Links for March 4, 2012

Who’ll have the means to analyze our learning? [Tony Searl/Neoteny]. In response to Pearson and INITE’s announcement of plans to open an online university for Mexicans, Searl asks “who will have the means to analyse our learning in the near future?” and “Will a few dominant learning data companies emerge, or can learning analytics remain an in house cottage industry?”

Social learning Analytics: Five approaches [PDF] [Rebecca Ferguson and Simon Buckingham]. Five categories of social learning analytics: social network analytics, discourse analytics, content analytics, disposition analytics, context analytics. All things I want to learn more about.

4chan’s Chris Poole: Facebook & Google are doing it wrong [Jon Mitchell/ReadWriteWeb]. Google and Facebook have a crude notion of identity.  4chan’s Chris Poole says we are like multi-faceted diamonds.

“The portrait of identity online is often painted in black and white,” Poole said. “Who you are online is who you are offline.” That rosy view of identity is complemented with a similarly oversimplified view of anonymity. People think of anonymity as dark and chaotic, Poole said.

But human identity doesn’t work like that online or offline. We present ourselves differently in different contexts, and that’s key to our creativity and self-expression. “It’s not ‘who you share with,’ it’s ‘who you share as,'” Poole told us. “Identity is prismatic.”

Permission to be horrible and other ways to generate creativity [Suzanne Axtell interview of Denise R. Jacobs/O’Reilly Radar].

“… there’s such a limited definition of creativity in our culture. People treat artists as if they’re off in their own world or put them on a pedestal. But it’s a misconception that technical people aren’t creative. Developers and coders and database architects are extremely creative, just as scientists are. They have to come up with solutions and code that have never been written before. If that’s not creativity, I don’t know what is.

I’m reading “A Whole New Mind” by Daniel H. Pink, which explores how right-brain is the new wave. We’re entering a new conceptual, high-touch era whereas before we were in a very analytical era. Our industry, the technical industry, is actually a perfect in-between point of left brain and right brain. You have to have both, a whole-brain approach, to be successful in our industry.”

Colleges misassign many to remedial classes, studies find [Tamar Lewin/NY Times]. This is something learning analytics ought to be able to fix.