Miscellaneous

GradeSlam Raises $1.6 Million in Seed Financing

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 09:00


Philip Cutler, GradeSlam Blog, [Sept] 04, 2016

A Montreal company called GradeSlam has raised $1.6 million in seed funding after launching last fall. According to its website,  "GradeSlam provides unlimited tutoring at a fixed cost, one-tenth the cost of traditional models, making one-to-one learning financially accessible in a way that has never been done before."

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Self-Paced E-Learning Market Evaporating, Report Finds

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Leo Doran, Ed Week Market Brief, [Sept] 04, 2016

As quickly as you can say "MOOCs have had no impact" you can discover that free and open online learning has had an impact after all. "Future revenue in the $33 billion e-learning market is expected to fall precipitously in the United States and internationally... The free report, published by Monroe, Wash.-based Ambient Insight, predicts a five-year compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of negative 6.4 percent for self-paced courseware, translating into an anticipated $13.3 billion drop in worldwide revenue from 2015 to 2021." The good news for prroducers is that earnings for other types of e-learning, such as "mobile learning, simulation-based learning, game-based learning, and 'brain-training'" are on the rise. For now.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

The Dropbox hack is real

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Troy Hunt, [Sept] 04, 2016

This article provides concrete evidence that DropBox has been hacked. So if you haven't changed your DropBox password for a few years, you may want to consider it (my own DropBox password is both recent and pretty secure so I'm feeling OK). See also Motherboard's report.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Elsevier Awarded U.S. Patent For “Online Peer Review System and Method”

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Gary Price, Library Journal, InfoDocket, [Sept] 04, 2016

I think that the operators of  Open Journal Systems may want to say something about the recently awarded Elsevier patent. They have only been operating this sort of technology for the last fifteen years. Tom Reller from Elsevier writes, via Twitter, "There is no need for concern regarding the patent. It’ s simply meant to protect our own proprietary waterfall system from being copied." He does not comment on whether Elsevier copied their system from someone else, and whether the patent is intended to legitimize that act. EFF has awarded it the  Stupid Patent of the Month award.

As EFF notes, Elsevier has a poor track record. "The company has tried to stop researchers from sharing their own papers in institutional repositories, and entered an endless legal battle with rogue repositories Sci-Hub and and LibGen. ... Elsevier recently acquired SSRN, the beloved preprints repository for the social sciences and humanities. There are early signs that it will be a poor steward of SSRN." See also this article from the Chronicle.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Hey Jphn Oliver, Back Off My Charter School

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Center for Education Reform, [Sept] 04, 2016

The  Center for Education Reform appears to be unhappy about the  John Oliver video on charter schools aired last week. They're offering $100,000 to the winner of a contest called Hey John Oliver, Back Off My Charter school. "Here is a brief summary of Mr. Oliver's presentation," they write. "Some charter schools have been mismanaged. Ergo, ipso facto, presto change-o, all charter schools are bad, bad, bad." They want anecdotes: "We want to hear from parents and teachers and especially from students why they made the choice to be at your school! Why do they believe their charter school works better for them than their old school, or the one they would have attended?" View their  Twitter feed for more discussion. Here's  an article on the contest.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

The Cons of Social Media for E-Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 09/03/2016 - 07:00


Tom Kuhlmann, The Rapid E-Learning Blog, [Sept] 03, 2016

The link to his ebook (73 page PDF) appears in his RSS feed, but not the web version of the same post, which is interesting. No matter, it's free and worth a look. To the post: it caught my eye when I found myself sympathizing with how difficult it is to keep up. This is my job and I'm in awe of how a simple thing like computers and websites became this great tangled mass of applications, standards, protocols and formats. And that's just the surface level! And then there's the way the internet has changed from being a place where people share with each other to a place where people relentlessly market themselves (maybe rereading his post was what led him to remove the link to his book). That said, I think he's wrong when he says "Social media is what you make of it." Companies like Facebook and Twitter are working very hard to make sure you can't make it into something that works for you - they need it to work for their advertisers. And we need to rethink 'social'. It's not just 'conversations'. I want to write well-thought-out pieces and engage in thoughtful and reasoned criticism - not conversation. Just saying.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

The Critical Importance Of Defining Your Purpose

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 09/03/2016 - 07:00


Dan Pontefract, [Sept] 03, 2016

Dan Pontefract is still plugging his book, and we need to keep that in mind. He's also doing a bit of name-dropping. But I also think he's on target with this post. "Constantly redefining who one is in life and at work increases the likelihood that  your personal purpose  will be realized. Being relentless in the quest for personal purpose is key to achieving the sweet spot." What's my purpose? Same as it has been for a very long time n- working for an equitable society in which each person can find their own sense of fulfillment, whatever they perceive it to be.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Presence, Structured Exposure and Desire

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 09/03/2016 - 05:00


Keith Lyons, Clyde Street, [Sept] 03, 2016

I can understand the desire on the part of some (many, even) to put down the screens and engage face-to-face, uninterrupted. My sympathy with this view ends when professors - even Clay Shirky - are "moving from recommending students set aside laptops and phones to requiring it." At the point something is required the arguments in its favour become irrelevant, and it is simply the exertion of power that makes it so. And if power is what defines the dynamic in a classroom, then any effort to support the empowerment and the enfranchisement of the student is undermined. I realize a lot of people don't see the classroom dynamic as a question of power. But they are, after all, the ones with the power.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

OER Policy Development Tool

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 09/02/2016 - 20:00


Daniel DeMarte, Amanda Coolidge, Lumen Learning, [Sept] 02, 2016

This tool will help institutions and organizations develop the open access policies they wish to support. It's a bit text-heavy (for example, a one or two work selector should be used for a check-box option, not an entire paragraph) but it should serve as a useful guide. The aim of the tool is to promote system-wide openness. "We believe that to realize the full potential of OER, colleges and universities must move beyond pockets of innovation, where OER is utilized only for select courses, and scale efforts to full OER programs."

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

B.C. Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 09/02/2016 - 20:00


Tara Robertson, Sue Doner, Amanda Coolidge, BC Campus, [Sept] 02, 2016

Needless to say this is an important resources that will be appreciated by a wide public. "The goal of the Accessibility Toolkit is to provide the resources needed so that each content creator, instructional designer, educational technologist, librarian, administrator, teaching assistant, etc. has the opportunity to create a truly open and accessible textbook. An open textbook that is free and accessible for all students."

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

“The fun they had” or about the quality of MOOC

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 09/02/2016 - 20:00


Patrizia Ghislandi, Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, [Sept] 02, 2016

I remember the Isaac Asimov story referenced in this article (16 page PDF). I credit my extensive reading of science fiction with a lot of the foresight I've been able to bring to our field, including with respect to MOOCs. Not surprisingly, this paper concludes, "the relevant literature about MOOC’ s evaluation is still uncertain between the need to adopt one of the few quality enhancement frameworks specifically created for MOOC or reuse the e-learning quality models available online." As I mentioned the other day, ultimately we'll have to evaluate online learning in terms of impact with respect to provider and participant objectives.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous
Syndicate content