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My 10 year old son asked today: “what is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?” One might think that as a professional philosopher I’d have a good answer. One would be wrong. Especially since I was still waking up after only a little sleep the night before due to a very early morning virtual meeting with colleagues in another part of the world.

So, any suggestions to help my son out? How would you try to explain it to a 10-year-old?

How Open Education Can Change the World

In this presentation I explore the application of open education and open educational resources (OER) to peace, reconciliation and development in Colombia. I describe how new technologies have made possible new ways of learning, and how we can work together as a community to teach ourselves, thus allowing each person the voice and opportunity to play a meaningful role in society.

Getting up in 5.5 hours or so to facilitate virtually a session at Open Education Global conference in Delft, Netherlands on ethics and social justice concerns in open edu. I’ll be joining by computer from Vancouver, BC, Canada. You can join us too if you have interest in open edu and equity/inclusion and similar concerns.

Helpful kitty batting away your issues! :3

My uni has a small grant program for open textbooks and other open educational resources. I was privileged to be able to sit on an adjudicating committee and see all the interesting proposals! Results publicized soon. So excited to see these projects come to fruition.

Excited to share this new blog post on my research:

The pool of active contributors to Wikipedia started declining in 2007. Researchers blamed a calcifying bureaucracy and hostility to newcomers. Are these problems in other wiki communities too? Could there be a deeper reason why these dynamics emerge?

I replicated Halfaker et al 2013's analysis of 'The rise and decline.' The dynamics observed in Wikipedia appear to reoccur again and again in many wiki communities.

If you're into working with humans, free software & cryptography, and you love the idea of helping news organizations break their biggest stories based on submissions by whistleblowers, you may want to come work with me! New opening at Freedom of the Press Foundation just went up - boosts appreciated:

#nonprofitjobs #securedrop

If you want to comment publicly on the UNESCO OER Recommendation, create an account on and visit this link: #OER #opencommunity

The Entire Archives of Radical Philosophy Go Online: Read Essays by Michel Foucault, Alain Badiou, Judith Butler & More (1972-2018)

, a conference about open education and open educational resources is happening this week in the UK. I am part of a session that combines onsite participants and those joining virtually (I'm joining virtually) to discuss ethics and social justice in the open education movement. Wed. April 18 2:35pm UK time.

If you'd like to join us virtually, see here for info and how to sign up!

(has info on what time that is in your time zone)

I've signed up for an open online course on Learning Analytics Fundamentals, with George Siemens and others. I'd like to know more about what the hype is about:

Classes are now over for me and I just gave our final exam, so all I have left is marking...thus I think I should be able to complete this four-week course!

Just finished marking 95 assignments I wanted to finish before students in my Intro to Philosophy class do their final exam tonight. It’s nice having a marking lull for a few hours. Then right back at it (but since the exam finishes at 930pm I think I’ll wait until tomorrow morning to start marking!).

Scientists: putting awesome space stickers on computers since before laptops. (Prime 300/400, 1973)

Are you interested in open education & (open edu resources)? The conference is this week & even if, like me, you can’t be there in the UK in person, you can chat virtually with some people who are and get a sense of the conference, thanks to a group I volunteer with, Virtually Connecting:

I volunteer with a group called Virtually Connecting that organizes virtual conversations with people at conferences, to link them with people who can’t attend. We have a bunch of conferences in April, including one more session for Creative Commons Global Summit Sunday April 15 3:45pm eastern time (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). See here for that event and see website for other events coming up!

It is the time of the much grading. End of term: when I do all the grading because the TAs have done so much work during the term and when classes are done is when I can grade over 100 assignments... Gotta finish these by Sunday in time for the final exam on Monday, which I'll be grading too.

But I don't's less stressful than doing it while classes are in session.

Went to a workshop today about leading change initiatives—basically any projects that will involve significant changes in a unit at a Uni. Several things stood out, but in particular: when people are resistant sometimes it’s because the change could deeply affect their sense of identity in their work, a way they think of themselves on a deep level. Not just about attachment to the old, but something very important to people. Hadn’t thought of that before.

The president of our uni made a formal apology today for the university’s role in supporting and not working to end the Indian Residential School system in British Columbia. I found it powerful live today. Here is a transcript:

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Scholar Social

A Mastodon instance for academics

Scholar Social is a microblogging platform for researchers, grad students, librarians, archivists, undergrads, academically inclined high schoolers, educators of all levels, journal editors, research assistants, professors, administrators—anyone involved in academia who is willing to engage with others respectfully.

We strive to be a safe space for queer people and other minorities, recognizing that there can only be academic freedom where the existence and validity of interlocutors' identities is taken as axiomatic.

"A Mastodon profile you can be proud to put on the last slide of a presentation at a conference"

"Official" monthly journal club!

(Participation is, of course, optional)

Scholar Social features a monthly "official" journal club, in which we try to read and comment on a paper of interest.

Any user of Scholar Social can suggest an article by sending the DOI by direct message to and one will be chosen by random lottery on the last day of the month. We ask that you only submit articles that are from *outside* your own field of study to try to ensure that the papers we read are accessible and interesting to non-experts.

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