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.


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2nd World Open Educational Resources (OER) Congress


This is video from the 2nd World OER Congress, now in progress, subtitled, "OER for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education: From Commitment to Action." As Indrajit Banerjee opens the 'Ljubljana OER Action Plan' session: "For a knowledge society to become reality, there should be shared information." As Cathy Casserely summarizes, there are two key dimensions: equalizing access to informatiuon across the world, and improving teaching and learning. These days, there's more of an emphasis on the second, which makes sense given the institutional focus. I'm still more interested in the first. See also, from the OER Knowledge Cloud, the five regional consultations on OER leading to summit: AmericasAfricaAsiaEuropeMiddle East & North Africa.

Today: 84 Total: 84 2017/09/20 [Direct Link]

Photos of the Sky


Like Tim Bray, I've been playing No Man's Sky. The recent update is much improved over what was released last year, and updates have been added since (I turned it on yesterday to discover the mechanics of flying the space ship had changed). It's a simulation in which you fly from planet to planet, explore the planet, collect resources, and complete quests. The most recent version allows players to build based and recruit aliens (I have several working for me). As Bray says, it's easy, and that's a part of its attraction; it's very relaxing. But I'm also playing with an eye to the future. It's a fully generated environment, which means it's essentially endless, and it has the potential to be an immersive environment. It will also support interactivity between players. I can imagine playing it with a virtual reality viewer. That's when No Man's Sky makes the transition to something that's interesting to something that everyone's playing. 

Today: 114 Total: 114 Tim Bray, Ongoing, 2017/09/19 [Direct Link]

63 easy steps to digital literacy


I don't think that there are 63 "easy steps" to anything, much less digital literacy. And some of these steps require 100-league boots. One, for example, is to "distinguish fact from opinion, and know the importance of each" - a task that has eluded philosophers for millenia. Even more difficult, there's "how to identify what’s worth understanding." My own work is ties up in "how to remix, mash, reimagine, tweak, hack, and repurpose media in credible, compelling, and legal ways." Maybe not always legal. ;)  Also: "when it is socially-acceptable to check messages, update statuses, check scores, and so on" (answer: always). Other difficult tasks: "how to identify and fully participate in critical familial and social citizenships," including your own. And finally, "passive-aggressiveness, snark, arrogance, unjustified brazenness, cyberbullying-without-being-obvious-about-it, blocking-for-dramatic-effect, ignoring people, and other digital habits." Doug Peterson writes, "This is highly recommended reading and an opportunity to start planning lessons that address the issues on an ongoing basis." Which takes us back to the first item.

Today: 93 Total: 93 Doug Peterson, 2017/09/19 [Direct Link]

Here are 9 email newsletters about data… I think you’ll like at least 4 of them


This list is focused mostly on data journalism, but it also overlaps into open data, and this is of significant interest here because one of the applications of open data is (or will be eventually) to feed directly into personal learning resources such as simulations, discussion rooms, and personal learning. Among the other resources, I would point in particular to the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN), which as the author reports "has been working in the field of open data for some time, and their newsletter taps into a global network of partners and projects to provide updates on events, initiatives, reports and tools."

Today: 112 Total: 112 Paul Bradshaw, Online Journalism Blog, 2017/09/19 [Direct Link]

We've failed: Pirate black open access is trumping green and gold and we must change our approach


This is another article on Sci-Hub (beyond the one cited here) asserting essentially that illegal open access is succeeding because legal open access is failing. The author points to a recent OpenAire report (77 page PDF) identifying six roadblocks to open access what all need to be addressed: these include author and publisher incentives, transparency, pluralism, and infrastructure. The key reform needed, he argues, is unbundling. "If everyone could read all scholarly content for free, is there sufficient value in additional services to generate the revenues needed to fund both a read-only service and for those other elements of the scholarly communication process that, once unbundled, survive exposure to market forces?" The argument is that there is, if there is a larger readership, and this larger readership can come into existence only if there is access at no cost.

Today: 106 Total: 106 Toby Green, Learned Publishing, 2017/09/19 [Direct Link]

Subscription Learning as Performance Support Coaching


Will Thalheimer describes an interesting performance support application called Trek. "Using employee's smartphones’ sensors (camera, audio and video recorder, and GPS)... employees captured evidence of their critical actions at each step in their learning path. This evidence was submitted through TREK to each person's designated manager-coach. As each step was completed, managers were notified and were prompted to review their direct reports' submissions. Managers provided brief feedback--either written or in a recorded audio nugget--and this feedback was presented to the learners." The managers, meanwhile, are proivided with libraries of support materials and curricula to support their coaching. Thye employment of human managers in this role is probably just a stepping-stone to generate acceptance; the same task could be performed in the future by an analytics engine and/or AI.

Today: 94 Total: 94 Will Thalheimer, Subscription Learning, 2017/09/19 [Direct Link]

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.