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Stephen Downes
Works at National Research Council
Attended University of Alberta
Lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
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Stephen Downes

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Hahhahaha! Love it. Happy 2017 Stephen! 
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Stephen Downes

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It’s been two years since I last wrote a post to this blog. Originally, that hiatus came about because other issues took most of my time, and besides, my Coursera MOOC Introduction to Mathema…
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Please take note that this is not the official UNESCO report of the forum, but only my personal report as invited international expert. The Regional Forum on ICTs in Higher Education Systems of Arab States was held in Beirut...
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hi
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Critical Thinking and Truth

Because I refuse to use Facebook's plugin to comment, here is my response to this article: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-12-16-critical-thinking-means-finding-nuggets-of-truth-in-mountains-of-misinformation

First of all, about 90% of that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is cat pictures and fail videos, so we're not facing quite the problem depicted in this article.

Second, critical thinking isn't about finding truth. It's about avoiding errors oneself and more alert of other people's errors - such as, say, hyperbole - in the work of others.

The question of whether 'the truth is out there' is a matter of philosophical stance (and even has a name: 'realism'). It's a perspective you might adopt after having experience, and weighed, a lifetime of experiences.
Editor’s Note: ‘Tis the season of giving, eating and reflecting, a time to look back on 2016 and to make bold predictions about what next year may hold. In our fourth year-end personal statement roundup, we’ve again asked thought leaders to share their outlooks on education, but with a twist. The
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Wow. You should turn this into an entire article.
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Yes, by all means, do something about the fake news that is propagating through Facebook and Twitter. But let's not forget that we have been in the post-truth era for some time (indeed, one wonders whether we ever entered the...
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and info about these fake sources and news Stephen! I agree that we are mostly being uninformed or underinformed
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Some technological trends fizzle out while others overturn everything. Author Amy Webb explains how she discerns which ones will go in which direction.
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Back to the future +Grizwald Grim 
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After the spate of fake news in circulation over the last year or so numerous guides have been published to help you spot fake news. Unfortunately, few of them are effective. The reason for this - which you can spot for yours...
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I was thinking about working openly recently and decided to document my workflow, such as it is. As you can see I need to devise a way to make my projects and courses more transparent. There's also a PowerPoint version of t...
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As someone who was teaching critical thinking for a living well before anyone thought to call it a '21st century skill' it bothers me to no end to read articles like this arguing that we should not be teaching critical thinki...
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How Many Make a MOOC?

> I would like to know when a course (MOOC) can be considered massive? With 100 students? 1000? 10000?

It is not the number of students that makes a course “massive”. Rather, it’s whether the design of the course could accommodate a large number of students. So, for example, if a professor has to mark each test by hand, it is not massive, because this could not scale beyond a few hundred.

I am sometimes asked about the number needed for a minimum successful MOOC – that is, the number needed to transform it from a typical online course to something that exhibits connective properties, and I offer the number 150 – Dunbar’s number – because beyond this point you cannot have a course that is a single community.


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Interesting question... A lot of MOOCs are not really well designed for scale. On the flipside if, what is the maximum threshold for 'community'? What about the role of good online facilitators? The idea of a single all powerful instructor is something that is perhaps dying in some spaces or elevated to rockstar status, sage on the stage in MOOCs where the instructor is a talking head but doesn't get into the grit of really teaching online.
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Free Learning
Introduction
Stephen Downes
Moncton's most prominent cyber-citizen. See also my main website at http://www.downes.ca
Education
  • University of Alberta
    Philosophy, 1987 - 1993
  • University of Calgary
    Philosophy, 1981 - 1987
  • SAIT
    Computer Science, 1980 - 1981
  • Algonquin College
    Computer Science, 1979 - 1980
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Collections Stephen is following
Work
Occupation
Researcher
Employment
  • National Research Council
    Researcher, present
  • Athabasca University, Assiniboine Community College, Grande Prairie Regional College, University of Alberta, Texas Instruments, Versa Foods
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Previously
Metcalfe, Ontario, Canada - Brandon, Manitoba, Canada - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada - Eaglesham, Alberta, Canada - Montreal, Quebec, Canada - Candiac, Quebec, Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Austin, Texas
Stephen Downes's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Why Numbers Exist
halfanhour.blogspot.com

by Stephen Downes One exists to show us the way It is the self, it is today It is the place where we departed It is the one to get us starte

Half an Hour
halfanhour.blogspot.com - written by Stephen Downes

This is a summary of theexpert discussion at the conclusion of Day One of the International Monitoring Organization conference Each paragraph denotes a ...

» How I ended up leaving Poynter JIMROMENESKO.COM
jimromenesko.com

How I ended up leaving Poynter. “How did this go off the rails?” Poynter's attorney asked me during a Nov. 12 phone conversation about m

Half an Hour: October 2011
halfanhour.blogspot.com - written by Stephen Downes

This is a summary of theexpert discussion at the conclusion of Day One of the International Monitoring Organization conference Each paragraph denotes a ...

Half an Hour: A Conversation on Innovation
halfanhour.blogspot.com - written by Stephen Downes

A Conversation on Innovation. This is a summary of theexpert discussion at the conclusion of Day One of the International Monitoring Organization conference

Support Pussy Riot’s appeal for justice
action.amnesty.org.uk

Pussy Riot appeal in court next week. We need your help to defend free speech - ask the Russian authorities to stop their persecution of the

They gave me mountains of very good food, making it the only place in Oslo I could afford to eat while I was visiting there! My only regret is that I didn't find the place sooner. Seriously, if you're in the city on a budget, take the short walk from downtown and eat here.
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