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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-10-17

  • @Suhaifa it’s an easy walk, easier than lions head, don’t stress 🙂 #
  • Daily Papert We can’t solve the world’s problems with the same thinking that created them #
  • Critical Thinker Explains Skepticism vs. Cynicism via @zite #
  • RT @engadget: MobiUS smartphone ultrasound hits the market two years too late for relevancy #
  • Stephen’s Web – Free learning: essays on open educational resources and copyright via @zite #
  • The atomic method of creating a Powerpoint presentation via @zite #
  • The Complexity Of Learning via @zite #
  • @USMCShrink Focus in education is that tech is good 2 get more content 2 more students in less time 4 less money, which misses the point #
  • A Tablet for the Blind? – Technology Review Elegant and clever solution #
  • What’s Behind the Culture of Academic Dishonesty Cheating doesn’t help if learning matters more than grades #
  • #Zite now my favourite news reading app on the iPad. Flipboard not iterating fast enough #
  • Ask the Students: Their Wise Wishes for Improving Education I keep saying that health education needs more art #
  • @USMCShrink its about not making the assumption that technology in education is automatically a good thing #
  • @USMCShrink I just highlighted a quote, so it was out of context. Did you read the rest of the post? #
  • “technology will be used…for the profit of corporations rather than…the benefit of children” #
  • If you are a clinician who supervises or teaches healthcare students, consider completing my survey Please RT #
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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-07-19

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-02-15

  • @ryantracey Agreed. The process, rather than the certificate, should be emphasised #
  • RT @wesleylynch: Video comparing iphone and nexus – Can’t imagine how the iPhone will survive, Android is already better #
  • RT @psychemedia: Are Higher Degrees a waste of time for most people? IT professionals are hardly “most people” #
  • University finds free online classes don’t hurt enrollment #
  • Mobile Learning Principles – interesting, but unrealistic in a developing country. “Mobile” does not = smartphone #
  • Presenting while people are twittering, an increasingly common backchannel. Be aware of it and use it if possible #
  • Presentation Zen: The “Lessig Method” of presentation. Great resource on improving your presentation skills #
  • About “P”! « Plearn Blog. This post raises some interesting questions about the challenges of using PLEs #
  • Crazy Goats. I don’t usually share this sort of thing, but this pretty amazing #
  • Learning technologies in engineering education. For anyone interested in integrating “distance” with “practical” #
  • Think ‘Network Structure’ not ‘Networking’. I always thought “networking” was too haphazard to bother with #
  • Clifton beach earlier today. I think I like it here #
  • @davidworth Hi David, thanks for the blog plug #
  • @sharingnicely: go around institutional pushback when policy is unfriendly to OER #OCW #
  • @dkeats: free content enables students to use scarce financial resources to acquire tech instead, which grants access to vastly more content #
  • Butcher: the curricular framework must drive development of OER – content comes after learning #OCW #
  • Neil Butcher from OERAfrica: OER can’t work without institutional support #OCW #
  • Why is copyright in OER even an issue? Copyright applies equally to OER and non-OER #OCW #
  • If you think of a degree as a learning experience, rather than a certificate, formal accreditation is less important. See P2PU #OCW #
  • Is there a difference between OER and #OCW I’m wary of the emphasis on content as a means of changing teaching practice #
  • @dkeats Improvement in quality is always important, isn’t it? No-one is aiming for mediocrity #
  • OCW workshop at UWC today, OCW board present incl. MIT OCW, should be a good day, quite proud its happening here #
  • RT @cristinacost: RT @gconole: Sarah Knight on JISC elearning prog including excellent eff. practice pubs #
  • RT @c4lpt: MicroECoP – Uisng microblogging to enhance communication within Communities of Practice #microecop #
  • Making the Pop Quiz More Positive. I like the change of mindset that the post suggests, pop quizzes aren’t punishment #
  • @cristinacost Looks good, you’re further along with your project than I am with mine, I might have to come to you for advice 🙂 #
  • Problem-Based Learning: A Quick Review « Teaching Professor. Nice, short summary of why PBL is a Good Thing #
  • @cristinacost What’s your interest in Buddypress? I recently set up WPMU/BP platform for physio dept social network to explore CoP #
  • Microblogging to enhance communication within communities of practice #microecop #
  • There’s a war goin’ on here, donchaknow? Retro copyright posters at EdTechPost #
  • Post by Howard Rheingold on crap detection on the internet should be required reading for everyone online #
  • Scroll down for the 5 C’s of Engagement on Postrank’s “What it is” page. Is it useful for building social presence? #
  • Great post on 3 strategies to manage information: Aggregate, Filter and Connect. The last one is hard (for me anyway) #
  • Great post on the importance of not only filtering information, but using it meaningfully #
  • Siemens’ post on moving from educational reform within the system, to a “no boundaries” approach #
  • Web 3.0 and Its Relevance for Instruction – interesting article on how a next generation web could be used in education #
  • Freedom helps kids learn more « Education Soon #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-11-09

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-31

  • Online course on educational copyright and licensing, from the Peer 2 Peer University #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-03

  • RT @cshirky: NY Daily News on hospital cover-ups of medical errors: Scary… #
  • First Look: Firefox 3.7’s New Design #
  • Posterous – Do we really need another blogging platform? Maybe… #
  • First impressions of Google Wave | Enterprise Web 2.0 | #
  • Does anyone know anything about Silentale? It looks interesting, although I’m not sure if it’s worth keeping an eye on #
  • Would the real social network please stand up? Post by danah boyd on different types of social networks #
  • Elsevier Journal Scandal Provokes Significant Librarian Response – 5/14/2009 – Library Journal #
  • Course by Peter Tittenberger on Open Educational Resources #
  • YouTube – A Fair(y) Use Tale #
  • Article of the Future prototypes – Information World Review…interesting take on publication…bit like a wiki #
  • Project “Article of the future”, very exciting for authors, needs a mind shift though, will change academic publication #

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education open access

Health OER Africa

Yesterday I attended the morning of a workshop around a Health OER Network for Africa that’s currently in development. It’s a project that’s sponsored by the South African Institute of Distance Education (SAIDE) and includes participants from all over the continent. The objectives of the workshop were to share lessons from the first phase of implementation, introduce new institutions to the project, identify future partnerships and discuss the principles upon which the network should be based.

Unfortunately, I was only able to attend one morning of a three day workshop, but based on what I saw, I’m excited at the prospect of what this project could bring to health education in Africa. After a few presentations, we broke into groups to discuss how to operationalise the network, looking at the following questions (taken from the programme):

  • What principles should underpind the Health OER Network? What should be non-negotiable?
  • How will the network connect to broader issues of curriculum planning, adult learning and assessment theory?
  • What activities should the network not engage in? Why?
  • What policy implications will participation in the network have for institutions / faculties (drawing on experiences of participating institutions)?
  • What should the conditions for participation in the network be, if any?

I enjoyed the discussion and regret not being able to participate in the rest of the workshop. I’m hoping that this idea of open content and open educational resources grows within our institutions of higher learning. Unfortunately, there’s still a focus on protecting intellectual property using extreme copyright and many academics have a hard time imagining that there is academic integrity and value in opening up intellectual property.

research social media

Google Docs for collaborative writing

We’ve recently started using Google Docs for collaborative work in the physiotherapy department and it’s been great so far.  There are other online word processing environments with different feature sets (Zoho, Thinkfree, Microsoft Office Live, Buzzword), but after playing around with all of them, I found that Docs offered the best mix of features, usability and stability.  Buzzword is probably the most innovative, I’m going to follow them and see what happens in that space.

While Docs lacks many of the features you’ll find in a desktop work processor like, it’s still got a pretty useful set.  These include; exporting your work into multiple formats, commenting, bookmarking, auto-generation of tables of contents, different user roles, version history and basic text formatting options.

In the physiotherapy department, we’re using Docs to peer review articles for publication in the faculty journal, rather than emailing articles and comment forms back and forth between reviewers, editors and authors.  We’re also using it to collaborate on joint projects (like new course development) with our sister university in Missouri.  And lastly, over the past month or so I’ve been using it to provide feedback on project proposals with two undergraduate research groups.  This has been working really well for the students because they’re currently on their clinical placements and find it difficult to meet in person.  With regards the undergrad research, I’ve also been using Twitter to push out articles for the literature review and methodology sections.

By using Firefox addons and scripts with Greasemonkey, Docs can be improved still further.  One of the biggest problems in the past was that it was only available in the “cloud“.  However, now that the Gears addon is stable, Docs is available in offline mode too.  This is possibly it’s most powerful feature, allowing offline access to your work and synchronisation with the online version later.  It also handles conflicts between edits very well.

There are some issues with Docs however, highlighting the fact that as with all technology, there are going to be problems.  I came across these articles while doing the background research for the department: Why Docs is not safe, Google adapts and modifies content (discusses the copyright issues of hosting content with Google), and Painful lessons from using Google Docs.

I’m really excited at the prospect of increasing our use of online, collaborative environments.  Today it’s Google Docs, but who knows what it’ll be tomorrow?

social media

Facebook: all your data are belong to us

Just a quick link to update my concerns over the heinous new Facebook terms of service.  It basically grants Facebook the right to do whatever they want with your content…forever…even if you delete it…or close your account.  It does seem to be subject to your privacy settings, so if you are uploading content to the site, make sure you’re careful about what you designate as publically viewable.

The founder of Facebook has assured users that “we wouldn’t share your information in a way you wouldn’t want” and the article does urge users to “…just calm down”, so I guess it’s OK.

Here are a few links:

Note:  Facebook has reverted to it’s old terms of service in the wake of the public outcry.


Knol: a unit of knowledge

Knol, described as “a unit of knowledge” by the project’s creators, is a new initiative by Google that allows anyone to write an article, called a “knol”, about any topic. It’s a bit like Wikipedia in that respect but is limited to discrete articles with no links between them. Authors can also decide how much freedom to give users in terms of editing, either allowing anyone in the public, only knol collaborators, or no-one at all to edit their knols.

The bulk of the knols written so far seem to be focussed on health and medicine and have been written by specialists in that particular field. After a brief review of some knols, I felt that they seem to be of a higher general standard than those of similar topics in Wikipedia. One of the advantages of knols is that there’s a structure and flow to the article that may come from having been written by one author and that unfortunately is lacking in some Wikipedia articles that often suffer from having been tacked together by many editors.

Of course, a potential disadvantage of having only one author may be a lack of either depth or breadth to the article, as well as raising questions regarding the credibility of the author. Having said that, many knols have complete reference lists and in-text citations that seem to offer reassurance in terms of the accuracy of the knol content.

I’d suggest including Knol as a useful point of reference when beginning to research a topic. It’ll not only give you a good overview of that particular subject, but will also point you in the direction of other sources.

Links: and Wikipedia article on Knol