Stephen Downes works with the Digital Technologies Research Centre at the National Research Council of Canada specializing in new instructional media and personal learning technology. He is one of the originators of the first Massive Open Online Course, has published frequently about online and networked learning, has authored learning management and content syndication software, and is the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily. Through a thirty year career Downes has contributed pioneering work in the fields of online learning games, learning objects and metadata, podcasting, open educational resources. Today he is developing gRSShopper, a personal learning environment, offering a course on new e-learning technologies, and supporting research and development in the use of distributed ledger technology in learning applications. He is a popular keynote speaker and has spoken in three dozen countries on six continents.

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The Backlash Against Personalized Learning

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This is an archive copy of the NEPC newsletter summarizing recent negative reactions against personalized learning. There are several concerns: software glitches, concerns about data privacy, and lessons that are easy to game and trick. The bulk of the newsletter refers to a policy brief written in 2014 by Noel Enyedy which argues that personalized learning simply transfers the flaws of traditional learning to the individual level.

Today: 220 Total: 220 National Education Policy Center, 2018/12/11 [Direct Link]

Mistletoe Offline

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The title makes no sense but the article is definitely worth a read. It is about service workers. These are "technology that you can inject into a visitor’s device from your website. Once it’s installed, it can intercept any requests made to your domain." The case described in the article is one where the service worker handles the request when the website is offline (or when the website user is offline). A service worker is what makes progressive web apps work. The article offers examples and code for some service workers.

Today: 182 Total: 182 Jeremy Keith, 24 ways to impress your friends, 2018/12/11 [Direct Link]

Repl.it Multiplayer

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This is a really nice teaching tool, because it's a nice working tool. "Introducing Multiplayer: code with friends in the same editor, execute programs in the same interpreter, interact with the same terminal, chat in the IDE, edit files and share the same system resources, and ship applications from the same interface!" Open a new editor on the https://repl.it/ website and then click the Multiplayer icon (upper left) to get it started. Sadly, Repl.it doesn't support Perl (complains the last living Perl coder) (though there's a Python shell that will support a limited Perl).

Today: 139 Total: 349 Faris & Amjad Masad, Repl.it, 2018/12/10 [Direct Link]

Teaching and Learning with Jupyter

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This is a comprehensive text that covers pretty much everything important about the use of Jupyter Notebooks in learning. As noted in these pages before, a Jupyter Notebook allows you to have not only the usual text and images, but also computer programs, such that you can view and edit the listing and see the output right on the notebook page. I have only one complaint about this textbook - it's written and published through GitHub (which allows for writing sprints and multiple authors) and is not itself a Jupyter notebook. It's so easy to read online - I wish the Jupyter Notebook functionality had been embedded and demonstrated right there and then.

Today: 144 Total: 422 et.al., Lorena A. Barba, GitHub, 2018/12/10 [Direct Link]

Is there a RSS revival going on?

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Short item raising the possibility and linking to some commentary suggesting it might be true. Some of us (ahem) never left RSS at all. In a world of social media algorithm-driven content streams I've considered RSS to be my secret weapon over the last decade. It allows me to see all the stuff that Facebook and Twitter don't profit from me seeing. We probably need a next-generation RSS for the revival to really take off, but it might just be a matter of time.

Today: 108 Total: 375 Andy Sylvester, 2018/12/10 [Direct Link]

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