Miscellaneous

Coursera shifts focus from ‘impact on learners’ to ‘reach of universities’

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/28/2014 - 18:00


Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, Jun 28, 2014

Just to note this, so we don't miss it: "Richard C. Levin, the new chief executive of Coursera [says] the talk of “ flipped classrooms” and “ blended learning” — weaving MOOCs into classroom experiences — is not mere hype. 'But that is not the big picture,' Levin said in a visit last week to The Washington Post. 'The big picture is this magnifies the reach of universities by two or three orders of magnitude.'" Feldstein comments (cynically?) "It is possible that Levin’ s focus will indirectly improve the learning potential of Coursera’ s products and services, but  it is worth noting a significant change in focus from the largest MOOC provider." See also the  Chronicle's coverage of the same announcement; "esearchers at Columbia University published a paper noting that many university stakeholders are unclear about why they are investing in MOOCs." Related:  the value of MOOCs to early adopter universities, EDUCAUSE Review.

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WWW-based online education turns 20 this summer

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/28/2014 - 18:00
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Phil Hill, e-Literate, Jun 28, 2014

Though the  World Wide Web publicly launched in 1991, it didn't really take off until the fall of 1993 and the invention of the graphical browser. This it became that 1994 marked the start of web-based courses, and hence, 2014 became the 20th anniversary of that event. My first website and first online course (on the logical fallacies) didn't appear until 1995 (gosh! I'm such a newbie) (in the years 1991-93 I was still working with educational MUDs; in the 1980s it was with Bulletin Board Services (BBSs). This post from Phil Hill is mainly a recreation of this paper by  Marc Eisenstadt describing the first web-based course, on Cognitive Psychology, offered to 12 students at the Open University. (p.s. this post is also notable for its links to the old  Internet Underground Music Archive and to Charles Severance's  Internet History and Technology course).

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Pisa Declaration on Policy Development for Grey Literature Resources

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/28/2014 - 18:00


Various authors, GreyNet International, Jun 28, 2014

'Grey literature' is not my favourite term but it will do for now I guess. It includes "research and technical reports, briefings and reviews, evaluations, working papers, conference papers, theses, and multimedia content." In other words, just about every publication related to research that is not a formal academic publication. The Pisa Declaration referred to here is a "call for increased recognition of grey literature’ s role and value by governments, academics and all stakeholders, particularly its importance for open access." I'm not sure why a declaration is needed for this but I can't say I disagree with it. I wish it didn't feel like marketing for the 'Grey Guide' report. More at GreyNet.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Study: Teens Are Not Fleeing Facebook

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/28/2014 - 12:00
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Garett Sloane, AdWeek, Jun 28, 2014

There's a bit of cheek in this report as it not only debunks an  earlier study by Princeton, it also refers back to a Facebook study, using the same methodology, that shows "that Princeton will have only half its current enrollment by 2018, and by 2021 it will have no students at all." The  Forrester study makes it clear that "Facebook remains young users’ favorite social network. More than three-quarters of online youth use Facebook — twice as many as use Pinterest or Tumblr or Snapchat, and more than use Instagram and WhatApp combined."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The massive impact on economic growth of open data in government

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/28/2014 - 10:00
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Ross Dawson, Trends in the Living Networks, Jun 28, 2014

People sometimes say my push toward open learning is driven by ideology, and there is a bit of that. But it is driven by economics as well, as the value of open education to governments is in the hundreds of billions. And it's the leading edge of a wider benefit that is valued in the trillions. "The major figure from the report is that potential value from open data to the G20 nations is $2.6 trillion annually, or around 1.1% of GDP over the next 5 years. The major sectors where value accrues from open data policies are Education, Transport, Consumer Products, Electricity, Oil and Gas, Health Care, and Consumer Finance." I see this expense as a needless draining of resources from the public purse to private interests, a type of waste far greater in proportion and impact than inefficiency, and probably second only to corruption and war.

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The 10 Things You Should Include In Your Website

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/28/2014 - 10:00


Amit Agarwal, Digital Inspiration, Jun 28, 2014

Oh, I hate list-based  click-bait articles ('listicles') because they're just so much filler. But like a speckled trout I clicked on  this one to see if I was on the list of '25 of the Best RSS Feeds for Educators' (spoiler: I'm not) and from that followed a link to another listicle, this one on ten things you should include in your website. This is actually a pretty good list, will make your site mobile-friendlier, and I especially like the idea of a  humans.txt file.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

A Slew of Studies, Summarized

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/28/2014 - 10:00


Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, Jun 28, 2014

The general trend of these three studies reported on in this article is that the cost of higher education isn`t such a barrier to poor people as we thought. The undertone to all three is that they are based on hedges and misleading statistics. The studies show, respectively that: college is still worth it, student aid is harmful, and student debt is overstated. The first result, though, is based on the idea that opportunity cost is lower due to the bad economy. The second blames rising tuition on aid programs. The third is based on a small  biased sample of rich people. The sort of question I ask when I see this is: what's motivating these studies?

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Meet the (Real) Net Generation

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 13:00
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Don Tapscott, YouTube, Jun 27, 2014

Don Tapscott rides again - the best part is in the first few minutes where he recites all the literature saying how bad the network generation is. Then he explains why they're not so bad after all.

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LRMI at the Cetis conference 2014

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 06/27/2014 - 10:00


Phil Barker, Lorna Campbell, CETIS, Jun 27, 2014

“ What on Earth Could Justify Another Attempt at Educational Metadata?" That's the name of the first presentation in a set of presentations summarizing the involvement by CETIS in an initiative co-led Creative Commons and the Association of Educational Publishers, and funded by the Gates Foundation. This slide show is a partial history of metadata initiatives (it doesn't mention the Canadian East-West standards and the AICC specification)(see also What is schema.org? and my blog post on explaining the LRMI alignment object).

Another presentation from Phil Barker explains LRMI - "LRMI/schema.org metadata is deeply embedded in the web to the extent that it is right in the pointy brackets of the HTML code of web pages." There's also a presentation explaining an LRMI implementation by Google custom search. Then "Ben Ryan of Jorum discussed his work in implementing schema.org / LRMI in DSpace." Finally, Phil Barker gives " a short over view of some of the sites that we have found to be using LRMI because they show up in the Custom Search Engine results." Related: video on  using schema.org to describe open educational resources.

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