I took a brief look at my Twitter feed this morning and stumbled upon the article cited above.  A number of students in an Educational Technology programme at a nearby university wrote to Stephen Downes on the opposite end of Canada and posed some interesting question that dovetail nicely with some of our discussions and readings.  Rather than responding individually to each student, he posted a broader response in his blog, Half an Hour.  The topics discussed include collaboration and competition in education, defining appropriate student behaviour online, impact of cloud computing on learning, equal access to technology and evaluation of web content.  In addition to being a great read on its own, he has provided links to so much other great material including a video keynote he did for a group of educators in Finland on PLEs.

Be for-warned:

  • Downes values content over production value.  If your looking for slick and polished, you’ll be disappointing.  If your looking for great ideas, you’ll get them in spades.
  • His “Canadian” analogy of clearing an ice rink for skating would have been somewhat lost on his audience on Vancouver Island.  Unlike much of Canada, Canada’s south-west coast has primarily indoor ice-rinks.  I’ve lived here all my life and have only seen one winter cold enough for the lakes to freeze enough to be safe to skate on.  Just a little geography/meteorology lesson for those who have never visited “God’s country!”  🙂



Downes, S. (2012, September 16). : Questions from students at Vancouver Island University. Half an Hour. Retrieved September 16, 2012, from http://halfanhour.blogspot.ca/2012/09/questions-from-students-at-vancouver.html

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