I just finished watching Paul Grignon’s 47 minute animated video, Money as Debt. The video is at least a year old, but has regained some popularity with Bush’s proposed 700 Billion dollar financial sector bailout dominating the news. The video describes, in very understandable terms, some of the underlying issues with our monetary systems. It describes the history of the current monetary system, describes how fractional reserve banking began, identifies the problems inherent in our debt-based credit system, and suggests several alternatives for monetary reform.
Sounds a bit boring? Actually, it was very interesting. I recommend the video, and as always, view with a critical mind.
If you still haven’t gotten into Twitter, but are looking for another reason to check it out, this may help. The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies has put together a list of 100+ eLearning professionals that you may want to follow on Twitter. Disclosure: I was included on the list, so I feel a bit funny promoting it.
Twitter has been and continues to be one of the most important tools for communicating and connecting within my personal learning network. If you want to give Twitter a try, the list of people to follow would be a great place to start. From there, you may discover some of the other great people that SHOULD be on the list, those that I take value from every single day.
Peter Schilling (not this one), IT Director of Amherst College, has crunched the numbers and has come up with some interesting statistics regarding the 438 newly enrolled student population. Here are a few notable points:
– Percentage of applicants that applied online = 89%.
– Registered devices (computers, iphones, game consoles) on the University network – 370 students registered 443 devices.
– 14 students brought desktop computers, while 93 brought iPhones/Touch devices.
– Likelihood of a student in class having an iPhone/Touch – 1 in 2.
– 432 of 438 students were involved in the Amherst College Facebook group, and had posted 3,225 posts by mid August.
– Total number of students on campus this year that have landline phone service – 5.
– Classes 2009 and 2010 are more likely to own Windows machines, while classes of 2011 and 2012 are most likely to own Macs.
Times are changing. This survey has really made me want to do something similar here on campus.
Here is a classic clip of legendary American economist Milton Friedman explaining “the magic of the price system” (free markets) as being responsible for the distribution of knowledge and skills necessary to make everyday goods such as the pencil.
Although I am not personally a fan of Friedman (see Klein’s Shock Doctrine), I appreciate this clip at a topical level as it helps to describe complicated processes before us.
Google has announced that they are committing 10 million dollars to a new project named “10 to the 100th.” Google is asking for proposal that will “help as many people possible.”
How it works
Project 10^100 (pronounced “Project 10 to the 100th”) is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. Here’s how to join in.
1. Send us your idea by October 20th.
Simply fill out the submission form giving us the gist of your idea. You can supplement your proposal with a 30-second video.
2. Voting on ideas begins on January 27th.
We’ll post a selection of one hundred ideas and ask you, the public, to choose twenty semi-finalists. Then an advisory board will select up to five final ideas. Send me a reminder to vote.
3. We’ll help bring these ideas to life.
We’re committing $10 million to implement these projects, and our goal is to help as many people as possible. So remember, money may provide a jumpstart, but the idea is the thing.
Good luck, and may those who help the most win.
Got an idea? I would to LOVE collaborate with someone on submitting a proposal!
Here is the teaser and introduction to my K12 Online Conference presentation, in the form of a personal attack ad. As mentioned earlier on this blog, my presentation will be titled “Open, Social, Connected: Reflections of an Open Graduate Course Experience.” A portion of the presentation will be devoted to the idea of openness in education, and how the actualization of this concept helped to create a transparent culture of sharing among students and other course participants.
I hope you enjoy the teaser and I invite you to participate in the rest of the coming presentation at the K12 Online Conference.
Cindy Seibel just linked to an excellent video at her blog “Technology for Learning“. Cindy says, “Every parent and teacher will be moved by what this parent asks of teachers and challenges other parents to do.” For me, this video is particularly important to me as my own little girl started preschool this year.
We bring our kids to school with so much hope, so much love, and so much fear. We ask and expect so much from our teachers, and this is why I feel so lucky to work directly in teacher education. I get to help shape the futures of our teachers with the hopes that they will benefit all of our children.
There was at least one piece of the video that was not agreeable to me. At 5:42, the video encourages us to “always believe that teachers want what’s best for our children.” At the more generalized level, perhaps. At an individual level, I do not feel that such blind faith would always be wise. For instance, I have had some teachers that have (seriously) scarred me for life. And I am not the only one. As parents, I think we need to use the other good points (like asking questions) to validate our hopes and beliefs for our chlldren.
The creator of the video is Heidi Hass Gable, do check out her blog. She’s done a great job here.
Cathy and Patrick have done some amazing stuff to bring stronger connections between students in our teacher education program and young children in the field. I am really looking forward to their presentation.
It appears that some Canadian voters are using Facebook and other websites to swap votes, also known as vote pairing.
Vote pairing (also known as vote swapping) happens when a voter in one riding agrees to vote tactically for a less-preferred candidate or party who has a greater chance of winning in their riding, in exchange for a voter from another district voting tactically for the candidate the first voter prefers, because that candidate has a greater possibility of winning in that riding.
The CBC and the Star are reporting that Elections Canada officials are watching these groups closely and trying to determine the legality of these arrangements. Vote pairing appears to go back to the American election of 2000, and has proven to be legal under the American legal system.
It will be interesting to see if vote swapping will have any effect on the coming election. In any case, its mere possibility is an interesting commentary on the potential of social networks and self-organizing groups on important matters of politics and governance. It also demonstrate that our current electoral system is badly in need of reform.
I am happy to be one of the presenters for this year’s K12 Online Conference. The 2007 conference was one of my favourite educational events as there were so many excellent presentations. The conference is an example of open education at its best: open, transparent, free, and of high-quality. I am hoping that I can help add to the success of last year’s event.
Below is the official marketing flyer for the event. Please pass on the information to the teachers in your school, or other interested individuals.
Many of the presenters are putting up teasers for their sessions. I will not have time to put one together, but I can offer the trailer created for EC&I 831, the course that will be the focus of my K12 Online presentation. Apologies to those who have seen it before.
I hope you can attend the conference. My presentation will be titled “Open, Social, Connected: Reflections of an Open Graduate Course Experience.” I hope it will give insight into the challenges of creating a networked learning experience for university students while sharing some of the real successes of the experience.
I ran across Yammer tonight. From the demo video found on the home page, Yammer looks much like Twitter but your potential network is defined by your organization’s domain (like Google Sites). I see later that Yammer is billed as “Twitter for Enterprise“.
So I signed up using my uregina.ca domain. Looks like I’m the first and only one there. One is a lonely number when you are dealing with social networks. :-(
I really like the concept of Yammer, and am already thinking about how I could use it as a communications tool in my next class, or actually use it with my colleagues. Wow, that could be really useful!
One of the extremely painful lessons of our time, I’m convinced, will be that the virtual is not an adequate substitute for the real. It will be painful because the notion of virtuality has become a psychological crutch for a culture that is recklessly destructive of real places, real experiences, real relationships with real people, and real notions of purposeful, decent behavior….
One of the most popular beliefs of the computer era has been that virtual places are every bit as okay as real places….
For adults the result has been an amazing amount of pervasive situational loneliness. Despite the fact that so many Americans own a car there is no place to go, at least no places of casual socializing unrelated to chain store commerce. So the chat rooms and listservs of the Internet are supposed to take the place of actually being somewhere.
What do you think? Have you given these ideas much thought?
These are important problems and concepts that have weighed on me for the past several years as my time in virtual spaces certainly has increased. And I will be thinking of these issues as I explore Connectivism with many of you as CCK08 starts (officially) kicks off tomorrow.