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Why COOCs offer real hope in the MOOC universe

COOCs replace the Massive with the Community, but more than that they replace the insistence of tradition, on hierarchy and on establishment with a re-energising of those long excluded, marginalised and (frankly) bored by the narrowing economic and cultural imperatives of the institutions.
The furore that has accompanied MOOCs over the last 12 months suggested COOCs, the Community version of the Massive, may have chosen a bad time to emerge!  A dBIS report into the ‘maturing of the MOOC’ (September 2013) even makes explicit the coming of age of this most unusual of educational entities.  The debate that seemed perhaps most compelling was the battle between the xMOOC and the cMOOC, the rebel alliance cMOOC promising a meritocratic world of sharing and growth against the dark heart of the institutional empire hoping to confirm its power in ALL areas of learning.
COOCs, for their part, are trying to emerge against much more real, in the way that kitchen sink drama is real, landscapes.  While both cMOOCs and xMOOCS can call on vast resources and the growth of the network with expertise across the globe, COOCs continues to fight to establish tiny incremental changes on an error strewn website, working with course creators that are threatened with redundancy, benefits cuts and other finance related doomsday concerns.  There are courses starting to develop, ideas being generated and new ideas of what we mean by teaching starting to form.  The Popular Education background of COOCS finds more than a general allegiance with those revolutionary fighters for freedom, Myles Horton and Paulo Freire.  We too find that once a course leaves the trodden path of the accreditation route, the classroom and the funders preferred notions of employability and economic advantage, well, you are reliant on new thinking.  It is not enough to say that the education system doesn’t work for all, it is also important to create a way of thinking about the future that is open, creative and optimistic.  The development of COOCs is more than opening up the star professor to a wider populace, it is reawakening the populace to the teaching of itself.  The more the xMOOC suggests that its beneficence is engaging, and the media and the ecology of education ponder what MOOCs mean, the more any alternative for new ways of being start to disintegrate.  Even the future of education remains tarnished by the hierarchical concerns of its past.  MOOCS may not have all the answers, they don’t need to have.  They just need to set markers in the virtual realm that remind anyone daring to trespass on the institutional ownership of learning that they do so in the shadow of the giants – and their shoulders don’t require any footprints on them, thank you very much!
The Popular Education of the EduPunk examples of Jim Groom are exciting and continue to inform the ethos, the energy and the dreams of COOCS.  Like any kitchen sink drama, while the Coronation Street COOCs dowdily emerge amidst the glamour and light of the Dallas-like headlining MOOCS, the threat of being ripped off, embarrassed, ridiculed and ignored is grater with every step down the ladder.  Yet, the salvation, the hope, the dream itself comes from the very purpose of the COOCs ideal itself.  The Community.  The Community may be geographic, it may be built on a shared interest or a set of ideals.  Significantly though, the Community must be able to support itself and create its own ideals and expectations.  While MOOCs have no option but to reassert who the teachers are, and what they should be teaching (even f the format and the cost is currently undergoing change) COOCS need to explore just what is possible with teaching and learning.  Do we actually need teachers at all?  If we develop new communal learning what would it look like? IF technology, knowledge, community and pedagogy can all be radically reformed, what results would we get?
COOCs is not a kitchen sink drama really.  It is not a situated picture of moribund acceptance and a grainy image of the way things have become.  It is a bright possibility, an energy driven opportunity to explore new ways of being – as learners, as teachers, as both.  No limit to exploration exists beyond those limits of people, and people with technology.  Removing the constraints of a hierarchical canon, of a grand narrative, of a curmudgeonly educational government style, losing the emphasis on employability, economic imperatives, the tightened constraints of those that aren’t involved in the teaching or the learning but seem to insist on the way anyone else goes about it.  Without the straitjacket, as we start to wave our arms around, craning our neck up to the sun, rolling our shoulders free of the yolk of a curriculum, what can we do next?  It is not technology that leads us to COOCS, important to note that that too might be what we decide to revisit.  Did Facebook and YouTube emerge as the evidence of a newly digitised planet because of their technological glory?  We think not.  It was their emphasis on sharing, the potential for a common good, a shared awareness and an opportunity for all of us to be included that characterised their appeal.  COOCs too ask for that, a sharing of knowledge, a willingness to explore., a desire to do good.  We don’t need star lecturers, or gold leaf institutions, we need you.  we need each of you.  The folk educators are the future not because the institutions re incapable of reaching everyone, but because they are not interested in everyone, they don’t know everyone and as such they can not be the only option for everyone.  Keri Facer talks of  ’clever optimism’ and ‘stupid optimism’ and avoiding the alter to make meaningful decisions based on what is possible.  What can be clearer that learning is possible within our communities?  Excluded form the institutions and caught in the trap that says this exclusion is their own fault.  While colleges and universities get narrower and narrower in what they offer, they also own the languages of inclusion, of opportunity of growth.  Like Weber’s iron cage, the reduction of choice is linked to the austerity caused by the community as a place of welfare and dependency.  The language of hope and inclusion is owned by the educational elite who promise a brighter future if we stay with them, adhere to their knowledge and recognise their ability.  The cage encompasses even the notion of escape!
COOCs can be used to seek within the community what we want to learn and how we want to learn it.  It is not stupid optimism, or magical thinking as Virginia Eubanks wrote in Digital Dead Ends, it can happen now, it can happen through you.  How will we move in a world of learning and teaching not confined by established roles of teacher and student, of social classes confirmed and exemplified by the world of the institution, by titles and by expectation?  I am looking forward to working on COOCs as they emerge and hope you will join us too.  You have nothing to lose but your chains.
- See more at: http://www.coocs.co.uk/blog/what-is-coocs/#sthash.wo2WIMaA.dpuf

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Yesterday I wrote in description, Some example descriptions: two poems, a novella, two manga texts, and two films. That’s a preliminary to today’s post, which is more generally about the possibilities for collaborative online learning in literary and cultural criticism. In particular, I want to stress the need to extend this learning beyond the academy and into the general public.

One of the persisting criticisms of literary studies over the past few decades is that they’ve become too specialized and they’ve left the educated public behind. Whatever misgivings I may have about the particular specialized discourses of academic literary criticism, I have no problem with intellectual specialization. And, to the extent that these lamentations are also accompanied by nostalgic invocations of Lionel Trilling, Edmund Wilson, F. R. Leavis, and others, they’re misdirected.

Not everyone can be a star. I can see little point in replacing the current system of Theory stars with a revival of an older constellation of journalistic and belletristic stars. By all means, the profession needs to reach the general public, but not through a small cadre of stars. I think online collaboration provides an opportunity that’s available to the rank-and-file of literary academia.

First I outline my vision of academic literary study. Then I consider its online realization.

Note: I’m aware that MOOCs are all the rage these days. This post isn’t about massive, it is about collaboration and community.

Literary Criticism: The Four-Fold Way

Over the past few years I’ve developed a vision of academic literary study that is focused on four activities. I’ve posted quite a bit about each of them and I’ve summarized then in this post, which takes its title from John Barth: The Key to the Treasure IS the Treasure. Here’s the four foci:
Description: The process whereby literary works are made reading for analytical, explanatory, or interpretive work.

Naturalist Criticism: By which I mean, not only the newer psychologies, cognitive, neuro-, and evolutionary, but linguistics and the nascent study of evolutionary processes in culture.

Ethical Criticism: The aesthetic and ethical consideration of literary works with respect to the goals and purposes of human life.

Digital Humanities: The use of computer technology is the support of the other three, but especially the use of sophisticated techniques of corpus linguistics in describing large bodies of texts.
As a practical matter I think most of the descriptive work will be done under the aegis of naturalist criticism. However, that descriptive work will be available to anyone interested in literature for whatever purpose. I further believe that the descriptions must reside online, where everyone can access them and where interested and qualified people can add to them.

Ethical Collaboration

Let’s begin with my touchstone passage from Kenneth Burke’s essay on “Literature as Equipment for Living” from The Philosophy of Literary Form (1973). Using words and phrases from several definitions of the term “strategy” (in quotes in the following passage), he asserts that (p. 298):
... surely, the most highly alembicated and sophisticated work of art, arising in complex civilizations, could be considered as designed to organize and command the army of one’s thoughts and images, and to so organize them that one “imposes upon the enemy the time and place and conditions for fighting preferred by oneself.” One seeks to “direct the larger movements and operations” in one's campaign of living. One “maneuvers,” and the maneuvering is an “art.”
That’s why people read literature. That’s why undergraduates take literature courses as part of their general education and that’s why people form reading groups around their favorite books.

That’s also why fans of TV shows, movies, anime, manga, comic books, novels, and so forth go online to discuss their favorite texts and even to write and share fan fiction based on characters in those texts. The Internet is buzzing and teeming with collaborative online ethical criticism.

And I would warrant that much if not most of this activity is undertaken by people who form informal online communities. It’s not simply that people make remarks online, but that they do it at the same sites and among the same people. Those who don’t post, or do so only rarely, follow certain conversations and so are familiar with a particular commentariat. Each of these virtual community is, through its interest in Breaking Bad, The Lord of the Rings, Full Metal Alchemist, and so forth, also an ethical community.

This activity is out there and it’s independent of the academy. Many and perhaps most academic literary critics are unaware of it and uninterested in it. After all it’s neither about the canonical texts, nor about the downfall of capitalism, nor about resisting the post-modern hordes. It’s just there.

Some academics, of course, have found their way into this world on their own and are actively participating in it. But literary academy as an institution needs to find its way into this world. How do we make online communities of ethnical criticism a part of undergraduate education? How do we participate in the lives of post-graduate adults who want focused discussion of literature, TV, and film?

That’s how we replace and supplant nostalgic worship of the public intellectuals of old.

Collaborative Description

At the same time, we need detailed and accurate description of texts of interest: novels, plays, poems, canonical and non-canonical, movies, TV programs, webcomics, etc. Again, there is activity of this rough sort online already, at the Wikipedia, TV Tropes, and various fan sites. But it’s not systematic and rigorous enough to be the basis of further scholarly work. As I demonstrated yesterday, the technology exists to do this now.

This kind of work should be included in upper-level undergraduate literature course and, of course, in graduate courses. This work needs to be real. That is, it is not merely a class exercise, but the results will become part of the ongoing intellectual record.

I am willing to assume that most students will have little interest in doing more than a little of this, if that much. But, as an exercise, it forces them to attend closely to some (part of) some text and thereby gain an appreciation of how these texts are crafted. This work further serves the ritual function of linking the student into ongoing humanistic inquiry. A given student may not have much interest in the results of that work, but at least once in their lives they’ve touched the wall.

At the same time I imagine that a cadre of people will adopt descriptive work as a serious avocation, like bird watching or editing the Wikipedia.

The real challenge here is to provide administrative oversight. Through what process does a “chunk” of descriptive work become a part of the official and shared record for a given text or body of texts? The academic world is littered with scholarly associations large and small, with journals and their editorial boards, boards for book series, and so forth. This is in some ways similar to editing a text and providing editorial notes, but the commentary is more elaborate and will involve diagrams and statistics of various sorts in addition to prose annotation. And the documents thus created will be ongoing and, in some sense, living.

Once a bit of description has entered this record, any scholar wishing to work on that text has to take that description into account. Will naturalist critics be willing to submit to this discipline? When the description involves such simple things as the number of lines in a poem or the number of chapters in a book the issue need not be explicitly raised. No one can write about a Shakespeare sonnet as though it had only 13 lines. But I’m sure that some of the descriptive work is going to be of a different and more challenging nature.

How Will this Come About?

I don’t know.

As far as I can tell, the literary academy is not doing a very good job of realizing these possibilities. Still, in the long run it has no choice. Either it will change or it will die.

That’s the optimistic view. The pessimistic view is that the academy won’t change and it won’t die. It will simply stifle innovation.

I observe that in the Medieval West the Catholic Church was the institutional center of intellectual life. Then the West underwent a massive cultural change, the Renaissance, and new life ways and new institutions emerged. A new system of colleges and universities supplanted the church as the central institution of intellectual life.

The world is now undergoing a similar cultural transformation. Will new institutions arise to supplant the existing academic regime?

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Dear friends, teachers, researchers, social media curators and students like I told you before I will share weekly in my blog here TOP 20 and mounthly TOP 100 and I recommand to read https://lucianecurator.contently.com/ previous blog post Top 100 edtools rediscovered through #iste13 http://bitly.com/iste13edtools
Also in my previous post here I write about Nellie Kroes new initiative #startupeurope and http://www.openeducationeuropa.eu/ part of #connectedcontinent . Now because it's Connected Educator Mounth #CE13 I want to give everyone the possibility to share my favorite tools in their blogs or website using embeded code and for this reason I will share them using list.ly .                                   
The Connected Educators initiative’s mission is to help educators thrive in a connected world. Such environments are envisioned in the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan and are soon to become the norm due to efforts such as ConnectED. Connected Educators pursues this mission through seeking to understand and promote educators learning and collaborating through online communities of practice and social networks. That pursuit combines research, development, and outreach:
Research – Through studying existing communities and networks, we ask questions such as
How does participation produce value?
How can schools and districts as well as individuals benefit?
What design and facilitation strategies maximize that value?
How can learning analytics using data generated through participation help improve the use of those strategies?
Development – Through designing and leading networked learning spaces for educators—such as theCS10K community that supports the National Science Foundation’s efforts to broaden participation in computing careers—we test the results of research in our own practice.
Outreach – Through Connected Educator Month and project publications, we raise awareness of and engagement in learning and collaboration through communities and networks. Over the last three years, they reached hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of educators and this year more than 200 organizations, companies, and communities have already signed up http://connectededucators.org/cem-2013-participating-organizations/ and they organize more than 300 events worldwide http://connectededucators.org/events/ 

Also if you want to connect with teachers worlwide join http://edconnectr.connectededucators.org/# and also if you want to organize a online event next 20 web conferencing tools can help you .
What tool / app you like more and why . Please leave a comment after you see full list .You can also add a comment related to your favorite edtool .

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In keeping with the Headless theme I have used Movie Maker to create a small movie. Please remember that I am one of the few people who have not succumbed to the lure of Apple so I have no iPad, iPod or any iEquipment. I also have the distressing tende...

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Having called for more and more systematic description of literary texts, just what do I have in mind? A variety of things, of course, a variety of things.

First I want to mention work I’ve done on canonical texts of English literature, Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” and “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison” and Joseph Conrad’s novella, The Heart of Darkness. Then I want to look a tables I developed in analyzing pop cultural materials, two manga by Osamu Tezuka, and two animated feature films, Sita Sings the Blues by Nina Paley, and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence by Mamoru Oshii. I end by suggesting that the future of research in literature and film depends on setting up online collaboratories where people can work on building up a body of descriptive materials for both canonical and non-canonical texts.

Two Poems

One thing in particular, is an account of parts, and parts within parts. At the sentence level linguists call this constituent structure.

Poems often consist of multiple stanzas. Those divisions are obvious as they are marked in the text by a line break. Poems with several to many stanzas, especially long narrative poems, will often have stanzas grouped into larger units, which may or may not be explicitly grouped into larger units. And stanzas generally have internal grouping as well. My papers on “Kubla Khan” (pp. 9-39) and “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison” (pp. 31-35, pp. 41-49) undertake this kind of analysis; the “Kubla Khan” paper is especially detailed.

A Novella

My working papers on Heart of Darkness contain a great deal of descriptive work of various kinds, though it is not always demarcated from more speculative and interpretive comments. Paragraph Length in Heart of Darkness: Some Basic Numbers and Charts is pure description of a fairly simple kind, as is Periodicity in Heart of Darkness: A Working Paper. I suppose, since I used a computer to compile the counts in those papers, I could even claim them for digital humanities, though that’s secondary. In The Nexus in Heart of Darkness: A Working Paper I comment in the content of a single paragraph in the text; it’s also the longest paragraph and it’s a bit after the middle. The commentary is informal, and perhaps a bit interpretive in that I single out certain things and make connections with other sections of the text; but I do not seek to infer any hidden meanings here. Much of the work in those three papers is also in Heart of Darkness: Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis on Several Scales, and there is other descriptive work as well, but I would call particular attention to the postscript, where I discuss a hypothetical handbook for Heart of Darkness. Much of such a handbook would be devoted to description.

I do not regard my descriptive work on any of those three texts, “Kubla Khan”, “This Lime-Tree Bower”, and Heart of Darkness, as complete. I don’t know what that would be, complete. But it is extensive and contains observations you won’t find in the standard literature. Just how important those observations are, well, that remains to be determined. And an important aspect of figuring out what’s important has to do with comparing texts with one another. What features do they have in common? Where do they differ?

We must do a lot of description. That’s the only way we’ll know what we’ve got.

Two Manga

Several years ago the late Mary Douglas got me interested in ring form, where texts will be organized like so: A, B, C,…X…C’, B’, A’. The last episode mirrors the first, the next to last mirrors and second, and so forth around a central episode. At the time I was interested in some early manga by Osamu Tezuka, Metropolis and Lost World.

I suspected that Metropolis had a ring-form. But how could I find out? It was one continuous text of 150+ pages with no marked divisions. I had to undertake some analytical and descriptive process While I could make marginal notes, that didn’t seem very promising.

I decided to create a simple table in MSWord. It had three columns, but didn’t actually use the first column in the main table, though I used it in a summary table. I placed page numbers in the second column and descriptive comments, even bits of dialogue, in the third column. I then went through the entire text from beginning to end, and made an entry for each scene. By inspecting that table I was able to determine that, yes, Metropolis had a ring form, which I outlined in a summary table.

I undertook a similar analysis for Lost World. Tezuka had divided the text into short chapters so I made a single row for each chapter. I couldn’t see a ring-form there so I didn’t bother to describe internal structure for the chapters.

I’ve placed these two tables online as a document on Google Drive: Tezuka Tables draft. While I’ve cleaned it up a bit and added some explanation that document is basically a document I created for my own use, not for publication. I’ve published the Metropolis results in an edited volume: Tezuka’s Metropolis: A Modern Japanese Fable about Art and the Cosmos. In Uta Klein, Katja Mellmann, Steffanie Metzger, eds. Heurisiken der Literaturwissenschaft: Disciplinexterne Perspektiven auf Literatur. mentis Verlag GmbH, 2006, pp. 527-545.

Sita Sings the Blues

Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues has been all over the world and won many prizes. It’s a wonderful film and technically innovative. One of the things Paley did was to present different narrative stands in different animation styles. In order to get a handle on that I created a table in which each I had a row for each scene.

The table has four columns. In the first I list the beginning and end points for the scene and I indicate the scene’s duration (in seconds) in the second column. In the third column I indicate which of four styles Paley used in the scene while the fourth column has a brief description. The table is here: SSTB Overall Organization2 (color-coded). The table shows that Paley blended her visual styles after one particular episode, the Agni Pariksha, which is in a fifth style. I discuss that blending and its significance in The Agni Pariksha in Context and in Ritual in Sita Sings the Blues, Part 3 - Shakespearean Resonance.

Given the importance of the Agni Pariksha episode (trial by fire) I created a table for that one episode and determined that the episode had twelve segments. Here’s the table: SSTB Agni Parkisha org. I analyzed The Agni Pariksha episode in a post for The National Humanities Center, Cultural Evolution, where I conclude:
By making this segment visually different from anything else in the film Paley is giving the film itself a ritual dimension – though the part of me that is a child of the 60s is thinking “altered state of consciousness” (cf. Fischer 1975). She’s not merely showing a ritual, depicting one in the film; she is inviting us to enact a ritual by experiencing the visual world in a way that is radically different from what we experience anywhere else in the film. This segment of the film IS ritual.
Now, one could analyze and describe each scene in the film in the same detail I’ve given to this one scene. One might do so with a specific objective in mind, or one might do so on general principle: this is an important piece of work, therefore it is important to have a good description of it.

One could conceivably drive the description of a film down to a frame-by-frame description. And one might also want to take sound track music into account, as well as a detailed transcription of dialog. Description is an open-ended process.

Locus Solus

Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell 2 (Innosenzu in Japanese) is a text in the Ghost in the Shell franchise; the franchise started as a manga and has since sprouted two feature films, a TV series of half-hour episodes, a video game, and a novel – that’s what I know of off the top of my head. There’s probably more.

These stories are set in a near future in the science fiction noir style popularized by Blade Runner. In this world humans and machines are intimately intertwined, with most people having some degree of ‘cyberization’ applied to body and brain.

About two-thirds of the way through there’s a 17 minute sequence set in and near a mansion called Locus Solus. More or less the same set of events happens three times. It’s the “more or less” that interests me. The sequence isn’t the same, but it’s so fast and complex that you can’t figure out what’s going on without, well, you know, doing something.

And so I did what I know best. I made a table. It’s a three column table where the first column contains the time a segment begins. The second column contains a short descriptor and the last has a summary. Here’s the document: Ghost Locus Solus Transit DRAFT.

So far I haven’t done anything with that analysis beyond constructing the table.

Crowd-Sourcing Descriptive Work

My first point is this: description is exacting and open-ended, but it’s not so-called rocket science. Anyone who is interested and dedicated can do it and do it well provided that they have examples to follow and perhaps a bit of coaching along the way. This is something you get better at the more you do. Experience counts.

That’s important because I’m all but convinced that the future of the humanities depends in part on developing a rich body of descriptions of primary texts, literary works and films, but also musical scores, paintings, and so forth. The kinds of descriptions we need have to be done by knowledgeable humans. Biology has depended on and benefitted from the fieldwork and descriptive skills of dedicated amateurs. The humanities now need to follow biology’s example.
* * * * *
You can now download this post plus the example tables (for the two Tezuka texts, and the two films) as well as some other posts on description in a single document: Description 2: The Primacy of the Text.

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Well I believe I have done it. I have created my first ever animated gif for DS106 ( a very easy one I admit.) Once upon a time, there was a program called Fireworks that I did know how to use, but Macromedia was eaten up by Adobe and it disappeared. (...

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cogdogblog posted a photo:

Growing #phonar

You just plant seeds of ideas in an open course and then watch what emerges….


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Now for some reason, the idea of a photoblitz triggers the song "Ballroom Blitz" in my mind. Don't ask me why, it may be just the word blitz is common to both.So I did my photo blitz at home over the lunch hour. My camera is at home, the strongest shad...

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1 week ago I read here a announcement about new portal http://www.openeducationeuropa.eu/I was verry excited to read the annoncement because 4 years ago I registered here to collaborate with eLearning experts like you can see http://elearningeuropa.info/en/users/dumacornellucian 
and still today I want to collaborate also with social media curators, teachers and researchers  on the new ePortal  http://www.openeducationeuropa.eu/en/users/dumacornellucian  . 
Do you like the new portal, leave a comment after you read my post because today European Commission launches 'Opening up Education' to boost innovation and digital skills in schools and universities
More than 60% of nine year olds in the EU are in schools which are still not digitally equipped. The European Commission today unveils 'Opening up Education', an action plan to tackle this and other digital problems which are hampering schools and universities from delivering high quality education and the digital skills which 90% of jobs will require by 2020. To help kick-off the initiative, the Commission today launches a new website, Open Education Europa, which will allow students, practitioners and educational institutions to share free-to-use open educational resources.
Between 50% and 80% of students in EU countries never use digital textbooks, exercise software, broadcasts/podcasts, simulations or learning games. Most teachers at primary and secondary level do not consider themselves as 'digitally confident' or able to teach digital skills effectively, and 70% would like more training in using ICTs. Pupils in Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic are the most likely to have internet access at school (more than 90%), twice as much as in Greece and Croatia (around 45%).The European Commission launched Open Education Europa in September 2013 as part of the Opening Up Education initiative to provide a single gateway to European OER. This portal is grounded on the basis of the elearningeuropa.info portal, active since 2002 to support the transformation of education through technology. Today, with close to 38,000 registered users and an average of 55,000 monthly visits, it has become the meeting point for exploring change and innovation in education.
The main goal of the Open Education Europa portal is to offer access to all existing European Open Educational Resources in different languages in order to be able to present them to learners, teachers and researchers.
Open Education Europa is a dynamic platform built with the latest cutting-edge open-source technology, offering tools for communicating, sharing and discussing. The portal has many features and it is structured in 3 main sections:
• The FIND section showcases MOOCs, courses, and Open Educational Resources by leading European institutions. Each institution is also featured in this section alongside the MOOCs, courses, and the Open Educational Resources it provides.
• The SHARE section is the space where portal users (scholars, educators, policymakers, students and other stakeholders) come together to share and discuss solutions for a diverse range of educational issues by posting blogs, sharing events, and engaging in thematic discussions.
• The IN-DEPTH section hosts eLearning Papers — the world’s most visited e-journal on open education and new technologies —, provides an exhaustive list of EU-funded projects, and highlights the latest news about open education as well as the most relevant recently published scholarly articles.

Follow @se_hq 
Nellie Kroes , European Comission Vice-President launch also this week #connectedcontinent Initiative after she launched the official website of #startupeurope http://www.startupeuropehq.eu as a part of Digital Agenda for Europe and you can read her speech here . 
Don't forget to visit weekly my blog to discover top 20 edtools .

References : 
Open Education Europa Official Website
European Comission , Nellie Kroes Connectedcontinent Speech 
New website #StartupEurope

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It's amazing what publishing your first sound does for you. It's gone right to my head and I am feeling downright cocky. So, this time when creating a sound, understanding the program was not as much of an issue as finding the right sound to do the Sou...

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So  I've been playing with sound over the last few days. It has been a little frustrating partially because tools and devices that worked when a tutorial was built in 2008 or 2010 or 2012 may not be as useful as they once were due to the ever chan...

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This past week on Headless 2013 we've been discussing storytelling,the arc of stories and Kurt Vonnegut's idea that stories have a shape. Well, I loved both the infographic and the video of Kurt Vonnegut discussing the shapes of stories. I had never t...

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21st September 2014:

As I was reading my Twitter stream, I was  reflecting on my next act, which will speak of music, space and silence.  Then, a number of tweets and posts decided me to produce a revival of the following play: All the world's a stage...(and we are just poor teachers?)

So in no particular order here are some of these linked elements which inspired this revival:

RT @Bali_Maha: The “learner’s why” vs the “teacher’s why” http://ift.tt/1BZlWgT  #ccoursesSometimes the operative words is versus, yes?

All the world's a stage...(and we are just poor teachers?) A revival. 
Originally performed in September 2013.
And we are just poor teachers, who strut and fret our time, stage front, tutting and grumbling about dwindling levels of interest amongst a distracted audience...and then blogging about it (with apologies to William).

Oh the distraction!

Before it was just the turnip throwers in the gods,a rowdy rabble if ever there was. We got rid of them by employing muscular stewards and a brilliant policy of over-priced seats. William came up with a master-stroke: "Why didn't we organise a cheap knees-up for the mob and keep them far away from our classical theatre?" Masterful William!  Alas! Now it's spread to the monied classes in the posh seats. My monologue was interrupted last night by the dim lights emitted from their damned smartphones. Have they no respect for the thespian art?

The critics are out. The notices are rather mixed.

We organised a meeting of the company. What might we do to stop declining ticket sales? Helmut suggested we might get a microphone.  I thought that we should just change the play. Bob came up with a new fangled (and awfully expensive) pyrotechnic effect to thrill the stalls.  Walpole, as usual, was more than helpful. "Why didn't we try stilts?", he suggested (idiot!).

After a few beers, Harry started getting carried away. "Couldn't we introduce a flying carpet to give them a music-hall eyeball?" Frankly we were heading towards pantomime. Besides, such extravaganza would demand skilled technicians in the wings, an almighty budget, sponsors even! Walpole was charming, but seemed to only be able to drink tea in the green room.

Theatre in the Round

 In the face of declining audience behaviour, we ended up doing some research. Someone came up with "Theatre in the Round". We discussed this question at length. Should we use the same theatre building? Was it a question of taking out a few seats, moving the stage to the centre? With diminishing budgets and audiences, this was viewed as a feasible option. Rather than knocking down the protected classical edifice, we asked a local architect to modify it somewhat.

First reviews for our new season were much improved. We did have to modify our dramatic art rather to adapt, but it was better than leaving the theatre altogether and ending up recording jingles for soap powder. We gradually worked towards a concept of immersive theatre, with massive audience participation. That was excellent!

Street Theatre

We even ventured out into the streets. It was romantic, getting back to the roots, a life of the wandering player. The other day we bumped into the rabble from the gods. They were dancing and drinking in the park. There were masses of them. What on earth were they doing there just behind the band-stand? I later learnt that it was what is called these days "A Flash mob." They had all arrived there, apparently separately,  like an army of goddam ants via some Facebook page or some sort. For once, I was stumped for words. They, I thought to myself, would make a wonderful audience in the theatre.

The Seventh Art

I am no Eisenstein, but I admit to daydreaming between acts in the green-room. Might they not be persuaded to be extras in a little movie project of mine? Then the penny dropped. They were actually making a movie (of sorts). I had a dreadful Pauline moment, on my way to the theatre, I realised that I had, in this haphazard, unplotted cinema, become rather the extra. I sat in the wings, deep in reflection...

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I've been rendered a human again,  a gift of love from @JLVala. It's been odd to return to my human form, especially since I was a zombie almost from the beginning of the plague. As a zombie, I was a ruthless killer, hunting down unsuspecting...

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Let me sing you a lullaby as we lull you to sleep.Life is short and painfulbut death is long and deep.In life, friends are fleeting,in death they're the ones you eat.Slip the chains of your mortality,Enter the depths of calm,Being undead is so moving,y...