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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Coronavirus / Covid19 quick reference kit, to take your class or conference online cheaply and in a hurry:

Creating an Online Class or Conference - Quick Tech Guide


The mindset of a lifelong learner

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I looked at the image that accompanied this article, a graph of lifelong learning and unlearning, and I asked myself as a lifelong learner whether I actually ever unlearn anything? I don't think I do. I mean, sure, it's possible to forget, but that's not what is meant by unlearning. It's also possible to change beliefs, and that gets a bit closer, but it's still not what is meant by unlearning. This article is actually pretty light and doesn't tell us anything at all about unlearning, just some vague nicities like "Lifelong learners prosper in this new, increasingly flexible and dynamic global economy. Lifelong learners invent and reinvent themselves whenever they find or create the opportunity." But really, it's nothing to do with any of that - it's about staying curious and following your interests wherever they may lead. If you're just chasing this elusive goal of "exceeding your employer's expectations" or whatever, lifelong learning is just another burden. Don't make it one. Don't "reinvent yourself" - everything you've already learned is an asset ('money in the bank', as they say). Don't plan your learning based on fear. Follow what works for you.

Today: 23 Total: 23 Keith Keating, Chief Learning Officer, 2020/05/26 [Direct Link]

Microsoft’s new Fluid Office document is Google Docs on steroids

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Microsoft's Fluid Framework is similar to Google Docs, except that it integrates with other Office365 applications, including Teams, and allows people to embed various other objects into the docs. It was first announced last year, and released as a preview for enterprise Office365 customers just this past week. I've been playing around with it, and while it's still a bit clunky, it feels like something that could evolve into a power workspace type tool. Think Google Wave, but without Google's awkward user interface. See also: TechCrunch. If you're on Office365, here's more information and the instructions to get started.

Today: 106 Total: 106 Tom Warren, The Verge, 2020/05/26 [Direct Link]

How Coronavirus lockdown made a 'Zoom boom' generation

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Now I've just read in an earlier post "that videoconferencing just isn’t the same as face-to-face" and then I hit this article saying that "we're realising that, for the most part, video chat works." Now no doubt some will want to stuff this difference of opinion inot a generational 'Zoom Boom' thing, but I fall into the latter camp. Videoconferencing is just fine for pretty much any kind of communication I may want to do. You may not like Zoom if you're in the "stand close, give hugs and high fives" teacher demographic, but I would find such behaviour in a teacher inappropriate. Something like Zoom allows me to have my safe space. My point here: we can't generalize about whether videoconferencing 'works' (except in a purely technical sense). What works for you doesn't work for me.

Today: 146 Total: 202 Zoe Kleinman, BBC News, 2020/05/26 [Direct Link]

Reopening School: What it Might Look Like

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This post offers a number of different scenarios for reopening school in the fall (or later) but in the end offers this practical advice: "Prepare for a full year of 100 percent distance learning... you’re going to be better off if you have shifted a good part of your instruction into an online format. Once it’s there, you can still use it in a face-to-face setting." Also, "If you happen to be working in a district where expectations are far beyond reality, push back." There's a lot more in this article, and if you're a teacher looking forward with some apprehension, it maps out the territory pretty well.

Today: 165 Total: 219 Jennifer Gonzalez, Cult of Pedagogy, 2020/05/26 [Direct Link]

Deno: A Simple Guide

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Deno occupies the same niche in the developer world as Node.js - it is self-advertised as "a secure runtime for JavaScript and TypeScript." But it's not a replacement for Node.js - as Martin McKeaveney explains in this article, "eno is a fresh take and new ethos towards building, packaging and distributing scripts and applications in the JS ecosystem, built on modern technologies with a particular focus on providing a powerful scripting environment with the tooling you need built in." Some big changes include the elimination of the package manager (you just include Javascript from source directly with a URL) and explicit permission declarations for better security. Deno (probably pronounced 'Dino', if the logo is any guide) was created by Ryan Dahl, the original creator of NodeJS. More from the v1 announcement. Here's how to install (super simple!). Here's the manual.

Today: 59 Total: 222 Martin McKeaveney, shogunpurple, 2020/05/25 [Direct Link]

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