In addition to displaying RSS feeds, we offer this OPML file which lists all RSS feeds collected here.
In addition to displaying RSS feeds, we offer this OPML file which lists all RSS feeds collected here.
Registered Users & Guests Online
There are currently 0 users and 1 guest online.
George Siemens's take on a Fast Company article describing a Udacity "pivot", which I echo, is that Udacity has admitted its failure. "No one did more of a disservice to MOOCs than Thrun through his wild proclamations ('we have found the magic combination for online learning' and 'in the future there will only be 10 universities', digital learning manifestos, and so on) and self-aggrandizing," says Siemens. And now, after all that, Thrun says, "We were on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, and at the same time, I was realizing, we don’ t educate people as others wished, or as I wished. We have a lousy product." Yeah.
So now Udacity will abandon the effort to educate the people of the world and purn to corporate learning. "Make no mistake," says Siemens. "This is a failure of Udacity and Sebastian Thrun. This is not a failure of open education, learning at scale, online learning, or MOOCs. Thrun tied his fate too early to VC funding. As a result, Udacity is now driven by revenue pursuits, not innovation. He promised us a bright future of open learning. He delivered to us something along the lines of a 1990′ s corporate elearning program." In corporate learning, Udacity is probably no match for established competitors that get real results. The VCs who backed Thrun are going to lose most of their money.
Related: Rolin Moe says "Shifting models means never having to say you’ re sorry." Also, Audrey Watters: "Why We Shouldn't Celebrate Udacity's 'Pivot'" And Michael Caulfield, "Thrun Enters Burgeoning Sieve Market." More: Inge de Waard, "Annoyed by genius @Thrun on education, me on a rant." And Alastair Creelman, "Staying the Course." And Bonnie Stewart, "In the wake of MOOC hype, what shall we talk about?" And Martin Weller, "Stop me if you think you've heard this one before."[Link] [Comment]
Interesting summary of a conference in Washington DC organized by the Government of Norway "to inquire into the possibilities and challenges that accompany the development of MOOCs and similar offers." I've given two talks on MOOC-related subjects over the last year and a half or so, so I was particularly interested in this report. On my reading, two major themes emerge:
Obviously there's a lot more in the article and I encourage a good read.[Link] [Comment]
This is very much part of the MOOC business model: "Four years ago when I first opened my photography classes online the big issue was 'free' - if you 'give your classes away for free then no one will pay for them'. My answer to those people was that the classes weren't what people paid for - they paid for the learning experience, of being in the room - this online version - this open and connected version just meant that the room they paid to be in now sat at the middle of a network." The online audience is part and parcel of what makes being in the classroom desirable (and to many people, worth paying for). Is this a good model? A fair model? I think it would be fine in a world where education is freely accessible and where incomes are equitable. But we're not really very close to that at the moment, so I have mixed feelings.[Link] [Comment]
Inside Higher Ed reports: "Leaky ceilings, dim lighting, roaches, mold. Those images don't evoke the ideals of higher education, but for the growing number of professors posting pictures of their rooms and offices to the social media feed called Classrooms of Shame, they're an everyday reality." I think it would be interesting to see what international contributions to this feed would look like (Tacloban classroom of shame: "today we don't have a roof..."). And, for full parody value, a version focused on institutions like Harvard and Cambridge ("Lunchroom of shame: the champagne serbet was made from a Roederer Cristal Brut 1999, not 2000 - I don't know how we can stand for this! Photo: Hotel Club).[Link] [Comment]
Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper has run a series of articles focusing on the growing income gap (including a stunning full-page graphic I can't find online) and educators will find results like the following interetsing: "A Globe and Mail analysis, using standardized test scores and Statistics Canada income data paints a clear picture of inequality in Toronto’ s public elementary schools: High-income areas are primarily home to high-achieving schools while lower-income areas have a higher number of lower-scoring schools." In cities like Vanbcouver and Edmonton, students can travel to whatever school they want. But in Toronto, they are locked into their own neighborhood. Open education doesn't just mean free learning materials: it means accessing the full range of educational services in your city, not just those reserved for poor people.[Link] [Comment]
The minimum wage is due for a reset. And while this may not appear to have a direct connection to education (after all, how many minimum wage earners manage to attend college or university?) it points to increasing inequality, and thereby, an increasing need to employ teachnology (and other measures) to increase access to education. The New York Times editorial staff writes, "if the minimum wage had kept pace over time with the average growth in productivity, it would be about $17 an hour. The problem is that the benefits of that growth have flowed increasingly to profits, shareholders and executives, not workers." This is twice to three times the current minimum wage in the U.S. Related: the Billionaire Census ("The combined fortune of the world's billionaires now stands at $6.5 trillion, up from $3.1 trillion in 2009" - RT)[Link] [Comment]
The only thing that surprises me about this report is that the number could be as low as 25%. But this is a minimum figure, and the advantage gained by children of higher-income parents is likely much greater. So in this sense the THE headline is misleading. In any event, the report cited here (and available in full here) makes it clear that "children of wealthy parents already have much more access to opportunities to succeed than children of poor families, and this is likely to be increasingly the case in the future unless we take steps to ensure that all children have access to quality education." For example, "At the top English institutions only one in eight young undergraduates comes from ‘ lower’ occupational backgrounds. This compares to more than half at some modern universities... Similarly, more than 40 per cent of Oxbridge students attended a private school." The Sutton Trust press release is here.[Link] [Comment]
I find it surprising to find myself in agreement with the C.D. Howe Institute on a position, but that is the case on tuition tax credits today. They argue that tuition tax credits should be refundable. "A non-refundable tax credit cannot reduce the amount of tax owed to less than zero, but a refundable tax credit can reduce tax payable below zero and provide a refund." The reasoning is that most beneiciaries of the existing people are higher income taxpayers. "Only 10 percent of tax filers have an income above $80,000, but they account for about 42 percent of total tuition and education credits transferred to parents." Hedre's the full report.[Link] [Comment]
Should teachers or professors complain about their students on Facebook? Alex Reid narrows down the debate to three basic positions:
Of these, the third is a self-contradiction: there are no private posts on Facebook (only people who have been deluded into thinking Facebook posts are private). This actually applies to the internet generally. To me, in the end, it boilds down to: if you wouldn't say the thing in front of the entire school assembly (and their parents, and everyone else) you shouldn't say it on Facebook. Which means, essentially, that complaints about students should be addressed in person, directly, to the student. If you can't do this, you don't really have a complaint.[Link] [Comment]
I know, I admit it, I'm one of the ones inclined to read this headline and jeer. But as Michael Feldstein warns, "Patent trolls like Marathon can come after any company and their customers. In this case, the Marathon patents appear to be broad enough to be important for countless educational applications and could be applied against a range of vendors and schools alike... We should all be rooting for Blackboard and the other defendants in this case."[Link] [Comment]
I'm linking to this item almost exclusively for the headine (which you can see above) which as pithy a critique of big data as I've seen.[Link] [Comment]
Jim Groom, while summarizing his TEDx talk: "I literally stumbled into the field as a wayward literature Ph.D. candidate, and the ideas I discovered during the first days of personal blogging, namely creating, openly sharing, remixing, and archiving, continue to drive the work I am part of a decade later. For all that has changed, the ethos has stayed the same."[Link] [Comment]
I see a lot of stuff like this in the education media and I frankly don't understand it. Do they do genetic screening to determine race, or a skin colour test? How did they classify people of mixed race? Do the racial classifications actually mean anything? What is 'Asian' anyways? What purpose is served by ordering responses into categories labled 'race' (instead of, say, family income, zip code ranked by mean income, etc.)? Can anyone identify a causal mechanism connecting skin colour (or other putative indicators of 'race') with (in this case) belief in benefits obtained from education? Why can't educators do real sacience instead of this sort of phrenology?[Link] [Comment]
The Effects of Peer - Like and Expert - Like Pedagogical Agents on Learners’ Agent Perceptions, Task - Related Attitudes, and Learning Achievement
"Pedagogical agents," write the authors, "are virtual characters embedded in multimedia learning environment that simulate human instructional roles." The idea is that "social cues exhibited by pedagogical agents can increase learner’ s motivation, cognitive engagement, self efficacy and transfer achievement." But the realization of these benefits are impacted by agent design. This paper looks at two agent design archetypes: peer-like and expert-like pedagogical agents. It outlines the (scant) research comparing these types of agents, and some models describing the differences. A small study tests these models. Not surprisingly, the authors found "learners' social stereotypes and expectations of pedagogical agents mirrored the human to human relationship in the real world." See also Level Up, My Pet, on the impact of leveling and educational agents, by Zhi-Hong Chen, Po-Yao Chao, Ming-Chieh Hsu and Chin-Hung Teng. See more from the current issue of ET& S.[Link] [Comment]
According to a Mcleans article, "Canada has fallen behind or is at risk of falling behind other countries in education and training if we don’ t get our act together. That was a common theme at two conferences last week in Toronto, one hosted by The Conference Board of Canada... and the other by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. Meanwhile, we read that the labour market demands a national education strategy and that education is mismatching students with the needs of the labour market by enrolling too few students in the STEM disciplines in the Globe and Mail. Suggestions range from streaming into vocations to performance-based funding to creating an information website to partnering with billionaires (seriously, that was proposed).
Ken Steele of Academica writes: "Some Bright Ideas for program delivery? Our Eduvation IdeaBank already includes some innovative approaches to scheduling courses and programs: Fanshawe’ s weekend college, Quest’ s block method (also being piloted by UNBC), Royal Roads’ boot camp, and Brock’ s accelerated supercourses. Comment on these, vote for the brightest, or suggest others you’ ve seen that we can add at www.eduvation.ca/ideas/" (this might actually be an advertisement below some sponsored content - there's no way to tell).
But. While there is a skills mismatch, it is not in trades, but rather, in technical and professional fields. So one wonders why there's such a focus on streaming and trades. Moreover, it's not clear to me that Canada's education system is actually falling behind. Nothing has changed, really, since the same Globe and Mail pointed out that "Canada continues to do damn well, headlines and bad news angles notwithstanding." Sure, people may be choosing degrees "mismatched" to industry - but also, more and more, they are paying for those degrees, so why shouldn't they choose subjects that are interesting to them? If industry needs something from education, it should be prepared to pay for it - shouldn't it? This to me makes far more sense than misguided attempts to dismantle one of the best systems of public education in the world.[Link] [Comment]
FYI, "IMS Global Learning Consortium today announced the successful demonstration of the IMS Caliper Framework and Sensor API which is designed to consistently represent, capture, and marshal measurement related data, support the instrumentation, collection and exchange of data from Learning Tools." Here's the Caliper Framework white paper.[Link] [Comment]
Back in prehistory (way back before MOOCs and even before Connectivism) one of my more popular articles was Nine Rules for Good Technology. This article by Contact North reminds me of that. But beyond the superficial similarity in name, the two articles are very different. The Contact North article is focused on outcomes - it wants technology that is high quality, promotes access, is scalable, etc. And the Contact North article is focused on educational outcomes - it wants technology that is pedagogically focused, adds value, is customizable, and promotes continuous lifeling learning. My article, by contrastm, focuses on the properties that lead to those outcomes, looking for technology that is simple, standardized, connected, personal, and always on. Each list has its merits. But if you're actually choosing technology, I would prefer mine.[Link] [Comment]
Carnegie Mellon university is launching the Simon Initiative to accelerate research on technology-aided learning (named after Herbert Simon) and the Global Learning Council that "will spearhead efforts to develop standards and promote best practices in online education." Herbert Simon was the real deal but this initiative seems oddly out of place. "They seem to be masters of leaping to the front of whatever parade they see and shouting 'Follow me!'" says Steve Foerster in a comment. "Except instead of leaping to the front of this parade, they are leaping somewhere into the middle of the last third of the parade shouting 'Follow me!'" rejoins someone else. Another person observes, "In reading the release, it appears that online education began with MOOCs and the elite institutions." True, all too true. You'd never know we've been at this for 20 or 30 years.[Link] [Comment]
Bookmark iBerry !