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I'm not so interested in the beat-mixing as I am in the Shoutcast broadcasting. I haven't tried it yet but it's on my list. So my thanks to Nigel Robertson, who commented on Friday's post that he "was cheesed off when I heard this too but then the path of 'progress' is littered with broken and abandoned technologies! Mixxx is an open source option on all desktop platforms and it will broadcast directly to Icecast and Shoutcast." Frank Lowney also suggested WOWZA for live broadcasts (which is why I use Shoutcast, and WOWZA is way more than I need - a nice simple 64 bit audio stream will do nicely, thanks).[Link] [Comment]
Now what will I do for Ed Radio? "The famous media player Winamp will shut down next month, over 15 years after its initial release. Though Winamp eventually lost popularity, in the late '90s and early 2000s it was one of the go-to media players for listening to local music or radio streams. In 2002, Winamp's maker, Nullsoft, was acquired by AOL for over $80 million in stock, where it's remained in development until now." I use a Winamp plugin as my digital signal processor (DSP) for ShoutCast. Npow what will I use?[Link] [Comment]
As Dean Shareski observes, a lot of educators are enthused about this video depicting three girls making a Rube Goldberg machine rather than imagining themselves as Disney princesses. "I like the message. I like the way it’ s shot. I like the girls," he says. But like most images in advertising, it's not real. And so even if we like the message, we have to question the methodology. But more, "While I might be able to look past that, and I can, I don’ t like the perception that this is authentic as it suggests. Which raises the larger question of authentic student voice." And in fact, thd child's voice is usurped far more often than we might like. The Dalton Sherman keynote, for example, urging schools to change. But he never had any hand in writing it. Shareski points to the Logan Lapante TED video as a good example of authentic student voice, but this supposes that a TED video can be authentic, which I doubt. TED only picks messages its well-heeled sponsors want to hear, and a TED speaker, no matter how apparently authentic, is essentially the online world's teacher's pet reciting a preapproved message. Real voices of any kind are genuinely difficult to find, which is why when they appear, the are so valued.[Link] [Comment]
More fun curmudgeonly criticism from Donald Clark. He writes, "I’ m not even sure that social constructivism is an actual theory, in the sense that it’ s verified, studied, understood and used as a deep, theoretical platform for action." (Me, I see social constrictivism as positing a 'black box' theory of learning - but back to Clark). Some thoughts:
- I agree, kind of, with Clark's criticism of Rousseau (though the Hume quote is unfair, as he was trying to give Rousseau a place to live, not theoretical support) - but I lean toward Rousseau's naturalism, and away from his pronouncements on 'the general will'
- I am also, with Clark, not a Marxist (though I've been accused of being one) - not because of Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot (none of whom actually practiced Marxism) but because I reject collectivism in favour of what might be called cooperativism
- I also, with Clark, don't agree with Piaget, and mostly for the same reasons: "His famous four ‘ ages and stages’ developmental model has been fairly well demolished." I agree with a sensitivity to capacities - children are different from adults. But children are also very different from each other. So 'class based' learning theory is probably wrong.
- and, with Clark, I don't agree with Vygotsky, and in particular with "the idea that learning is fundamentally a socially mediated and constructed activity." But while Clark bases his objection in Chomsky's ideas, I do not. I just don't see learning as inherently based in language. That doesn't make society irrelevant - I do endorse the idea of 'scaffolding', for example - but it means that society is not necessary.
- Finally, I am with Clark in his last few points: I agree that social constructivism is inefficient (especially iof you need to just know something), I agree it ignores the power of solitary learning, I agree that it is damaging to the less privileged, and that it appeals to a sense of utopianism. I am not an instructivist - I don't believe in teaching - but I think showing and telling can be incredibly valuable.[Link] [Comment]
I don't know whether Bill Rosenblatt realized the irony of his own words in this paean to Korean copyright compliance, but I'll reorder a couple of sentences to make it clear: "This is what happens when a government not only pays lip service to copyright but also puts its money where its mouth is... perfectly groomed K-Pop starlets performing on the MTV Korea broadcast." I know Rosenblatt is trying to credit Korea's media "perfect storm" on copyright compliance, but in fact (as we all know) Korean technology and media were successful before any sort of copyright clampdown; stringent copyright protection entrenches existing industries, it doesn't create them. [Image: Infinite, Be Mine][Link] [Comment]
"The aim of education is to develop the student." So said Kohlberg and Mayer in 1972, and this marks the point of departure for this resource on assessment methods. It is the first in a series intended to address the assessment of digital literacies. This module outlines the work of Vygotsky, Glaser, and Rasch. "The idea of criterion - or standards - referenced assessment, reported in the form of a progression of emerging skills, is designed to assist teachers target and differentiate instruction to meet the learning needs of all students." Good review material, well worth a look. Also, see their LinkedIn group and Twitter feed.[Link] [Comment]
Thrun Watch, Day 3: Tressie McMillan Cottom: "Thrun says it wasn’ t a failure. It was a lesson. But for the students who invested time and tuition in an experiment foisted on them by the of stewards public highered trusts, failure is a lesson they didn’ t need." The Drucker Institute: "just about all of us want to see universities as we know them transformed into universities as we don’ t know them." Rebecca Schuman: "Thrun blames neither the corporatization of the university nor the MOOC’ s use of unqualified “ student mentors” in assessment. Instead, he blames the students themselves for being so poor." Alan Levine: Pivot MOOC. Udacity blog: App development with Salesforce. Owen Youngman (The Atlantic), "Thousands of people sign up for online classes they never end up taking."[Link] [Comment]
From the press release: "In their drive to attract new revenues by collaborating with corporations, donors, and governments, Canadian universities are entering into agreements that place unacceptable limits on academic freedom and sacrifice fundamental academic principles, according to a report released today by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)." Here's the full report. Via Academica.[Link] [Comment]
OK, you see the headline above. But read the story and see this: "The paper is based on a survey of 34,779 students worldwide who took 24 courses offered by Penn professors on the Coursera platform." Goodness gracious, the word "MOOCs" does not mean the same thing as "courses offered by Penn professors on the Coursera platform." The Chronicle can be so infuriating at times. Coursera very deliberately targeted an upmarket customer profile, so no wonder that's who they got (this is not an exception, Ng notwithstanding). I would like to think that som other open online learning initiatives are reaching a much wider demographic. Certainly that's what I aspire toward.[Link] [Comment]
Contact North has produced an 8-part services providing an overview of the contribuition of Tony Bates to online and distance education. It provides a very accessible and clear outline of his work over the last few decades. The series parts are as follows:
"His constant message is that most institutions are under-exploiting the potential of technology to respond to the growing pressures for change in post-secondary education. For meaningful improvements, major changes are needed in the prevailing institutional cultures and the way they are managed."
I think that what amuses me most about the reaction to the Thrun story is the glowing descriptions of him have only intensified. "The King of MOOCs." "The Genius Godfather of MOOCs." Really now. As I and the many other people working toward the same end have pointed out repeatedly, the signal change in MOOCs is openess, not whatever it was (hubris? VC money?) that Thrun brought to the table. Rebecca Schuman claims this is a victory for "the tiny, for-credit, in-person seminar." It's not that, no more than the Titanic disaster was a victory for wind-powered passenger transportation.
The Hewlett Foundation has released a White Paper on Open Educational Resources along with a consultant's report on the OER ecosystem and a call for proposals to develop an OER Map, as discussed at a recent online UNESCO conference (OLDaily post) on the topic. While I support the overall goals of the OER movement (obviously) the ubiquitous photo of children with hands raised awaiting permission to speak suggests the generally conservative taken by the report which I do not favour so much, where materials are designed to supoport US-style courses and where "...materials will be organized in a way that enables in-classroom adoption simple enough to encourage widespread use." My idea of success would look a lot different, with materials designed to support people creating their own learning. Success for me, would depend a lot less on publishers, and a lot more on indiviodual and ad hoc conbtent creation and sharing - a community focus rather than a producer and provider focus. [Photo] Related: the Global List of OER Initiatives in the OER Community on the KC Platform has been updated with categories.[Link] [Comment]
The most recent issue of e_learning Papers has been posted on the European Commission Open Education Europa portal and it focuses on a topic of interest to me, personal learning environments (PLEs). There's quite a lot to read in this issue, including a paper, Developing a framework for research on Personal Learning Environments, by my colleagues Rita Kop and Hé lè ne Fournier. From the forward to the issue, as quoted in this post: "More of an approach or strategy than a specific learning platform, a PLE is created by learners in the process of designing and organising their own learning, as opposed to following pre-arranged learning paths. In this way, PLEs are distinctly learner-centred and foster autonomous learning. PLEs are by no means isolated; they are interconnected in a digital ecosystem of media, tools and services." If MOOCs are one side of the open learning coin, this is the other side.[Link] [Comment]
Despite Udacity's 'pivot' the VC world remains enthusiastic about MOOCs, to judge from this article in Venture Beat about MOOCs in Jordan. In particular, it reports, "[Jordan's] Queen Rania Al Abdullah has spoken out in favor of the movement, arguing that online education will benefit minority groups in the Arab world, especially young women... Queen Rania’ s foundation announced the formation of a new Arabic online education service called Edraak."[Link] [Comment]
Via MyEducationPath, which summarizes: "Janux, a new interactive learning community created in partnership between The University of Oklahoma and technology leader NextThought, connects learners and teachers through high-quality OU courses. Janux is the first of its kind in OpenCourseWare, combining multimedia-rich content with interactive social tools and a broader learning community to create an unparalleled learning environment." In other words, it sounds like a cMOOC. But you have to sign up before you can see anything. Update: Laura Gibbs, who has tried it out, calls it "an xMOOC in cMOOC clothing."[Link] [Comment]
Summary of a recent conference hosted by business software company SAP focusing on innovatoon and productivity in Canada. We hear the usual story: despite what Canadians may tell ourselves, we are lagging in research, innovation and productivity. Speakers targeted the education system, research spending, and Canada's aversion to risk-taking. Canada needs to look forward, to things like the internet of things, while focusing on the customer experience, said speakers. "Dynamic companies knowingly couple investment with risk-taking and see a corresponding increase in productivity. But many companies don’ t think they need, for example, government or outside help, and suffer the productivity consequences." But at the same time, notes Terry Dawes, "By the end of the evening, it’ s safe to say that most attendees, in engaging in a conversation rather than a pure sales event, may have forgotten that they had just been successfully marketed to."[Link] [Comment]
Educators love taxonomies and here's one I'm sure will appeal to all: the five basic types of content. The presentation is from a business point of view, but with a little imagination I'm sure we can recast them in educational terms, as follows:
David Armano adds, "It's time to move the "brand as media" discussion into more actionable territory. As attention shifts to newsfeeds and mobile streams— the stories we tell there need to be all the more compelling." Educators, take note.[Link] [Comment]
Audrey Watters summarizes, "Facebook has launched Open Academy, a partnership with 22 universities that will set up a special class where students can get college credit for contributing to open source projects." TechCrunch reasons, "A perfect GPA isn’ t cool. You know what’ s cool? Advancing an open source project." So what is the source of this brand new innovation in learning? You guessed it. "After a successful pilot at Stanford last year, Open Academy is expanding to a total of 22." Sigh.[Link] [Comment]
The latest update to the LMS market, this time expanded to reach beyond U.S. borders to encompass 'the Anglosphere' (loosely construed). Corportae learning management is still not included. The story the graphic tells will be familiar to OLDaily readers, though: Blackboard keeps contracting, while Canvas, Moodle and Desirfe2Learn keep growing. The MOOC systems appear, but seem more like a blip on the overall market. "The only new potential system of interest this year," writes Phil Hill, "is OpenEdX."[Link] [Comment]
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