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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CC Search: A New Vision, Strategy & Roadmap for 2019

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In a project that may well impact the world of open educational resources (OER), Creative Commons (CC) is engaged in developing a new search service, releasing a new roadmap for the project today. "The vision centers on reuse," writes Jane Park. " CC will prioritize and build for users who seek to not only discover free resources in the commons, but who seek to reuse these resources with greater ease and confidence." This means a change in emphasis on the content side. "CC will shift from its “quantity first” approach (front door to 1.4 billion works) to prioritizing content that is more relevant and engaging to creators."

Today: 60 Total: 60 2019/03/19 [Direct Link]

What’s good ‘evidence-based’ practice for classrooms? We asked the teachers, here’s what they said

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This article doesn't go into a lot of detail but it does raise a core issue in our (or any!) profession: what counts as good evidence? "Too often, calls for ‘evidence-based practice’ in education ignore the evidence that really counts," write the authors. "Narrow definitions of evidence where it is linked to external testing are highly problematic." Looking at what teachers actually value as evidence in their practice, we see things like teachers' own classroom observations ranked at the top of the list and standardized test results (such as Australia's NAPLAN) at the bottom. So how do we support teachers with evidence? From where I sit, it seems to me that support helping teachers create their own assessments would best address the need. If teachers depend on their own observations, let's help make sure those observations are good ones. Via Aaron Davis.

Today: 154 Total: 154 Nicole Mockler, Meghan Stacey, EduResearch Matters, 2019/03/19 [Direct Link]

Crypto Canon

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I've read a lot of these papers in my own research on blockchain but this list is well-presented and is more neatly formatted. On the other hand, my list contains a lot of excepts that indicate what the resource actually says. But this list is probably more canonical. I'll be running through it to make sure I haven't missed anything. For more, see their blog.

Today: 58 Total: 269 Sonal Chokshi, Chris Dixon, Denis Nazarov, Jesse Walden, Ali Yahya, Andressen Horowitz, 2019/03/18 [Direct Link]

MOOCs as Tool for Development of 21st Century Skills

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The goal of this paper was "to analyse MOOCs in the field of business and management in comparison of their overlap with lifelong learning skills for 21st century." The skills defined are the usual set: "problem solving, creativity, analytic thinking, team work and communication." The authors looked at 829 MOOCs on 39 different platforms, though the top 6 contained 84% of all MOOCs studied. The authors state that the study "clearly presents the capability of MOOCs to step aside the formal education by providing users with the skills for 21st century."

Today: 94 Total: 372 Miro Puhek, Zvezdana Strmšek, European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 2019/03/18 [Direct Link]

Higher Education – the Last Bastion?

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This article explores the "problem of defence and stasis in the university sector despite the huge drivers for change" and "ways in which learning with and from the future can be encouraged." The authors find the cause of the resistance in the histories of the disciplines. "The history of a discipline is overwhelmingly powerful, and dominates academics’ thoughts, arguments and practice since the norms and traditions of disciplines or professions creates their identities."

Today: 35 Total: 277 Gilly Salmon, Tya Asgari, European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 2019/03/18 [Direct Link]

UK online pornography age block triggers privacy fears

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There are two parts to this story: first, that people would need to register as authorized users by proving their identity (and specifically, their age), and second, that certain types of content for non-authorized users would be blocked. I put it in general terms like this because once such a system is established it would be very hard to resist using it for purposes other than the stated purpose. So the question is also has two parts: if we have to register as internet users, what do we want that to look like, and if we are to block certain content, how are we to decide what to block? It's hard to imagine satisfactory answers to either sort or question.

Today: 42 Total: 528 Jim Waterson, The Guardian, 2019/03/18 [Direct Link]

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