Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

How to Help Students Succeed by Taking Ownership of Their Learning Online Through Personal Learning

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

This is an unedited transcript created by the Google Sound Recording on the Pixel 4 (the main reason I bought this phone in fact) of the webinar I gave July 30, 2020. Thank you very much Sarah and I'm still waiting for that invitation to speak in Antarctica. Any time you're ready? I'm on a plane.

How To 216

My Top Personal Learning Tools 2020

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Jane Hart has issued her annual call for our top ten e-learning tools, and here's mine. I've named my list 'personal learning tools' because I think of learning as an activity that blends my own activities as a 'student' with those as a 'teacher'.

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Personal Learning: Taking Ownership of Learning Online: Part One

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Note: this is an unedited audio transcript generated by the Google sound recorder app on my Pixel 4. In the future I may edit it (or if you want to, feel free). For now, I provide it as is for your enjoyment.


Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Responding to Donald Clark's excellent article, Let's move on from 'Unintelligible Intelligences' - IQ, Multiple Intelligences, Emotional Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence. Let’s take this idea further. Koch (2014) claimed that ALL networks are, to some degree ‘intelligent’." Not just Koch.

Boxing gRSShopper

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

What, again? Yes, again. Today I'm working on creating and saving a reusable Docker image of gRSShopper. I have the benefit of some previous work on this set-up, and so it might work today, so I'm documenting my process. Note : I'm doing all this so you don't have to.

Being There: What Presence Means in a Digital World.

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

This is an unedited automated transcript produced by my Pixel 4 from this presentation: [link] Hi everyone. I'm Stephen Downs and I bring you greetings from my home office in Castleman, Ontario, Canada. Thank you for taking the time to watch my presentation today.

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What Is Online Learning?

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

I have a lot of sympathy for those working in educational technology positions at schools and universities today because they have been thrust into the unenviable position of converting a recalcitrant faculty of teachers and professors into overnight online instructors. Such a conversion would never have happened without an external force such as Covid-19.

Flying to Conferences

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

I just want to take a few moments to consider Bryan Alexander's comments about flying to conferences. As most readers know, I have flown to hundreds of academic conferences over the years. So I guess I would be considered a prime offender in this regard. Except - I don't see myself as an 'offender' per se. Flying to conferences is just one of the things I've done over the years.

How to Learn Using Technology

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Learning with technology is different from learning with textbooks or learning with classroom instruction. In these, the focus is on understanding and remembering. It is content based. The learning objective is defined as mastery of this body of knowledge. Learning with technology, by contrast, is outcome based. It is defined in terms of skills or competencies, as how to achieve a certain outcome using technology as a tool. There’s a distinctive way to learn using technology. Here are the steps.

Educational Research in Learning Technology

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

In this post I discuss the nature (and weaknesses) of research in our field. I am broadly sympathetic with the arguments offered by Philip J. Kerr in this recent post , about how research in educational technology could be improved, but I have disagreements around the edges, enough that I think more discussion is warranted. Kerr begins with a discussion of systematic reviews of research and comments that they "did not paint a very pretty picture of the current state of AIEd research."

My 25 Years of Ed Tech

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Martin Weller has released his book 25 Years of Ed Tech today. It's a nice read; you are encouraged to check it out. But I have to confess, on having looked at the table of contents, I thought that it captured my career pretty well. Of course, that was not Weller's objective. But this is my lived history. So I thought I'd quickly summarize those 25 years from my perspective. Headings in bold are Weller's; subheadings in italics are mine.

Where Do Blog Post Ideas Come From?

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Someone asked me by email, do you have any advice on how to come up with blog post ideas? I recently launched an informational website, so far I have around 40 articles and I'm already finding it difficult to come up with ideas that aren't just a regurgitation of something else I already discussed in another article. Almost all of what I do is in response to something I see, read or hear. So I read and gather information widely.

On Pandemic Politics, Pedagogies and Practices

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

"We have no wish to denigrate or criticize online distance education," write the authors of Pandemic politics, pedagogies and practice , "but rather, the aim of this brief editorial is twofold: First, we want to raise a series of critical cautions, based on previous papers and special issues published in the journal, against simplistic and opportunistic claims that educational technologies are a ready-made remedy for the current crisis.

Whence the Virtue of Open

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

The word 'whence' means " from what place, source, or cause", and that is the question I would like to address with respect to the virtue of 'open'. The question is raised in the context of Heather Morrison's recent comments on The Dialectic of Open. Unfortunately I don't have the full text of the remarks, but I have a detailed abstract and slides, which is enough to work from. Morrison's argument is straightforward and effective. Not all instances of 'open' are virtuous.

Digital Learning 4.0: How to Guarantee Measurable Learner Impact Where Others Have Failed

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Summary of: Digital Learning 4.0: How to Guarantee Measurable Learner Impact Where Others Have Failed Paul Hunter Director Digital Learning, IMD Business School IMD is a business school based in Switzerland. Table discussions - what are you doing in digital learning, what have been your biggest successes and challenges). Table summary: Successes: one was using different modalities. Challenge: making sure students have complted all of the personal study before they attend the face-to-face session.

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Responses to Pew on the Future and Ethics in AI

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

If you expect change, what do you think the “new normal” will be for the average person in 2025? What will have changed most? What will not change much at all? Despite the economic turmoil that resulted from the pandemic, the net result will be an increased recognition of the role of governance and civil society. This will be seen in an increased level of support for social and economic support, including for example the need for public health care and the need for income support.

The Electricity of Learning

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Summary of a talk at eLearning Africa given by Jef Staes. I'm going to tell a story of why education is failing. We have a design error. This is a battle of two groups of people. There was an information shortage. So industry started schools. But today everything has changed. But today we have an information glut. If we are passionate about something we can learn. This information flow changes the world from 2D flat to a world that is changing. Changing all the time.

The Problem With 'A National Effort in Online Education'

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Alex Usher points out quite correctly that universities will need to be online by the fall. We're not likely to be out of the Covid woods by then, and in-person classes will likely be limited and few. So he proposes this: for each of the (say) 100 courses with the highest enrolment taught across Canadian universities is to create, in common, a large basket of very good online resources which each institution could then incorporate into its own learning platforms.

Approaching E-Learning 3.0

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Who is this course for? If you're reading this, then this course is for you. You've demonstrated the main criterion: some degree of interest in the subject matter of the course. You might be thinking: this course looks too difficult, too technical, or too high level. This will be true for everyone, even me. But the course is structured so you can focus on what's interesting and accessible for you, and you can ignore the rest. Read on. you'll see what I mean. What's the Course About?

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The Gen Z Learning Journey From Higher Education To The Workplace

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Summary of a presentation: The Gen Z Learning Journey From Higher Education To The Workplace Giselle Kovary, M.A., President n-gen People Performance Inc. I want to cover research on Gen Z, especially from a Canadian context. They're more 1996 than 2012. But we can't make a statement about an individual person based on their age; this work applies only to the macro level. Used code #genz ) 'Entitled' and 'creative' are the most popular terms.

On Connectivism and Scale

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Image: Sui Fai John Mak - [link] Martin Weller makes some excellent points in his recent post on connectivism and scale, and they merit a short response. Weller is writing in response to a specific statement I made in a recent post on another topic, which I'll quote here: One of the major objectives of our original MOOCs was to enable MOOC participants to create interaction and facilitation for each other.

Module 165

Notes On "Global Guidelines: Ethics in Learning Analytics"

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

In my post referencing the ICDE's Global Guidelines: Ethics in Learning Analytics yesterday I said: This document summarizes the considerations of an ICDE working group on learning analytics.

Connectivism and Language Learning

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

This is in response to the following question from a student in Iran: I am going to start an academic project on the application of connectivism in the context of foreign language acquisition. I was just wondering that since learning a foreign language is basically mastering some language skills practically rather than acquiring knowledge, to what extent it can be taught and learnt in a connectivistic manner.

The 2019 National Survey of Online Learning in Canadian Post-secondary Education: Preliminary Results and Implications

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Summary of the presentation The 2019 National Survey of Online Learning in Canadian Post-secondary Education: Preliminary Results and Implications. Moderated by Tony Bates. This is a follow-up from the first survey from 2017. Results are now available at [link] One of our main aims is to ensure our work adds value to responding institutions. Obligatory thanking of sponsors) Team: Nicole Johnson, Tricia Donovan, Jeff Seaman, Tony Bates Also a panel of executive consultants.

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Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

You sometimes hear me stumble over the word 'value', the way I did in a recent interview. Let me explain why. The word 'value' is widely used in our field and elsewhere. It is intended to represent a measurement of the 'benefit' something might produce - so 'economic value' might refer to the economic benefit., social value' might refer to the social benefit', and so on. I often want to say things like this: each person has value in and of themselves. Or: each person has inherent value.

Types 160

Learning Electron - Part 2

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Continuing from Part 1 The story so far In Part 1 I covered the basics of Electron up to and including building executable applications from the Node.js application. In particular I looked at the fundamental role played by the package.json file in defining the application requirements, defining start and build scripts, and giving Electron a script to begin running, which we called bootstrap.js. In turn, bootstrap.js

Module 168

What is Digital Literacy?

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Short response to a questionnaire. What is Digital Literacy Digital literacy is a type of literacy, specifically, the type of literacy that arises in the digital context. By 'the digital context' we mean the multimedia and inter-networked context enabled by digital technology. What's significant is how it advances beyond traditional literacy, which is essentially the ability to read and write well.


Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Summary of the talk "Hearables" by Rory McGreal Photo: Nobuko Fujita - What are they – Hunn 2014 – speaker-microphone in-ear with AI - Progressive development from earphones, hearing aids, etc - Can monitor: Blood pressure – stress, excitement Etc.

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Questions on Assessment

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Responding to an enquiry about assessment. what about the practical work that must be done in the laboratory? It depends on the laboratory, but mostly, students will not be able to reproduce the laboratory at home. During our current crisis, both practice and assessment in the laboratory will have to be postponed. For the future, I have argued that laboratory facilities should be distributed across the community.

Martin Dougiamas, e_learning Africa

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Summary of talk by Martin Dougiamas at e_learning Africa. I'm just going to focus on open ed-tech. We had a conference about Moodle in this room yesterday. Our mission at Moodle is to improve the world, and we're doing this by making an open source platform. The values drive the project. The way to have thousands of people contribute, the values are needed. Education, openness, integrity, respect and innovation are these values.

On the Creative Commons Certificate Course

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

A week ago, by way of a post in the Creative Commons Open Education Platform discussion list, I became aware of the Creative Commons Certificate course, "an in-depth course about CC licenses, open practices and the ethos of the Commons." I did't know that it had been offered previously , but no matter. What really caught my attention was the $500 USD price tag.

Course 150

Game Learning Analytcs for Evidence=Based Serious Games

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Summary of a talk by Baltasar Fernandex Manjon at CELDA 2019 Serious games - Have been used successfully in many domains – medicine, military - But low adoption in mainstream education - So we say we’re working in ‘game-like simulation’ [link] - Fake news, trolls, e-influencers [link] [link] [link] - Has been formally evaluated Citizen science - Uses games for crowdsourcing Also: - Educational versions of commercial games Do serious games actually work?

The impacts of Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence on Learning and Development

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Summary of a talk by Alan Bostakian, Senior Analyst, TD Bank - Future Ready project Why? The field is moving extremely fast and very soon all professionals will need to have some level of understanding about them. These areas help is in upskilling, instructional design, instructon, coaching, more. The Basics Data science touches on artificial intelligence, machine learning learning, deep learning. Data science: methodologies, tools (statistical, algebra, programming, etc.),

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Bruno de Pierro Interview

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Note: I received a request for responses to some questions in my email. The questions were quite involved and it would take me quite a while to type answers. But also, in relation to a work-related question, I had been looking at AI-based transcription. And also, my new Audio-Technica microphone arrived today. So as an experiment, I used to transcribe by answer. I was speaking off the top of my head, without notes.

Educating the Next Generation Workforce: Preparing Students to Meet Employers’ Expectations

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Summary of 'Educating the Next Generation Workforce: Preparing Students to Meet Employers’ Expectations' by Susan Aldridge, President (ret), Drexel University There are new types of jobs for students gradauating today, and new learning opportunities in igital labs, etc. Technology has enhanced our lives. So it has become crucial for higher education to evolve. Drivers and trends: demographics, AI, Wifi and Mobile, new tech, etc.

How to Use Fastpages

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

This is a really interesting project that allows you to write posts in markdown, MS Word or Jupyter notebooks and publish them in a blog using GitHub pages. No website needed! But the instructions are far from clear, so here's a step-by-step version. Login to GitHub. If you don't have a GitHub account, register for one, then login to it Click this link: [link] This gives you an option to create a new repository in your own GitHub account.

How To 109

Teaching in the Digital Age: Guidelines for Designing Teaching and Learning

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Summary notes from the Tony Bates presentation at the World Conference on Online Learning , Toronto. Building an Effective Learning Environment What is knowledge, and how does learning occur. Analogy: coal. We can think of knowledge as coal, and shovel it into a furnace (this is the objectivist perspective). Or we can think of knowledge as developmental, for example, heat. This is the constructivist perspective.

The Fabrication that is OER

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

OER stands for 'Open Educational Resources' and as readers know I have been a long-time proponent of free and open learning resources. So why would I call them a fabrication in the title of this post? It's a response to OER @ 16, "Where are You?" by Gordon Freedman, a column published as a LinkedIn post. The fabrication is that OER is 16 years old.

New Issues for OERs

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

This is based on my contribution to the new Creative Commons 'Education Platform' discussion of issues related to open educational resources (OERs). This is the next step following the development of a set of principles for the Platform. (I’m

Issues 142

The Wrong Choice

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Joanne Jacobs links to an article titled Why I Wish I Hadn’t Gone to College by Keri Savoca. Savoca writes that she would have been a lot better off had she spent the 11 years doing something else. "I I watched my peers who didn’t go to college establish businesses, get into specialized trades, become social media influencers, or do exactly what I was doing, but without the student loan debt."

Skills 143

From Anxiety to Opportunity - The next 20 years of learning innovation

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Summary of 'From Anxiety to Opportunity - The next 20 years of learning innovation', John Baker, CEO, D2L. To look at the future it's helpful to understand the present and where we've been in the past. It's 20 years since D2L started - it has been a bit of a blur. 20 years ago - was a time of optimism and stability, Compared to today, which is an age of anxiety and opportunity. In 1999 people saw the internet as a way of creating access.

Evaluation of CL/4291 “Draft text of the Recommendation concerning Open Educational Resources”, UNESCO

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

This is the analysis of the UNESCO OER resolution I provided to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO prior to the discussion and vote on the resolution concerning Open Educational Resources It is now a matter of historical record that the resolution did pass. Here is the final resolution. Here's an article about the vote. Evaluation of CL/4291 “Draft text of the Recommendation concerning Open Educational Resources”, UNESCO. Stephen Downes. 19 September 2019.

12 Deeper Tips for Great Public Speaking

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Steve Wheeler posted a nice article called 12 Tips for Great Speaking today.He's s had a lot of experience on the public speaking circuit and there's no doubt his tips hit the mark. I've also had some experience on the circuit, so I thought it would be useful to add to his remarks. So, here are his tips (in italic, abridged) with my additions. 1) Start out with a humorous story or funny remark. This is a classic tip that applies not only to public speaking but also to long-form magazine writing.

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