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.


~ ~ Vision Statement ~ ~

School Shootings: No More Thoughts and Prayers


I endorse this message: "Please, no more thoughts and prayers. It is time for action on how we can stop a 19-year-old, who had been suspended from school for bringing a gun, from walking into a store and purchasing a military-style assault weapon. We must work to elect those to office that will make this happen. For decades we’ve done nothing while our kids are dying. We are ready for real change and real action."

Today: 132 Total: 132 Ronnie Burt, The Edublogger, 2018/02/16 [Direct Link]

Anger at Google image search 'peace deal'


The essence of the deal Google struck with Getty Images is that it has removed the 'view image' button from its image search application. Now I personally don't know why you would search for images unless you wanted to view them. But more to the point, it seems wrong to me that one company with a few million commercial images would dictate the terms of access to an entire web full of billions of all sorts of images (including my openly licensed images that I want people to be able to view). "This is a terrible idea... you find an image on Google Images only for the image to be nowhere in sight," said one user on Twitter. "Talk about destroying your own successful service."  Google also removed the "search by image" button, which ironically is the best way for people to discover whether their images have been used by someone else. More: Ars Technica, Boing Boing, ZD Net. Update: there's a Chrome extension to put the 'view' button back. I checked and there's also a Firefox extension that does the same.

Today: 97 Total: 97 BBC News, 2018/02/16 [Direct Link]

Universities and the “democracy of the gullible”


This is a good article and a weak article at the same time. It's a good article in the sense that it raises a significant issue and discusses it clearly and precisely. But it's a weak article in that it overstates the problem (it's simply not true that "no one thinks of criticizing the technical elite") and offers an overly broad resolution, taking a classic 'defense of the humanities' position. I don't, for example, debate the need for "research on Kant [Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), German philosopher] medieval philosophy or phenomenology." But I would certainly debate the manner in which it is currently conducted. Philosophy and the humanities have such an important role to play in the day-top-day lives of people, and yet their practitioners retrench behind academic walls, subscription barriers, and programs available only to the elite of society. No wonder governments question their continued funding. More from the current issue of Courier, which is dedicated to the question of why education is still searching for utopia.

Today: 105 Total: 105 Jean Winand, UNESCO Courier, 2018/02/16 [Direct Link]



This is a "JSON-like data structure that can be modified concurrently by different users, and merged again automatically." So how might that be useful? Here's one case: imagine a cMOOC has been developed and released, with all its contents defined in a JSON file (so it can be harvested automatically by personal learning environments). As people use the course, they begin to alter its structure and add resources. This data structure would make that possible. Would it work? No idea.

Today: 73 Total: 73 GitHub, 2018/02/16 [Direct Link]

IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Caliper Analytics v1.1


The Caliper specification "was initially released in 2015, to enable the collection of valuable learning and tool usage data from digital resources, which can be used for predictive analytics." This is an update. It provides "guided language for describing, collecting, and exchanging learning data across learning technologies, and promotes better data interoperability through a shared vocabulary for describing learning interactions."

Today: 129 Total: 129 Press Release, IMS Global, 2018/02/16 [Direct Link]

I Wrote Down Everything I Learned While Programming for a Month


What if you wrote down what you learned every time you learned something. It would be a bit like taking classroom notes, but in real life. When I joined NRC people used to use scientific notebooks where they would capture everything. I use this newsletter for the same purpose, partially (but I don't capture all kinds of knowledge, like how to parse OPML files, for example). For me, being able to find the note again was important. But sometimes just the taking of the note can be enough of an intentional act. Anyhow, Sung Won Cho tried this (using Dnote) and found it " allowed me to see through the fuzzy meaning of learning and clearly quantify just how much I was learning... I was not learning as much as I had thought, but also because we seemed to misunderstand the ways of learning."

Today: 103 Total: 216 Sung Won Cho, Dnote, 2018/02/15 [Direct Link]

[All the Posts]
Thanks to Reclaim Hosting for their generous donation to support this site.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.