Resources and links

The following links and resources have been gathered from the eLearning 3.0 MOOC and I’ve placed them here as a record for me. Hopefully others not following the MOOC will find them as useful as I have. All credit for this curation belongs entirely to Stephen Downes for pulling all of this together.


What is Cloud Computing in Simple Terms? Definition & Examples
Bojana Dobran, PhoenixNAP, 2018/11/01

Cloud Computing 2018/11/01
Describes cloud computing and explains the benefits, concerns, types of cloud computing and what to consider when moving your business to the cloud. Part of Ontario’s E-Business Toolkit.

Cloud Adoption Strategy: 2018 update Government of Canada, 2018/11/01

What is Docker? Docker containers explained
Serdar Yegulalp, InfoWorld, 2018/10/31
For many years now, the leading way to isolate and organize applications and their dependencies has been to place each application in its own virtual machine. But virtual machines are bulky. Enter Docker containers. Containers make it possible to isolate applications into small, lightweight execution environments that share the operating system kernel.

Docker Hub
Docker, 2018/10/31
Docker Hub is the world’s largest public repository of container images with an array of content sources including container community developers, open source projects and independent software vendors (ISV) building and distributing their code in containers.

Distributed Ledger Technology

The Blockchain Papers

This is a very large resource shared as a Google Doc assembling a lot of the reading I have done on blockchain over the last year or so. I am constantly contributing to it (and welcome suggestions or ideas for additional resources).

Building a Blockchain

This steps the reader through fundamental concepts of a blockchain and the major elements of a blockchain engine.

Blockchain Technology Overview
Peter Mell, Nik Roby, Karen Scarfone, Dylan Yaga, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2018/11/06

Blockchain explained: What it is and isn’t, and why it matters
Brant Carson, Matt Higginson, Simon London, McKinsey, 2018/11/06

Blockchain in Education
Alexander Grech, Anthony F. Camilleri, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, 2018/11/06

This is a long (136 page PDF) and detailed report on blockchains in education. The authors work slowly and deliberately in their pursuit of accuracy and clarity, which results in a presentation that will be easily understood by most readers. There is a wealth of examples in the document describing use cases, scenarios and pilot projects, and companies involved in the space.


A Gentle Introduction To Graph Theory
Vaidehi Joshi, BaseCS, 2018/11/05
Introduction to graph theory. Graphs are data structires in which entities – called ‘nodes’ – are connected to other entitis via some sort of a link – called an ‘edge’. In graph theory there are no limits on what can be connected, nor how they can be connected. Defining graphs in specific ways, however, creates the structures that underlie most of the modern web.

The Neural Network Zoo
Fjodor van Veen, 2018/11/05
Neural Networks are types of graphs. In the past I have stated that in order to be a network, a change of state in one entity in a graph must be capable of producing a change of state in another entity. Neural networks are therefore dynamic and interactive graphs. This resource describes a bunch of different neural networks. Different neural networks have different capabilities, and today are playing an increasingly important role in artificial intelligence.

Types of Machine Learning Algorithms in One Picture
Vishakha Jha, TechLeer, 2018/11/05
The diagram in this resource descibes some different types of neural networks. Take a look at the specific tasks they perform – neural networks are good at things like classification and recgnition, as well as regression (that is, finding a trend or regulrity in data). I got this image from this page, which has more resourcs on neural networks.

Graph Data Structure And Algorithms
GeeksforGeeks, 2018/11/05
Graphs are important types of data structures. Instead of thinking of things in rows and columns (the way we would in a spreadsheet or a database) we think of things as nodes and edges. This page has a very brief description of a graph data structure and then a long list of things that can be done with graphs – cycling, sortinfg, spanning, searching. This page is meant to explor, not to learn – ollow the links, try running some of the code (click on the r’run in IDE button’).

What college students should learn about Git
Christopher Jeffery, Medium, 2018/11/05
GitHub is the open source software repository that was recently acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion. GitHub is important because it allows authors to release related versions of their software, to incorporate and merge contributions from many authors, and to allow people to create their own version (or ‘fork’) any application. To do this, GitHub is structured as a Directed Acyclic Graph, creating a series of relationships among code libraries.


The Basics of Decentralized Identity – Kames, Medium, Uport, 2018/11/12
This is a reasonably clear and relatively straight-forward account of the concept of distributed identity. There’s a strong blockchain slant to the discussion, but ignore that – the concepts remain the same with or without blockchain. As the article goes on it gets more technical, so feel free to bail when your comfort level is exceeded.

Decentralized Identifiers – World Wide Web Consortium, 2018/11/12
Or … Everything you wanted to know about Ditributed Digital Identities, but were afraid to ask!

A decentralised ID is basically a URL that points to some data about yourself. This data includes cryptographic material, authentication suites, and service endpoints. It’s worth noting that the DID specification “has produced two specific requirements for a new type of URL” which “SHOULD NOT require a centralised authority to register, resolve, update, or revoke the identifier.” We will get to what that might look like in the next module, on Resources.

Identity Graphs: how online trackers follow you across devices Robert Heaton, 2018/11/12
This article introduces you to the concept of the identity graph. This is a graph created by advertisers linking all your identifiable information together to create a picture of a single individual out of distributed data.

How does online tracking actually work? Robert Heaton, 2018/11/20
A really readable guide to some of the technical aspects of online tracking technology.

Virtually Connecting Rebecca Hogue, Maha Bali, Autumm Caines, Helen DeWaard, Christian Friedrich, 2018/11/14
“The purpose of Virtually Connecting is to enliven virtual participation in academic conferences, widening access to a fuller conference experience for those who cannot be physically present at conferences. We are a community of volunteers and it is always free to participate.”

FIDO U2F Yubico, 2018/11/15
As explained on the Yubico website, “U2F is an open authentication standard that enables internet users to securely access any number of online services with one single security key instantly and with no drivers or client software needed. FIDO2 is the latest generation of the U2F protocol.”

Keybase is a new and free security app for mobile phones and computers. For the geeks among us: it’s open source and powered by public-key cryptography. Keybase is for anyone. Imagine a Slack for the whole world, except end-to-end encrypted across all your devices. Or a Team Dropbox where the server can’t leak your files or be hacked.

Identity, Keys and Authentication (video) Nov 15, 2018 video In this video I talk about proving our identity in the digital world with physical keys, public and private keys, and Keybase. And I connect it to the idea our our identity as a graph. Note: this isn’t 100% authoritative and may contain errors. Links to better (= accurate AND clear) guides would be appreciated).


What if teachers learned to perform to transform rather than be a guide by the side or a sage on the stage? Teachers perhaps need to be an equal part performer who enact and ‘live’ the subject in their interactions with students.
The Experience API (or xAPI) is a new specification for learning technology that makes it possible to collect data about the wide range of experiences a person has (online and offline). This API captures data in a consistent format about a person or group’s activities from many technologies. Very different systems are able to securely communicate by capturing and sharing this stream of activities using xAPI’s simple vocabulary.