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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C.R.E.A.M. (Class Rules Everything Around Me)


As I prepared my slides for today's short talk (we're doing a round of autobiographies in our group - a good idea) I thought a lot about where I stand vis-à-vis the rest of society. Not as 'respectable'. Not as "entitled to... education, social standing, pay and political power." I had to take each one of these, to wrest them from people of more deserving background. I had a lot of setbacks, a lot of battles. And you can never actually escape your origins, because to escape you must accept the values and assumptions of the ruling class, the core of which is that people from your class don't belong in the boardroom or with polite company. I would never do that. As this author writes, rising with your class is the only thing that makes sense. 

Today: 204 Total: 204 Kitteh, Metafilter, 2016/09/27 [Direct Link]

Still Playing "No Man’s Sky"


I spend more time over the weekend playing No Man's Sky, doing so apparently in defiance of the hate being expressed by so many critics and gamers. But look at the panels (like the one pictured; can you believe this?) - they come from one demographic, one point of view, and expect one set of things from a game. They want a storyline, an opponent, an outcome. Maybe there will be one one day but that's not what No Man's Sky is promising. What I like is that you can do things like walk completely around the planet. It takes weeks. As Tim Bray says, "this game is a huge plat­form with lots of room to drop in new con­tent and game-play and sur­pris­es." Yes, in many ways it's not a finished product. I'm actually OK with that. Because I hate the games that are defined by an storyline, an opponent, and an outcome. My world (of gaming, and of learning) is much bigger than that.

Today: 188 Total: 188 Tom Bray, Ongoing, 2016/09/27 [Direct Link]

Why we are weaning our students from electronic noise


I wonder whether this is true: "thinking thrives on silence or on dialogue with other human voices, when electronic noise has faded." This is being used as justification for banning electronic devices from the classroom. But I have questions. When I'm doing mental work, I always have some background noise - music, CBC, Ed Radio, a baseball game, whatever. My head is full of distracting noises; silence makes my mind wander. I remember the classroom lecture before computers - every agonizing scrape of a chair, squeak of a door, cough, whisper. It was all I could do to keep from daydreaming and falling asleep. By contrast, some of my best thinking places are noisy environments - pubs, markets, busy streets. So I think it's a fallacy that thinking thrives on silence, and certainly don't support banning electronic devices based on an unproven, and probably false, hypothesis.

Today: 309 Total: 309 Ryan Balot, Clifford Orwin, Globe, Mail, 2016/09/27 [Direct Link]

Ria #26: Nick Foreman On Archival Research

On this episode, Nick Foreman shares about archival research and the logistics of archival work.

Today: 275 Total: 757 , Ecampus Research Unit | Oregon State University, [Direct Link]

Lights out for shomi symptomatic of streaming video’s larger profitability problem


Shomi foundered on the same shoal that afflicted Netflix - the demands for unsustainable revenues from content producers. There's no incentive for providers to offer Shomi a good rate when they'll ultimately roll out their own service and try to grab all the profits. Meanwhile, Netflix has responded by gutting its offering and producing many of its own shows. The market for streaming video accounts is limited, though, and people won't pay for all of them. Meanwhile, it's a bit ironic for me to be reading "the last jigsaw piece for streaming video to gain widespread acceptance will be live sports" while watching my Blue Jays game on MLB.tv (as I have for several years now). The content providers will never see their pot of gold. The same thing that happened to print media and music is happening to video and is happening to education. 'Live' is just a format now; you don't have to be there, and it doesn't have to be expensive.

Today: 131 Total: 507 Terry Dawes, CanTech Letter, 2016/09/27 [Direct Link]

Doctoral dissertation successfully defended


Worth a look (212 page PDF). "The underlying concept of the study is the open education ecosystem....Firstly, to clarify the design challenges related to the open education ecosystem, this study summarizes a set of design challenges presented in design case studies. Secondly, it identifies and recommends a set of design patterns that address these design challenges. Finally, the study proposes the structure and components that are needed for the open education ecosystem." The dissertation is based on five publications and - what he doesn't tell us here - was the result of 13 years worth of work. Via Teemu Leinonen, who recommended it to me.

Today: 129 Total: 591 Hans Põldoja, hanspoldoja.net, 2016/09/27 [Direct Link]

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.