only because it abstracts the messier reality. Having said all this, I think this puts me in accord with Iain McGilchrist, cited by Jenny Mackness in this article, when he says things like ‘No single truth does not mean no truth.’ 

Today: 121 Total: 198 Jenny Mackness, Jenny Connected, 2018/03/16 [Direct Link]

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