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Vance Stevens, adVancEducation, May 6, 2013 This is not a long post but I want to highlight what is I think a key insight contained within: "regarding the problem with corporate and other institutional training programs. They are attempts to teach participants in these programs to fish in an era where the tools of fishing are evolving rapidly... In other words, such training doesn't scale. It becomes less efficient the more rapidly evolutionary change approaches. Training should focus instead on the wider issues of finding a range of tools available to address desired pedagogical tools. The answer is learning, not teaching. Learning scales. This is what MOOCs are about. They are experiments for scaling learning." [Link] [Comment]
[Slides][Audio] Discussion of the concept of Massive Open Online Courses as they evolved from the development of open online learning and evolved into a means of offering social and immersive learning online. The context was a discussion of officials from the University College of the North in manitoba, which is mandated to provide learning to numerous communities scattered across a large northern environment. University College of the North, Thompson, Manitoba via Google Hangout (Keynote) May 6, 2013 [Comment]
Kevin Bell, Inside Higher Ed, May 6, 2013 Coverage of my post from almost a month ago (!) responding to the rebranding of MOOCs. With Audrey Watters's recent column, I guess it's suddenly relevant again. "The MOOC spirit has been eroded by institutions and individuals who see an easy way to sound (or just seem) tech-online savvy. MOOCs are being used by many institutions to avoid actually having to discuss issues like ownership of curriculum, scalability and strategic online growth." [Link] [Comment]
Audrey Watters, Hack Education, May 6, 2013 Audrey Watters came to Canada to speak at the Ed Tech Innovations conference and with a series of f-bombs attacked the revisionism that is eliminating the Canadian contribution to MOOCs from history. Why does it matter who gets credit? "It’ s a carefully constructed narrative — one that invokes certain events from the past and pieces together tidbits from the present, in order to make some folks appear heroic, to frame the world ideologically, and to point to and shape the future." I've posted the audio of her talk here. [Link] [Comment]
The MOOC Quality Project, May 6, 2013 This is a project that will post a dozen or so weekly commentaries about quality in MOOCs - my own post is due to be posted in a week or two. "Are MOOCs the new model of online education for all? Are they fit to democratize education? and above all – what is a good quality MOOC? The MOOC Quality Project, an initiative of the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning (www.efquel.org), addresses the latter question not by trying to find one answer which fits all, but by trying to stimulate a discourse on the issue of Quality of MOOCs." [Link] [Comment]
MOOC Production Fellowship, May 6, 2013 Interesting site that will fund the production of 10 MOOCs at 25K Euros each. That's not the interesting part of the site; the interesting part is the set of 250+ courses being proposed for development. And also, the bit below talking about the "core" of the MOOC: video, feedback and P2P learning. The site is a bit confusing, though, if you enter via the search engine route, as it's not clear from the presentation that these are courses being proposed and not actually being offered. Ah, if only people knew, and applied, the distinction between "will" and "would". [Link] [Comment]
Tumblr, May 3, 2013 Finding examples of the lazy Education is broken meme wherever they surface their squashy little heads. [Link] [Comment]
Adam Cooper, Adam Cooper's Work Blog, May 3, 2013 Link to "report that describes, in summary form, the findings of a survey into: a) the current state of awareness of, and research or development into, this problem of seamless data exchange between multiple software systems, and b) standards and pre-standardisation work that are candidates for use or experimentation." Three formats: Open Office, PDF, MS Word. [Link] [Comment]
[Slides][Audio] Engaging panel with a researcher, educator, professor and a lawyer about the privacy and legal implications of MOOCs. Panel: Discovery Education Canada(Dean Shareski), BD& P (Jim Swanson), Alberta Distance Learning Centre (Verena Roberts), National Research Council Canada (Stephen Downes, panel moderator) Ed Tech Innovation, Calgary, Alberta (Panel) May 3, 2013 [Comment]
Inside Higher Ed, May 3, 2013 San Jose teachers are attacking the 'Great Teachers' / 'Best Teachers in the World' meme that has been associated with the recent 'elite universities' MOOCs. "There is no pedagogical problem in our department that JusticeX solves," the letter to Sandel says, "nor do we have a shortage of faculty capable of teaching our equivalent course." And they question the pedagogy that xMOOCs implement in their place. "The move to outside vendor MOOCs is especially troubling in light of this--it is hard to see how they can nourish the complex mix of information, attitudes, solidarity and moral commitment that are crucial to flourishing democracies." [Link] [Comment]
Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning: Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice
Rory McGreal, Wanjira Kinuthia, Stewart Marshall, Tim McNamara, Commonwealth of Learning, May 3, 2013 Rory McGreal announced today that this book is now online at www.col.org/psOERIRP and is available in PDF and epub. From the website: "It describes the movement in detail, providing readers with insight into OER’ s significant benefits, its theory and practice, and its achievements and challenges." I have a chapter in the book on the role of OERs in personal learning. I argue, "when a course is designed according to network principles, and hence as a MOOC, the role of OER changes dramatically. Far from being published materials created by academics and authors and merely consumed by course participants, they begin to become the way in which these course participants communicate with each other and, as a consequence, their use and exchange numbers are not in the single digits but rather in the hundreds or thousands." [Link] [Comment]
Eric Hellman, Go To Hellman, May 2, 2013 Interesting analogy: "book publishing is all about suppressing the weeds and fertilizing the flowers. Suppressing weeds is fashionably called 'curation' and the fertilizer is politely called 'marketing'." So what is personal publishing? Cultivating dandelions - which are, in most contexts, noxious weeds. "It's only the dregs of publishing that makes money off of weeds. And dandelions are weeds in most contexts. The righteous publishers treat their books like children, and yes, they put lots of effort into them." Dp I agree with this? No. But it's an interesting analogy. [Link] [Comment]
Charles Severance, Dr. Chuck's Blog, May 2, 2013 Charles Severance is feeling failed by Creative Commons; I would answer that I saw this coming. Severance writes, "It is like my material is trapped in a content slum. You might think that search engines can tell the difference between me publishing my content and some scumbag replicating it in a content slum – but they can’ t – when enough slums exist the original is lost in the noise." Via FunnyMonkey, which observes, "you can't license people into good behavior." Perhaps not, but I find the 'non-commercial" restriction does the job for me, even if Creative Commons has entered into a campaign against the NC condition. [Link] [Comment]
Wayne Rash, EdTech, May 2, 2013 We're still a few months before services like this reach prime time (and push MOOCs off the front pages) but they're coming and eventually everybody will use one or another. "Cloud Identity Manager provides users with single sign-on access to cloud applications. In addition, the identity management tool creates a web portal for a variety of online services, ranging from LinkedIn to Amazon, to which users can connect with a single click." Why isn't it prime time yet? "Implementing McAfee Cloud Identity Manager requires deep knowledge of server operating systems and directory services." [Link] [Comment]
The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright
Michael Geist, May 2, 2013 From Michael Geist: "I am delighted to report that this week the University of Ottawa Press published The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law, an effort by many of Canada's leading copyright scholars to begin the process of examining the long-term implications of the copyright pentalogy. The book is available for purchase and is also available as a free download under a Creative Commons licence. The book can be downloaded in its entirety or each of the 14 chapters can be downloaded individually." Good reading for the flight home. [Link] [Comment]
Cathy Davidson, HASTAC, May 1, 2013 Cathy Davidson reacts with some bemusement on finding herself at the top of the list of movers and shakers in the MOOc works, as seen by the Chronicle of Higher Education. "Am I a key player in the MOOCs being supported by venture capitalists at a handful of elite or Ivy or near-Ivy institutions? Hardly!"
Contact North, May 1, 2013 Short report from Contact North consisting mostly of summaries of the relevant research reports. The conclusion is utterly unsurprising: "the consensus seems to be that no amount of research will ever result in a ‘ yes’ or ‘ no’ answer to the question of whether or not online learning saves money while maintaining quality." This is in large part, to my mind, due to a rampant vagueness about what constitutes 'quality'. [Link] [Comment]
May 1, 2013 From the website: "Since 1990, MindFuel has been dedicated to creating and delivering unique science programs for kids in classrooms and online. Science should be fun, intriguing and inspiring, so our programs are designed to be just that. We give students a chance to interact with different materials, experiment with a variety of solutions and explore unique online worlds." Mindfuel is formerly the Science Alberta Foundation, and is evolving to a model similar to the Australian Academy of Science's PrimaryConnections. Mindfuel programs include Wonderville (explore careeers in pipelines), Ignition Pack (formerly the the Science-in-a-Crate Program) and Edacity (science social network for rural students). [Link] [Comment]
SMART Technologies, May 1, 2013 From the website: "The SMART Ecosystem Network (SEN) is a community designed to nurture the growth of companies and individuals interested in working with SMART. The network provides technical resources, accreditation programs and marketing support to its members, ensuring they are given the resources they need to develop and market software and content that work well with... SMART products." [Link] [Comment]
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