Sail's Pedagogy

Sail's posts about her class, classes she is taking, and education.

MOOC’s — the future of learning?

I am a fan of MOOC’s. I have taken several and am now sign up for more. Here is two of my favorite people and mentors talking about MOOC’s.

“MOOCs are a challenge to institutionalised learning in that they break learners out of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and allow them to bring their blogs, their podcasts and their spaces to the course.”

Perhaps it is these connections that the community begins to emerge from the chaos.
“Our intent based on our theories of learning, making sense of that chaos is actually the heart of the learning experience.”

from “In Learning

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Music and the brain…..”The music never stops”

Music has always be a very important part of my life. I also have been very interested in the brain, having a bachelors degree in psychology and my master thesis was on brain based learning. There are many new studies and books out about the music and the brain.

“While music can affect all of us—calm us, animate us, comfort us, thrill us, or serve to organize and synchronize us at work or play—it may be especially powerful and have great therapeutic potential for patients with a variety of neurological conditions. Such people may respond powerfully and specifically to music (and, sometimes, to little else). Some of these patients have widespread cortical problems, whether from strokes or Alzheimer’s or other causes of dementia; others have specific cortical syndromes— loss of language or movement functions, amnesias, or frontal-lobe syndromes. Some are retarded, some autistic; others have subcortical syndromes such as parkinsonism or other movement disorders. All of these conditions and many others can potentially respond to music and music therapy.” (Musicophilia)

Last night I watched a movie about music and brain. Based on a true story and an essay called “The Last Hippie” from a book by Oliver Sacks, MD. “The Music Never Stopped“. Beside being about how music can heal the brain, this is a great family story about the love between a father and a son. It is a flash back to the music and the social problems in the 60’s and 70’s.

Other great books about Music and the brain:
This is Your Brain On Music” by Daniel Levitin

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Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”

Anyone on the internet should see this. Our internet searches are being filtered.

Rene Pickhardt has blogged about what he thinks the 57 signals google uses to filter search results. He has come up with 40, can you add to the list?

1. Our Search History.
2. Our location
3. the browser we use.
4. the browsers version
5. The computer we use
6. The language we use
7. the time we need to type in a query
8. the time we spend on the search result page
9. the time between selecting different results for the same query
10. our operating system
11. our operating systems version
12. the resolution of our computer screen
13. average amount of search requests per day
14. average amount of search requests per topic (to finish search)
15. distribution of search services we use (web / images / videos / real time / news / mobile)
16. average position of search results we click on
17. time of the day
18. current date
19. topics of ads we click on
20. frequency we click advertising
21. topics of adsense advertising we click while surfing other websites
22. frequency we click on adsense advertising on other websites
23. frequency of searches of domains on Google
24. use of or google toolbar
25. our age
26. our sex
27. use of “i feel lucky button”
28. do we use the enter key or mouse to send a search request
29. do we use keyboard shortcuts to navigate through search results
30. do we use advanced search commands (how often)
31. do we use igoogle (which widgets / topics)
32. where on the screen do we click besides the search results (how often)
33. where do we move the mouse and mark text in the search results
34. amount of typos while searching
35. how often do we use related search queries
36. how often do we use autosuggestion
37. how often do we use sepell correction
38. distribution of short / general queries vs. specific / long tail queries
39. which other google services do we use (gmail / youtube/ maps / picasa /….)
40. how often do we search for ourself

Just found some great tips and information on filter bubbles.

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Has your understanding of WE changed since the rise of the internet?

So far we’ve asked 15 thought leaders and visionaires … The links to the others are on the side of the Youtube page.

Stuart Kauffman

George Siemans

Lawrence Lessig

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John Hunter on the World Peace Game

Why are we trying to kill teaching when we have innovative teachers like this?

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East Carolina University Early College Second Life Program 2009 Pilot video

This program uses Second Life to teach college classes to high school students. East Carolina University Early College Life Program is a collaboration between ECU, Pitt Community College and Pitt County Schools. ECU also teaches several of their college classes in Second Life.

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TEDxDuke – Tony O’Driscoll on Preparing our Children for a World We Can Barely Imagine

Great talk on technology… the past and the future. Text of powerpoints are at Tony’s website.

I do not have children of my own, but this can apply to anyone… especially teachers..even co-workers, bosses, and family including our partners in life.



Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education

Stop the politics, Stop the accusations, Stop the tests. Just do this — open up the networks, use technology and the teacher along with these videos and we can all learn.

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The Gaming of Education

“Media commentator Peter Williams argues that gaming can actually help kids learn and engage in their environment more deeply. Williams explains how games as varied as Donkey Kong and Fallout may have shaped his son’s education and interests for the better.”

Complete video at There are also several very good videos about learning and the brain here.

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Learning and Knowledge Analytics

Learning Analytics is a MOOC. This course is “an introduction to the growing field of analytics in teaching, learning, training, development, and organizational knowledge”.

Part of the focus in LAK11 is to explore how we can better use data to make sense of complex topics such as:

1. How students interact with social and technological systems, information, and each other
2. Which patterns of activity on the part of the learner produce the best performance (still largely defined by grades)
3. How knowledge is “grown” as individuals interact with others
4. How individual learners develop their conceptual understanding of a topic
5. How teams solve complex problems (stages of development and group formation)
6. The tools and activities that are most effective in solving a particular problem in a particular context
7. How individual learners “eliminate” unneeded or irrelevant ideas and concepts
8. How learners orient themselves in complex environments – wayfinding and social sensemaking

Information in this course if free, even if you do not sign up.

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