Miscellaneous

Ethics in the Open

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 03/26/2014 - 10:29
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Rob Farrow, OER Research Hub, March 29, 2014

Ethics to me depends on epistemology - what counts as right and wrong depends in an important way on what we know and how we can know it. So I haven't said a lot about ethics and learning technology, because there is so little agreement yet as to what constitutes success and what we know about that. This post considers some of the differences in ethics in work carried out inside and outside institutions. For many thee insstitution provides the ethics frameowrk. But what about outside the institution, and what about he wider framework? I think there's room, as suggested here, for an approach based on 'ethics in the open'. "There is a real need for using one’ s own judgment and reflecting on the ethical dimensions of research for oneself.   When working in the open – potentially beyond institutional reach – an awareness of ethical principles and how they should be applied is essential."

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Cloud, Services and the Transformation of Production

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 03/26/2014 - 09:46


Irving Wladawsky-Berger, March 29, 2014

Good article that describes the rise of cloud computing not only as a change in the delivery of online resources, but also as a change in the organization of computing generally, and with it a gange in the organization and understanding of production and work generally. "IT-based tools are bringing major technology- and organizationally-driven productivity increases to services. A fundamental transformation in services in underway."

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Strength in Numbers

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 03/26/2014 - 09:36


Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, March 29, 2014

It has been a long time since I've had occasion to  refer to XanEdu in thesse pages, but news comes today that "XanEdu and AcademicPub will merge as quickly as the two parties can sign the paperwork -- a response to a textbook market still clamoring for an all-of-the-above solution to course materials." XanEdu always had a good idea, but was eclipsed by self-publishing systems such as LuLu and while quietly building a respeectable market based for its educational publishing products is now looking toward greater access to learning materials directly. Hence the merger.

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Intergenerational mobility: new evidence from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 03/26/2014 - 05:44


Bruce Bradbury, Gerry Redmond, Ilan Katz, Melissa Wong, National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), March 29, 2014

Interesting long-term study of the impaact of education on intergenerational mobility. What this study asks is whether increased access to education, and imporved educational outcomes, lead to changes in students' socio-economic standing: do they get better jobs? Do they assume more influential positions in society? Are they wealthier? The study's conclusion is negative: dispite improving educational outcomes since the 1970s, intergenerational mobility has not improved. Why? Because the reltion works the other way: "Socioeconomic status is a major influence on educational attainment. This was true in 1975 and is still true today... he findings in this report are consistent with the international evidence, which indicates remarkable stability in the level of intergenerational inequalities over time in different countries, despite changes in social and educational policies."

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Coursera and edX Hire New Executives: What about online experience?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 20:05


Phil Hill, e-Literate, March 28, 2014

As Phil Hill writes, there have been some leadership changes at the top of some online course providers. " First, Coursera announced they had hired Richard Levin, former president of Yale University, to be the company’ s new CEO.... On the same day, coincidentally, edX announced they had hired Wendy Cebula as the company’ s new president and chief operating officer." Hill comments that none of the eexecutives as any real experience in online learning. "Stanford, MIT, and Yale are all excellent schools, but just 3.6%, 0.2% and 0.1% of their students take any courses online, according to 2012 IPEDS data." But that is not, in my view, why these people were hired. They were hired for their connections, for their networks. They were hired to help pry loose more VC funding, more foundation funding, more government funding. The product is incidental.

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The MOOC of One

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 19:54


Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, March 28, 2014

This is a first lightly edited vrsion of the transcript of my talk in Valencia a few days ago. It describes the development of the MOOC and  want to leads into a discussion of what will follow, what the next generation technology will be to follow after the MOOC. But more, it challenges readers to rethink some of their perceptions about what it is to teach, what it is that an education is supposed to provide. We have this intuitive idea that we think we understand when we begin to educate someone, we're going to make somebody a doctor, but what does that mean? I'm not sure we even know, and a major part of the reason we developed the MOOC is to challenge our thinking around some of these ideas.

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LAK14 Tuesday am (3): Machine learning workshop

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 18:53
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Doug Clow, Doug Clow's Imaginatively-Titled Blog, March 28, 2014

Session from the  2014 offering of Learning and Analytic Knowledge (LAK), which kicks off with George Siemens offering and overview and current state of the research. Doug Clow summarizes: "as a research community we’ re young. How do we increase the sophistication of the analysis we’ re doing? The prevalence of techniques like SNA, discourse analysis, recommenders. Very healthy for a new community. To mature, make a distinct mark and impact, need to begin to advance discipline-specific approaches." We also hear from Dragan Gasevic on learning analytics literature analysis, Carolyn Rosé on machine learning, Annika Wolff and Zdenek Zdrahal on predictive modeling. Good long detailed summaries.

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Episode 59: It’s a Traaaaaaaappppp!

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 18:39
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Tim Owens, Andy Rush, DTLT, March 28, 2014

In you want a fun listen, the headline says it all: "Pearson announced a grab for the LMS market today by publicizing an 'open free LMS' integrated in Google Apps for Education as a loss-leader to their content products that they sell. It’ s an interesting announcement because it targets not just Blackboard but also Moodle in that they’ re offering it as hosted, managed, and supported."

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OERs, MOOCs and LPSS

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 08:50
ICT advisory board meeting, Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization , Tunis, Tunisia (Keynote) March 24, 2014 [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Memorandum of Understanding on Open Educational Resources

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 03/23/2014 - 06:43


Various authors, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, March 24, 2014

By email from Paul Stacey: "The Premiers of British Columbia, Alberta, and  Saskatchewan (the three most western provinces) have released a  Memorandum of  Understanding on Open Education Resources, which will see the three provinces work together to make higher education more affordable by developing Open Education Resources within their advanced education sectors." As he say there's not much to it (the third page of the PDF is completely blank) but it of course serves as the sprringboard for further activities and initiatives.

I like the definition of Open Educational Resource: "'Open Education Resources' means 'teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. Open licensing is built within the existing framework of intellectual property rights as defined by relevant international conventions and respects the authorship of the work.'" Note: no-cost access. Limited restrictions (eg. NC) allowed.

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A foundational badge system design

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 03/23/2014 - 06:13


Carla Casilli, Persona, March 24, 2014

One of the isssues with a badge system is granularity. On the one hand companies and institutions want large-objective top-down locked badges. On the other hand, individuals and small groups want more fine-grained flexible badges that can be created and awarded on the fly. This proposal addresses that by creating a three-tier interlocked badge system compliant with Mozilla's badge architecture. "This approach is a vote for interculturism— or the  intermingling and appreciation of cultures— in badge systems. Its strength arises from the continuous periodic review of all of the badges, in particular the team / product badges as well as the individual / community badges."

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