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Only a few months after passing the 5 million user mark a new white paper projects that XuetangX, China's largest MOOC provider, will have 10 million users by year's end. "The white paper estimates that some 1,200 MOOCs have so far been developed by around 30 universities and an unspecified number of colleges, with a much greater focus on higher education rather than vocational courses." Class Central ran a background report on XuetangX a few months ago.[Link] [Comment]
I think this is a pretty important development. LinkedIn has been collecting professional and resum data through its social network service for a number of years and is now marketing its learning services (I got the promotional email again today). The course selections are of course tailored to my profile, and designed to match my career aspirations. But it's not cheap; more than $25 Canadian per month. It won't let you see the courses without credit card or PayPal authorization. The courses appear to be mostly video content presentations, but I'm signing up and I'll probably report back. Or f I really like it, maybe I'll offer a course via the service.[Link] [Comment]
As readers know, I dropped out of Facebook at the end of the summer. It felt lonely but it was a good move - the people who were missing my posts on Facebook came back, and viewership on downes.ca went from the 25K per month it had averaged to more like 40K per month. That's a big difference compared to the single-digit reads I was getting on Facebook. Anyhow, D'Arch Normal is also lookibg at alternatives, having dropped off both Facebook and Twitter. He lists four services he's been looking at: Known, Mastodon, Quitter.no, and GNO Social. I've set up my own account on Mastodon; you can find me here: https://mastodon.social/users/Downes[Link] [Comment]
I've been using IFTTT as a useful tool to connect my various social network services for several years now. As it migrates from a free service to something more self-sustaining, though, IFTTT is shifting its focus. It remains an open question whether it will continue to be useful. According to this article, "IFTTT has been backing away from its do-it-yourself roots, and catering more to the companies whose services it connects... 'We want to become a PayPal for access,' says Linden Tibbets, IFTTT's founder and CEO. 'A trusted third party that facilitates an exchange from one service to the next.'"[Link] [Comment]
Nik Peachey has written a new guide to a lovely application distributed around four years ago by Clé ment Delangue and Arnaud Breton. It allows the user to view a YouTube video and take time-stamped notes in the same environment. The notes can be saved, shared, reviewed, or exported to Evernote. It's the sort of thinking that will eventually lead toward a proper personal learning environment (PLE). You can download Peachy's PDF and video guides here. Or even better, go straight to videonot.es, sign in with your Google ID, and start using it right away. The code is open source and is on GitHib. Peeach also offers additional articles in his Digital Tools Series on PayHip (scroll down).[Link] [Comment]
Good summary of the Friday plenary at Online Educa Berlin. What strikes me most about the four speakers - Alec Couros, Diana Laurillard, Martin Eyjolfsson and Mark Surman - is their incongruity. Couros talks about open and connected learning, Laurillard advises we let teachers direct us, Eyolfsson talks about Iceland and Surman talks about digital literacy. The topic of the seminar was 'owning learning' but nobody seemed willing to embrace that concept.[Link] [Comment]
This was pretty much the theme at the Online Educa Berlin conference: "We have all the elements needed to make online courses succeed, but institutional inertia at well-established universities stymies progress." But it's not just here; the theme seems to be lurking in the background. "If politicians and educationalists continue to insist that modern nations need an ever-growing army of graduates, it seems inevitable that the virtual university will become a significant player before long."[Link] [Comment]
Tony Bates summarizes Lourdes Guardia's Next Generation Pedagogy: IDEAS for Online and Blended Higher Education. which summarizes emerging developments in online pedagogy with the acronym IDEAS: Intelligent, Distributed, Engaging, Agile and Situated. According to Bates, the elements of the acronym "are a useful organizational framework for summarising what in fact is a wide range of emerging online practices." Probably the most interesting part is the list of "emerging online practices" (and sometimes the institutions associated with them), for example, "Flexibility and personalisation (Capella University, USA); Innovation as a teachable topic (MIT, USA)"[Link] [Comment]
If open online learning can be equivalent or even superior to face-to-face education, what does this mean for the value and the price of MOOCs for institutions, for learning communities, for learners and for the creation of new knowledge. Oanel notes are avauilable as an MS Word document here.OEB2016, Berlin, Germany (Panel) Dec 02, 2016 [Comment]
This is a very basic guide and if you know nothing about modifying open documents, this is a good place to start. But it focuses almost exclusively on the different technical formats (and a bit on licenses) and not at all on how you might adapt contents for specific purposes. The main thing I got from this is that PDFs are hard to modify.[Link] [Comment]
Another update from Janwaar Castle, which encourages youth development through skateboarding in rural India. It describes and presents Janwaar's first skateboarding challenge, and discusses the level of support the project has started to receive from a wider audience.[Link] [Comment]
As this story notes, "UNESCO has begun work on drawing up a series of indicators on higher education internationalisation in Asia to help universities and education policy-makers in the region to develop an international outlook and promote international higher education links against a set of solid, accepted, quality benchmarks." We have for example, a project in Japan where 30 effective indicators were defined to assess internationalization.[Link] [Comment]
Not a deep article, but it will give you the basic idea of container tools such as Kubernetes from Google, Swarm from Docker, and CoreOS. Containers are a tye of virtualization, but they "don’ t need to make a virtual copy of the host server’ s hardware features, and they also don’ t need a full copy of the host operating system to be installed within the container. This enables containers to be orders of magnitude more lightweight and flexible."[Link] [Comment]
Facebook isn't worth the time you give it, of course. That's one result from this report. The other is that it is not the millennials that are conned by and clicking on fake news, it's the older generation (raised by traditional media and helpless in the face of a deliberate assault on reality). This all "according to a detailed analysis of news consumption traffic conducted by Web analytics firm Jumpshot."[Link] [Comment]
In this workshop we examine the various parts of a personal learning environment and moot the development of a PLE architecture.OEB 2016, Berlin, Germany (Workshop) Nov 30, 2016 [Comment]
This presentation looks at the current trends in learning technology - competencies, personalization, and innovation. It casts them in a sceptical light, explaining and then challenging the presuppositions underlying them. It proposes an alternative 'personal learning', describes technologies supporting it, and outlines a framework for technology and pedagogy development in this environment.Impuls, Berlin, Germany (Lecture) Nov 30, 2016 [Comment]
It is always a subject of astonishment to me that behaviour that is otherwise normal is deemed by some to be (a) not acceptable for teachers, and (b) not appropriate on the internet (or Facebook). The case this time (as it is so often) involves the posting of a photo of oneself relaxing on the beach. Or maybe having a beer at the local pub. What we are seeing is a case where people are told there are special codes of behaviour if they are (a) teachers, and (b) women. If I were either (a) or (b) I would be telling the guardians of my morality where they can put their directives. These behaviours are not wrong and there is thus no need for prohibiting their depiction on the internet.[Link] [Comment]
I can't say I have a lot of confidence in Facebook's ability to design a learning program, but there it is. It's "a new personalized learning system called Summit Basecamp this school year that gives students more control over their learning." It's being provided free to schools (for now) and is composed of three major areas: a self-study mode, a collaborative learning mode, and a mentoring option. Says one teacher, "It's been very different because it allows the kids to have responsibility and ownership for their learning. They're learning how to learn." The article is a fluff piece but the subject is worth a deeper look.[Link] [Comment]
I'm not sure how to judge this paper (the sentence fragment in the abstract does not reassure) but there's enough good that I don't want to overlook it. The proposal is for "a groundwork for allostatic neuro-education (GANE)" which views education as a process of growth and development. "Organic education compares the learner to a plant or blossoming flower. For education in the service of cognitive acquisition, the learner has inputs and outputs, comparable to a machine or other functional instrument. For the constructivist, the learner is understood to be engaged in a constant dialectic with the environment." It's based on the concept of allostasis, "maintaining stability through change, is a fundamental process through which organisms actively adjust to both predictable and unpredictable events." On the one hand I want to regard this paper as nonsense, and on the other I see it as an effort to comprehend phenomena that have been observed elsewhere. Via Matt Scofield.[Link] [Comment]
Here's the pitch: the authors describe a learning analytics system that can divide a class of students into different skill levels in order to determine how much they can learn. This paper is not a stellar example of academic writing; the grammar is atrocious and we can only partially grasp the authors' intent. That said, the paper serves to raise the question: should we divide a class by ability and differentiate instruction accordingly? This is an open access paper, but you may have to sign up to access.[Link] [Comment]
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