New Learning, New Society

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Design Elements in a Personal Learning Environment
[Sept] 01, 2015. Invited Talk, Guadalajara, Mexico (Lecture). Share

How to Think Visually
Rabndy, Cool Infographics, [Sept] 04, 2015

In case you haven't seen this before, or are just beginning your career and an education consultant, here's a graphic represention of a couple dozen or so graphical representations of data. You too can feature the sandwich, universe or rollwer coaster in your slides.

The Best of August 2015
Jane Hart, Learning in the Social Workplace, [Sept] 04, 2015

I like this format from Jane Hart. She highlights the best of her posts and tweets from the months into a substantial newsletter broken into major topics emerging through the month, in this case, into these four: the need to revamp training, whether we should call people 'learners', the efficacy of self-directed learning, and organizational culture.

I'm Jane McGonigal, Game Designer and Author, and This Is How I Work
Andy Orin, LifeHacker, [Sept] 04, 2015

Everybody works a little bit differently and there is no perfect recipe for us to follow. But people need good role models, and so I like articles like this, which point to outstanding examples of successful people and delve into their day-to-day habits, thoughts and feelings. In this article, Jane McGonigal points to the importance of pursuing non-work objectives in order to accomplish work objectives. "Completing a training run each day helps me feel productive and accomplished, even on days where I hit stumbling blocks or unexpected challenges with the work project." This is the same for me. A good cycling run (like yesterday's) makes me feel accomplished even when nothing of significance was otherwise achieved. “The opposite of play isn’t work. It’s depression.”

Faculty at Work
Alex Reid, Digital Digs, [Sept] 04, 2015

I think we are in a golden age of music. As I site here in a Tim Hortons typing this I am listening to the second of six versions of Girl Crush on my Google Music application (website version; let's keep the net neutral). Sure, the music publishers took a hit, and maybe some big stars are making a few fewer millions, but there has been a proliferation of independent talent, especially talent from outside the mainstream. This is what we wanted from the internet, isn't it? So it's hard for me to be as concerned as people like Jonathon Rees, who thinks the flipped classroom is "professional suicide", or Alistar Scott, who is worried that universities are dumbing down. If faculty could reimagine what they think their "work" is, they could be more open to the huge vistas ahead. This is really a wonderful time to be an intellectual. It wasn't always thus.

Survey: 87 Percent of Parents Are Concerned About Student Data Security
Christopher Piehler, THE Journal, [Sept] 04, 2015

Your school might not be concerned about your privacy. But your parents are. "According to the survey, 87 percent of parents expressed concern that their child’s electronic education records could be hacked or stolen. For this reason, 85% of parents said that their willingness to support the use of student data and technology in education must be coupled with efforts to ensure security." And if they can't keep Ashley Madison data private, how likely are they to keep LMS data secure?

Samsung's creating its own curated news app for Galaxy devices
Nick Summers, Engadget, [Sept] 04, 2015

The partitioning of the web into corporate empires continues. Apple is creating an iOS-only news application. Not to be outdone, Samsung is creating one of their own. And Facebook, as noted here before, already has their own. And let's not forget Twitter. This whole net neutrality thing is being, as the saying goes, rendered quaint. Via American Press Institute.

When the Only Seat Is in Front of a Screen
Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, [Sept] 04, 2015

I don't think that it's controversial to use lecture-capture technology to offer live streams of lecture video. I think that what is controversial is requiring that the viewers be on-campus residential students.

Interview with Braulio Perdigao, Petrolessons: Innovators in E-Learning Series
Susan Smith Nash, E-Learning Queen, [Sept] 04, 2015

Learning and development in the oil and gas industry is in the spotlight these days as the industry rides out the downturn, retools, and pays more attention to productivity and staff development. In this post Susan Smith Nash interviews Braulio Perdigao from Petrolessons (the oil and gas industry has a comprehensive training and development network with a lot of collaboration across companies). "I noticed the common thread around training, skills gap which in oil and gas is called The Big Crew Change," said Perdigao. "There is so much project intelligence that is lost, over 4MM professionals leaving the industry in the next 5 years and over 1.8MM coming in and there is a huge gap here. The knowledge gap in O&G is due to a hiring freeze between the 80's and early 2000's, and it represents a MAJOR challenge for the industry."

Links and Resources

(presentations include slides and audio recordings)
RSS Feed:

Key Articles

Scholarly Articles

Cites:294 Educational Blogging (Local copy)
264 Learning objects: Resources for distance education worldwide (Local copy)
134 E-learning 2.0 (Local copy)
126 Models for sustainable open educational resources (Local copy)
88 The future of online learning (Local copy
75 Learning networks and connective knowledge (Local copy)
70 Design and reusability of learning objects in an academic context: A new economy of education (Local copy)
59 Resource profiles (Local copy)
40 Learning networks in practice (Local copy)
33 Semantic networks and social networks (Local copy)
35 An introduction to connective knowledge (Local copy)
27 Design, standards and reusability (Local copy)
23 EduSource: Canada's learning object repository network (Local copy)
22 An introduction to RSS for educational designers (Local copy)

(Cites from Google Scholar for an H-Index = 14)

Recent Popular Articles

The Purpose of Learning, February 2, 2011.
The Role of the Educator, December 6, 2010.
Deinstitutionalizing Education, November 5, 2010.
Agents Provocateurs, October 28, 2010.
What Is Democracy In Education, October 22, 2010.
A World To Change, October 19, 2010.
Connectivism and Transculturality, May 16, 2010.
An Operating System for the Mind, September 19, 2009.
The Cloud and Collaboration, June 15, 2009.
Critical Thinking in the Classroom, June 5, 2009.
The Future of Online Learning: Ten Years On, November 16, 2008.
Things You Really Need to learn:

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About Stephen Downes

Stephen Downes is a senior researcher for Canada's National Research Council and a leading proponent of the use of online media and services in education. As the author of the widely-read OLDaily online newsletter, Downes has earned international recognition for his leading-edge work in the field of online learning. He developed some of Canada's first online courses at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba. He also built a learning management system from scratch and authored the now-classic "The Future of Online Learning".

At the University of Alberta he built a learning and research portal for the municipal sector in that province, Munimall, and another for the Engineering and Geology sector, PEGGAsus. He also pioneered the development of learning objects and was one of the first adopters and developers of RSS content syndication in education. Downes introduced the concept of e-learning 2.0 and with George Siemens developed and defined the concept of Connectivism, using the social network approach to deliver open online courses to three thousand participants over two years.

Downes has been offering courses in learning, logic, philosophy both online and off since 1987, has 135 articles published in books, magazines and academic journals, and has presented his unique perspective on learning and technology more than 250 times to audiences in 17 countries on five continents. He is a habitual photographer, plays darts for money, and can be found at home with his wife Andrea and four cats in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.


Stephen Downes travaille pour le Conseil national de recherches du Canada, où il a servi en tant que chercheur principal, basé à Moncton, au Nouveau-Brunswick, depuis 2001. Affilié au Groupe des technologies de l'apprentissage et de la collaboration, Institut de technologie de l’information, Downes est spécialisé dans les domaines de l'apprentissage en ligne, les nouveaux médias, la pédagogie et la philosophie.

Downes est peut-être mieux connu pour son bulletin quotidien, OLDaily, qui est distribué par Internet, courriel et RSS à des milliers d'abonnés à travers le monde. Il a publié de nombreux articles à la fois en ligne et sur papier incluant The Future of Online Learning (1998), Learning Objects (2000), Resource Profiles (2003), et E-Learning 2.0 (2005). Il est un conférencier populaire, apparaissant à des centaines de manifestations à travers le monde au cours des quinze dernières années.

Vision Statement

I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.

This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence. This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward.

Canadians who gave their lives in service in Afghanistan

Hundreds of my IAAF Track & Field Photos from Moncton 2010

My calendar

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