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This is an opinion article from the CEO of Creative Commons that (as the title suggests) defends efforts like SciHub to provide direct access to scientific publications despite publisher copyrights. Ironically, as I was reading this article, a bit screen came up, blocking the content, requiring me to turn off my ad blocker. I'm not turning it off. Here's the thing - I don't mind viewing an advertisement, but what the ad blocker blocks are advertisements that track my viewing habits and (sometimes) try to install spyware on my computer. So let me quote the final line in the article baack to Wired: "There’ s no way anyone can know what research and data can reveal unless we set it free. Innovation can come from anywhere— not just academics— but only if we allow for a non-linear and unrestricted approach to inquiry and discovery." There was a day Wired could survive without spying on its readers, but not any more, I guess.[Link] [Comment]
The story swirling around the internet is that the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, answered a question by explaining why quantum computing is interesting and novel. Coverage in Canada about the story focused on the funding announcement for quantum physics at the Perimeter Institute. Which was as it should be. It should not be remarkable that a prime minister should be able to spend 30 seconds speaking knowledgeably about something the government is spending $50 million on. And Trudeau was, after all, a teacher.[Link] [Comment]
This could be an important article. The report (49 page PDF) reports on research around open peer review "facilitated by a specific work of a copy editor, name this prototype as: OPRISM, Open Peer Review facIlitation through Social Media" and proposes a model for the practice. The approach is not without risks, for examplee, "that authors refuse to participate to such protocol and, hence, avoid publications practicing open peer review... The author either fears to ruin his reputation or refuses to be criticized." But on balance, with ownership and control of the manuscript remaining in the author's hands, and review and commentary contained in separate documents, these risks can in general be overcome. And indeed, "As a referee put it himself, 'the referee is reviewed'.... the referee's hegemony, usually mediated by the journal behind the curtains of anonymity, is questioned. Thus, open peer review introduces reciprocity in the process."[Link] [Comment]
The real story here is buried: "While the market is small and fractured today, GSV Capital estimates that education will grow from 9 percent to 12 percent of America’ s GDP over the next decade. This equates to a trillion-dollar opportunity." That's an awful lot of opportunity. Good article with good insight on some rising companies and key trends.[Link] [Comment]
Interesting take. Makes some points that need to be made. Rajani Naidoo writes, "I am arguing against is the idea of competition as a fetish – the idea that different types of competition can be unthinkingly applied to answer all the unsolved problems of higher education. Or the idea that competition has become so powerful that other ways of organising are rendered obsolete."[Link] [Comment]
Somehow I think that my understanding of MOOC quality will be different from their understanding of MOOC quality, but I wish them the best. "MOOQ’ s mission is to develop a quality reference framework for the adoption, the design, the delivery and the evaluation of MOOCs in order to empower MOOC providers for the benefit of the learners. The main goal of MOOQ is therefore the development and the integration of quality approaches, new pedagogies and organisational mechanisms into MOOCs with a strong focus on the learning processes, methodologies and assessments." I will say that the design on the web page reminds me of the inoffensive corporate art you see outside banks or at Canary Wharf.[Link] [Comment]
, , Apr 16, 2016
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Saylor writes and endorses the recent Creative Commons post on OER as a participatory activity. But it adds, "Saylor Academy would absolutely benefit from infrastructure that would encourage us, our students, our partners, and members of the wider open community to really create the open content we need from the open content that we have." Of course, I've spent my entire career working toward this. It's not without its difficulties and obstacles - trust me, I know. It's hard to find funding and support for such a project. You're working against entrenched interests in the content and publishing industries. I'll raise this as a topic here in D.C. with the Discovery Education network and again when I meet with George Siemens in a few days in Arlington. People could have this if they were willing to put up some backing for it.[Link] [Comment]
Students from an online Master's degree course are suing because "the program doesn’ t live up to its promise of being designed for an online setting and not a physical classroom." It's a textbook case of how not to deliver online instruction: "the 'content' mostly consisted of scanned-in PDFs of textbooks (with blurry pages and sentences cut off) and PowerPoint slides taken from the in-class courses, without any narration or explication." And to rub salt in the wound, "At an estimated $33,300, the online program is about $4,000 more expensive than the face-to-face program." Cash grab.[Link] [Comment]
I have it in mind to one day update my logical fallacies site and to incorporate into an online course. Meanwhile, there's this: "Your Logical Fallacy Is is a website that provides short explanations and examples of twenty-four common logical fallacies. Visitors to the site can click through the gallery to read the examples. Your Logical Fallacy Is also provides free PDF poster files that you can download and print." Also, Wireless Philosophy offers a playlist of twelve videos on logical fallacies.[Link] [Comment]
I realize that you don't care about my life (at least, not nearly as much as I care about it). That's OK, I can deal with that. But when I was taking religious studies courses in the 1980s I first encountered the 'confessional' course, where we were studying religion not only as a phenomenon but also as an expression of personal faith. Not having faith, I fared poorly, and it was my only 'C' in a string of As. But why is this relevant? Because it sheds some light on what's actually happening in this article when the author writes, "the confessional voice is dangerously attractive; as Virginia Woolf put it, 'under the decent veil of print one can indulge one’ s egoism to the full.'"
Is the author simply using the term 'confessional' incorrectly? Or, as is more likely, is he confusing the objective voice with the context-free voice? A mixture of both ('confessional' as reflecting "our declining belief in a tradition or canon (whose dead white masterworks once ensured that critics shared a set of reference points outside the self)"). But my background knowledge is what tells me that the author is opposing the idea of criticism as belief or point of view. If he simply stated his point so plainly, the grounds for objection would be clear. But the argument needs to be extracted from its shell, and you, the reader, have the right to be informed about the mechanism I used to do that, which in this case was my personal experience of confessional courses in the 1980s.[Link] [Comment]
Thank goodness. Now if we could only get Apple to 'abandon' Safari on Windows (and everywhere else). Then all those annoying update messages for products I never use would stop. Oh, and I haven't had QuickTime installed for years - it hasn't stopped the slew of update popups. Earth to Apple: the world does not need software optimized for the Apple experience.[Link] [Comment]
"Please, don’ t put your papers on Academia.edu," Wolfgang Schwarz writes, arguing according to this article that "He argues that the platform essentially bans access for academics who, for whatever reason, don’ t have an Academia.edu account. It also shuts out non-academics." I've been hit with login requirements from both here and its twin, ResearchGate. I don't upload my papers to either site, though they've collected a large body of work by scraping available online libraries.[Link] [Comment]
Here is the point of the post in a nutshell: "If we agree that empowerment and engagement of educators and learners is an important goal, we need to implement active policies that build on and support the potential ensured by passive ones," policies such as incentives and infrastructure (but let's be honest: mostly incentives). This is based on the presumption that "less than 5% of users is willing to modify content, remix it, create own versions and mash-ups." Judging by the amount of resharing, retweeting, and reposting that happens on Twitter, Facebook and the rest, I would say this number is very low. If it applies at all, it probably only applies to teachers and OERs. And I have to ask, if we have to incent them to reuse, then we should examine what we're doing.[Link] [Comment]
This is a survey from the responses from the winners of Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) grants last year.
All of these seem reasonable - who would object? But the implementation is another matter, and these points are all (especially the last three) so broad they offer no guidance at all.[Link] [Comment]
More evidence for a proposition that has been noted in this newsletter before, specifically, that equality of outcomes is not achieved simply by providing access to the same curriculum. The purpose of elite institutions of higher education is to allow the wealthy to create insider networks, and these appear to freeze out the non-wealthy, even those who attend these institutions. "Graduates from richer family backgrounds (defined as top 20 percent by household income) earn significantly more after graduation than other graduates, even after completing similar degrees from similar universities." See also another report on the same study from the BBC.[Link] [Comment]
Relatively light (11 page PDF) but generally useful guide on the use of social media to support an event. The publishers produce event apps, so they have an interest in this, but it doesn't appear until the last page. And they capture the pain point nicely: "56% of marketers still list the ‘ inability to tie engagement to business outcomes’ as the largest pain point of measuring social media ROI." I agree. It was really difficult for me to match a particular event to the launch of a particular project. How then do I justify them to my managers?[Link] [Comment]
For the record: OpenText release. "Introducing OpenText Release 16 which offers an open platform for better control, deeper integrations into your mission-critical systems and a sharp focus on embedded analytics for actionable intelligence, available on premise or in the cloud. All in a single release."[Link] [Comment]
Alexander Russo writes, "In case you haven't seen it, there's a "Non-Conference" on Privatization in Education at NYU going on this week... The hashtag is #PoPNonCon16. The livestream is here." Just so you know.[Link] [Comment]
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