New Learning, New Society

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Learning Experience Design: A Better Title Than Instructional Design?
Cristy Tucker, Experiencing E-Learning, Jul 01, 2015
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My answer to that question would be: yes. Connie Malamed explains: "Calling ourselves Learning Experience Designers acknowledges that we design, enable or facilitate experiences rather than courses. This gives us a broad license to empower people with the tools and information they need to do their jobs, regardless of the chosen format."

LRMI, Learning Resource Metadata on the Web
Phil Barker, Sharing, Learning, Jul 01, 2015
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Good overview article detailing the history of learning resource metadata. Though technically correct, it's not completely accurate to say that IEEE's LOM was "the first international standard for educational technology". Before LOM there were the IMS learning object metadata protocols, which in turn followed the AICC's protocols. But yeah, IEEE was the first "standard". And it was followed by many other "standards", which are listed in the article. But the point of this article is mostly to describe the latest incarnation, the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative, which takes us back into the land of specifications. "LRMI is now a task group of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. That provides us with with the mechanisms and governance required to maintain, promote, and if necessary extend the specification."

Three R’s that universities care about
Martin Weller, The Ed Techie, Jul 01, 2015

With apologies to the 5 Rs oft-cited by David Wiley, writes Martin Weller, here are the three Rs universities are really interested in (quoted):

  • Recruitment – depending on who you are, getting students is an issue. If you are an elite university it is not so much a matter of getting sufficient students, but getting the types of students you want. Either way recruiting students is the lifeblood of any university.
  • Retention – having recruited students, you then need to keep them. Why do students drop out within a module, or fail to progress to another module? What can we do to help students with particular needs? How can we be flexible enough to accommodate non-traditional students?
  • Reputation – what is the reputation of the university with potential students (see recruitment), the general population, the local community, the media, government, etc. What is it known for? What perceptions or misconceptions about it do people hold?

Weller is unquestionably right. These are the things universities care about. My question is: does anyone else care about these three things? Why should we care about them? When universities express these as priorities, are they serving society, they students, or merely themselves? Contra Weller, I ask, why should we make claims for MOOCs and other learning technologies against these three things?

Niggles about NGDLEs - lessons from ELF
Jon Dron, Athabasca Landing, Jul 01, 2015

Jon Dron gets it right in his response to Malcolm Brown's defense of the concept of the NGDLE. "It has been done before," he writes, "over ten years ago in the form of ELF, in much more depth and detail and with large government and standards bodies supporting it, and it is important to learn the lessons of what was ultimately a failed initiative. Well - maybe not failed, but certainly severely stalled." You read the history of that here on OLDaily, first as the E-Learning Framework, and then the renamed E-Framework (note that many of the links no longer work). I remember being initially supportive but then becoming increasingly frustrated as the objectives of the program gradually drowned under a maze of standards and projects and disappearing web pages. Then, in 2008: "Our current approach, fundamentally, is totally, completely, utterly wrong, isn't it?"

xAPI case studies available #xapi yeah!
Inge de Waard, Ignatia Webs, Jul 01, 2015
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Inge de Waard links to this collection of xAPI case studies - these are "short (average 15 min) videos covering xAPI in a variety of settings.... real stories on how people in EdTech are using Experience API in their context. The videos were taped during the Orlando happening, and they include wonderful experts." See also the Connections Forum.

Colombian student Diego Gomez is going to trial for sharing a research article online
Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, Jul 01, 2015

This tells me that exactly the wrong people are in charge of knowledge distribution policy: "Gomez is a student in conservation and wildlife management, and for the most part has poor access to many of the resources and databases that would help him conduct his research. He shared an academic paper on Scribd so that he and others could access it for their work. If convicted, Diego could face a prison term of 4-8 years." I mean, seriously?

Instagrads: What It's Like To Spend All 4 Years Of High School On Instagram
Sarah Kessler, Fast Company, Jul 01, 2015
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I think that the single greatest thing about Instagram - and about the internet generally - is that it breaks through the barriers that would normally keep you apart from other people. "Maybe the jocks don’t talk to all of the theater and band people," says Kelsey Bageant, another student at Musselman. "They might not know them at all, but they all follow them on Instagram, just because they all go to the same school." We hear sometimes about how the internet pushes people to associate only with their own group (a phenomenon called 'homophily') but my experience is that it's the opposite. People cling together in clans in real life, and cross paths with people of different cultures and beliefs online. P.S. I also identify with the photo-a-day thing.

68% of Statistics Are Meaningless, D2L Edition
Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, Jul 01, 2015

Michael Feldstein takes D2L to task for what he argues are misleading statistics being offered by the LMS company. "The highlights of the analytics announcements... were incredibly disappointing in almost every way possible, and good examples of a really bad pattern of hype and misdirection that we’ve been seeing from D2L lately," he writes. He cites a couple of posts from Phil Hill in particular, "Phil recently caught John Baker using…questionable retention statistics in a speech he gave. In that case, the problem wasn’t that the statistic itself was meaningless but rather that there was no reason to believe that D2L had anything to do with the improvement in the case being cited. And then there’s the slight-of-hand that Phil just called out regarding their LeaP marketing."

Links and Resources

(presentations include slides and audio recordings)
Videos: http://www.downes.ca/me/videos.htm
RSS Feed: http://www.downes.ca/news/OLDaily.xml
Podcast: http://www.downes.ca/news/audio.xml

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: http://www.downes.ca/post/38502

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Contact: stephen@downes.ca Stephen.Downes@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
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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.

Biographie

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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